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Five ways Connor Barwin won the hearts of the Philly music scene

connor barwin
Connor Barwin at a MTWB concert | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman

Earlier this morning it was announced that the Eagles released linebacker Connor Barwin. We’ve gotten used to our favorite sports stars being traded away here in Philadelphia, but Barwin wasn’t just any football player – he was a guy who transcended the locker room to become an integral and friendly community member in town.

It all started with a night out seeing Animal Collective at Union Transfer in 2013. From there the Michigan native became a familiar face on SEPTA, an advocate for green living and sustainability, an outspoken supporter of bike commuting, a community builder, and a local music fan. Today we’re looking back at the impact he’s had on our city for the last four years with some of our favorite non-football Barwin moments.

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Get to know Talia Schlanger, new full-time host of World Cafe

David Dye and Talia Schlanger | photo by Rich McKie for WXPN
David Dye and Talia Schlanger | photo by Rich McKie for WXPN

After 25 years as host of NPR’s World Cafe, David Dye revealed plans to step down from his role this past fall. Today it’s been announced, in an interview with Dan DeLuca of the Philadelphia Inquirer, that she will become permanent host of the show, beginning on Monday, April 3rd.

You’ve heard Talia on the air in the mix with David Dye on World Cafe since October; below, get to know her a little better with a lightning round video interview. Continue reading →

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Modern Baseball cancel U.S. tour, taking “a break for a little while”

Modern Baseball | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Really, I cannot begin to imagine the intense pressure and stress and emotional drain of being an artist that hundreds of thousands of people adore. Your fans look up to you, they rely on you for an escape from or a catharsis of the negative energy in their lives. They rely on you for guidance and strength. But you’re human too, and you’re grappling with the same issues.

Philly indie rock four-piece Modern Baseball has always been up front and heart-on-their-sleeve about their feelings — it’s what sparked that connection with a massively devoted fan base in the first place, and what keeps it going. When the band launched their album Holy Ghost last year, they were very open about its true-to-life content: struggles with depression and mental health, for singer-guitarists Brendan Lukens and Jake Ewald alike.

When Lukens decided to sit out of the band’s European tour this winter to focus on his mental well-being, it was the right decision — not just because we care about Bren and want him to the best care of himself possible, but because it was a good lead-by-example moment. Acknowledge when you need to step away, acknowledge when you need help and accept it.

In that sense, it’s bittersweet news today that MoBo as a whole made a decision to cancel their entire U.S. tour, again, for the sake of their own mental health. Continue reading →

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The Districts, Son Little, Good Girl, The Dove and The Wolf and more to play #AmplifyPhilly SXSW showcase

The Districts | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

For the third year running, the Philly music scene has its own SXSW showcase on 6th Street in Austin. This year’s #AmplifyPhilly party, co-sponsored by the City as well as the folks from RecPhilly, takes place March 14th, 2017 — the second night of SXSW — at Buffalo Billiards, with a headlining performance from rock and roll force of nature The Districts.

Also on the lineup is electro-rock / soul soundscaper Son Little, eclectic pop visionary Bilal and dynamic R&B four-piece Good Girl. Philly / LA artist Julian King joins the lineup as well, along with breezy indie poppers Queen of Jeans and spacey folk duo The Dove and The Wolf; between sets, DJ Aktive spins.  Continue reading →

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The Dove and The Wolf sign to Fat Possum Records, release a stunning new video for “Seven Days”

The Dove and The Wolf | photo by CJ Harvey | courtesy of the artist
The Dove and The Wolf | photo by CJ Harvey | courtesy of the artist

Exciting news for one of our favorite Philly bands of late: The Dove and The Wolf, the atmospheric pop duo of Paloma Gil and Lou Hayat, signed to Fat Possum Records. The label will re-release the band’s 2016 debut EP I Don’t Know What To Feel on March 24th, and the band just released a new music video for its stunning centerpiece, “Seven Days,” a mesmerizing, meditative song written in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the Bataclan theater in their hometown Paris. Continue reading →

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RIP Richie Ingui of The Soul Survivors

Charlie and Richie Ingui of the Soul Survivors with In The Pocket | photo by Dalleyn Pavey

Sad news from the Philly music community this weekend; on Friday, Richie Ingui — one of the two brothers at the front of The Soul Survivors — passed away suddenly of heart failure, according to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer. He was 70.

Natives of the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Richie and his brother Charli Ingui began making music in New York City under the name Dedications, from 1962 to 1964. But it was a name change and a little song called “Expressway to Your Heart” that broke them big. Continue reading →

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30 Songs, 30 Days and Secretly Group announce Our First 100 Days, featuring Strand of Oaks, Nothing, and more…

Nothing | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN
Nothing | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN

In the days leading up to the election, a project called 30 Days, 30 Songs brought together protest songs from high-profile acts like Death Cab for Cutie, Jim James, and Franz Ferdinand. There was so much artist support that the number quickly ballooned to 50 songs, and now, with the help of the Secretly Group, they’re doubling even that. Continue reading →

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RIP “Bubba” John Stevens, longtime Philly radio DJ

“Bubba” John Stevens (right) with Eric Bazilian (left) and Rob Hyman (middle) of The Hooters | via Facebook.

Growing up in Philly and listening to the radio, chances are you, like myself, were a fan of the comforting voice of “Bubba” John Stevens, who for many years held down a weekday spot on WMMR, then at WMGK. For 45 years, Stevens was a radio friend to many, so it’s with great sadness that we pass along the news that he passed away on Wednesday. Stevens, whose real name was John Laboranti, retired from WMGK in 2013. Continue reading →