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Listen to Jenny Lewis’s new album, The Voyager in its entirety; see her this weekend at #XPNfest

Jenny Lewis | photo courtesy of the artist
Jenny Lewis | photo courtesy of the artist
Jenny Lewis releases her new albun, The Voyager, next Tuesday, however you listen to the album in its entirety via NPR Music here. Lewis will likely be playing some of her new material this coming Saturday night, July 26th at the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru. Lewis is performing with Dawes and Ryan Adams at the Susquehanna Bank Center.

Writing about the new album Ann Powers from NPR Music says:

Like Lewis’ great 2006 album with The Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat, The Voyager plays the way a short-story collection reads, its disparate narratives united by musical and lyrical undertones. This time, Lewis goes not for country-music references, but for a wider palette that pays tribute to the history of studio rock. She chose to make The Voyager with Ryan Adams as producer because she loved his Pax Am studio, which is tricked out with gear that dates from the 1960s to the present. Lewis and Adams took full advantage; their arrangements move through time without ever getting stuck in one era. “Head Underwater” recalls the New Wave sounds of The Motels and Aimee Mann’s first band, Til Tuesday; “Slippery Slopes” rides a Tom Petty-worthy chord progression. “You Can’t Outrun ‘Em” cultivates the surf sound Lewis touched on in her duo with Johnathan Rice, Jenny and Johnny. “Love U Forever” steals its opening riff from classic rock’s ultimate studio band, Cream. “Searching for LB” connects Lewis to her own past; it would fit on her former band Rilo Kiley’s finest album, More Adventurous.

Listen to The Voyager here.

Get weekend passes to the #XPNfest here.

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Download #XPNfest artist Ginger Coyle’s Key Studio Session

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

Singer-songwriter Ginger Coyle is one of the many local bands playing the #XPNFest presented by Subaru next weekend, July 25th-27th. Ginger plays on Sunday, July 27th at Noon. Coyle is a little bit bluesy, a little bit rock and roll, a little bit jazzy and she oozes charisma. Earlier this year, Coyle and her band recorded a Key Studio Session. Listen and download the entire Key Studio Session with Ginger here, or sample “Let It Burn” from the session below.

Single day tickets and weekend passes for the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru are available here.

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Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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College Calling: The Districts’ guitarist Mark Larson to bow out after XPoNential

via facebook.com/thedistrictsband
via facebook.com/thedistrictsband

One of the first things that newcomers to Lititz / Philly rockers The Districts mention is their age. They’re young. They’re “just out of high school.” And it’s true: just about a year ago, the bandmates were at a serious life crossroads – start the higher education thing in the fall, or defer enrollment to do a full-on push for their music, which had serious momentum behind it.

We all know where that story went. The band decided to be a band, tour hard nationally and make a splash overseas – check out their spotlight from The Guardian in the UK – get signed to Fat Possum Records, tour some more, do a sweet Shaking Through session, play a revved-up NonCOMM set, and hit the summer festival circuit while prepping their debut full-length in the background. (Oh, and get their van stolen too, ugh.)

Twelve months later, the band is at another crossroads, and announced via Facebook early this morning that guitarist Mark Larson will be leaving the band after their set next week at the XPoNential Music Festival.

It is with heavy hearts but high hopes that we announce our good friend Mark will be leaving us to pursue his college education in the fall. While we’re bummed to not be playing with him any longer, we’re excited to see what the future holds for both him and us. … We wish ya the best Mark, and thank you mucho, mucho for helping us get this far. We couldn’t have done the past five years without you. Good luck to you on the next chapter dawgy.

Larson’s shoes will be filled in by Pat Cassidy of the jangle-pop four-piece Keepers, and while Larson’s guitarmonies and sweet solos will be missed (seriously, for such a relaxed and jovial-looking guy, Larson could freaking demonically shred) Cassidy is a more than solid player in his own right. We join the band in welcoming him to the fold, and wishing Larson best of luck as he hits the books in September.

Certainly the plight of school versus creative output versus career isn’t rare. When they played an opening slot at The Electric Factory this spring, Philly pop punks Modern Baseball were lauded by Dan “Soupy” Campbell of headliners The Wonder Years for not throwing themselves full-on into the music industry grind just yet. The MoBo guys are finishing various degrees at Drexel University and Chestnut Hill College as their album You’re Gonna Miss It All builds in popularity and critical acclaim.

“Even with all that upward trajectory,” Campbell told the sold-out E Factory crowd, “They’ve got the smarts, and they’re heading back to Philly when tour is over to finish up school.”

More recently, Matthew Kerr – guitarist of local indie faves Family Vacation – announced his departure from the band to pursue his education career.

And while these life crossroads might be difficult and bittersweet, they are not fraught with finality in the least. The pendulum always swings the other way, and artists can just as easily go from bagging groceries part-time and / or teaching full-time to making one of the most talked-about records of a given year (see, for example, Elliott Sharp’s Clocked-In interview with Strand of Oaks).

So, as the band alluded to on Facebook, we’re excited for what Larson’s next chapter brings.

 

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Premiere: #XPNfest artist The Lawsuits debut new video, “Dreaming #26″

The Lawsuits | photo via www.facebook.com/thelawsuits
The Lawsuits | photo by Caitlin McCann

The Lawsuits are one of ten Philly local bands performing at the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru. “Dreaming #26″ is from The Lawsuits’ 2013 release, Cool Cool Cool. Filmed & edited by Caitlin McCann at Hotbox, “Dreaming #26,” has a breezy, floating, and yes – dreamy – quality to it. The Lawsuits play Sunday, July 27th at 12:30 on the River Stage.

Watch “Dreaming #26″ below.

The Lawsuits – Dreaming #26 (official music video) from Dog Days Films on Vimeo.

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Download a Key Studio Session recording of “Palace” by #XPNfest artist Commonwealth Choir

Commonwealth Choir Key Studio Session | Photo by Ryan Boswell RBCameraWorks.com
Commonwealth Choir Key Studio Session | Photo by Ryan Boswell RBCameraWorks.com

One of the many local bands playing the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru is Commonwealth Choir. The Doylestown indie-rockers will be opening up the day on Saturday, July 26th at 12:30. Earlier this year, the band recorded a Key Studio Session, performing songs from their recent EP and a couple of new songs. Below, download “Palace,” and make sure you watch the video of their performance of “Pacers.”

Commonwealth Choir are playing World Cafe Live at The Queen in Wilmington, tomorrow evening, Friday, July 11th at the New Sweden record release party. And you’ll be seeing them at #xpnfest on Saturday, July 25th. Go here for tickets to the fesyival.

Pacers by Commonwealth Choir from James Powers on Vimeo.

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Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Norah Jones, Jack White, Lord Huron, fun., and more to be featured on Beck’s Song Reader

Beck at Firefly 2014 | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/concert.htm
Beck at Firefly 2014 | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/concert.htm
Two years ago, Beck released his new “album” – Song Reader – a book of sheet music and art featuring twenty new songs. The new songs weren’t recorded by Beck at all; the idea was that the songs would be recorded by others using the sheet music. “There are no rules in interpretation,” said Beck in an interview with McSweeney’s, who released Song Reader. “These songs are meant to be pulled apart and reshaped,” he said in the interview. “The idea of them being played by choirs, brass bands, string ensembles, anything outside of traditional rock-band constructs—it’s interesting because it’s outside of where my songs normally exist,” said Beck.

On July 29th, Norah Jones, Jeff Tweedy, Lord Huron, Jack White, Beck himself, and others will be featured on Warby Parker Presents Song Reader. Co-produced by Beck with Wes Anderson and Randall Poster, proceeds will be donated to 826 National – a nationwide nonprofit organization that offers a variety of opportunities to students, ages 6-18, to “explore their creativity and improve their writing skills.”

Beck is playing on Sunday, July 27th at the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru. The set list for Song Reader is below.

1. Moses Sumney, “Title of This Song”
2. Fun., “Please Leave a Light on When You Go”
3. Tweedy, “The Wolf Is on the Hill”
4. Norah Jones, “Just Noise”
5. Lord Huron, “Last Night You Were a Dream”
6. Bob Forrest, “Saint Dude”
7. Jack White, “I’m Down”
8. Beck, “Heaven’s Ladder”
9. Juanes, “Don’t Act Like Your Heart Isn’t Hard”
10. Laura Marling, “Sorry”
11. Jarvis Cocker, “Eyes That Say ‘I Love You’”
12. David Johansen, “Rough on Rats”
13. Jason Isbell, “Now That Your Dollar Bills Have Sprouted Wings”
14. Marc Ribot, “The Last Polka”
15. Eleanor Friedberger, “Old Shanghai”
16. Sparks, “Why Did You Make Me Care?”
17. Swamp Dogg, “America, Here’s My Boy”
18. Jack Black, “We All Wear Cloaks”
19. Loudon Wainwright III, “Do We? We Do”
20. Gabriel Kahane & Ymusic, “Mutilation Rag”

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#XPNFest artist Nicole Atkins shares new animated video for “Who Killed the Moonlight”

Nicole Atkins | Photo by Cameron Pollack
Nicole Atkins | Photo by Cameron Pollack

Nicole Atikins put the task of creating a video for “Who Killed the Moonlight” in the hands of Ilinca Höpfner, an animator known worldwide for her work with Nick Cave and his side-project Grinderman.  The result, premiered this week on NPR Music, borrows its narrative from the song’s lyrics, which were adapted from a dream Atkins had while recording the album.  From Atkins:

“In the dream I lived next door to four magical and beautiful Sicilian sisters,” she writes. “They were preparing me for a wedding. As the night fell we went to the riverside to toast the new full moon with wine. As we toasted the moon slowly fell from the sky and landed in the river. Slowly flickering off and on like a light and dying. As it died, all the fish died, then the birds, then the air and everything with it. Yet [though] it was sad or scary, it was beautiful.”

Watch the clip below.  Nicole Atkins will perform at this month’s XPoNential Music Festival.  Tickets are on sale now here.

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