Firefly Music Festival: Morrissey, Spoon, Zella Day, Sturgill Simpson, and more

Crowd during Matt & Kim's set | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo |
Crowd during Matt & Kim’s set | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo |

Photographer Joe del Tufo has been at Firefly. Despite the evacuation of the grounds last night due to dangerous weather, most of the weekend has been clear. Rockers Kings of Leon, Steve Aoki, and several other bands were unable to perform. Check out some of the photos of band that did get to perform by del Tufo. Continue reading →


Just Announced: XPN Welcomes Firefly Festival to Dover International Speedway, featuring Tom Petty, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Lumineers, MGMT, Kendrick Lamar and more

Photo by Clara Balzary
XPN welcomes the return of Firefly Festival to The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway on June 21st-23rd.  The line-up is huge this year, with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty and Foster the People headlining the multi-day festival and over sixty of the biggest established and rising acts in the country filling out the bill.  Firefly’s diverse bill includes Vampire Weekend, rapper Kendrick Lamar, Public Enemy, Philly’s Dr. Dog, The Walkmen and the Spinto Band, Ellie Goulding, The Avett Brothers, Passion Pit, Calvin Harris, Grizzly Bear, Toro Y Moi, ZZ Ward, Matt and Kim, Dispatch, and new favorites HAIM, Wild Belle and Foxygen. Check out videos of some of the bands we’re most excited to see this summer and go here to view the full line-up.  Tickets go on sale this Thursday, February 21st at noon; more information will be available here.

The Lumineers

Kendrick Lamar

Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Foster the People, These United States with Juston Stens & The Get Real Gang

Tonight, Foster the People, the band that won the world over with their single, “Pumped Up Kicks” from their album Torches, is playing at the Mann Center. They have already had stellar success playing with The Beach Boys at the Grammy’s this past year and just finishing up an appearance at Bonnaroo.

Gina Vespa from says about their next album:

The band is piecing together ideas for the follow-up to their 2011 studio release of ‘Torches.’ While they’re still in the beginning stages of planning the new record, they have high and exciting hopes for it. As Foster commented to Billboard, “I think it’s going to take a lot of left turns … It’s going to be really celebratory … I think there’s going to be more grit, and I think it’s gonna be extremely percussive.” He also mentioned that the new music will likely be greatly influenced by what he’s been listening to lately, like the Kinks and the Clash.

Tokyo Police Club and Kimbra open for Foster the People at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts tonight at 7:30 PM, tickets are $29.50-36.50, all ages

Below, check out a video for “Warrior” that lead singer, Foster did with A-trak and Kimbra for the new edition of 3 artists 1 song.


And over at Johnny Brenda’s, The Swollen Fox and R5 present These United States, the alt-country rock band who just released their new self-titled album are playing with Juston Stens & The Get Real Gang. Purchase tickets for the 21+ show here OR, enter The Swollen Fox’s ticket give away here.


Just Announced: Foster The People to perform at The Mann on June 14, 2012

This just in: Foster The People (along with openers Tokyo Police Club) will perform at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts on June 14th, 2012. Tickets go on sale Friday, January 20th, at 10 a.m. via,,,, or The Mann box office.

From NPR Music:

Los Angeles’s Foster the People seemingly appeared out of nowhere, taking the blogosphere and Top 40 radio by storm with the viral single “Pumped Up Kicks,” a breezy summer jam with a subtly sinister edge.

Bandleader Mark Foster grew up in Cleveland and moved to Los Angeles after high school to pursue his dream of becoming a professional musician. After years on the fringes of the industry, Foster and his band finally broke through with the polished, genre-hopping sound that made them a WXPN “Artist to Watch.” Foster the People’s debut album, Torches, continues to ride high on the pop charts. Hear the band perform songs from its new album on today’s World Cafe.

You can listen to Foster The People’s recent appearance on World Cafe here.


Foster The People (playing Popped! Music Festival on Sept. 24th) release new video for “Helena Beat”

Foster The People, playing the Popped! Music Festival on Saturday, September 24th have released a video for “Helena Beat,” the second single from their debut album Torches. With the band’s current single “Pumped Up Kicks” rocking the charts and shaping up to be the song of the summer, the song has been criticized for it’s lyrics about a troubled kid who turns to gun violence. “I tend to undercut a fun melody with a deeper message,” said the band’s lead singer and song writer Mark Foster in an interview with WXPN/XPN2’s Eric Schuman. We reached out to Mark in early May to ask him to reflect on the story of the song – he e-mailed us back and said:

“Pumped Up Kicks” is told from the perspective of the main character Robert. The lyrics are scattered in the verses, painting pictures of the thought process and every day life of an American teen losing his mind. The phrase “pumped up kicks” represents the cool kids but it’s really just a metaphor for any “fill-in-the-blank adversary” They wear the trendy shoes. He’s probably got his dads tattered old cowboy boots. It’s a story that is happening more and more often. Bullying is a tragedy that gives birth to tragedy.

“Helena Beat” may continue the controversy surrounding the band in that it contains some images and a storyline that some viewers may disturbing. Foster had this to say to MTV about it:

It’s like a short film, really. It’s post-apocalyptic, ‘Lord of the Flies’ meets ‘Mad Max,’ so, it’s a bunch of kids, and they kidnap us and take us into this warehouse, and there’s a really crazy twist at the end. But it’s super-visual, and it’s a mixture of really, like, bizarre circumstances — it’s dark, but it’s also pretty tongue-in-cheek and fun.


Just Announced: The complete Popped! Music Festival lineup

The Popped! Music Festival lineup has been officially announced. The festival is September 23–24 at FDR Park (AKA “The Lakes”).

Friday, September 23rd
The Shins
Cage The Elephant
Panda Bear
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
Company of Thieves

Saturday, September 24th
Pretty Lights
Girl Talk
Foster The People
Charles Bradley
The Vaccines
The Budos Band
Mates Of State
Black Landlord
Black Thought & J. Period Mixtape
Zee Avi
Patty Crash

A limited number of Early Bird two-day passes ($90) and Early Bird two-day VIP passes ($175) are on sale now through Thursday, June 23rd, at 10 p.m. Use the code: POPPED (for two-day passes) and code: VIPPOPPED (for two-day VIP passes) at the Popped! wesbite or at Ticketmaster. VIP passes include a special viewing area near the stage, a separate entrance, bar/food/restroom areas. Regular price two-day passes ($110) and two-day VIP passes ($200) go on sale this Friday, June 24th, at 10 a.m. at the Popped! website and Ticketmaster. Charge by phone at 800-745-8000, or the Electric Factory Box Office located at 421 N. 7th Street. (No service fees for cash purchases!)


This Weekend’s Concert Picks: TV On The Radio, Black Lips, Foster The People

TV On the Radio + Celebration, Saturn Never Sleeps at Electric Factory (8:30 p.m., $30.50); Univox + Deleted Scenes, Hammer No More The Fingers at Kung Fu Necktie (7 p.m., 21+, $8); Surf City + Bardo Pond, Snowblink at Danger Danger Gallery (9 p.m., all ages, $5-$10)

The members of Black Lips embody modern punk rock in the sense that they vomit and urinate onstage, and yet still struggle to offend anyone. Case in point: the band’s supposed detainment in India for indecent exposure during a January 2009 performance turned out to be significantly less scandalous—and interesting—once the rumors were cleared up and the facts set straight. (One could argue that the romantic comedy (500) Days Of Summer—playing at The Sundance Film Festival right around the same time, and featuring Black Lips’ “Bad Kids” on the soundtrack—was actually more offensive than any onstage antics the band pulled in India.) More recently, the band ditched its grimy, self-produced ways to team up with scarf-wearing, Andy-Warhol-look-a-like superproducer Mark Ronson. The new album, Arabia Mountain, is due out in June and will feature Ronson beats, some horns, and a theremin; a few prereleased tracks have an unmistakable Ronson aesthetic, but still manage to maintain Black Lips’ minimalist sound. Black Lips performs with Vivian Girls and Moon Women at 9 p.m. at The Trocadero; tickets to the all-ages show are $17. —Dave Simpson

Also playing: David Liebe Hart + Power Animal, Snow Caps at First Unitarian Church (7:30 p.m., all ages, SOLD OUT); Colin Hay + Chris Trapper, Paul Dempsey at The Keswick Theater (8 p.m., $27.50-$33.50); Ezra Furman And The Harpoons + Tristen, The Apache Relay, Bulletproof Tigers at North Star Bar (8:30 p.m., 21+, $12)

Foster The People doesn’t have a proper full-length record under its belt yet—just an EP and some Youtube videos with, you know, several million views. The L.A.-based trio’s biggest song, “Pumped Up Kicks,” is perpetually hailed as an “indie anthem”: a laid-back, electronic, summertime song with a catchy hook. (Don’t let the poppy whistling and video—which features surfers and dancing band members—fool you: the song is actually about an unhinged teen shooting his classmates.) Despite having spent several years writing music for commercials and television shows, frontman Mark Foster seems in no rush to similarly cash in on Foster The People (for the time being); since the band’s formation in 2009, it’s been content with buzz-generating performances at major festivals and success on college radio stations. Questions about how much that will change—if at all—after the band releases its debut full-length, Torches, will have to wait until it comes out in May. Foster The People performs with Grouplove and We Barbarians at 8 p.m. at Kung Fu Necktie; tickets to the 21+ show are SOLD OUT. —Dave Simpson

Also playing: Loudon Wainwright III + Carsie Blanton at World Cafe Live (7:30 p.m., 21+, $28); KT Tunstall + Jesse Ruben at Theatre Of The Living Arts (8 p.m., $20); Birdie Busch + Brittany Ann, Vanessa Reddin, Natalie Acciani at Tin Angel (7:30 p.m., 21+, $10); Capillary Action + HUME, Scott Churchman at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $10)