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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, including The Afghan Whigs, Milton and more

Photo by Rich McKie
Photo by Rich McKie

Reading, PA resident Milton stopped by for this week’s Key Studio Session.  The Maryland native surrounded himself with a full band that brought his jazzy, soulful compositions to life.  Check out “I Desire to Know” below and get the full session here.

Folkadelphia welcomed back its frequent subject Psalmships in April, recording a live session in celebration of Joshua Britton’s new LP I Sleep Alone.  Stream and download the session below, featuring guest appearances by Brad Hinton and Chelsea Sue Allen.

With the XPoNential Music Festival quickly approaching, it’s a good time to get reacquainted with some of the bands that will be performing, like Commonwealth Choir.  Originally from Doylestown but now based in Fishtown, the indie pop / rock group recorded a Key Studio Session earlier this year.  Get a free copy of their song “Palace” below.

2014 Non-COMM performers The Afghan Whigs will be back in town on October 3rd, supporting one of this year’s best records Do To the Beast.  You can get a free download of “Matamoros” below, courtesy of My Morning Download.  Tickets and information for the upcoming show can be found here.

 

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Download “Matamoros” by The Afghan Whigs

The Afghan Whigs | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordo.tumblr.com
The Afghan Whigs | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordo.tumblr.com

One of the best rock albums of 2014 so far is Do To The Beast, the first album of all new album in 16 years by The Afghan Whigs. On Friday October 3rd, WXPN Welcomes the Whigs to Union Transfer. In May, the band played a blistering set at XPN’s Non-COMMvention. Below, watch a video of their classic “Fountain and Fairfax” from the show, and download “Matamoros,” a song from the new album.

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Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Watch an energized Afghan Whigs played a dark and heavy set at Non-COMM

The Afghan Whigs | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordo.tumblr.com
The Afghan Whigs | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordo.tumblr.com

Shadowed in blackness, The Afghan Whigs brought a darker side to the World Cafe Live stage at Non-COMM. The band performed “Fountain and Fairfax” from its 1993 LP Gentlemen, pushed forward by Greg Dulli’s vocals and his dramatic pitch changes, while “Parked Outside” from the new Do to the Beast had a more consistent and steady beat that focused more on the band’s dynamic sound as a whole. The garage and punk rock influences that the Whigs are known for came out in both songs and even after a sixteen-year hiatus, they showed showed it is still a major player. Check out the two songs below and listen to the entire set here.

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Non-COMM Recap: The Afghan Whigs cranked up the volume with Do to the Beast

The Afghan Whigs | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordo.tumblr.com
The Afghan Whigs | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordo.tumblr.com

After a sixteen-year hiatus, The Afghan Whigs are back with a rock and roll tour-de-force called Do to the Beast. They showcased tracks from the new album at the first night of Non-COMM, and were the first band in the lineup to really crank the volume for the crowd. But beyond the new music showcase – and let’s be real, “Parked Outside” into “Matamoros” packed a massive opening punch – the Whigs didn’t shy away from their back-catalogue, hitting up “Going to Town” from Black Love and the incredible “Fountain and Fairfax” from Gentlemen, as well as their trademark Jesus Christ Superstar cover “Heaven on their Minds” and “Somethin’ Hot” from 1965. Listen to the set and check out photos below.

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The Afghan Whigs will bring the mayhem of Do to the Beast to Union Transfer in October

The Afghan Whigs | photo via facebook.com/TheAfghanWhigsOfficial
The Afghan Whigs | photo via facebook.com/TheAfghanWhigsOfficial

We’re psyched to catch cinematic Cincinnati rockers The Afghan Whigs this week at NonCOMM (they play tomorrow night at 9, catch it on the air at 88.5 FM or XPN.org). But we’re equally psyched to hear that the band’s tour will bring it back through Philadelphia this fall for a headlining show at Union Transfer on October 3rd.

This year The Afghan Whigs released their first album in sixteen years, and it’s a knockout – Do to the Beast is ten tracks of aggression, emotion and intensity at a level we haven’t heard from these guys since 1996′s Black Love. After their smooth, soulful and sexy LP 196dropped in 1998, the Whigs took a long break, allowing frontman Greg Dulli to pursue solo projects with The Twilight Singers, The Gutter Twins (featuring Mark Lanegan of Screaming Trees) and under his own name. Though some of the music of this period found the songwriter exploring thrilling new territories, results overall were a bit on the mixed side, whereas on Beast, not a moment falters. The album isn’t just a return to form for the band, it’s also a return to Sub Pop Records, which released the Whigs LPs Up In It (1990) and Congregation (1992). Hopefully we’ll hear music from all of these releases – as well as 1993′s landmark outing Gentlemen – in October, as well as some of the band’s trademark cover songs.

(Read More – Six Essential Covers from The Afghan Whigs)

Tickets for the show go on sale Friday at Noon via the venue’s website. Below, watch the video for “Algiers” from Do the Beast.

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Stream new albums by The Afghan Whigs and The Both (Aimee Mann and Ted Leo)

Photo by Piper Ferguson
Photo by Piper Ferguson

The Afghan Whigs and The Both (Ted Leo and Aimee Mann) are performing at WXPN’s annual music industry gathering, the Non-Commvention, happening May 14-16 at World Cafe Live. Both the Whigs and The Both have new albums coming out on Tuesday, April 15th. You can stream them each in their entirety here via NPR Music.

The Afghan Whigs are releasing their first album of all new material in 16 years, Do To The Beast, Fronted by guitarist and singer Greg Dulli, and longtime Whigs’ bassist John Curley, they’re joined by the Whigs’ current core players – guitarists Dave Rosser and Jon Skibic, multi-instrumentalist Rick Nelson, and drummer Cully Symington. While original Whigs guitarist Rick McCollum does not appear on the record, there are numerous guest appearances, including Van Hunt, Mark McGuire (Emeralds), Usher’s musical director Johnny “Natural” Najera, Alain Johannes (Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys), Clay Tarver (Bullet LaVolta, Chavez), Dave Catching (QOTSA, Eagles of Death Metal), Patrick Keeler (Raconteurs, Greenhornes), Ben Daughtrey (Squirrel Bait), and Joseph Arthur. Ann Powers of NPR Music sums up the record succinctly, and writes:

Running with the album’s cinematic feel, Do to the Beast is in many ways Dulli’s . It conjures the 1990s in flashbacks, but its voices belong to men who’ve outlived the youth they had then. Dulli uses murder metaphors in “Matamoros” and “The Lottery,” and the supernatural enters into “Lost in the Woods” and “Royal Cream.” The real reason Do to the Beast resembles this year’s television preoccupation is that it gives us the voice and vision of a solitary, brilliant man in a constant tug-of-war with evil, as he imagines it — and as it still runs, though quieter now, in his veins.

Stream The Afghan Whigs’s Do To The Beast here.

Stephen Thompson, of NPR Music, writes about The Both:

Photo by Christian Lantry
Photo by Christian Lantry

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My Morning Download: “Slide Song” by Afghan Whigs (from a limited time only collection of World Cafe downloads)

Greg Dulli and Afghan Whigs visited World Cafe with David Dye last November, 2012 when the band reunited for a tour. Dulli came in with original members guitarist Rick McCollum and bassist John Curley. Below, from the session they did, download “Slide Song.” This month (and this month only) World Cafe is offering free downloads of performances from bands including Calexico, Lord Huron, Alt-J, John Fullbright, Freelance Whales, Stars, Nick Waterhouse, Allen Stone, The Kopecky Family Band and others. Download the entire collection, while they last until March 1st, here.

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Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: St. Vincent and David Byrne at The Tower, The Afghan Whigs at the Electric Factory, Grimes at Union Transfer

On the heels of their collaborative full-length release Love This Giant, David Byrne and Saint Vincent make an appearance at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby. Tickets to the all-ages performance range from $39.50 to $65 and are available here. Below, watch a music video for their song “Who.”

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Contest: Win a pair of tickets to see The Afghan Whigs at The Electric Factory tomorrow

There’s a lot of excitement this week for The Afghan Whigs‘ reunion show at The Electric Factory tomorrow, and today, we’ve got your chance to win a pair of tickets to the show! Comment below with your first and last name, and let us know what Whigs classics you’re excited to hear. We’ll contact the winner by e-mail tomorrow afternoon. To get the ideas flowing, check out this YouTube playlist of the Whigs’ official music videos!

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Can you spot a WXPN host in this Afghan Whigs video?

Reunited 90s rockers The Afghan Whigs are rolling through town this week for an XPN Welcomes show at The Electric Factory. We’re big fans of Greg Dulli and his band of cohorts…as are many of you, evidently! When we posted about Six Essential Covers from The Afghan Whigs last week, feedback poured in from readers of The Key: Whigs covers we could have included, Whigs covers that we didn’t even know existed, and a cool bit of trivia about one cover in particular. In 1992, The Afghan Whigs released its first collection of covers on Sup Pop records, the excellent Uptown Avondale EP which spotlighted renditions of four Stax Records / Motown-era songs. A music video was made for the noir rock take on The Supremes’ hit “Come See About Me,” and it showed the band singing and playing in a nightclub while a burlesque show raged on in the background. As it turns out, a current XPN host makes a quick cameo in the video. Take a look below, see if you can spot them and let us know your guesses! We’ll tell you who it is later today. The Afghan Whigs appear at The Electric Factory on Thursday, September 27. Tickets and information on the show are available here.

UPDATE: Why it’s none other than the one and only Dan Reed, your Top 5 at 5 host and Highs in the 70s sherpa, making a cameo at 1 minute 5 seconds into the video! Take a look: 

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