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Ani DiFranco shows she can turn any setting into an activist platform at her NPR Music Tiny Desk performance

Ani DiFranco at NPR’ Music’s Tiny Desk | still from video via NPR Music

Ani DiFranco can now add ‘performing in front of the famed knick-knack-covered shelves at NPR offices’ to her thirty-years-long list of musical accomplishments, as the similarly famed singer-songwriter recently made her Tiny Desk concert debut.

It’s no secret that DiFranco values and utilizes the political platform that being an artist has offered her, as she is known for being a strong voice in progressive human rights activism. And being how times are right now, she’s got a lot of things to say — which is exactly what she does on her latest album, Binary.  Continue reading →

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Listen to Belly’s “Hushabye Mountain” cover, their first recording in 22 years

Belly | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

If we thought last year’s brief reunion of iconic 90s rockers Belly — which included a Philly stop at Union Transfer — was too good to be true, then we were proven wrong when the band announced last month that they’d be recording a new album, their first in two decades. The title of the forthcoming record is still unknown, but news broke of an April 6 release date, and we can now listen to the first Belly recording in 22 years — their “long-promised” cover of “Hushabye Mountain,” originally from the 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Continue reading →

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XPN MusicNotes: Watch Lana Del Rey join Leonard Cohen’s son for cover of his dad’s “Chelsea Hotel #2” at Tower of Song Tribute

Tower of Song flyer

Musicians from around the world gathered in Montreal last night for the Tower of Song Tribute to celebrate the life & music of Leonard Cohen on the eve of the 1st anniversary of his death. Watch Lana Del Rey and Cohen’s son Adam perform a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Chelsea Hotel #2. Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Creep City” by Jake Shears

Jake Shears | Photo by Raphael Chatelain

Jake Shears, the lead singer of Scissor Sisters, recently debuted his first solo song, “Creep City.”

Billboard reported that in an e-mail to his fans, Shears said: “The world is upside down right now. In the thick of it, I feel that we still need tunes that make us smile, that make us wanna sing and dance like fools,” and he described the new song as a “pretty theatrical jam, with quite a few twists and turns.” Continue reading →

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The Story of Rolling Stone‘s Jann Wenner: Dan & Dan Music Podcast talks with biographer Joe Hagan

Jann Wenner in 1977 | photo by Jean Pigozzi

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!

Jann Wenner is the cofounder and publisher of Rolling Stone magazine.  Joe Hagan is the author of the new biography STICKY FINGERS: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine.  The book looks at the life of a pivotal player in the history rock and roll, but it has also caused a stir.  Despite authorizing it and generally positive reviews, Jann is on record calling the biography ‘deeply flawed’.  Dan and Dan welcome Joe to the podcast to talk about accepting the project, the actual process of writing the book and the reaction its received.

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Look at these incredible photos of David Bowie in the 80s

David Bowie, jet-setting over Australia | photo by Denis O’Regan | via theguardian.com

In 1983, David Bowie released Let’s Dance, and it was one of the most important records of his career.

Though not as overtly experimental as his work during the famed Berlin years, nor as coolly stylized as his early 70s glam-era output, the album’s three hit singles — “Modern Love,” a cover of “China Girl” by Iggy Pop, and the title track — paired with production by Chic’s Nile Rodgers connected with listeners in a huge way, propelling Bowie to new levels of pop / rock stardom; the subsequent Serious Moonlight world tour was massive.

Comprised of nearly 100 shows in 15 countries, the year-long run saw Bowie’s audience expand exponentially, and Denis O’Regan was there to shadow him and capture the proceedings on film. Continue reading →

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XPN MusicNotes: Halloween on Jimmy Kimmel! Dave Grohl dressed as David Letterman, sang Frozen / Metallica mashup with Kristen Bell

via NME

All week on the the Jimmy Kimmel Show, guest hosts will be filling in for Jimmy, who’s with his son during heart surgery. Last night it was Dave Grohl’s turn, and it turned into a most memorable Halloween show as he dressed as David Letterman and sang with Frozen’s Kristen Bell. Watch below. Continue reading →

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Little Simz teams up with Gorillaz for electric new single “Garage Palace”

Gorillaz | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN

Soon after coming off a major North American tour, Gorillaz and Little Simz have blessed us with a new single, the day before they embark on another sold-out tour, this time in Europe. Simz and Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn have shown that they love working together, and “Garage Palace” is yet another example of their highly beneficial relationship. Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Forgot Myself” by Jen Cloher

Jen Cloher | Photo by Tajette O’Halloran

Australian guitarist, singer, and songwriter Jen Cloher will perform at WXPN’s Free At Noon this Friday, November 3rd at World Cafe Live. Cloher — who is married to Courtney Barnett, and co-founder of Milk! Records with her — is an excellent songwriter/guitarist is her own right, as showcased on her recently released self-titled album. Continue reading →