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The Prince Estate shares rare Paisley Park footage set to “Manic Monday” demo

Prince Originals | via The Current

Last year, the Prince estate shared Piano & a Microphone 1983, a release that blurred ethical lines for many. When Prince died in 2016, a hefty collection of unreleased music was left behind — a collection that the legendary artist clearly intended to keep hidden. This year, his estate has shared a compilation of polished demos for songs he gifted to other artists, many of which went on to become those artists’ signature songs. 

Raising further questions about whether or not Prince would be devastated to know that these recordings reached the public’s ears, Originals features tracks like “Sex Shooter” (originally for Apollonia 6), “Jungle Love” (originally for Morris Day and The Time), and “Nothing Compares 2 U” (made famous by Sinéad O’Connor). Continue reading →

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#XPN5050: 1993

For fifty weeks this year, we’re celebrating the music of a specific year every Saturday on WXPN. We’ll be choosing the years randomly; for this week’s #XPN5050, Julian Booker is putting the musical spotlight on the year 1993.

26 years ago, everyone was talking about this new thing called the internet, and the introduction of web browsers made it easy for us to welcome this new technology as a part of our daily lives. The way we listened to music was changing, too. By ’93, CDs were beginning to outsell cassettes, and you could take your tunes on the go with a Sony Walkman that would only set you back 30 bucks.

Mariah Carey’s “Dreamlover” topped the Billboard charts for eight weeks straight, and Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle became the fastest-selling hip-hop album ever. Beck burst onto the scene with “Loser,” and Radiohead released their debut album, Pablo Honey. The Cranberries also made their debut that year, giving us songs like “Dreams” and “Linger.” Continue reading →

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Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: hand habits

hand habits | Photo by John Vettese for XPN

This Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session marks the return to our studio of two old friends and the spotlight turn of a third. Meg Duffy began their project hand habits in 2012 with a series of independently released EPs. Not too long into their career as a guitarist-for-hire, Duffy became the not-so-secret weapon in Kevin Morby’s touring band (in fact, the first time I met Duffy was after Morby’s Free at Noon concert in 2017). Earlier this year, Duffy released their second full-length as hand habits, placeholder, and returned to our studio to play some of the new songs with bassist Keven Lareau and drummer John Andrews (both of whom are members of Quilt and previously appeared in last year’s IRHP session with Cut Worms).

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PRESS PLAY: 7 New Albums out June 21st!

Willie Nelson | photo by Pamela Springsteen | courtesy of the artist

Friday is new release day! Each week we feature a selection of new albums being released and songs we LOVE.  It’s a wide range of music this week, from psychedelic blues rock of The Black Pumas to in-your-face punk anthems of Titus Andronicus.  Plus, check out the return of The Raconteurs, a new album from Willie Nelson, and more! Continue reading →

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Thom Yorke announces new album ANIMA, due next week

Thom Yorke | photo by Alex Lake | courtesy of the artist

Following last years’ Suspiria score, Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke has announced his latest solo record. ANIMA, set to be released next Thursday, June 27th, marks Yorke’s first solo album since 2014’s Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes. Some of the songs on the record were debuted live during shows under the Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes header alongside Nigel Godrich and Tarik Barri. Yorke wrote and Godrich produced ANIMA. The group will continue their tour this fall and will likely play even more of the album.

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Spoon waxes political on new song, “No Bullets Spent”

Spoon | photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN

Back with their first single since 2017’s Hot Thoughts, Spoon have just released “No Bullets Spent,” a politically charged indie-rock tune. Featuring a sparse, guitar-driven beat, “No Bullets Spent” was written during a heatwave in NYC, frontman Britt Daniel told subscribers of Spoon’s email newsletter. Throughout, Daniel can be heard telling a story and detailing his observations on youth and coming of age in our world, plagued by gun violence and economic inequality. “What we need now’s an accident, no one to blame and no bullets spent,” he shouts in the chorus, angry at the current state of affairs. Continue reading →

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Sharon Van Etten shares a “simple, stark, raw” video for “No One’s Easy to Love”

Sharon Van Etten | still from video

Sharon Van Etten‘s new album Remind Me Tomorrow has been making its way onto several best of 2019 (so far) lists recently. Before the songwriter embarks on a European tour with those well-deserved accolades in tow, she’s shared a new video for the track “No One’s Easy to Love.” One of four videos Van Etten has made for the album, it’s the second one directed by her friend, filmmaker Katherine Dieckmann. The video keeps things simple, with Van Etten against a stark gray urban backdrop that lets the song take center stage. Continue reading →

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The Hold Steady is (finally) releasing an album; listen to the new single “Denver Haircut”

The Hold Steady | photo by D James Goodwin | courtesy of the artist

Brooklyn-based band and XPN favorite, The Hold Steady, has released a series of singles throughout the past two years, but they haven’t released an album in nearly five years — not since 2014’s Teeth Dreams. Finally, they’ve announced their upcoming LP called Thrashing Thru The Passion, available on August 16th. It gives their many single releases some context, as some of them will be tracks on the new record. Continue reading →

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Sturgill Simpson shares the twangy and haunting theme song for The Dead Don’t Die

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Sturgill Simpson | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com

Sturgill Simpson can now add “movie star” to his resume. The renowned country singer is a part of Jim Jarmusch’s new, star-studded, zombie film The Dead Don’t Die. The film, which opened Friday, also boasts performances by Adam Driver, Bill MurrayIggy Pop, Selena Gomez, RZA, Tom Waits, Chloë Sevigny and more. In addition to acting in the movie, Simpson has provided its theme song, also titled “The Dead Don’t Die”. The twangy and woozy song soundtracks the film’s opening credits and alludes to the eventual appearance of the undead.

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love” by The Bird and The Bee

The Bird and the Bee | photo by Alexa Nikol Curran | courtesy of the artist

In 2010, The Bird and The Bee – the duo of Inara George and Greg Kurstin — released Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates. They recently released announced their next tribute — Interpreting the Masters Volume 2: A Tribute to Van Halen, on August 2nd, with covers of “Panama,” and “Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love.” Continue reading →