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XPoNential Update: Schedule released, Strand of Oaks added, plus a video trip down memory lane of past festivals

Ingrid Michaelson | Photo by Cameron Pollack
Ingrid Michaelson | Photo by Cameron Pollack

WXPN’s XPoNential Music Festival is just one month away. And I’m sure by now you’re familiar with who’s playing this year: we have amazing artists like Beck, Ingrid Michaelson, The Hold Steady, Dawes, Ryan Adams, Jenny Lewis, The Districts, Rodrigo y Gabriela and more on the bill.

What you don’t already know is the daily lineup schedule – and we’ve heard a lot of you asking when it would be released. This morning, we’ll answer your questions, because it’s right here.

Also, we’re happy to announce a new addition to the lineup: XPN Artist to Watch Strand Of Oaks. The Philly quartet rocked hard at this year’s Non-Comm Festival, and impressed us so much with the brand new album HEAL (released this past Tuesday on Dead Oceans), that we decided to add them to #XPNFest, upping the rock and roll quotient.  Here’s a very fun interview The Key’s Elliott Sharp did with Strand Of Oaks front man Tim Showalter the day the record came out: don’t forget to see them this Friday afternoon for a Free At Noon Performance too.

Speaking of things that are awesome, we’ve collected some videos of past XPoNential Festival performances to get you psyched for a great weekend of live music on the Camden waterfront a month from now. Check them out after the jump. Go here to XPN’s Youtube channel to watch more videos from past #XPNfest’s.

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros performing “Janglin” last year:

Here’s “4 & 4″ by The Districts:

The Lumineers playing “Flowers in Your Hair” and “Hey Ho” from our 2012 event:

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Ingrid Michaelson shatters expectations at the Electric Factory

Ingrid Michaelson | Photo by Cameron Pollack
Ingrid Michaelson | Photo by Cameron Pollack

Still hot off the release of her newest album Lights OutIngrid Michaelson stunned a sold-out Electric Factory crowd on Friday night. I had just gone to Ingrid’s Free @ Noon concert at World Café Live that afternoon, and upon entering the Electric Factory, I expected more of the same: great songwriting and vocal talent, impassioned lyrics from her entire songwriting career, and one of the tightest backing bands in the business. Within the first hour of the show, before Ingrid herself had even taken the stage, my expectations were shattered, and by the end, I was cheering as loud as the people in the very front.

Opening up the night was self-proclaimed vintage duo Sugar & The Hi-Lows, comprised of songwriters Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup. In an effort to bring back the feel-good sounds of the early 20th century, Dabbs and Stroup serenaded the audience with bluesy, stomp box driven harmonies, and relied on audience participation throughout the entire set. Every song echoed the sounds of the 50’s and 60’s, from the overdriven guitar to Dabbs’ own hair and outfit.

Coming up to the stage second was powerhouse Irish duo Storyman, made up of Kevin May and Mick Lynch. Echoing the songwriting style of Kodaline, Passenger and bands of the same vein, the duo transfixed the audience with vast guitar, synth and stomp box instrumentations, even calling upon the crowd to turn their cell phones and iPod’s into “digital fireflies” during a song, in an effort to recreate Kevin May’s first experience of seeing fireflies upon coming to America. By the end of the set, the audience was begging for more, but the quality of the music that night would only improve from there.

Just before 10 o’clock Ingrid finally took the stage, but it was by no means the same Ingrid that played the Free @ Noon earlier that day; this Ingrid was revitalized, charismatic, and energetic through the final chorus. This Ingrid had undeniable electricity that carried her through belters like “Time Machine” and “You Got Me” (written by and featuring Storyman), and crooners like smash-hit “The Way I Am,” “Breakable,” and “Ready To Lose” (with Trent Dabbs).

Michaelson built her relationship with the crowd from the ground up, relying on them consistently for clapping and (startlingly) excellent backing harmonies. She showcased her relationship with every member of her ever-impressive band, introducing them by making them do character walks as they were introduced, with characters including Ellen Degeneres, Marilyn Manson, Marilyn Monroe, The Incredible Hulk, and Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker battling to the death (done by one person!). Other highlights from Ingrid’s set included hit single “Girls Chase Boys,” “Chain” (featuring Amy Stroup), and “You And I” (redone as a polka, complete with accordion!).

By the encore, the crowd grew to absurd volumes, and Ingrid and her band astounded the audience with anthemic renditions of “Maybe/Everybody,” and “Afterlife,” a feel-good song for the ages focused on finally becoming involved in the present moment, and every member of the crowd, myself included, was fully immersed and singing along. Post-show, Ingrid tweeted “Philly let’s get married.” to 184,000 followers. If the ever increasing volume of the crowd was any indication, the response is a resounding “Yes.”

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Just Announced: Ingrid Michaelson added to the #XPNFest lineup

IngridKicking off her sold-out Free at Noon concert today, New York singer-songwriter and XPN fave Ingrid Michaelson and XPN midday host Helen Leicht dropped a surprise bit of news on the crowd: Michaelson is joining us this July on the Wiggins Park lineup of the XPoNential Music Festival. She is currently on tour in support of her fifth album, Lights Out, and headlines a sold out Electric Factory show tonight (tickets and information can be found here). Michaelson previously performed at XPoNential in 2009 in advance of that summer’s Everybody; at the show, she collaborated with Matt Nathanson on “Loud Live” – check out a video of it below, and watch the music video for “Girls Chase Boys” after the jump. Tickets and information on XPoNential Music Festival 2014 can be found here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sharon Jones at Union Transfer, Northern Arms at Johnny Brenda’s, Red Fang at The Trocadero and more

via facebook.com/sharonjonesandthedapkings

On their latest release, Give the People What They Want, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings showcases the dynamic frontwoman’s high energy and resolve more than ever. The band returns to Philadelphia tonight to play Union Transfer and for her fans, Jones’s return to the stage is a triumph, given that the singer was diagnosed with cancer just last year. Regardless, the new album is full of great tracks like “Retreat!” and “Stranger to My Happiness.” Join Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and James Hunter for a night of classic soul. Get more info here at the XPN Concert Calender.

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Download a five song sampler from Ingrid Michaelson

Photo courtesy of the artist.
Photo courtesy of the artist.

Singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson releases her new album, Lights Out on April 15th, and plays the Electric Factory on Friday, May 30th. In advance of the release of Michaelson’s new album, she’s offering a five song sampler as a pay-what-you-wish download. You can get it for free, or if you choose to leave a tip, all proceeds go to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

The collection features live versions of “The Chain,” and “Maybe,” and three songs from previous studio releases. For those unfamiliar with Michaelson’s well-crafted pop songs, it’s an excellent introduction to her work. For the fans, it’s an opportunity to add a couple of live tracks to your music collection.

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Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Girls Chase Boys” by Ingrid Michaelson

Photo courtesy of the artist.
Photo courtesy of the artist.

Last week singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson announced a new album, Lights Out, (out on April 15th), released the first song from the album, “Girls Chase Boys,” and announced a tour that brings her to the Electric Factory on Friday, May 30th. The album features guest appearances from singer-songwriters Greg Laswell and Trent Dabbs, and Storyman, featuring former members of the Guggenheim Grotto, Kevin May and Mick Lynch. The video for “Girls Chase Boys” is a homage to the video Robert Palmer made for “Simply Irresistible.”

(Hear more: Listen to last week’s “Gotta Hear Song” “What’s Broken” by David Crosby)

Below, listen to “Boys Chase Girls,” Michaelson’s more than successfull attempt at increasing the more pop-leaning side of her songwriting.

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Just Announced: Ingrid Michaelson returns to the Electric Factory on 5/30

Singer-songwriter and XPN favorite Ingrid Michaelson just announced a tour in support of her new album Lights Out, due out on April 14th, and it comes to Electric Factory on May 30th. Though the album reportedly takes a darker tone than the New York singer-songwriter’s previous work, the single “Girls Chase Boys” is pure pop perfection. A music video for the song premiered earlier today on Entertainment Weekly – watch it here, and check out a video of Michaelson’s last Electric Factory appearance – from May of 2012 – below. The concert goes on sale this Saturday, February 8th, at noon via the Electric Factory website.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ingrid Michaelson at World Cafe Live at the Queen, Daniel Bachman at Little Berlin, Arrah and the Ferns as Black Sabbath at The Fire, Jess Klein at Burlap and Bean

XPN welcomes Ingrid Michaelson’s continuing tour in support of Human Again, released back in January, to World Cafe Live at The Queen. The New York singer-songwriter will be performing acoustic on this leg of the tour, tickets to the all-ages show range from $31 to $41 and are available here. Below, watch a live video of the song “Ghosts” from Human Again, recorded in Laurel Canyon earlier this year.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Turning Violet Violet, Greg Laswell, Childish Gambino w/ Danny Brown & Wigwams

Tonight we celebrate the variety of music that is being held in Philadelphia, both by genre and locale. The Fishtown indie / chamber fivesome, Turning Violet Violet released their record Double Cure in May and we were lucky enough to do a Key Studio Session with them around the same time. The album was recorded, produced, engineered and mixed by Jon Low and Brian McTear at Miner Street Recording. John Vettese, writing about the record, said: “The album’s thundering percussion and thrilling crescendos create a immediate sense of urgency, heightened by lyrics that long for simpler times in the face of an uncertain future. Meanwhile, the playing and arrangements sound like exactly what they are: the work of five skilled and studied musicians who are just as epic performing live as they are on record.” They play tonight with The Deer Tracks and Nouela at 9:15 PM at Johnny Brenda’s, tickets are $10 and the show is 21+.

Also playing:
Singer-songwriter Greg Laswell plays with Elizabeth & The Catapult at World Cafe Live Upstairs at 8PM. His new compilation of songs is entitled LandlineGo here to purchase tickets to the all ages show. Below, listen to the song “Landline” that he did with Ingrid Michaelson for the album

Childish Gambino, better known as Donald Glover from the hit NBC comedy, “Community”, performs tonight with Danny Brown at River Stage at Great Plaza-Penn’s Landing. Show starts at 7:30PM, tickets are $35 plus processing fees.

Our final pick for tonight is the indie rock band Wigwams at Kung Fu Necktie. Opening are Mmoths, Tressors and Gull. Showtime is 7PM; tickets to the 21+ show are $10.00

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This Weekend: XPN Welcomes Dar Williams, Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson, M. Ward, Esperanza Spalding

Regina Spektor


Dar Williams performs at 8 p.m. Friday, May 11th, at World Cafe Live At The Queen; tickets to the all-ages show are $31-$41.

 


Regina Spektor performs with Only Son at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 12th, at Tower Theatre; tickets to the all-ages show are $36-$74.

 


Ingrid Michaelson performs with Scars On 45 at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 12th, at Electric Factory; tickets to the all-ages show are SOLD OUT.

 


M. Ward performs with Lee Ranaldo Band at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 12th, at Union Transfer; tickets to the all-ages show are $22-$25.

 


Esperanza Spalding performs at 8 p.m. Sunday, May 13th, at Electric Factory; tickets to the all-ages show are $30.

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