In 2006, The National’s Bryce Dessner founded the MusicNOW festival in the band’s hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. Unlike most indie-leaning music festivals, it’s more than a bunch of bands playing the same sets as their club tours, just on bigger stages. Dessner’s goal with MusicNOW is to push musicians outside of their comfort zones and challenge them to deliver different sorts of performances than they’re used to, whether it’s untested new material, radically altered versions of old songs, or just the fact of being placed on a bill with decidedly un-indie outfits like the Kronos Quartet.
To celebrate its tenth year in existence, MusicNOW is set to issue a compilation of previously unreleased recordings from past installments, including contributions from the likes of Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, Andrew Bird, and Dirty Projectors. Among them is the live premiere of Sufjan Stevens’s “The Owl and the Tanager” from his 2010 EP All Delighted People. In anticipation of the compilation’s March 10 release you can stream it here exclusively.[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/190824467" params="visual=true&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
This year’s MusicNOW festival, featuring performances by Cloud Nothings, Perfume Genius, and Will Butler of The Arcade Fire, will take place on March 11-15. For the full schedule and more details visit http://www.musicnowfestival.org.