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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Imelda May at Union Transfer, Dead & Company at BB&T Pavilion

Imelda May | via the artist’s facebook

If you weren’t able to see Imelda May‘s moving performance during last week’s Free At Noon, you have another chance to catch the Irish singer-songwriter tonight at Union Transfer. Imelda May released her fifth studio record Life Love Flesh Blood in April, holding the top spot on the UK Americana chart for three consecutive weeks. For tickets and more information, see the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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This Day in Music History: The Grateful Dead release Anthem of the Sun, the first Lollapalooza is held

Grateful Dead Anthem of the Sun

1953 – Truck driver Elvis Presley makes his first ever recording when he pays $3.98 to lay down two songs at Memphis Recording Service (later renamed Sun Studios): “My Happiness'” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin.” The so-called vanity disc is a gift for his mother. It would surface 37 years later as part of an RCA compilation called Elvis – the Great Performances.

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Watch The Grateful Dead play the last-ever show at JFK Stadium this day in 1989

The Grateful Dead at JFK Stadium in 1989 | via YouTube
The Grateful Dead at JFK Stadium in 1989 | via YouTube

Best known as the half-oval that filled to the brim for Live Aid in 1985, South Philadelphia’s JFK Stadium was something of a nerve center for rock in Philly during the 60s, 70s and 80s – hosting performances that range from Judy Garland’s final show in 1968 to The Rolling Stones in 1978 (headcount: 100,000 people in attendance), Blondie in 1982, and U2 in 1987 for The Joshua Tree tour (headcount: 86,000 in attendance).

Suffice it to say, this place was massive, though by the end of the 80s had outlived its useful existence and was shuttered. Short of the Rolling Stones using it as a practice space for their Steel Wheels tour dress rehearsals – the most epic practice space of all time, wow – the field went dormant and was leveled in 1992 to pave the way for what is now the Wells Fargo Center.

The final show at JFK was a great one – The Grateful Dead performed a two-hour and 53-minute gig at JFK on July 7, 1989, 27 years ago today – but it was at the same time unceremonious. Continue reading →

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The National complete all-star Grateful Dead tribute with Courtney Barnett, Wilco and more

Courtney Barnett | Photo By Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com
Courtney Barnett | Photo By Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com

After several years of working on a benefit compilation of Grateful Dead covers, The National have announced the track list and contributors of their Day of the Dead box-set. The 59-song album is the second all-star project members of The National have put together for AIDS organization Red Hot, following up 2009’s Dark Was the Night.

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