Confetti and Joy: The Decemberists and M. Ward made the Mann Center feel like home

The Decemberists | photo by Kate McCann for WXPN |

It was one of those nights at the Mann Center for Performing Arts where every moment made you fall in love with Philadelphia all over again. And each song made you feel more at home with the ever-engaged audience.

The skyline aglow, M. Ward took the stage with an acoustic guitar, alone, and fervently played to the crowd. The band shuffled in, playing favorites like “Chinese Translation” and “Post-War.” Mid-set, Ward announced a surprise album release of What a Wonderful Industry, that dropped today and followed it up with a new single, “Miracle Man.” Continue reading →


XPN MusicNotes: Watch Jim James, M. Ward, Conor Oberst and Zooey Deschanel reunite Monsters of Folk and She & Him

Monsters of Folk | via Pitchfork

Supergroup Monsters of Folk reformed in LA over the weekend, reuniting Jim James, Conor Oberst & M. Ward for the1st time in 6 years. Zooey Deschanel also joined M.Ward for a couple of She & Him songs. Watch some fan video of “Vincent O’Brien”, “To Save Me”, “Never Had Nobody Like You” and “Magic Trick.” Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: M. Ward at Union Transfer & John Hiatt at Sellersville Theater

m. ward
M. Ward | photo courtesy of the artist

Prolific songwriter and She & Him guitarist M. Ward released his new solo album, the classically catchy More Rain, earlier this month, and tonight he will be performing at Union Transfer. Opening the show will be NAF (Nice As Fuck), the supergroup featuring Jenny Lewis, Erika Spring, and Tennessee Thomas. For tickets and more information, check out the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


NAF (Jenny Lewis, Erika Spring, and Tennessee Thomas) added to M. Ward show at UT in May

Jenny Lewis | Photo by Kate McCann for WXPN |
Jenny Lewis | Photo by Kate McCann for WXPN |

According to Brooklyn Vegan, Jenny Lewis, Erika Spring of Au Revoir Simone, and Tennessee Thomas of The Like performed together last night for the first time as NAF (short for Nice As Fuck) at a Bernie Sanders benefit show in New York. So So Glos and Wild Belle also played.

The supergroup trio will continue to play together as Nice As Fuck and they’ll be going on the road with M. Ward for his More Rain tour, which includes his stop at Union Transfer on Monday, May 2nd. Continue reading →


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.


SXSW Dispatch: M. Ward, Tommy Stinson and more pay tribute to Big Star’s “Third”

Last night at Austin’s Paramount Theater, an all-star cast of indie / alt-rock luminaries – from M. Ward, to The Replacements’ Tommy Stinson, to Wilco’s Pat Sansone and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck – gathered to pay tribute to Big Star‘s Third, arguably the best unfinished record in rock. This was the second time a Big Star tribute has taken place at South by Southwest in recent years; the legendary power-pop / art rock band was set to reunite for the 2010 festival, but band leader Alex Chilton died suddenly just days before, prompting a troupe of his fans in the music community to convene and pay their respects in song. While that performance was spontaneous and emotional – captured in “Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me,” a documentary that screened before the performance – this one was celebratory, punctuated by a dazzling orchestra and the elegant surroundings (and acoustics) of the Paramount. The performance of the album was followed by a dip into the Big Star back catalog, including songs from the solo career of Chilton (“Bangkok”) and founding singer-guitarist Chirs Bell (“I Am The Cosmos,” “You and Your Sister”). Check out a slideshow of the tribute above, and a video of “I Am The Cosmos” below.


Listen to new M. Ward song “Primitive Girl” (WXPN Welcomes him to Union Transfer in May)

M. Ward is releasing a new album, A Wasteland Companion, on Merge Records on April 10th. Below, listen to “Primitive Girl” and watch the wonderfully animated video for “The First Time I Ran Away,” both from the forthcoming album. WXPN Welcomes M. Ward with The Lee Rendaldo Group (of Sonic Youth) to Union Transfer on Saturday, May 12th. Go here for ticket information.

M. Ward – Primitive Girl (Single Version) by MergeRecords