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Wilco’s Nels Cline sets the mood at Union Transfer, pays tribute to Philadelphia’s rich musical history

Nels Cline of Wilco | photo by Noah Silvestry

Wilco guitarist Nels Cline recently came through town to play a special evening of Philadelphia music, and Jazz Night in America was there to capture it all on film. Cline’s performance was intended as a sort-of love letter to the music of the City of Brotherly Love, and for Cline, a personal exploration of the city’s musical roots from jazz to soul.

Lovers (for Philadelphia) was a long time in the making, a follow-up project to Cline’s 2016 Lovers album. According to NPR, Cline made several trips to Philly prior to the show to conduct research, visiting cultural landmarks like the Curtis Institute of Music and the headquarters of Sun Ra Arkestra in Germantown. Cline turned Union Transfer into an intimate jazz club for the night, performing songs by iconic Philadelphia artists ranging from Benny Golson to The Delfonics. Continue reading →

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Mavis Staples announces Jeff Tweedy collaboration If All I Was Was Black

Mavis Staples | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

XPN Fest veterans and longtime friends Mavis Staples and Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco) have collaborated together a few times before, but the just-announced If All I Was Was Black is a particularly special project. Slated for a November 17 release on Anti- Records, the 10-track album was produced and written by Tweedy, with vocalist Staples contributing to the lyrics on three tracks. In addition to being the first full-length of original material the the two have worked on together, If All I Was Was Black takes on a political tone, addressing racial tension in a way that advocates for spreading love and positivity. Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: Wilco jams, Conor Oberst rages and Hop Along smokes to wrap XPNFest day one

Wilco | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN

There was a lot of pent-up energy in the air last night as the XPNFest crowd settled in for the headlining BB&T Pavilion show. Was it going to rain or no? Would all the shifting around of sets and times throw a wrench in the festival works? Was that ominous flock of Canada geese going to go at it with the crowd on the lawn?

The answers: no, no and no. The show was kicked off by an explosive 30 minute set from Hop Along, sauntered through a powerful mix of Bright Eyes and solo tunes from Conor Oberst and was capped by a 95-minute jammer by Wilco — shorter than their usual fare, but nevertheless satisfying. Continue reading →

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Stream the 2017 XPoNential Music Festival playlist on Spotify

Clockwise from top left; Jeff Tweedy of Wilco | Photo By Noah Silvestry, Pinegrove | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman, Angel Olsen | Photo by Kate McCann

The 2017 XPoNential Music Festival is fast approaching, coming to the Camden Waterfront on July 28-30. To get you as ready and pumped for the festival as we are, we’ve created a Spotify Playlist of all the incredible artists performing at this year’s XPN Fest, with a spotlight on a few players to get you started. Don’t have your tickets yet? 3-Day Go Everywhere Passes are on sale now and XPN Members save up to 50%! Continue reading →

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Speak Into My Good Eye announce special Wilco cover project I’ll Be There with Jackson Pines’ version of “Red Eyed and Blue”

Jackson Pines | via jacksonpines.bandcamp.com
Jackson Pines | via jacksonpines.bandcamp.com

Brooklyn/Asbury Park music source Speak Into My Good Eye announced I’ll Be Around, a special Wilco-tribute cover record in support of The Project Matters, a nonprofit that provides resources to emerging young musicians.

Set to be released on May 5th, SIMGE released Jackson Pines‘ wonderfully stripped-down piano-teasing version of the band’s “Red Eyed and Blue” track from 1996’s Being There. This marks the group’s second foray into charity records with their release of a Queens of the Stone Age cover album back in 2014.

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