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Take a first look inside the new Fillmore Philly

Photo by John Vettese
View from the stage at the Fillmore Philly | Photo by John Vettese

We’re just over a month out from the grand opening of Fillmore Philly, and there’s still a lot of work to be done.

The new Live Nation venue nestled between Delaware Ave and Front Street in Fishtown is taking shape nicely: chandeliers are being hung from the rafters, oak slats are being installed on the floor, artwork is already installed in the venue’s Ajax Hall bar. But on a walking tour of the space this morning, there were still lots of lifts and hard hats to be seen, scaffolding and fencing to navigate our way around, hammering and welding heard around the corner.

Various crews are working pretty much around the clock to have the venue in shape in time for Hall and Oates to take the stage on October 1st, and while it requires a little bit of imagination at present to really visualize the finalized venue, even in an unfinished state it looks inviting. Continue reading →

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RIP legendary Philly boss jock, WFIL’s Dave “The Rave” Parks

WFIL Boss Jocks | Dave Parks on the right | Photo via http://www.broadcastpioneers.com/famous56.html
WFIL Boss Jocks | Dave Parks on the right | Photo via http://www.broadcastpioneers.com/famous56.html

One of the great “Boss Jock” DJ’s from back in the early days of AM radio in Philadelphia at WFIL has passed away. According to All Access, a music industry web site, Parks passed away on Monday, August 24th after an illness. Dave “The Rave” Parks was one of the original DJ’s in the lineup that launched when WFIL flipped to a Top 40 format in 1966. Continue reading →

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Folk On Folk: Ian Zolitor of WXPN’s Folk Show recaps the Philadelphia Folk Fest

Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys at The Philadelphia Folk Fest | Photo by Hope Helmuth | hopehelmuth.com
Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys at The Philadelphia Folk Fest | Photo by Hope Helmuth | hopehelmuth.com

Now that the 54th annual Philadelphia Folk Festival has come and gone, and the almost 35,000 concert goers have left that farm in Schwenksville, PA, we can begin the process of letting the dust settle and looking back on what made this a truly incredible experience. Continue reading →

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Meet 14 people who are traveling further than you to see Cheerleader’s Free at Noon

The Free at Noon bike caravan | Photo courtesy of Janice Hayes-Cha
The Free at Noon bike caravan outside Nockamixon’s Weisel Hostel | Photo courtesy of Janice Hayes-Cha

Talk about dedication. Today we got an email here at the station from Janice Hayes-Cha, a painter and XPN fan who moved with her family from Philly to Boston earlier this year. But, as she tells us, they grew to miss Free at Noon every Friday, and managed to talk a group of friends and their respective families into a bike ride to see one. A really, really long bike ride. Continue reading →

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Watch Fugazi rage at a WKDU band bash circa 1991

Flyer for Fugazi's March 2, 1991 Philly show
Flyer for Fugazi’s March 2, 1991 Philly show

Here’s an incredible bit of Throwback Thursday action for you: iconic DC post-hardcore outfit Fugazi played a show at the Creese Student Center on Drexel’s campus in March of 1991, and thanks to a tweet from WKDU this morning, I’ve stumbled across a treasure trove of YouTube videos from the show – as well as a recording of it over at the Dischord Records website. Continue reading →

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Cayetana share photos from the road via Impose Magazine

 

Cayetana loading into WXPN for their World Cafe taping | Photo via Impose Magazine
Cayetana loading into WXPN for their World Cafe taping | Photo via Impose Magazine

Cayetana returned from a mid-spring tour with a couple disposable cameras filled with pictures from the road that were sent off to the folks at Impose Magazine. The resulting photo essay ran this week, with some of the pictures were taken right here at WXPN and in our studio during their recording session for World Cafe’s Sense of Place Philly. Head to Head over to Impose to see the whole slideshow, and watch the performance they snapped photos of below. Continue reading →

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It’s been 20 years since Jerry Garcia died. Here are 20 current artists every Deadhead should be listening to.

Jim, Jerry, and Adam all carry the same torch
Jim, Jerry, and Adam all carry the same torch

We’re coming to the end of the proverbial Days Between on the North American calendar – that week and change between the anniversary of Jerry Garcia‘s birth (August 1, 1942) and his death (August 9, 1995). For many music fans, it’s a bittersweet time.

Sweet because Garcia was a gifted guitarist, singer and songwriter, but also more than that. He was a cultural icon who taught his devoted followers about love and peace, about being free and finding inner happiness, about being true to oneself. He was a tremendously positive force and this is a time of year to celebrate him and his art.

Bitter, however, because his art is no more. It’s been no more for two decades at this point. Try as relentlessly as his surviving bandmates might – through festival-scale “final concerts” followed by new tour announcements; through documentary appearances and 50th anniversary retrospectives; through an endless, endless parade of live collections mining the legendary Betty Boards – the Grateful Dead are a thing of the past. And the more time passes, the more Garcia and his music drift into the catacombs of memory. But that doesn’t mean his legacy is no more. Continue reading →

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Watch WXPN’s Dan Reed bother people at the XPoNential Music Festival

Dan Reed bothering WXPN's Chief Engineer Jared Styles at XPNFest
Dan Reed bothering WXPN’s Chief Engineer Jared Styles at XPNFest

It takes a lot of work to make the XPoNential Music Festival happen every year. The days are long, sometimes stressful, and it’s massively important to keep your sense of humor about you. This is what WXPN afternoon host Dan Reed had in mind (we think) when he grabbed videographer Meredith Edlow on Sunday afternoon and roamed the festival grounds bothering people. Continue reading →

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Throwback Thursday: Dick Clark interviews Robert Hazard on American Bandstand in 1983

Photo via Rolling Stone | http://archive.rollingstone.com/Desktop#/19811126/63
Photo via Rolling Stone | http://archive.rollingstone.com/Desktop#/19811126/63

He wrote “Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” and on his own, hometown hero Robert Hazard broke out of the Philly music scene in the early 80s with his incredible live shows anchored by songs like “Escalator of Life” and “Change Reaction.” In 1983 Hazard and his band appeared on American Bandstand, and were interviewed by Dick Clark. Continue reading →

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Philly Music 101: The wild world of Philly’s modern rock scene

A few of the talented artists that make up Philadelphia's alternative rock scene
A few of the talented artists that make up Philadelphia’s alternative rock scene (Clockwise from top left: Hop Along, Cruisr, DRGN KING, Tutlie, and Vita and the Woolf)

Philly Music 101 is our regular series guiding you through the wonderful world of the Philadelphia music scene: all of its passionate, loving participants, from artists to venues to studios and more.

The complex web of artist that make up Philadelphia’s amazing music scene can be difficult to categorize. Ask any musician, and they probably won’t want to be pigeonholed as purveyors of any single type of music, but sometimes genre communities are an easy step towards understanding and digging deeper into the well-rounded scene that we have today. With that in mind, Philly Music 101 is going to occasionally bring you genre spotlights – with the understanding that labels are of course limiting, and most of our fave musicians work outside the box.

The first segment of our genre spotlight will focus on Philly’s flourishing modern and alternative rock scene that has seen musicians advance their way from rock bar stages to major venues to the pages of Rolling Stone. Continue reading →