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XPN Fest Recap: Guster relaxes in a borrowed lawn chair, bring Barenaked Ladies to the River Stage

Guster | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN

When I interviewed Ryan Miller, Guster’s lead singer and guitarist, earlier this month about the band’s new Labi Siffre cover, he told me that he might get a new suit for XPN Fest. I don’t know if it was new, but his Sunday evening suit was most definitely notable. Stepping out onto the River Stage in a head-to-toe pineapple pattern, Miller led Guster through an eventful set consisting of a balanced array of new and old songs from their 25-year-long repertoire. Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: Gregory Alan Isakov creates an atmosphere around captivated audience

Gregory Alan Isakov | photo by Makena Duffy for WXPN

Gregory Alan Isakov and his band didn’t just play their songs at XPN Fest; they created an atmosphere with their music — an entire feeling that grew stronger the closer you came to the Marina Stage. Standing right up front, it was as if I was in the center of their world, and I think the rest of the devoted GAI fans surrounding me felt the same. Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: The Wood Brothers’ exceptional musicianship shines against the Delaware River

The Wood Brothers | photo by Emily DeHart for WXPN

Oliver Wood has one of those voices that, when you hear it live, you’re somehow surprised that it sounds exactly like it does on the records. It’s raspiness is unmistakeable, and it was absolutely on point on the River Stage, as was The Wood Brothers as a whole.

In case you didn’t know, two-thirds of the Wood Brothers are, in fact, brothers, and their vocals blend harmoniously together to prove it. Joining Oliver and Chris is Jano Rix on drums. The musicianship of each of the three members is impeccable, and the control they have over the volume of their instruments made for a solid set. Chris Wood’s upright bass solos alone were so intriguing — I couldn’t look away. His energetic dance moves definitely had something to do with that too. “Who the Devil” began with a wild, spacey, upright bass intro where Chris broke his bow out and dragged it back and forth across the thick strings. Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: Dawes brings unwavering energy and emotion to the River Stage

Dawes | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN

Let me be completely real with you — this set made me cry multiple times. Granted, Dawes‘ 2009 debut album North Hills came out when I was ten years old and shaped the way I looked at music forever. But still, I think their performance touched everyone in Wiggins Park, regardless of whether or not Dawes was a crucial part of their childhood. Continue reading →

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Japanese Breakfast has your next bout of strep covered, music-wise

Japanese Breakfast, Current Mood | photo by Joyce Jude | via thefader.come

Are you ever home with a serious case of strep — hacking and coughing all over the place — wishing that you had the perfect strep throat playlist to jam to? If you can relate to this weirdly specific scenario, it’s your lucky day! NYC-based music/culture magazine The Fader often asks their favorite artists to put together a playlist of songs that represent a certain vibe. They call it their Current Mood Series and, in its sixth edition, Philly’s Japanese Breakfast shares 11 songs that got frontwoman Michelle Zauner through a recent case of strep throat. Continue reading →

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Dawes will reissue their debut album North Hills on vinyl for its 10th anniversary

Dawes
Dawes | photo by Clara Balzary | courtesy of the artist

Dawes broke into the music scene 10 years ago with their debut album North Hills. The rookie LP was critically acclaimed and brought attention to the group, fueling the creation of their equally-as-fantastic sophomore effort, Nothing is Wrong, in 2011. Four full-length albums later, Dawes has made a name for themselves, currently touring in promotion of their latest record Passwords. In celebration of the album that started it all, the band is releasing North Hills: 10th Anniversary Edition on September 6th via ATO Records. Continue reading →

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Watch the trailer for David Crosby’s documentary, hitting theaters this Friday

David Crosby: Remember My Name | via brooklynvegan.com

Living legend David Crosby‘s documentary David Crosby: Remember My Name makes its debut in NYC and LA this Friday, and the official trailer has just been released. Directed by A.J. Eaton and produced by Cameron Crowe, the doc will take viewers along a journey of the highs, the very low lows, the drugs, the bands, and most importantly, all that ‘Croz’ has accomplished in his life. Continue reading →