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Rock out as #xpnfest artist The Hold Steady covers XPN faves Deer Tick

Hold Steady photo courtesy of the artist
Hold Steady photo courtesy of the artist
Deer Tick and The Hold Steady have covered each other’s songs. The bands are currently touring with each other, and The Hold Steady are playing WXPN’s XPoNential Music Festival July 25 through the 27th at Wiggins Park. For the project, Deer Tick cover The Hold Steady’s “Constructive Summer,” and The Hold Steady cover Deer Tick’s “Easy.” Go here for weekend passes and more information about the XPoNential Music Festival. Listen to The Hold Steady’s cover of Deer Tick’s “Easy,” and Deer Tick’s cover of The Hold Steady’s “Constructive Summer” below.

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Rodrigo y Gabriela, Hurray for the Riff Raff, The Hold Steady and more top the XPoNential Music Festival lineup

Rodrigo y Gabriela | photo via rodgab.com
Rodrigo y Gabriela | photo via rodgab.com

Dueling acoustic duo Rodrigo y Gabriela, eclectic New Orleans folk-blues combo Hurray for the Riff Raff, and stalwart rock n’ rollers The Hold Steady are just some of the 25 artists announced today in the full lineup of this year’s edition of the XPoNential Music Festival.

These acts will play the two stages in Wiggins Park from July 25th to July 27th of this year, alongside the festival’s headlining concerts at Susquehanna Bank Center featuring Ryan Adams, Jenny Lewis and Dawes (July 26th) and Beck, Band of Horses and The Districts (July 27th).

Hurray for the Riff Raff | Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com
Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com

The Wiggins Park bill is filled with WXPN favorites, like alt-country heroes Old 97s, Jersey singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins and Diego Garcia, all of whom are return-XPNFest-ers.

There is also an assortment of up-and-coming names like countrified Nashville singer-songwriter Caitlin Rose (featured on World Cafe’s Sense of Place: Nashville series); Bear’s Den, a UK rock trio with a flair for drama (they made a splash at the March Edition of the Communion Club Night at Underground Arts), the jazzy / folky vocal combo Lake Street Dive and the art-pop powerhouse Lucius, (who knocked our socks off at Free at Noon late last year.)

Man Man | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Man Man | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

The greater Philadelphia scene is nicely represented as well. Bigger names like avant-garde rockers Man Man (who leaked their appearance last week), punk rock troubadour Dave Hause and reinvented folklorists Marah will mix with emerging artists Commonwealth Choir, Our Griffins, Marian Hill, The Lawsuits, Ginger Coyle and Viv and the Revival.

And adding an even more eclectic scope to the lineup is a taste of zydeco from C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band and some Mississippi blues care of harmonica master James Cotton.

Three days passes for new and renewing WXPN members are available now here. Tickets for the general public go on sale on May 1st; as with previous years, three-day passes will include lawn admission to the Susquehanna Bank Center shows (seated tickets to those are on sale separately, here and here).

Below, listen to a Spotify playlist of the Wiggins Park lineup, and read the complete list of artists after the jump.

Continue reading →

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Watch The Hold Steady perform “The Ambassador” at the Public Radio Rocks SXSW showcase, listen to the entire set

Yesterday The Hold Steady played a set for the Public Radio Rocks showcase at SXSW.  The XPN favorites will release their sixth studio record Teeth Dreams on March 25th.  Check out a video of the band performing “The Ambassador” below and listen back to their full set here.

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SXSW Dispatch: Public Radio Rocks showcase with Damon Albarn, Lucius, Temples and more

Damon Albarn | Photo by Laura Fedele | WFUV.org
Damon Albarn | Photo by Laura Fedele | WFUV.org

Wow, what a whirlwind of an afternoon! We just wrapped up with the Public Radio Rocks SXSW showcase starring Damon Albarn, Lucius, The Hold Steady, Phantogram, Jeremy Messersmith and Temples – curated in collaboration with WFUV in New York, KUTX in Austin, KXT in Dallas, The Current in Minneapolis and WXPN in Philly. Over the next several days, we’ll bring you video and full-set audio recaps of each artist’s set. For now, peruse the gallery below for an overview of the show.

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Not going to SXSW? Don’t worry. WXPN is bringing SXSW to you.

Lucius - Photo by Peter Larson
Lucius | Photo by Peter Larson

This week is the SXSW music conference in Austin, Texas – something you pretty much can’t miss if you frequent the music blogosphere. But if you’re staying home in Philly and find yourself scrolling through photos and tweets about amazing concerts you can’t go to, don’t get too bummed about it: WXPN is broadcasting sets by Lucius, Damon Albarn, The Hold Steady, Wye Oak and more live from SXSW on Thursday and Friday.

On Thursday, David Dye will be recording and broadcasting four live Cafe sessions from the Four Seasons hotel in Austin as part of the KUTX Morning Show. On Friday, David will co-host the Public Radio Rocks the SXSW Day Stage showcase from the Austin Convention Center with four other public radio stations including WFUV (New York), The Current (Minneapolis), KUTX (Austin), and KXT (Dallas).

Below are the lineups and set times for each day.

Thursday – World Cafe/KUTX Four Seasons sessions
8 a.m. – Kins
9 a.m. – Phox
10 a.m. – Bright Light Social Hour
11 a.m. – Wye Oak

Friday – Public Radio Rock the SXSW Day Stage
1 p.m. – Lucius
2 p.m. – The Hold Steady
3 p.m. – Phantogram
4 p.m. – Jeremy Messersmith
5 p.m. - Temples
5:30p.m. – Damon Albarn

In addition, both World Cafe and The Key will be roving about SXSW all weekend; we’ll bring you daily recaps here on The Key, while you can get real-time updates over at World Cafe’s Tumblr page. Below, sample some of the musicians featured during the live broadcasts from SXSW, and check back for our SXSW coverage all week.

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Damon Albarn, Phantogram, Lucius, Temples and more to play WXPN SXSW broadcast

Damon Albarn | Photo by Linda Brownlee
Damon Albarn | Photo by Linda Brownlee

For the second year in a row at next week’s SXSW Music Conference in Austin, Texas, WXPN along with public radio stations WFUV (New York), The Current (Minneapolis), KUTX (Austin), and KXT (Dallas), will be broadcasting and webcasting live. On Friday, March 14th, starting at 1PM, XPN will broadcast live performances from Temples, Lucius, Phantogram, Jeremy Messersmith, The Hold Steady, and Damon Albarn. The show will be held at the Austin Convention Center at the Radio Day Stage.

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The Hold Steady release newest single, “I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You”

Craig Finn of The Hold Steady | photo by Jeff Levy
Craig Finn of The Hold Steady plays at Musikfest Cafe in Bethlehem on Dec. 28, 2013 | photo by Jeff Levy

The Hold Steady is back in action with the release of its newest song, “I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You” off of the band’s upcoming sixth album, Teeth Dreams expected to be released this March.

The album will be the band’s first since 2010, and the new single follows suit of the band’s typical gritty, rocker sound.

Drummer Bobby Drake opens with a catchy, foot-tapping intro, while vocalist Craig Finn enters with his usual raspy vocals. The lyrics explain our protagonist bringing home a girlfriend to his hometown for the holidays,  “There was a side of this city I didn’t want you to see / There’s just these guys that I know, we go back pretty deep / And I hope this whole thing didn’t frighten you.”

Though The Hold Steady isn’t planning on stopping in Philadelphia during its tour, the band is playing a sold out show at the Appalachian Brewing Company in Harrisburg on Feb. 7. Check out “I Hope This Whole Thing Doesn’t Frighten You” below: