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Firefly Music Festival Day Three: Beck, Imagine Dragons, Outkast, Cage the Elephant and more

Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/ Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/[/caption]
Day three of the Firefly Music Festival brought out more big names like Imagine Dragons, Outkast, and Beck, who returns to town on July 2th for the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru. Below, check out the highlights from yesterday’s performances.

Outkast | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Outkast | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Beck | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Beck | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Imagine Dragons | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Imagine Dragons | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese
Third Eye Blind | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Third Eye Blind | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/

Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
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The Week So Far: 12 must-read stories on The Key (incl. Firefly, The Flaming Lips, The Downtown Club)

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Relive the weekend’s Firefly Festival with reviews and photos [link]

William Tyler stops by for a Folkadelphia [link]

David Dye, Michaela Majoun and the XPN hosts list their favorite albums of 2013 so far [link]

Vampire Weekend will perform at the Mann Center on 9/19 [link]

Italian prog-rock film composers Goblin will make their U.S. debut this fall, playing Underground Arts on 10/5 [link]

The Flaming Lips will play Festival Pier with Tame Impala on 10/3 [link]

Members of Belle & Sebastian will DJ a party at Dolphin Tavern following their July 10th show at the Mann Center [link]

Dr. Dog drummer Eric Slick goes solo / acoustic on his new track “Creature Comfort” [link]

Stream local electronic / R&B duo Marian Hill‘s new single “Whiskey” [link]

Set times for this year’s XPoNential Music Festival have been announced [link]

Check out pictures of Wilco‘s Solid Sound Festival set, get ready to see them at XPo Fest next month [link]

Local new wave outfit The Downtown Club recorded this week’s Key Studio Session [link]

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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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Firefly Festival Day One Roundup: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Avett Brothers, Public Enemy and more

Red Hot Chili Peppers | Photo by John Vettese
Red Hot Chili Peppers | Photo by John Vettese

Given the sheer volume of East Coast music fans descending upon Dover International Speedway for the Firefly Festival yesterday, it seems from chatting with other concertgoers that our experience was about par for the course. A few hours stuck in traffic along Route 1 and the DuPont Highway while the strains of Dr. Dog and Ellie Goulding piped up from the festival grounds, followed by an ultimate arrival and immediate ushering into an engrossing musical environment.

North Carolinian Brooklynites The Avett Brothers had just kicked off a stellar set at the Main Stage. This is their first local-ish appearance since The Carpenter came out last summer, and it was great to hear so much of the new album live. A set highlight was easily Chad Smith of Friday headliners Red Hot Chili Peppers joining the band on drums for “Paul Newman Vs. the Demons” (watch a video here), but it all sounded great, from “Live and Die” to “Gimmieakiss.” So excited for their Mann Center show in September.

Over at the Backyard Stage, Public Enemy delivered a raging performance of most of their 25-year-old landmark album It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back. Frontman Chuck D and hype man Flava Flav were ever charismatic, stopping the set at one point for Flav to hop behind the drumkit and play while Chuck tore up a harmonica solo. A hike across the festival grounds to the Lawn Stage and EDM kingpin Calvin Harris had a jam packed crowd swaying and dancing. Or not even dancing, so much – there wasn’t much room to move – but more of a mass of people bobbing up and down in bass-dropping musical ecstacy.

Classic Alternative headliners the Chili Peppers wrapped up the night with an impressive performance drawing mostly from the more recent end of the catalog. Guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, who joined the group before 2011′s I’m With You, is a tremendous addition to the band, since his energy matches and compliments legendary bassist Flea’s own spastic antics. It’s like having two Fleas onstage – which is great – and singer Anthony Kiedes (who TMZ addicts will note was reportedly fresh off a rumble with security in Philly) sounded energized for most of the set, or at least until his voice started to go right around “Under the Bridge.” Still, the crowd singalong vibes were amazing on that and on “Otherside”; their iconic cover of “Higher Ground” was a rager; and an extended encore jam of “Sir Psycho Sexy” was delightfully tripped out. Check out photos after the jump, and look for more tomorrow. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Matt Sucich (playing Firefly Music Festival this Sunday)

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You love to discover great music and we love to share it. This week, we have been debuting 3 new Folkadelphia Sessions for you to fall in love with. We’re going to focus on songwriters of varying styles – each come to the art of crafting a song in different ways, but the results are equivalently enriching for the body, heart, mind, and soul.

On Sunday, you heard from Nashville based Holly Williams, channeling her family’s legacy and carving her own musical path – stream & download the songs (all culled from her latest full-length The Highway) from that session here. On Tuesday, you learned about Daniel Sheron’s project Balto and the sincere songs hewn from own experiences – stream & download the session here.

Now we’ll hear from New York located singer-songwriter Matt Sucich (which, by the way, is pronounced “SUE-SITCH”).

Last year, Sucich released an excellent collection of songs in an album called Layers (where you can also find the studio recordings of our session tracks). What quickly becomes apparent is that Sucich is a songwriter in the classic New York cafe sense – I can imagine him spilling his heart out to a spellbound seated audience in an intimate candlelit room. He draws you in; the music is comfortable, easy to try on, and the voice is trustworthy, a pleasure to listen to. Once you’re hooked, you discover Sucich has serious storytelling chops. We can’t wait to hear what he shows us next.

In addition to last year’s full-length, a brand new limited seven-inch is available featuring the “House of Cards,” as well as a single “My Only Problem With You.”

Matt has two upcoming area appearances – the first comes this weekend at Dover, DE’s uberfest Firefly Music Festival, where Matt plays on Sunday, June 23rd, and the second comes at Newton Square, PA’s cafe/venue Burlap and Bean Cafe, where Matt plays on September 14th.

On this Sunday’s radio show, we’ll be premiering Nashville instrumental guitarist William Tyler‘s Folkadelphia Session.

 

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Firefly Under the Radar: Robert DeLong

Robert DeLong

First rule of music festivals: get there at the beginning. Try not to miss a lot of the early-day acts because you never know whose set can start off your party weekend in a surprisingly great way. And so, if I were heading to Firefly this weekend, I’d be sure not to miss up-and-coming unique electronic artist Robert DeLong. Originally from the Seattle area, DeLong has his musical roots in drumming, and and played with indie-rock bands before turning to more electro stylings. He also sings, and has a great smooth voice. Many of DeLong’s tunes start out relatively calm, slightly poppy and vocal-heavy, but soon crescendo into surprisingly awesome electro drops and danceable beats that come from a variety of EDM influences. His fusion of pop, EDM, and indie rock roots create a sound slightly reminiscent of Australian synthy electro-rockers Art vs Science (who happened to wonderfully start off my Governor’s Ball weekend last summer). DeLong’s music and live shows also feature him playing and experimenting with different drums and drum pads, keyboards, and even videogame controllers – a true new age one-man band. DeLong’s first full-length album, Just Movement, was released this year. Check out the music video for his infectious single, “Global Concepts.” Tickets and information for Firefly can be found here.

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The Week So Far: 12 must-read stories on The Key (incl. Big Footprints Project, Make Music Philly, Light Heat)

 

Photo by Nina Sabatino
Photo by Nina Sabatino

The Dead Milkmen continue their sudden streak of new recordings with Welcome to Undertown [link]

Light Heat recorded a psych-rock Key Studio Session with some help from members of The Walkmen and Fleet Foxes [link]

Local musicians give back to the community with Modern Baseball-frontman Brendan Lukens’ new label Big Footprints Project [link]

Balto and Holly Williams turn in a pair of great live sessions for Folkadelphia [link and link]

Get to know Sylvia Platypus, Vikesh Kapoor and more in our Make Music Philly Spotlight [link]

Stream Rosu Lup‘s new Currents EP ahead of their record release show at The Fire on July 13th [link]

Scottish rockers Frightened Rabbit announced a fall show at the Electric Factory on October 27th [link]

The Key highlights the Firefly Festival undercard with The Key’s week-long Firefly Under the Radar feature [link]

Third Thursdays Live and Local kicks off tomorrow night at Race Street Pier with Dice Raw, Lushlife and more [link]

Stephen Marley remixes his father’s “Three Little Birds” for a new collaborative release in the latest installment of XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week [link]

Check out recaps and reviews of this week’s live concerts, including The Postal Service and Junip [link]

Catnaps say goodbye with a new EP called Forget About It [link]

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Firefly Under the Radar: Conner Youngblood

conner youngblood

If you’re heading out to Dover, DE later this week for the Firefly Music Festival, don’t miss Texas multi-instrumentalist Conner Youngblood.  A recent Yale graduate in American Studies, his music is a melting pot of seemingly incongruous genres and techniques that makes for an exquisite and transcendent outcome.  Youngblood’s blending of acoustic and electronic instrumentation with a focus on narrative lyrics is not so surprising, though, after learning he lists Bob Dylan, James Blake and Ray Lamontagne as influential touchstones.

The singer-songwriter released two EPs in quick succession last year – Sketches Pt. 1 and Sketches Pt. 2 – and is currently working on new recordings. Both of last year’s EPs can be downloaded for free here.  Catch him on Friday at 3:30 p.m. at The Porch; more information for the festival can be found here.  Below, watch a live video of “Australia” and stream “The Warpath,” which was featured as a My Morning Download last August.

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Firefly Under the Radar: LEAGUES

LEAGUES While catching headliners like Tom Petty or Vampire Weekend, will certainly be a thrill at this years Firefly Music Festival, happening in Dover, DE this coming weekend, there’s also a certain exhilaration to be found in discovering new bands whose popularity has yet to really take off. If you’re looking for this kind of excitement, the kind that only comes along with hearing an artist for the first time and instantly loving them, then look no further than Nashville natives LEAGUES. The Tennessee trio released its LP You Belong Here earlier this year. A promising debut, the band displays a sound reminiscent of U2 or The Police, while maintaining a more modern sensibility, drawing equal inspiration from more recent acts like Phoenix, as well. The band showcased its delightful pop-rock in a World Cafe Session back in April when David Dye traveled to Nashville, and it is something surely not to miss at Firefly this weekend, where they’ll be performing at the Lawn stage, this Friday, June 21st. Tickets and info can be found here, and check out the video for their track “Spotlight”, below.

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Hit the arcade in The Spinto Band’s new “Amy + Jen” video (playing Firefly Festival)

ThomasAndThomasIt doesn’t seem all that unusual to find Delaware’s The Spinto Band trapped in a world of 80s computer game graphics. With a herky-jerky flair reminiscent of early They Might Be Giants videos, this one for “Amy + Jen” – which premiered on Spin.com last night – sees each of the five Spintos pop on and float around a screen saturated with bright neons and strobing backdrops you might have seen coming out of a Nintendo console or flickering in an arcade 25 years ago. Watch it below; “Amy + Jen” comes from the band’s 2013 release Cool Cocoon, and next Friday it plays Firefly Festival‘s Porch Stage at 2:15; get the details here.

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