The Promise to Keep it Real: Lukas Nelson talks with the Dan & Dan Music Podcast

Lukas Nelson | photo by Myriam Santos | courtesy of the artist
Lukas Nelson | photo by Myriam Santos | courtesy of the artist

Meet Dan and Dan! Dan Reed, Music Director and Afternoon Host at WXPN/Philadelphia and Dan DeLuca, Music Critic and Columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer sit down on a bi-weekly basis to talk MUSIC!

Lukas Nelson was in Philadelphia this week for a show at Union Transfer.  Prior to taking the stage, he stopped by WXPN and joined the Dan & Dan Music Podcast.  Lukas talks openly about his evolution as a songwriter, growing up the son of Willie Nelson, and his work touring & recording with Neil Young.  He even sings us a short acapella verse from the first song he ever wrote. Hear it now.

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XPN MusicNotes: Neil Young is gonna blow your mind on Dec. 1st

Neil Young | Photo by Joe Del Tufo |

“The timeline is a living document with information still being added and the site was created for myself as much as for everyone else.” -Neil Young

On December 1st, Neil Young will release his new album: The Visitor, and on the same day he’ll open up a full archive of all of his music for free. Continue reading →


Listen to Brandi Carlile’s epic “The Joke” from her new album By The Way, I Forgive You

Brandi Carlile | photo by Alysse Gafkjenh | courtesy of the artist
Brandi Carlile | photo by Alysse Gafkjenh | courtesy of the artist

It’s been ten years since singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile captured our hearts with her breakthrough album The Story. After five studio albums, a Grammy nomination, and, in more recent memory, a breathtaking XPN Fest set, Carlile is back with her latest effort — her highly anticipated forthcoming album By The Way, I Forgive You will be released early next year. Continue reading →


Robert Drake returns for the 25th Annual #XPNNightBefore – and the second Holiday Card-Tastrophe!

Robert Drake gets ready for #XPNNightBefore | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

A quarter century ago, WXPN was in need of a body – any body – to work Christmas Eve. It was that pre-digital era when specialty shows were broadcast from reel-to-reel tape, which meant someone had to thread the shows into the machines and hit play/stop at the right cues. With no real plans in place, I volunteered to work – as long as the station would allow me an hour or two to play songs from my personal collection of holiday music. What they didn’t know was that, since I was a teenager, I began collecting obscure Christmas records. Over time I had a bizarre collection which was just begging for a little airplay. That was Christmas Eve 1993. Continue reading →


XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “I Was A Fool” by Sunflower Bean

Sunflower Bean
Sunflower Bean | photo by Andy DeLuca | courtesy of the artist

You might remember New York City psych rock power trio Sunflower Bean from a killer performance at Non-COMM 2016, delivered on the heels of their Fat Possum Records debut Human Ceremony. The band drew on Sabbath and the Stooges, Brian Jonestown Massacre and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and had a formidable live presence to boot; not only did bassist / vocalist Julia Cumming, drummer Jacob Faber, and guitarist Nick Kivlen get lost in the proverbial zone, they took the eager audience along for the ride.

Flash forward a year and a half, and the band is resurfacing from a seemingly constant tour schedule to deliver the first taste of their next phase. The song “I Was A Fool” premiered on NPR Music last week, and with it came the announcement that Sunflower Bean has joined the Mom + Pop Records family — home to Courtney Barnett, Tash Sultana, DMAs and more. The new song shows a progression in their sound — the sound eases up on heavy drone, making room for ethereal pop. Jangling guitars and trade-off vocals from Cumming and Kivlen are reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac and Todd Rundgren, as filtered through Kurt Vile and Rilo Kiley. Continue reading →


XPN MusicNotes: Watch St. Vincent perform “Los Ageless” live on Ellen


St. Vincent | photo by Nedda Afsari

Did you catch St. Vincent on Ellen? No worries — you can check out video below of Annie Clark performing “Los Ageless” from her new album Masseduction, copies of which Ellen gave away to her studio audience. Read more on St. Vincent’s new album Masseduction here and get information on her upcoming Electric Factory appearance at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Elvis Costello releases symphonic new single for Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Elvis Costello | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN |

Elvis Costello‘s new song “You Shouldn’t Look at Me That Way” was written for Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, a movie following the life of Peter Turner and his relationship with actress Gloria Grahame. The song swells with the slow crooning of Costello’s vocals, lazy piano riffs, and dynamic builds of the strings. It’s beautiful, and I can already sense the vibe of the movie, even though this song could absolutely stand alone. Stream it below and watch a trailer for the film. Continue reading →


#NPRSlingshot artist Jamila Woods teams up with Chicago friends NE-HI to reimagine their hit “The Times I’m Not There”


Jamila Woods | photo by Koof Ibi Umoren for WXPN

Chi-town indie outfit NE-HI has had a very successful year after releasing their second full project Offers back in February. To follow up the commercial success from Offers, the group reached out to R&B favorite Jamila Woods to sing on a reimagined version of their track “The Times I’m Not There” off of NE-HI’s 2014 self-titled record. The collaboration also benefits Chance The Rapper’s Chicago-based charity foundation SocialWorks; all revenue from the song will go to SocialWorks, an arts empowerment organization for inner-city Chicago children.

NE-HI took more of a modern route with this re-recording of “The Times I’m Not There.” The beat of the track is also notably slower, with Woods’ soothing vocals providing a perfect compliment, along with gorgeous keyboard accompaniment and the catchy riffs from the sole guitar. The intersection of neo-soul and indie makes for a great sound and Woods definitely adds a whole other layer to the track that was not on the original recording. Continue reading →


Ani DiFranco shows she can turn any setting into an activist platform at her NPR Music Tiny Desk performance

Ani DiFranco at NPR’ Music’s Tiny Desk | still from video via NPR Music

Ani DiFranco can now add ‘performing in front of the famed knick-knack-covered shelves at NPR offices’ to her thirty-years-long list of musical accomplishments, as the similarly famed singer-songwriter recently made her Tiny Desk concert debut.

It’s no secret that DiFranco values and utilizes the political platform that being an artist has offered her, as she is known for being a strong voice in progressive human rights activism. And being how times are right now, she’s got a lot of things to say — which is exactly what she does on her latest album, Binary.  Continue reading →