Song premiere: “Another Is Waiting” by The Avett Brothers (playing the Mann Center in September)

avettbros The Avett Brothers return with a new album, Magpie And The Dandelion, out October 15. Below, listen to a premiere of the album’s first single, “Another Is Waiting,” a snappy, upbeat, banjo and guitar driven 2 minute and 8 second classic from the Avetts. The band recently played the Newport Folk Festival. You can listen to the show in its entirety here via NPR Music, and watch a video of “I And Love And You.” WXPN Welcomes the Avett Brothers to the Mann Center on Saturday, September 14 with Trombone Shorty.


Firefly Festival Day One Roundup: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Avett Brothers, Public Enemy and more

Red Hot Chili Peppers | Photo by John Vettese
Red Hot Chili Peppers | Photo by John Vettese

Given the sheer volume of East Coast music fans descending upon Dover International Speedway for the Firefly Festival yesterday, it seems from chatting with other concertgoers that our experience was about par for the course. A few hours stuck in traffic along Route 1 and the DuPont Highway while the strains of Dr. Dog and Ellie Goulding piped up from the festival grounds, followed by an ultimate arrival and immediate ushering into an engrossing musical environment.

North Carolinian Brooklynites The Avett Brothers had just kicked off a stellar set at the Main Stage. This is their first local-ish appearance since The Carpenter came out last summer, and it was great to hear so much of the new album live. A set highlight was easily Chad Smith of Friday headliners Red Hot Chili Peppers joining the band on drums for “Paul Newman Vs. the Demons” (watch a video here), but it all sounded great, from “Live and Die” to “Gimmieakiss.” So excited for their Mann Center show in September.

Over at the Backyard Stage, Public Enemy delivered a raging performance of most of their 25-year-old landmark album It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back. Frontman Chuck D and hype man Flava Flav were ever charismatic, stopping the set at one point for Flav to hop behind the drumkit and play while Chuck tore up a harmonica solo. A hike across the festival grounds to the Lawn Stage and EDM kingpin Calvin Harris had a jam packed crowd swaying and dancing. Or not even dancing, so much – there wasn’t much room to move – but more of a mass of people bobbing up and down in bass-dropping musical ecstacy.

Classic Alternative headliners the Chili Peppers wrapped up the night with an impressive performance drawing mostly from the more recent end of the catalog. Guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, who joined the group before 2011’s I’m With You, is a tremendous addition to the band, since his energy matches and compliments legendary bassist Flea’s own spastic antics. It’s like having two Fleas onstage – which is great – and singer Anthony Kiedes (who TMZ addicts will note was reportedly fresh off a rumble with security in Philly) sounded energized for most of the set, or at least until his voice started to go right around “Under the Bridge.” Still, the crowd singalong vibes were amazing on that and on “Otherside”; their iconic cover of “Higher Ground” was a rager; and an extended encore jam of “Sir Psycho Sexy” was delightfully tripped out. Check out photos after the jump, and look for more tomorrow. Continue reading →


Just Announced: The Avett Brothers are playing The Mann on 9/14

avett brothers

The Avett Brothers will be bringing their southern folk-rock croons to The Mann Center on September 14th. The band released their last full-length album, The Carpenter, in 2012 and recently announced that a follow up would be coming sometime this fall. They’ll be touring with Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue. Tickets go on sale on Saturday, June 29th at 10 a.m. Meanwhile, check out the music video for their song “February Seven.”


The Key’s Year-End Mania: Michaela Majoun’s five most sonically addictive songs of 2012

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 →


Listen to songs from WXPN’s Featured Album, The Avett Brothers’ new The Carpenter

Avett Brothers photo via

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.


XPoNential Fest Photo Recap: Wilco, The Avett Brothers, Dr. Dog and more at Susquehanna Bank Center

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.


Wilco, The Avett Brothers, Dr. Dog, and Counting Crows to headline the 2012 XPoNential Music Festival

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
Kathleen Edwards
Diego Garcia
War On Drugs
John Wesley Harding’s Cabinet of Wonders
Patterson Hood
Mike Doughty
Lee Ranaldo Band
JD Souther
The Lumineers
Good Old War
JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound
JD McPherson
Work Drugs
Delta Rae
City Rain
Matt Santry Band
Dana Alexandra
+ more