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Governor’s Ball Day One: Kurt Vile, Jenny Lewis, TV On the Radio, OutKast and more

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The 4th annual Governors Ball is taking place on Randall’s Island in NYC and we are there to capture all three days of live music.

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‘ Kurt Vile & the Violators | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Hometown boys, Kurt Vile & The Violators hung out on the Big Apple stage during the first day of Gov Ball

Janelle Monae | Photo by Rachel Barrish |  rachelbarrish.com
Janelle Monae | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

The fabulous and frantic Janelle Monae came on the stage in a straight jacket (similar to her performance at the Roots Picnic two weeks ago) and broke free giving the audience a superb afternoon.

Washed Out | Photo by Rachel Barrish |  rachelbarrish.com
Washed Out | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Indie rock group Washed Out performed an excellent set in the Gotham Tent during day one of Gov Ball

Concert goer and Drexel student | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Concert goer and Drexel student | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Jenny Lewis | Photo by Rachel Barrish |  rachelbarrish.com
Jenny Lewis | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Getting stoked for XPoNential Fest? Same here. Jenny Lewis put on a kick-butt performance playing tunes from her new album and some Rilo Kiley numbers. Can’t wait to see her again next month. Continue reading →

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Through beautiful vocals and a vibrant band, Neko Case bonds with her Electric Factory crowd (photos, review, setlist)

Neko Case | Photo by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com All photos by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com

During the middle of the song “The Pharaohs” there was a massive jolt of feedback that shook the foundation of The Electric Factory on Wednesday night. While it was bad for the crowd, it must have been hell for Neko Case and her camp. The entire group reeled back, almost cowering, and covered their ears as best they could. When it all cleared up Neko cautiously approached the mic, and asked if the crowd was ok. The crowd was fine, but we all wanted to know if they were ok. That’s the type of relationship Neko has with her fans.

It wasn’t about calling out songs that people wanted to hear, and even the smartphones were in (relatively) small use for the duration. You show up to a Neko Case show prepared to listen to what she has to say. Her songs, in a live environment, take on a new life. It’s also a bonus to listen to her rag on her bandmates. It’s a friendly , intimate environment for everyone involved, despite the size of the venue.

Stripped of her beloved studio reverb, there is a naked beauty to the music. On record, I would guess that there is a strain to the note she sings. In person though, it all appears quite easy for her. There is no effort to hit even the most soaring of vocal lines. That in itself solidifies her as one of my favorite singer ever. Swinging through songs from the past and the present, Neko and the band brought even the most orchestral arrangements to life in a way that was simultaneously unique and familiar.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Neko Case at Electric Factory, Sam Amidon at Tin Angel, J. Cole at The Mann and more

Photo by Jason Creps
Photo by Jason Creps

This month indie-alt-Americana icon Neko Case released her latest album, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You. The story of the record is pretty well encapsulated in its title, but you can hear Case dig into the depression and heartache that gave birth to this new collection of songs in this recent interview with World Cafe’s David Dye. Tickets for tonight’s all-ages show with her New Pornographers bandmate A.C. Newman can be found at The Electric Factory‘s website; below, watch the music video for Case’s “Man.”

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Stream Neko Case’s new album in its entirety via NPR Music First Listen (XPN Welcomes Neko Case to the Electric Factory 9/25)

Photo bu Emily Shur
Photo by Emily Shur
Neko Case releases her new album, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, on September 3rd. You can stream the new album in its entirety here via NPR Music. Stephen Thompson of NPR Music writes:

Case’s gift for disarming commentary carries over to the quotable, thoughtful, frequently lovely songs on The Worse Things Get: She can be bracingly acerbic (as in the aggressive power-pop gender-bender “Man”), boldly inspiring (“Ragtime” again: “I am one and the same / I am useful and strange”), or achingly tender (as in her Nico cover “Afraid,” with its gasp-inducing delivery of the words, “You are beautiful and you are alone”) while conveying equal, virtually boundless charisma.

Recorded with an assortment of her favorite collaborators — including producer Tucker Martine, longtime backup singer Kelly Hogan, M. Ward, her New Pornographers colleague A.C. Newman, Visqueen’s Rachel Flotard, and many more — The Worse Things Get (out Sept. 3) tucks thrills into its margins and doles them out in time-release doses. As her subtle touches suddenly cohere and register as surprises six or eight listens later (wait, are those submarine noises?), it’s clear that Case remains essentially peerless: No one sounds like her, so every little revelation feels altogether new.

Stream Case’s new album here.

WXPN Welcomes Neko Case to the Electric Factory on Wednesday, September 25th. Go here for tickets and more information about the show.

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Listen to Neko Case’s new single “Night Still Comes” (playing Union Transfer on 9/25)

Next Month Neko Case returns with her first album in four years, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, due out September 3rd on Anti- Records. The wait brings with it some heavy subject matter, as the new lyric video for “Night Still Comes” – which premiered on style blog Refinery 29 today – is peppered with allusions to drugs, drowning and self-destruction, blended with Case’s trademark Americana instrumentation and Nashville harmonies. Listen (and learn the words) below, and catch Case when she returns to town on September 25th at Union Transfer; tickets and more  information can be found here.

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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Mean Lady, Neko Case, Katie Frank & The Pheromones

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

Katie Frank & The Pheromones brought songs from their upcoming Counting Your Curses record to a Key Studio Session this week.  The Elizabethtown native and her rootsy Americana band will release the debut LP in August.  Get the full session here and catch them at MilkBoy on July 17th.

Nebraska singer-songwriter Joshua James provided this week’s Folkadelphia Session, which included songs off of his 2012 full-length From the Top of Willamette Mountain.  Folkadelphia’s Fred Knittel described James’ work as “spine-tingling” and “complex” – check it out for yourself here.

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My Morning Download: “Man” by Neko Case

Photo by Jason Creps
Photo by Jason Creps
Neko Case releases a new album, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, on Anti- Records on September 3. The album is the singer-songwriter’s first new album since Middle Cyclone came out in 2009. The Worse Things Get features guest appearances from M. Ward, Howe Gelb (Giant Sand), Tucker Martine, members of The New Pornographers, My Morning Jacket, Calexico, and Los Lobos. WXPN Welcomes Case to the ELectric Factory on September 25. Go here for tickets. Below, download “Man,” via NPR Music’s Heavy Rotation: 10 Songs Public Radio Can’t Stop Playing.

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Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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The Week So Far: 11 must-read stories on The Key (incl. Steve Gunn Trio, W.C. Lindsay, Disclosure and more)

Father John Misty | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com
Father John Misty | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com

Relive the weekend’s live music with reviews and photos of The National, Father John Misty, Devendra Banhart, The Bailey Hounds and Of Monsters and Men [link]

The Steve Gunn Trio recorded a Key Studio Session while on tour with Kurt Vile [link]

War on Drugs bassist and Nightlands frontman Dave Hartley returns to The Top of The Key with a look at basketball nicknames [link]

New Jersey’s Aspiga premiered a new song called “Direction” from an upcoming 7″ split [link]

Take an in-depth look at Break It Up‘s debut self-titled LP, featured this week on Unlocked [link]

Stream the exclusive premiere of W.C. Lindsay‘s super fun Tree EP [link]

WXPN announced the daily line-up for this summer’s XPoNential Music Festival [link]

We have a Gotta Hear Song from Disclosure and a Gotta Watch Video of Steve Martin and Edie Brickell this week [link and link]

PhilaMOCA announced their second annual ERASERHOOD FOREVER celebration of David Lynch and the venue’s Callowhill neighborhood [link]

Last Good Tooth teamed up with Folkadelphia for this week’s live session [link]

Sigur Ros, Kate Nash and Neko Case announced Philly shows for the fall

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Just Announced: Neko Case will play the Electric Factory on 9/25

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Singer-songwriter Neko Case has announced a show at the Electric Factory on September 25th.  The New Pornographers member released her last solo album called Middle Cyclone in 2009 and contributed vocals on the Canadian indie rock group’s 2010 effort Together.  Now working on a solo follow-up, Case has been profiled by NPR Music’s Morning Edition over the last year to get a glimpse into her recording process.  According to the second installment of the profile, Case was inspired by sea novels Moby Dick and Shadow Divers while writing the album and has tentatively named it The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight.  The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You.

Tickets for the show go on sale Friday, June 14th at noon.  More information will be available here.  Below, stream Case’s new song “Man” and watch her perform “This Tornado Loves You” on Late Night with David Letterman.

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Photo Recap: My Morning Jacket and Neko Case at The Mann Center

For more photos by Eric Ashleigh, visit eashleigh.com

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