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Mavis Staples announces Jeff Tweedy collaboration If All I Was Was Black

Mavis Staples | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

XPN Fest veterans and longtime friends Mavis Staples and Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco) have collaborated together a few times before, but the just-announced If All I Was Was Black is a particularly special project. Slated for a November 17 release on Anti- Records, the 10-track album was produced and written by Tweedy, with vocalist Staples contributing to the lyrics on three tracks. In addition to being the first full-length of original material the the two have worked on together, If All I Was Was Black takes on a political tone, addressing racial tension in a way that advocates for spreading love and positivity. Continue reading →

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Uncovering the mystery of Superorganism on the XPN Morning Show

Superorganism | via twitter.com/SPRORGNSM

When we first discovered Superorganism back in April, we knew two things: 1) their song “Something for Your M.I.N.D.” was quirky cool, and 2) their story sounded like a marketing gimmick.

Turns out the 8-piece, London-based band fronted by a 17-year-old Japanese girl who was attending a boarding in Maine is indeed real, and they just signed a worldwide record deal with Domino. Last week on the XPN Morning Show, I got the low-down from singers Orono and Harry about how the band members found each other, ended up all sharing a house together, and what they’re planning now. Continue reading →

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The Edge calls in to WXPN studios to catch up with Dan Reed

The Edge | via facebook.com/u2

So last Wednesday night I got an e mail from U2’s record company. It said that they had The Edge (he – of course – is the guitarist and original member of U2) available tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. Did I want the interview? Uh… OK.

I did a little research on the band and their new album, got some question ideas from my “Dan & Dan Music Podcast” partner Dan Deluca of the Philadelphia Inquirer, and took the call. He was extremely nice, very cordial, very professional. It was an enjoyable 10 minutes for me. Listen…I’m no U2 superfan, but I certainly recognize the group’s importance and longevity. They do what they do as well, if not better than, any band in the past 50 years. So it was an honor and a pleasure to talk to The Edge for a few minutes.

As a side note, I went to see U2 on their very first U.S. tour. It was April 17, 1981 (I just looked it up) at Bogart’s in Cincinnati. At 20 years old, I was a few months older than two of the members (including The Edge). They were really, really good… they entertained the 200 or so in attendance, got asked back for an encore, and had to play “I Will Follow” again because they had no other songs. If you would have told me that day that this band would someday become (not too) arguably the biggest rock & roll band in the world, I would have told you that you were nuts. Then if you would have told me that I would be interviewing the guitarist 36 years later for a radio station in Philadelphia, I would have REALLY though you needed help. But it happened. And I’m really glad it did. Continue reading →

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Listen to a new song by Sam Smith, “Too Good For Goodbyes”

Sam Smith | Courtesy of Capitol Records

British singer songwriter Sam Smith just released “Too Good For Goodbyes,” his first new music since the release of his Oscar winning and Golden Globe winning James Bond theme for Spectre, “Writing’s On The Wall,” in 2015. The new song was Written with his longtime collaborator Jimmy Napes, as well as Stargate – the Norwegian record producing and songwriting team composed of Tor Erik Hermansen and Mikkel Storleer Eriksen. Continue reading →

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XPN MusicNotes: Listen to Josh Ritter duet with Bob Weir, hear the first song from Margo Price’s new album

Josh Ritter | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/

“The song (with Josh Ritter & Bob Weir) pitches its tent midway between the country, gospel and soul camps, with thickly stacked harmonies that evoke the Dead’s own folk-rock classic American Beauty. Appropriately, Weir lends his warm, weathered voice to two verses. Behind him, a swirl of guitars, organ and brass turns the song into some sort of Americana hymn.” – Rolling Stone

Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter is getting set to release a new album which features a duet with the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir. Continue reading →