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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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Watch Wilco perform a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR Music

Wilco at Solid Sound Festival | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com
Wilco at Solid Sound Festival | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com

XPN favorites Wilco have always been known for their largely rocking and experimental, and musically intense live shows, however, in quiet beauty the band shows another side of themselves.

Wilco recently stopped by the NPR Music for a Tiny Desk Concert to play acoustic versions of new and old songs. They opened their set with “The Joke Explained” from their most recent album, Star Wars, a rollicking country rock song featuring guitar virtuoso Nels Cline on slide. They followed up with “Misunderstood,” a melodic ballad that captures everything that is great about the band, introspective storytelling lyrics about inner-self and strange atonal mumblings that channel Jeff Tweedy’s former crippling migranes. Continue reading →

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#ThrowbackThursday to the 2015 Pitchfork Music Festival in words and photos

Sleater-Kinney rages at the Pitchfork Music Festival | Photo by Scott Troyan | scotttroyan.com
Sleater-Kinney rages at the Pitchfork Music Festival | Photo by Scott Troyan | scotttroyan.com

Summer once again proved itself to be Festival Overload – most recently, the successful Philadelphia Folk Festival! But right before WXPN hosted its annual XPoNential Music Festival, I headed over to Chicago to celebrate ten years of Pitchfork and their annual summer music festival.

What makes Pitchfork a unique music festival is the broad stroke they use when booking music for their three stages over three days. From the most modern hip-hop, electronic dance and alt-rock to showcasing some iconic “classic” artists from the past few decades. It creates a melding of communities and age brackets that is second to none when it comes to outdoor summertime festivals. Continue reading →