Monday, July 14, 2008

Guest Spot: Jody Hits the XPoNential Music Festival

Once again Jody joins the blog to give us a music update from Philly.  Jody is our singer-songwriter/folk music expert, too.  She actually writes her guest spots, unlike Kelly, Nick and Emily.  Someday, right guys?

Guest Spot:  Jody

I live in Philly, yet commute to Delaware every day for school.  As a student, I am way too cheap for either an iTrip or satellite radio, so I rely heavily on 88.5 wxpn on my drives.  As a non-profit station based at UPenn, they are the only commercial-free radio around (though Daddy G would argue that all their ads really are commercials). And they play a really good mix of music – from live Phish and Dead to up-and-coming artists to Philly local bands, like Amos Lee.  Every summer, the station hosts a big festival.  I remember the days when it was just “singer/songwriter weekend.”  Now it’s grown to four days and has a cool new name, the “XPoNential Music Festival.”  See how they stuck their call letters in there all fancy?

I embarked on my latest assignment for The Blog when I headed over to East Philly (otherwise known as Camden) on Saturday for some tunes and some beers.  Unfortunately, I forgot my camera.  Fortunately, I borrowed a friend’s…only to find out the batteries were dead.  Maybe if The Blog were paying me, I would focus more on being prepared.  (Editor's note:  Someday the blog will have iPhones for both of us.  This will probably be in 8 years.)

We arrived just in time for Nicole Atkins’ set.  I know a few of her songs, and I must say, she has an awesome voice.  At one point, Gena and I were trying to figure out who she sounds like…only to realize she just sounds like herself.  I highly recommend giving her a listen.

Next up was one of my favorite bands, Railroad Earth.  I saw these guys for NYE a few years ago, with my hippie crowd, and I’ve been hooked ever since.  They are an awesome live show, if you’re one for bluegrass jam bands.  I was bummed that they only had a 40 minute set, but they made the most of it.  A majority of songs came from their new album, Amen Corner, but they did mix an older song or two – Railroad Earth and Bird in a House.  These guys come back to Philly in Sept, and I will definitely be hitting that show.

After Railroad Earth was Philly native Amos Lee.  I love his music.  Very mellow and laid back.  He gave us a pretty decent set, and the crowd was really receptive, probably because xpn pimps him so hard.  He seems like he’d be fun to party with.

Saturday night’s closer was Michael Franti and Spearhead.  We LOVE Michael Franti.  Unfortunately, I did not get to meet him or his people at the meet-n-greet, but we’re giving him some Blog love anyway.  His music just makes you want to jump around and dance.  Many of his themes revolve around the awful mess that GW has gotten this country in abroad, so these songs resonate even more with the election season approaching.  I bet Obama has them on his iPod.  If you’re unfamiliar, check these guys out.  Overall, it was a good, inexpensive day of music.  Hopefully, xpn will bring in even better acts next year.

Jody's Listening Recommendations:

Nicole Atkins - Maybe Tonight | zS

Railroad Earth - Bird in a House (Coming soon...gotta get it from the Jody's collection)

Amos Lee - Keep it Loose, Keep it Tight | zS

Michael Franti - One Step Closer to You | zS

I am almost out of bandwidth, so use the zS links to download the songs.  


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Live from Bonnaroo!  Updates from The Jody

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