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#XPN5050: 1979

For fifty weeks over the next year, we’re celebrating the music of a specific year every Saturday on WXPN. We’ll be choosing the years randomly, however, for our first #XPN5050, Dan Reed is putting the musical spotlight on the year 1979.

For those of you who remember, the summer of 1979 saw the debut of the Sony Walkman. In it, we slipped cassettes of some now classic records that came out that year: The Clash’s London Calling, Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall, Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Talking Heads Fear of Music, and possibly even the cassingle of “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang.

1979 was a year when musical styles were emerging, colliding, and shaking up contemporary music is exciting new ways. New York City rockers were finding inspiration from rap and ska, British rockers were finding inspiration from reggae and soul, R&B was in its post-disco come down, and British New Wave was about to take the States by storm. It was a glorious, creative, musical year. Continue reading →

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Introducing the XPN 50/50: 50 musical years in 50 weeks

Starting Saturday, January 5th, XPN introduces a new weekly program: The XPN 50/50, showcasing 50 musical years in 50 weeks. For five hours each Saturday afternoon, noon to 5 p.m., we’ll take a walk into the musical time machine, digging into one year’s record releases.

We kick things off with the year 1979, hosted by XPN Music Director, afternoon DJ, Highs In The 70s, and the Americana Music Hour host Dan Reed. Each week we’ll pick the years randomly with a different XPN host curating the day’s music. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Bruce Warren’s top five Philly jawns of 2018

Armani White at Made In America | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2018 incredible. Today, XPN program director Bruce Warren reflects on his favorite Philly moments of the year.

5. The rise of &More

Early in 2018, word dropped about a new musical collaboration, &More, between Philly rapper Chill Moody and singer Donn T. One of Philly’s most exciting new collaborations this year, watching their musical lovechild grow has been exciting. Their first public appearance was as part of the lineup of local bands for NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest on the Road at World Cafe Live, they’ve been on the road with Philly rock and rollers, Low Cut Connie, and they put on a great show at the XPoNential Music Festival in July. 2019 has some big things in store for &More; the next chance you get you should see them. Their synthesis of R&B and hip-hop is intoxicating.

Below, watch &More perform “My Own Light” at XPNFest. Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Back On The Chain Gang” by Morrissey

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Morrissey | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com

Morrissey’s cover of “Back On The Chain Gang,” originally on Pretenders’ 1984 album, Learning To Crawl, is a bonus song that he released for the deluxe edition of his recent album, Low In High School. Pretenders once covered Morrissey’s “Everyday Is Like Sunday” on their 1994 Last of The Independents release. Continue reading →

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The 80s are back! Listen to XPN’s all Eighties A-Z


Fire up that old Walkman – the 80s are back! Well, at least for the next couple weeks. Introducing this year’s WXPN A-Z theme – the 80s. As we did with the first A-Z, where we played every song in our massive music library, and last year’s all 70s A-Z, we’ll be digging through our library once again to bring you the hits, the misses, the deep tracks, and the one hit wonders of the Eighties. Continue reading →

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Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Books” by CAAMP

CAAMP | Photo courtesy of artist

The indie-folk band CAAMP was formed by Taylor Meier (lead vocals, guitar, drums, piano), and Evan Westfall (banjo, harmony vocals, guitar, drums and bass). Now a trio, Matt Vinson rounds out the band on bass and harmony vocals.

From Columbus, Ohio, Taylor and Evan met when they were freshmen in high school, and formed a band with a couple of classmates for a project. After that band came to an end, the duo stayed together as CAAMP. They first started playing out as seniors in high school, and moved to Athens, Ohio, to attend school, where they continued to build a following with their live performances. Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Up To Me” by Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan | photo by Barry Feinstein | courtesy of the artist

More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series Vol. 14 is the latest collection of material from Bob Dylan’s vaults and his vast recording history. This time around, the focus is on perhaps what many of his fans and historians consider to be one of his greatest albums, Blood On The Tracks, originally released in January 1975.

Often bootlegged, this new Dylan collection makes these previously unreleased songs available officially for the first time. More Blood, More Tracks includes over 70 previously unreleased tracks, and every surviving take from the Blood On the Tracks recording sessions. Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Gold” by Sister Sparrow

Sister Sparrow | Photo by Shervin Lainez

Fronted by Arleigh Kincheloe since 2011, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds are a soul rock band from Brooklyn. Over the last few years, several of the original Dirty Birds moved away from Brooklyn, leaving Kincheloe on her own to pursue more of a solo-focused project. The results, heard on her new album Gold, have a broader musical appeal, yet maintain the same powerful soul / rock feel to the songs. Continue reading →