Watch six of our favorite Neil Young cover songs (playing Wells Fargo Center this Thursday night)

Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Neil Young recently released the sprawling rock record Psychedelic Pill with Crazy Horse. Young plays this Thursday evening, November 29th at the Wells Fargo Center with Patti Smith opening. There’s no hiding our love for Neil so as we ramp up to Thursday night’s show here’s some of our favorite covers of his songs.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Grace Potter & The Nocturnals at The Electric Factory, Pomegranates at MilkBoy, Res and Kate Faust at World Cafe Live, Dan Deacon at Union Transfer and Purling Hiss at Johnny Brenda’s

XPN welcomes Grace Potter & The Nocturnals back to Philadelphia for a show at The Electric Factory.  The Vermont-based rock band wowed audiences at Coachella and XPN’s Non-COMMvention earlier this year with Potter’s undeniably charismatic stage presence and the band’s explosive songs.  In June the band released their eighth studio album with The Lion The Beast The Beat.  Tonight, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals perform with The Stepkids.  Tickets are $25 for the all-ages show and doors open at 8:30 p.m.; more information is available here.  Watch the video for “Timekeeper” below.

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Our weekend (Saturday and Sunday) concert picks

SATURDAY June 16th

WXPN Welcomes Bonnie Raitt to the Academy Of Music with special guest Mavis Staples. 8PM; tickets are $45.50-$85.50

WXPN Welcomes Keane to the Merriam Theatre with special guests Mystery Jets. 8PM; tickets are $35-$45.00

Birdie Busch with Adam & Dave’s Bloodline at with The Quelle Source and The Bailey Hounds. Doors at 8PM; Show at 9PM; tickets to the 21+ show are $10.

Chill Moody at The Fire. 9PM; tickets to the 21+ show are $10

Toy Soldiers at World Cafe Live. Doors at 7PM; Show at 8PM. Advance tickets are $10 + processing fee in advance; $15 + processing fee at the door.

SUNDAY June 17th

Destroyer at Union Transfer with Sandro Perri. Doors at 8PM; Show at 8:30PM. Tickets are $16-$18

WXPN Welcomes Grace Potter and The Nocturnals to World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington, Delaware. Tickets are $31 (including processing fee).

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Photos and audio from Grace Potter and The Nocturnals’ set from WXPN’s Non-Commvention

Grace Potter and The Nocturnals played the Non-Commvention last night at World Cafe Live. The band debuted a lot of new material from its forthcoming album, The Lion The Beast The Beat, being released on June 12th. Listen to the set here. Set list below. All photos by Joe Del Tufo.

Grace Potter and The Nocturnals
WXPN Non-Comm Broadcast at World Cafe Live
Wednesday, May 16th
The Lion The Beast The Beat
Ah Mary
One Heart Missing
The Divide
Never Go Back

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WXPN broadcasting Non-Commvention shows with Grace Potter, War On Drugs, Willie Nelson, Rufus Wainwright, Brandi Carlile, Polica, Norah Jones and more

Next Wednesday, May 16th through Saturday, May 17th WXPN’s annual music conference, the Non-Commvention, rolls in to World Cafe Live and WXPN. This is the 12th year for the industry conference started by WXPN’s Dan Reed when he worked at WFPK in Louisville, Kentucky. Hundreds of music industry personnel will be in town from various radio stations across the country alongside industry publicists, labels representatives, digital media folks, managers, and listeners and members of WXPN. The lineup for this year’s Non-Comm includes dozens of bands who will be performing at World Cafe Live Wednesday through Friday night, and a listener appreciation Free At Noon on Saturday at Penn Park. WXPN will be broadcasting and webcasting the following sets live:

Wednesday, May 16
8:00 PM – The Key Studio Sessions Live with Graham Alexander, Find Vienna
10:00 – Grace Potter & the Nocturnals

Thursday, May 17 Free At Noon
Noon – Joseph Arthur
12:30 – Citizen Cope

The NPR Music Stage
8:30-9 – Father John Misty
9:35-10:05 – Beth Orton
10:45-11:25 – The War On Drugs
12:05-12:45 – Polica

Friday, May 18 Free At Noon with Brandi Carlile, Norah Jones, Willie Nelson

The NPR Music Stage
8:30-9 – Diego Garcia
9:35-10 – Nada Surf
10:40-11:10 – Good Old War
11:50-12:30 – J.C. Brooks & the Uptown Sound

Saturday, May 19 – Listener Appreciation Free At Noon from Penn Park:
12-12:20 – Dex Romweber Duo
12:25-1:05 – Rufus Wainwright
1:15-1:45 – Sons of Fathers
1:55-2:25 – Elle King
2:30-3 – Nick Waterhouse

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Radiohead, Weeknd, Black Keys, Grace Potter, Bon Iver, Gary Clark, Jr. play Coachella

Thom Yorke photo by Luis Sinco, Los Angeles Times / April 16, 2012

The first weekend of Coachella wrapped up yesterday with the second weekend of performances next weekend. Watch some of the festival highlights below from Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, the Weeknd, Gary Clark, Jr., Bon Iver, Radiohead, the Black Keys and Dawes.

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Recap: Grace Potter And The Nocturnals at Electric Factory

Photo by Jim Rinaldi

Grace Potter has inarguably transformed her appearance and musical style over the past few years. In the spring of 2005, Potter (along with her backing band, The Nocturnals) independently released her debut album, Nothing But The Water. Not long after, GP&N signed to Hollywood Records, which released the band’s sophomore effort, This Is Somewhere. The success of the album encouraged Potter to refashion GP&N’s image. With the help of producer Mark Batson (Dave Matthews Band, Eminem, Alicia Keys) she released her most recent album, which was self-titled as a declaration of the band’s new look and musical style. Grace Potter quickly went from a bohemian brunette to a blond-bombshell frontwoman, whose sexy vocals would elicit a double-take from even the most fervent listener. Grace Potter And The Nocturnals is, at its finest, a basic pop-rock record that thrives on simplicity and fun musical arrangements. Some dedicated GP&N fans might be quick to dismiss the album as a weak attempt at selling out; however, Grace Potter’s performance at Electric Factory on Friday night proved that she has no intention of abandoning her rock-and-roll roots.

To open the show, Grace belted out “Stop The Bus,” with a Flying V accompanying her screaming vocals. Energy quickly overcame the initially reserved crowd as people shouted lyrics and danced with neighboring attendees. Seamlessly progressing from one song to the next, the members of GP&N wailed on their instruments. During “Joey,” Grace finally took a seat behind her staple Hammond organ; she didn’t stay still for long though, as the following songs prompted provocative dancing and instrumental jams that lasted until the soft ballad “Apologies” (which gave the audience and GP&N a much-needed break). Her somber vocals briefly drenched the venue in a melodic haze, but the rocking quickly returned in the form of “One Short Night.”

Strings of bulbs and spotlights set the theme for “Tiny Light”; the song was transformed from a simple XM radio hit to an epic rock hit, supported by intermittent screaming and heavy breathing. A few songs later, concertgoers received a pleasant surprise: GP&N covered Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit,” and the performance was a psychedelic journey that would have made Grace Slick proud. The Nocturnals left the stage as Grace sang a solo, a cappella version of “Nothing But The Water (I).” Then they rejoined her for a loud, impassioned performance of “Nothing But The Water (II).” GP&N rounded out the set with the over-the-top single, “Paris (Ooh La La).” GP&N then returned to play three more songs, ending with “Medicine”, which is easily the best and most seductive track off the new album.

Hollywood Records clearly recognized a star and a diva the rock world could embrace. Grace Potter might be a great musician, but she is an even better performer. Her made-over image seems to compliment her talent and live shows, which harken back to those of ’60s and ’70s rock legends such as Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane, and Fleetwood Mac. Grace’s performances have subsumed the sex appeal and indulgent musical expression of those predecessors. Anyone interested in GP&N should definitely invest in its 2011 Live At The Filmore album; those are the only recordings that might do the current incarnation of the band justice. —Caitlyn Grabenstein

[CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post inaccurately identified T-Bone Burnett as the producer of Grace Potter And The Nocturnals. The album was produced by Mark Batson.]

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