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XPNFest Recap: Field Report delivers ambiance to the early crowd

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Field Report | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com

Chris Porterfield is no stranger to new territories. His Milwalkee-based project Field Report (a anagram of his own name) hails from the Midwest, but the band’s sound found a spot right at home here at Wiggins Park for XPNFest. Just the third act of the day, the band brought a blend of rootsy folk with some of the most intriguing percussion seen yet at XPNFest. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Bruce Warren’s 5 favorite albums of the year

Field Report | Photo by Brittany Salerno
Field Report | Photo by Brittany Salerno

Year-End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2014 awesome. In this installment, XPN program director Bruce Warren shares his favorite albums of the year.

There’s always this internal debate I have with myself about year-end lists, and it’s always this battle between whether I should go with “best” or “favorite.” “Best” is usually saved for the “critics;” which is not to say I am one or not. I’ll leave it to the Pitchforks, the New York Times and the Robert Christgaus of the world to attach some higher level of artistic and cultural significance and importance to records.

But in so many ways, I am a critic. I just don’t use big words. Music is “best” when it has singular appeal to anyone who wants to say “this is the best album of the year,” or “this album is one of the top five albums of the year.” You see, everyone’s right and everyone’s wrong when it comes to what “the best” is. When it comes to my albums of the year, I typically list the records that are my favorite. Are they the best? Sure they are; to me anyway. And if for some reason some of my favorites hit the critics year end polls as “the best” (in a music critic kind of way) then I guess I get bonus points. So here they are: My favorite five albums that entered into my musical universe in 2014. Continue reading →

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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. You Do You, Field Report, Damien Rice and more

You Do You
You Do You | Photo by Carina Giamerese

You Do You had a big week, celebrating the release of their new I Got Time EP on Tuesday and premiering their Key Studio Session on Wednesday.  The latter features a track off of the new record, as well as an unreleased number and a few older jams.  Listen to “Island Rat” below and get the full set here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Field Report at Underground Arts, Esperanza Spalding at The Keswick Theatre, and Ron Gallo at Bourbon and Branch

Field Report
Field Report | Photo courtesy of the artist

As part of Communion Philly, a monthly series of shows created by Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett, critically-acclaimed Wisconsin folk band Field Report will be playing Underground Arts tonight. Fronted by Chris Porterfield (who played in DeYarmon Edison with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver), as well as multiple members of psych-folk group Megafaun, the band will be bringing their poetic lyricism and beautiful signature melodic-yet-ambient acoustic sound to Philadelphia to headline a night of diverse music with a lineup ranging from alternative rock to swing-hop to, of course, folk. Other groups playing include Portland, Oregon’s Quiet Life, and Philadelphia groups Birdie Busch and the Greatest Night, Weekender, and Marian Hill. Doors open at 8:00 p.m., tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Listen to Field Report’s Marigolden via Pitchfork Advance

Field Report
Field Report | Photo courtesy of the artist

Midwestern troubadours Field Report are getting set to release their sophomore album Marigolden, out on Partisan Records on 10/7. The beautifully haunting album is a great songwriting progression for frontman Chris Porterfield and his collaborators, and today the album can be previewed a week early over at Pitchfork Advance. Continue reading →