August + September 2017 Spotify Playlist of the Month


After a month long hiatus we are back with 75 fresh ones from Covey, Mondo Cozmo, Mr Jukes, Ted Leo, Dwight & Nicole, Grizzly Read More

October 2017 Spotify Playlist of the Month


After a slightly bizarre Indian summer the weather has started to cool off and the leaves have finally started to turn in the Northeast. Read More

November 2017 Spotify Playlist of the Month


Another month, another 45 fresh jams for your listening pleasure. Explore new tracks from Brooklyn based favorites like hunter & wolfe, Zuli, Iris Lune, Read More

November 2017 Spotify Playlist of the Month

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Another month, another 45 fresh jams for your listening pleasure. Explore new tracks from Brooklyn based favorites like hunter & wolfe, Zuli, Iris Lune, Marrón, alongside new releases from St. Vincent, Stars, Destroyer, Pinegrove, Robert Plant, and many, many more.

Check out the full playlist below and remember to subscribe for new tunes every month.

October 2017 Spotify Playlist of the Month

Posted on by Eric in Playlists | Leave a comment

After a slightly bizarre Indian summer the weather has started to cool off and the leaves have finally started to turn in the Northeast. Not only does fall mean apple pie and flannel, it also means 45 fresh jams for your October listening pleasure. Explore new tracks from Wild Cub, Covey, Nick Mulvey, Rostam, Vulfpeck, Deer Tick, Ted Leo, Infinity Girl, Stars, and many, many more.

Check out the full playlist below and remember to subscribe for new tunes every month.

August + September 2017 Spotify Playlist of the Month

Posted on by Eric in Playlists | Leave a comment

After a month long hiatus we are back with 75 fresh ones from Covey, Mondo Cozmo, Mr Jukes, Ted Leo, Dwight & Nicole, Grizzly Bear, and many, many more.

Check out the full playlist below and remember to subscribe for new tunes every month.

Newport Folk Fest 2017: Highlights

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Newport Folk and its now-veteran booker Jay Sweet has proven itself to fans year after year. This year, the festival asked us to trust. With three unannounced sets and more newcomer acts than usual, there was less clarity and star power to orient around leading up to the weekend. Of course, the surprises were well worth the wait. Here are our highlights from one of the most memorable Newports to date.

The Wild Reeds – “Capable”

The Wild Reeds converted every audience member into a disciple when this slow burner hit its grand crescendo.

Grandma’s Hands Band

This star-studded Bill Withers cover set was like a perfectly played hand of cards. Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, Hiss Golden Messenger, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Natalie Prass and more all contributed at just the right intervals to create a perfectly curated and unexpected set. An unforgettable Newport memory.

Fleet Foxes

Save for Bruce Springsteen, one of the most athletic performances I’ve seen to date. From its layered and varied instrumentation to its multitudes of falsetto-ed harmonies – Fleet Foxes stuck every unthinkable landing.

Big Thief – “Mary”

Seeing Big Thief live is not for the weak. Adrianne Lenker, lead singer/songwriter of the band, seems to feel every emotion on another plane than most of us – ranging from fragility to frustration – and anyone in the nearby vicinity will feel it too. It became painfully, beautifully, clear when Lenker was overcome with emotion at a midway point in the set: “I don’t know… I just feel like I’m shaking inside,” she said. What resulted was a stunning rearrangement of “Mary,” a dense, poetic ode to her best friend. Kneeling on the ground, clutching the microphone with two hands, with her band right there on the floor with her, it felt like she was holding her heart out to us on her palm – and isn’t that the way great music should feel?

Preservation Jazz Hall Band 

Can every day of Newport kick off with Pres Hall at the Fort Stage? Nothing has ever felt so right – except for them being a staple on just about every stage throughout the weekend. That felt pretty good too.

Whitney

I always got a casual vibe from Whitney – and that was before they ordered a bottle of white wine to the stage mid-set. But this nonchalance does not preclude their musicianship. From Ehrlich’s simultaneous lead vocals and drumming, to effortless solos from guitarist Max Kakacek, and intentional support from trumpet and piano, Whitney proved they’re playing for keeps.

Pinegrove

I could write forever about the merits of this band, but instead I will shout out the dad and his fifteen year old son who sang every single word to this set. Is that not the truest sign of a great band and a great festival?

 

July Spotify Playlist of the Month

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Coming back at you in July with another big-time playlist. This month features 65 fresh jams from the likes of Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Death From Above 1979, and lots more.

Check out the full 65-track playlist below and remember to subscribe for new tunes every month.

Making Newport Dangerous Again: Predictions for NFF’s Speak Out Set

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Screenshot 2017-06-18 22.17.27

On May 4th, Newport Folk quietly announced “Speak Out,” a set scheduled for Sunday evening, just before the headliner. Not much has been officially stated about the set, simply – “Since our inception artists have challenged injustice, fought for equality and exercised freedom to sing the truth. This tradition continues with SPEAK OUT, a celebration of the power of song.”

Firstly, we’re proud to see NFF shining a spotlight on protest music given the code-red status of American politics today. And secondly, since Newport is chock full of surprises already, seeing a near-headlining set shrouded in such mystery has us fiending for answers. We insatiably searched every folk-ish corner of the internet for clues, and comprised some educated guesses about what Speak Out could mean, and who it might call to the stage.

Our first hunch has been on our Newport bucket list forever – Bob Dylan. Not only does Dylan have a legendary relationship to the Festival, which stokes our constant speculation as to if/when he might ever return, but he is seen by many as a quintessential protest singer. Joining a set dedicated to exercising the freedom of song in the face of injustice would be the ultimate opportunity for Bob make his triumphant return to the Fort. And while we’d be happy with a Dylan-only Speak Out set, a closer look opens up even more possibilities.


Peter Seeger - The Power of SongSpeak Out is about “the power of song” – a phrase directly tied to the late folk legend Pete Seeger, as evidenced by his
documentary of the same name. It seems clear that Seeger’s legendary tenure as a folk-singing activist will be fuel for the set. Less clear, however, is who will carry the torch. If you’ve seen Power of Song, read about Seeger’s influence on younger generations of musicians, or evennn checked out the undercard of the poster to your left… you may notice Bruce Springsteen’s name. Yep, I’m going there – I hereby motion that The Boss will be joining us at The Fort for the very first time this year.

Let me count the ways why this is so crazy that it just might work:

1. Bruce has long been a devoted disciple of Seeger. The two played together at Obama’s 2008 inauguration, and Springsteen even has an album of Seeger covers. Bruce has spoken beautifully of his mentor, saying, “At some point, Pete Seeger decided he’d be a walking, singing reminder of all of America’s history. He’d be a living archive of America’s music and conscience, a testament of the power of song and culture to nudge history along, to push American events towards more humane and justified ends.” He’s paid tribute to Seeger for years, and I can only imagine the appeal of doing so at Newport.

2. Like Dylan and Seeger before him, Springsteen is a protest singer in his own right. He’s been holding our government accountable since “Born in the U.S.A,” and given his relative silence this year, Newport may be the perfect place to speak out against the Trump administration.

3. Just last week, he showed his interest in playing smaller shows by announcing an 8-week run on Broadway. And while the Fort isn’t a 900-person theater, it’s certainly a more intimate venue than the arenas he sells out.

We’re swinging for the fences here, but a set of this weight and importance merits comparable talent on stage. Who do you predict? Let us know in the comments – and let the speculation begin!

June Spotify Playlist of the Month

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June 2017 Spotify Playlist of the Month

What goes better together than avocados and indie music? Maybe PBRs and a fixed gear bike? Well, we’re not here to argue, but we are here to share with you our biggest playlist of 2017. Our June playlist features 70 new tracks from heavy hitters like Roger Waters, The National, Grizzly Bear, Arcade Fire, Phoenix, and LCD Soundsystem, alongside new local favorites such as Vassals, Broken Luxury, Hnry Flwr, and plenty more.

Check out the full 70-track playlist below and remember to subscribe for new tunes every month.

May Spotify Playlist of the Month

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Maimed & Tamed May 2017 Spotify Playlist of the Month

It might only be the beginning of Spring, but May is coming in hot with plenty of new jams (and plenty of Red Sox baseball) to accompany the rising temperature. Our May playlist features 50, count ’em 5-0, brand-spanking-new jams from the likes of Feist, First Aid, Kit, Future Islands, and loads of other bands that don’t begin with the letter F.

Check out the full 50-track playlist below and remember to subscribe for new tunes every month.

P.S. Who would have thought we’d see the day where Mavis Staples and Pusha T are on the same track? What a time to be alive.

Newport Folk Festival Spotlight: Pinegrove

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Pinegrove

Newport Folk Festival 2017 is just under three months away, so what better time to kick off our annual NFF Spotlight series featuring artists from this year’s lineup. The first artist we’ll take a look at is one that will be familiar to longtime M&T readers, and at this point they’ve made a big enough splash in the deep end of the indie-folk scene that we’d be surprised if the rest of you out there haven’t heard of them either.

We first covered Pinegrove all the way back in 2012 when they sent us their debut album Meridian and were promoting a local show at All Asia (R.I.P.). Since then the band’s style has evolved and shifted to a decidedly more folk-inspired sound that we hear on last year’s breakout album Cardinal (#10 on our top albums of 2016). We know that Newport’s interpretation of “folk” has been wide-ranging in recent years, so it’s by no means a stretch that Pinegrove appears on this year’s lineup, but we’re sure that the heavy banjo on Cardinal didn’t hurt their chances.

After witnessing the band’s journey over the past five years we couldn’t be more excited to see them rock The Fort this summer. Until then get a taste of their live show via their Audiotree session below.

April Spotify Playlist of the Month

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April 2017 Spotify Playlist of the Month

Our April playlist features 40 brand new tracks from M&T favorites new and old. It might be an indication of summer being right around the corner, but this month’s playlist also features plenty of Newport Folk Fest alums like Laura Marling, Conor Oberst, Feist, and Fleet Foxes, as well as some others we’d love to see at The Fort this summer (Broken Social Scene anyone? The Shins?).

Check out the full 40-track playlist below and remember to subscribe for new tunes every month.

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