For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, XPN Morning Show host Michaela Majoun shares her five most sonically addictive songs of 2012.
By which I mean songs you just can’t get out of your head, not necessarily because of lyrical content or musical depth, but because of a sound that hooks you. I suspect it has something to do with repetition and viscerally-felt clapping or drum noise and the other things noted below. There are studies about why music is addictive – read more here and here. Continue reading →
Avett Brothers photo via http://www.theavettbrothers.com/official-photos/
The Avett Brothers recently released their new album The Carpenter, the follow-up to their 2009 album I And Love And You. The Carpenter is our Featured Album this week. Here’s a review of the album by WXPN’s Mike Vasilikos:
Their latest is an album that continues to distance the band from their early image as a rambunctious bluegrass act and settle them into a place where craftsmanship takes center stage. Perhaps that’s where the title, The Carpenter, comes from (or maybe not) – but on this latest collection it really is about the songs. It’s something that Scott & Seth have always excelled at, but was perhaps easy to overlook because of how dynamic and engaging they are (and continue to be) in performance. The Avett’s are still as engaging as ever on The Carpenter, their approach just slightly remodeled.
To say that they’ve changed their approach is probably a fair statement, but it’s hardly a surprise. With I And Love And You, the band and producer Rick Rubin found success showcasing these guys as genuine songwriters. And while that may be the case, they’re far from subdued. These songs take flight, and tunes like “Geraldine” and “Paul Newman vs. The Demons” are reminiscent of early Avetts and still hold the potential to be barn-burners in front of a live audience. Yet what we saw on I And Love And You and even more so on The Carpenter is that there is a lot of charm to these songs. They can be bouncy and fun on a song like “I Never Knew You” and reflective and thoughtful on songs like “Through My Prayers” and “Winter in My Heart.” No matter the song, this band has such a dynamic personality infused in what they do – it just naturally shines through. The core to what The Avett Brothers have always done is write compelling songs; they accentuate that on The Carpenter. This is still the same band, just a bit more focused and really honing in on their strengths.
Listen to some of our favorite songs from the album below and watch the video they did in the tour bus at WXPN’s XPoNential Music Festival this past July.
Day number two of the 2012 XPoNential Music Festival wrapped up with a high-energy lineup at the Susquehanna Bank Center. On the main stage was the much-anticipated triple bill of Wilco, The Avett Brothers and Dr. Dog, and on The Key’s side stage were Dave Hause (joined on guitar by Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem) and The Bailey Hounds. Check out a full photo recap of the night in the gallery above.
The partial lineup for the 2012 XPoNential Music Festival—which will take place on July 20th-July 22nd at Wiggins Park and Susquehanna Bank Center on the Camden Waterfront—has just been announced. The headlining acts include Wilco, The Avett Brothers, Dr. Dog, and Counting Crows; you can check out the rest of the lineup below. You can get full ticket info on three-day passes, early-bird tickets, and benefits for WXPN members here.
*Wilco – The Avett Brothers – Dr. Dog – 7/21 at SBC
*Counting Crows – 7/22 at SBC
The Hold Steady
War On Drugs
John Wesley Harding’s Cabinet of Wonders
Lee Ranaldo Band
Good Old War
JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound
Matt Santry Band