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My Morning Download: “Life Is Hard” by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

Photo by Michelle Montgomery
Photo by Michelle Montgomery
There’s no doubt that Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zero’s recent self-titled album is one of our favorite albums of 2013. The band performed at this year’s XPoNential Music Festival. Below, download “Life Is Hard” from the band’s new album and watch a video of the song recorded live at The Box theater in New York.

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Get psyched for XPoNential 2013 by revisiting past performances from Dr. Dog, Dawes, and more

Photo by Ryan Schwarts
Dr. Dog performing at XPoNential Music Festival in 2010 | Photo by Ryan Schwarts

With the XPoNential Music Festival mere days away, what better way to get in the mood than by checking out some stellar perfomances from XPo-Fests past? While there’s certainly a long list of exciting, up-and-coming new artists playing this year, it’s always nice to kick back with some old favorites. Below check out some perfomances from years past by XPoNential vets Dr. Dog, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Dawes and The Lumineers! Continue reading →

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Firefly Day Two Roundup: Jim James, Edward Sharpe, Chvrches and more

Jim James | Photo by John Vettese
Jim James | Photo by John Vettese
Wow, we saw so many bands at day two of Firefly Music Festival! To keep this recap from getting too unwieldy (since there’s a whole other day of the festival to get to), we’ll keep our thoughts to one or two sentences per artist.

Japandroids: two-piece garage punk is dicey in a festival setting, and the sound was muffled and muddy, but “The House that Heaven Built” ruled. Hi fives to all crowd surfers as they exited the pit.

Seattle’s string-laden Hey Marseilles was lush, pretty, but kind of boring. The handclap / crowd-participatory “Rio” saved their set.

Jim JamesRegions of Light was transcendent in the close quarters of Johnny Brenda’s and Union Transfer; it lost a bit of its cosmic potency in open air. But James is still a tremendous performer, showman, dancer and must have been roasting in that suit with the afternoon heat.

Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar was an energizing stage presence and had the crowd hanging on his every rhyme. Scotland dance pop trio Chvrches was also charismatic and fun (see them at Union Transfer tonight) while Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros got us excited for our own festival.

Next: a double shot of dynamic front women. Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs has always rocked the stage with an unbelievable energy, whether it was the Church basement for 300 people or this festival for 10,000 people; “Zero” was unreal, the inflatable eyeball bouncing around the crowd was a nice touch. And New York rapper Azealia Banks, backed by a DJ and two dancers, gave a spitfire performance of songs from her 1991 EP, her Fantasy mixtape and the (eventually) forthcoming Broke With Expensive Taste.

Finally, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers headlined the day with an uneven but well-received performance. The singalong hits and moments where the Heartbreakers stayed focused a la “Love is a Long Road” were outstanding, but when the band lapsed into drivelly jams, not so much. Still, there’s no feeling like singing “Free Fallin’” at the top of your lungs with a field of people. Photos after the jump. Continue reading →

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Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros Release new single “This Life” (playing XPoNential Fest in July and Longwood Gardens in August)

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros photo by Laure Vincent Bouleau
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros photo by Laure Vincent Bouleau
Last week, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic  Zeros released the music video for “Better Days,” the first single from their upcoming self-titled album.  This week, the group has released yet another song from their next album called, “This Life.”  The new song is just as steeped in soul as the first single, but where “Better Days” was upbeat and bursting with energy, “This Life” is a slow burner, starting quietly and building in volume with bluesy screams from Alex Ebert.  A song about being honest with yourself and embracing life head-on, Ebert goes back and forth with a chorus of singers, arguing that he’s finally being honest with himself.  Below you can check out the new single.  Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros play the XPoNential Music Festival this year and recently announced a show for Longwood Gardens members on August 29th.

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Listen to a new Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros song, “Better Days” (playing XPoNential Music Festival in July)

Photo by Joseph Schell Photography https://www.facebook.com/pages/Joseph-Schell-Photography/106691849363906
Photo by Joseph Schell Photography https://www.facebook.com/pages/Joseph-Schell-Photography/106691849363906
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros release their new self-titled album on Tuesday, July 23rd, several days before they play the XPoNential Music Festival the weekend of July 26-28 at Wiggins Park. Tickets are on sale here. Below, listen to the close to funky orchestral singalong, “Better Days.”

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My Morning Download: “Man On Fire” (Free At Noon version) by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros

Photo by John Bartol

When Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros played Free At Noon on Friday, May 11th, they were filmed and interviewed for Virgin Mobile Live. Below, watch the videos from the Free At Noon and download the band’s live version of “Man On Fire.”

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Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Watch videos from Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros and The Dismemberment Plan from the Roots Picnic

Earlier this month at the Roots Picnic, our friends from Philadelphia Music Magazine filmed some of the performances and interviews we did throughout the day. Below, watch the videos of Edward Sharpe’s performance and interview with WXPN’s Mike Vasilikos and The Dismemberment Plan’s performance and Bruce Warren’s interview with bassist Eric Axelson.

Special thanks to Philadelphia Music Magazine. Check out their web site here and follow them on twitter @phillymusicmag

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WXPN and Okayplayer to stream The Roots Picnic main stage performances this Saturday


This Saturday, June 4th, is the fourth annual Roots Picnic at Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing. WXPN, along with Okayplayer, will be streaming the main stage performances starting at 1 p.m. Performers include The Roots, Wiz Khalifa, Nas (backed by The Roots), Esperanza Spalding (backed by The Roots), Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, The Dismemberment Plan, and Little Dragon. The broadcast will be hosted by WXPN’s Bruce Warren and Mike Vasilikos, and will feature live performances from the main stage (as well as interviews with some of the bands who are performing on the second stage). Philly’s own DJ Afrodjiak will join Mike and Bruce during the webcast to cover all of the festivities and chat with artists throughout the day. DJ Afrodjiak is the producer and music director of the popular event series Inside The Studio as well as the co-founder and publisher of Philadelphia Music Magazine. WXPN is also collaborating with Philadelphia Music Magazine to produce video features of a select group of bands performing at this year’s Roots Picnic.

The Roots Picnic is this Saturday, June 4th, at noon at Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing. Tickets from Ticketmaster are $79.75 (price includes service charge). Tickets are also available at the Live Nation Box Office (111 Presidential Blvd, Bala Cynwyd), Festival Pier (Columbus Blvd & Spring Garden Street; day-of-show only) or by-phone at 800-745-3000.

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