Here’s what’s on tap for WXPN’s Thanksgiving Programming

Kid…we realize you’ve got a busy day ahead of you on Thursday, whether you’re spending Thanksgiving cooking dinner for family and friends, or you’re stuck at work or otherwise separated from the ones you love.

Maybe you’re on an epic trip from New York to Kansas to Chicago with a gregarious co-traveler. Maybe you’re watching law enforcement take 27 eight-by-twenty seven eight-by-ten color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was.

Pop cultural references aside, we here at WXPN hope to make your day as stress free as possible, and we’ll do that the best way we know how: through music. Continue reading →


Announcing The 26th Annual #XPNNightBefore

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

Twenty-six years 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 1992.

Here we are over a quarter-century later and what was once a couple hours has morphed into The Night Before on XPN with Robert Drake: a twenty-four hour tradition for thousands of households worldwide.  Over those years, thanks to technology, fans have grown from those in the region to those around the world, streaming XPN online at Continue reading →


Watch boygenius perform a Tiny Desk Concert

Boygenius | photo by Cameron Pollack for NPR

We can’t get enough of boygenius, the new collaborative project from singer-songwriters Lucy Dacus, Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers, so their recent appearance at NPR’s Tiny Desk almost makes up for the fact that the trio’s tour skipped over Philly. Decked in their band uniform of matching embroidered jackets, the group shares a single microphone in the tight office space, performing stripped-down versions of three songs off their new self-titled EP. Continue reading →


The 80s are back! Listen to XPN’s all Eighties A-Z

Fire up that old Walkman – the 80s are back! Well, at least for the next couple weeks. Introducing this year’s WXPN A-Z theme – the 80s. As we did with the first A-Z, where we played every song in our massive music library, and last year’s all 70s A-Z, we’ll be digging through our library once again to bring you the hits, the misses, the deep tracks, and the one hit wonders of the Eighties. Continue reading →


Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Books” by CAAMP

CAAMP | Photo courtesy of artist

The indie-folk band CAAMP was formed by Taylor Meier (lead vocals, guitar, drums, piano), and Evan Westfall (banjo, harmony vocals, guitar, drums and bass). Now a trio, Matt Vinson rounds out the band on bass and harmony vocals.

From Columbus, Ohio, Taylor and Evan met when they were freshmen in high school, and formed a band with a couple of classmates for a project. After that band came to an end, the duo stayed together as CAAMP. They first started playing out as seniors in high school, and moved to Athens, Ohio, to attend school, where they continued to build a following with their live performances. Continue reading →


Keep Ya Head Up: Stream the November (Rain) 2018 edition of What’s The Frequency?! on WXPN

WTFXPN | still from video

On the second Friday of every month, WXPN’s John Vettese hosts WHAT’S THE FREQUENCY?!?!!, a four-hour, request driven showcase of 90s and 90s-adjacent music. If you can’t tune in live, we’ve got archives of each episode for you here on The Key.

Sometimes I go into WTFXPN knowing exactly what I want to play. And sometimes the request channels totally take the reins.

On a soggy, cold Friday night in the month of November, the year of 2018, the latter occurred, with some listeners asking for deep cuts from OutKast, Beat Happening, Rainer Maria and Faith No More; other listers making requests in response to previous requests (Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance” in response to The Mountain Goats’ “No Children” and its “I hope you die” chorus, a parallel that’s more than coincidental), and me racing to keep up with it all.

Continue reading →


Music, Comedy & “Fun Topics” with Jon Wurster on the Dan And Dan Music Podcast

Jon Wurster | photo by Eric Schuman for WXPN

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! 

Jon Wurster is a man of many talents. He’s the drummer for some incredible rock bands like Superchunk, The Mountain Goats, and Bob Mould. He’s also an actor, comedy writer and a must-follow on social media, as you’ll hear. Jon drops by the podcast to talk about some his current projects, his favorite music books and films, and growing up in the Philadelphia area.  Lots of laughs, and lots of music with Jon Wurster.

Continue reading →


Hozier’s new album will be out next year, releases video for lead single “Movement”

Hozier | Photo by: Ellen Miller for WXPN |
Hozier | photo by Ellen Miller for WXPN |

Hozier has revealed some details about the new music that lies in his future. We don’t have an album title or an exact release date yet, but we do know that the Irish singer-songwriter will release his next record in early 2019. The first single from the forthcoming LP is out now; called “Movement,” it’s a powerful song that builds quickly in intensity and is matched in tone by its accompanying video, directed by Chris Barrett and Luke Taylor and starring Sergei Polunin. Continue reading →


RSVP for Helen Leicht’s Home For the Holidays concert featuring Good Old War, Jeremy Keys, Katie Frank and more

WXPN Home For The Holidays

Every December XPN midday host, Helen Leicht, gathers a group of Philly-area musicians in a local studio to record the sounds of the season for a special radio broadcast called Home For The Holidays. This year marks the 10th Anniversary of Home for the Holidays, and to celebrate, she’s recording the show live! Continue reading →


XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Up To Me” by Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan | photo by Barry Feinstein | courtesy of the artist

More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series Vol. 14 is the latest collection of material from Bob Dylan’s vaults and his vast recording history. This time around, the focus is on perhaps what many of his fans and historians consider to be one of his greatest albums, Blood On The Tracks, originally released in January 1975.

Often bootlegged, this new Dylan collection makes these previously unreleased songs available officially for the first time. More Blood, More Tracks includes over 70 previously unreleased tracks, and every surviving take from the Blood On the Tracks recording sessions. Continue reading →