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 →


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 →


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 →


#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 →


PRESS PLAY: 8 New Albums out August 2nd!

The Bird and the Bee | Photo by Alexa Nikol Curran

Friday is new release day! Each week we feature a selection of new albums being released and songs we LOVE.  Get ready to “Press Play” on new albums from country rocker Tyler Childers, Afro jazz new-comers Mwenso & The Shakes, and Philly’s Slaughter Beach, Dog.  Plus, The Bird & The Bee do their best Van Halen on an all new “Interpreting the Masters” tribute album!

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Dolly Parton was the surprise of all surprises at the Newport Folk Festival

Dolly Parton at Newport Folk Festival | via @DollyParton on Twitter | photo by Daniel Jackson

While we were busy with XPN Fest this weekend, some crazy stuff was going down at the Newport Folk Festival. And by crazy stuff I mean DOLLY PARTON WAS THERE. When Lucy Dacus arrived on XPN’s River Stage on Sunday afternoon, one of the first things she said was that she was in a daze because she met Dolly Parton the night before at the Folk Fest. We can’t blame you, Lucy! Continue reading →


The Hold Steady release “You Did Good Kid,” another new single from upcoming album

The Hold Steady | photo courtesy of the artist

XPN faves The Hold Steady have recently announced their seventh studio album, Thrashing Thru The Passion, coming out next month. Late last week, they released its second single, “You Did Good Kid,” a tune about growing up and the pains associated with it. This album is the first to feature the band’s full six-piece lineup, which once again includes their keyboardist Franz Nicolay, who left the band in 2010 and rejoined back in 2016. Continue reading →


PRESS PLAY: 7 New Albums out July 26th!

Rayland Baxter | photo by Shervin Lainez | courtesy of the artist

Friday is new release day! Each week we feature a selection of new albums being released and songs we LOVE.  This week, Rayland Baxter (who plays #XPNFest tonight!) pays tribute to the late Mac Miller with the release of his Good Mmornin EP.  Also, recent World Cafe guest Caamp deliver a new album, Australian songwriter Angie McMahon releases her debut, and the Best Of … Spoon has some new music too!

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Sights and vibes from Electric Forest Festival 2019

Electric Forest | photo by Avi Warren for WXPN

Electric Forest is not only a music festival, but a visual experience like no other. Held at the Double JJ Resort in Rothbury Michigan, it is known for having some of the best “special moments” that you don’t see coming, whether musical, theatrical, or visual. When you step into the forest, you will encounter unbelievable art installations, costumed characters, unknown sets, and numerous hidden riddles all around. One of the notable features of Electric Forest is their wide variety of EDM artists. Along with the extensive EDM performances, there were rappers such as Tierra Whack and T-Pain. The festival usually takes place for two weekends, but this year they cut it down to one weekend, held June 27 through June 30 Continue reading →