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And now, your schedule for #XPNStock: The 50th anniversary broadcast of Woodstock

Janis Joplin at Woodstock | photo by Henry Diltz

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Woodstock this week, WXPN will present the ancestor of all music festivals as it all went down — a radio exclusive that includes all of the festival’s archived audio, from the music to the stage announcements to the rain delays.

Beginning on Thursday, August 15th at 5:07 p.m., #XPNStock will showcase newly reconstructed audio archives of each of Woodstock’s 32 performances over four days, from Richie Havens’ opening set to Jimi Hendrix’s closing one and everything in between, in as close to real time as possible. Tune in to hear the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and so many more — just as they sounded in 1969 during the weekend that would shape a generation. Continue reading →

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Reconstructing History: Listen to Woodstock Archivist Andy Zax in conversation with XPN’s Dan Reed


There’s Woodstock as it happened — the three-day music festival that took place in the summer of 1969 on a dairy farm in Bethel, New York, not too far from Scranton, Pennsylvania. And then there’s Woodstock the legend — the peace-and-love totem of the hippie generation, memorialized in Michael Wadleigh’s documentary film and two album releases over the course of the 70s.

As the 50th anniversary of Woodstock approaches this week and various commemorative celebrations are held — including #XPNStock, a set-by-set playback of the entire festival beginning on Thursday, August 15th at 5:07 p.m. — a new, massive collection of music seeks to parse the difference between the legend and the reality of Woodstock. Compiled by archivist Andy Zax over the past decade-plus, Woodstock – Back to the Garden: The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive puts together every scrap of audio in the order it occurred, creating a more nuanced picture of the event than the less-than-accurate narrative of the film version.


Live Stream: Woodstock – As It Happened – 50 Years On


Ahead of #XPNStock, Zax caught up with XPN Program Director Dan Reed to discuss the project at length, beginning with the surprisingly difficult search for the most basic of information: set times.      Continue reading →

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#XPN5050: 2004

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 2004.

AhhhhhhhhhhhhhI’M COMING OUT OF MY CAGE AND I’VE BEEN listening to the records that we had on repeat 15 years ago. This week, for a spotlight on 2004, it’s all about the beats and bravado of Franz Ferdinand, Kanye West, The Killers, and Modest Mouse. We’ll hear sky-high anthems from Arcade Fire, raw indie rock burners by The Walkmen, and contemplative ballads by Mindy Smith.

Looking for folk-pop? How about Feist or Nellie McKay. Some orchestrated indie rock? Regina Spektor’s Soviet Kitsch, coming right up. Some funky love jams from Prince? Of course! Continue reading →

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PRESS PLAY: 6 New Albums out August 9th!

Friday is new release day! Each week we feature a selection of new albums being released and songs we LOVE. This week, a familiar friend, Pete Yorn, turns in a brand new album called Caretakers.  Also, Irish singer-songwriter delights with Cala, indie-rockers Ra Ra Riot have another infectious collection in Superbloom, and a collaboration between Marc Cohn & The Blind Boys of Alabama offers some comfort.  Hear these and more!

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XPN presents Woodstock — As It Happened — 50 Years On

John Sebastian at Woodstock | photo by Henry Diltz

On August 15, 1969, at 5:07 p.m., Richie Havens took the stage at Max Yasgur’s Bethel, New York dairy farm, kicking off three days of peace and music. As we get ready to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Woodstock this month, we find that while the festival lives on in memory and mythology, it’s hard to imagine what it was really like if you weren’t one of the nearly half a million attendees.

To revisit Woodstock as it all went down, XPN will broadcast Woodstock — As It Happened — 50 Years On, a radio exclusive that includes all of the festival’s archived audio, from the music to the stage announcements to the rain delays. Continue reading →

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Harold Prince, Broadway impresario and Penn and WXPN alum passes

Harold Prince | screenshot from PBS documentary “Harold Prince: The Director’s Life”

Harold Prince, the legendary Broadway producer, director, and multiple Tony award winner, passed away last Wednesday, July 31 in Iceland. He was 91 years old. Prince’s work included some of the most iconic Broadway productions from the 60s and 70s, and even into the 80s, including West Side Story, Cabaret, Fiddler on the Roof, Evita, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Evita, and The Phantom of the Opera. Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “The Hustle” by Kiltro

Kiltro | Photo by Scott McCormick

The Denver based Kiltro, fronted and led by Chilean-American singer-songwriter Chris Bowers-Castillo, draws much of its thematic energy from Latin-American folk artists like political musician Victor Jara, Chilean songwriter Violeta Parra, iconic Argentine musician Atahualpa Yupanqui, and folk music ensemble Inti-Illimani, blending Latin music with rock, electronic, and ambient musical influences. Continue reading →

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#XPN5050: 1982

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, Dan Reed is putting the musical spotlight on the year 1982.

Combat RockNebraska1999. Need we say more?

The year 1982 was awash in the glitz, glam, and hair products of New Wave acts like A Flock of Seagulls, Culture Club, and Adam Ant, who wrote impossibly catchy music to go with their aggressive fashion statements. It was the year Marvin Gaye got “Sexual Healing,” Neil Young went supersonic on “Transformer Man,” and Queen and David Bowie found themselves “Under Pressure” in one of rock’s most enduring duets. It was the year that Toto’s “Africa” topped the charts for the first time. Continue reading →