What Makes the Grateful Dead So GREAT Anyway? Dan and Dan debate on a NEW Podcast!

Dead & Company | Photo by Sydney Schaefer 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!

What the heck makes the Grateful Dead so great anyway?

The songs?

The jams?

The culture?

Dan and Dan debate with longtime Deadhead and music industry veteran Jack Barton.  Jack enlightens us on his experience with the Grateful Dead, the community it inspired and the bands musical legacy.  Plus, hear new ‘Songs of the Week’ from Starcrawler and Tracey Thorn.

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Listen to Patti Smith on Mountain Stage

Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye | photo by Brian Blauser | courtesy of Mountain Stage

Poet, author, visual artist, singer, songwriter: these are just a few of the things Patti Smith has been over the years. But even with all her personal accomplishments and accolades, the iconic artist’s recent appearance on Mountain Stage was dedicated entirely to her late husband, Fred “Sonic” Smith. Best known as guitarist of the punk band MC5, Fred passed away in 1994. Continue reading →


XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Typical” by Nightmares on Wax featuring Jordan Rakei

Nightmares on Wax | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN |

At a recent Free at Noon at World Cafe Live, Nightmares On Wax created a living room onstage with couches and chairs where the band lounged, performing songs from their new album, Shape The Future. George Evelyn, the man behind NOW, has been making records, producing, DJ’ing and keeping hip-hop music moving forward since the debut Nightmares On Wax album in 1991. Continue reading →


XPN MusicNotes: Hear Elvis Costello perform sweeping new song with lyrics from a Johnny Cash poem

Johnny Cash and Elvis Costello | photo via Consequence of Sound

“There was one lyric that was thought to be one that might suit me. And then I was glancing through the folio and that particular lyric was there on the page, and the next thing I could hear it in a very unusual way” –  Elvis Costello in an interview w/ Rolling Stone re: a song he wrote to a Johnny Cash poem.

Next month an album called Forever Words will be released featuring well-known singers who have taken poems and letters written by Johnny Cash, and have put his words to music. Elvis Costello is one of the performers.  Continue reading →


Liz Phair’s early work gets a vinyl box set edition for the 25th anniversary of Exile In Guyville

Liz Phair | photo via the artist’s Facebook page

For the last two and a half decades, Liz Phair‘s music has served as a formative inspiration for countless aspiring musicians — her sound so enduring that traces of her signature lo-fi rock style can be heard in newer Philly acts like WallaceCorey Flood and Ellen Siberian Tiger, who cite her as an influence.

Now, Phair has announced a 25th anniversary reissue of her early work to be released May 4 via Matador Records. Called “Girly-Sound to Guyville,” the box set will include both a remastered edition of Phair’s 1993 debut album Exile in Guyville and remasters of her 1991 Girly-Sound tapes, which have never been officially released, plus an oral history booklet of interviews and essays. Continue reading →


Joy to the World! Chuck Negron (formerly of Three Dog Night) talks about his ‘Three Dog Nightmare’

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!

Chuck Negron is a former member of Three Dog Night and the voice of their iconic hit “Joy to the World.”  Chuck joins us on the podcast to talk about the release of his book Three Dog Nightmare.  From being a member of one of the biggest bands in the world to losing everything, the book tells the tale of Chuck’s battle with addiction and eventual recovery.  In a conversation with Dan Reed, Chuck reflects on his time with Three Dog Night and how he was able to turn his life around.  It’s a fascinating listen. Continue reading →


XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Suzanne” by Bermuda Triangle

Bermuda Triangle | Photo by Harvey Hale | courtesy of the artist

Bermuda Triangle is an Americana trio including Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, and singer-songwriters Becca Mancari and Jesse Lafser. Since their debut at the Basement East in Nashville last July, the trio have been slowly releasing music, including “Rosie” featuring Lafser on lead vocals, and “Suzanne” featuring Howard on lead vocals. Continue reading →


Lucy Dacus, Lo Moon, Natalie Prass and more are on tap for SXSW public radio showcases

Lucy Dacus| Photo By Noah Silvestry |

Heading down to Austin, TX for SXSW next week? Even if you weren’t planning on going, this news might make you want to pack your bags and plan an escape route out of snowy Philly (Austin’s only 1,600 miles away, after all).

There’s never a shortage of events to attend, bands to see, or tacos to eat at the annual mega-conference-slash-festival, but this year NPR Music, in collaboration with several member stations including XPN, has put together something truly special. Public radio showcases will be happening throughout the week at locations all over Austin, with some individual stations hosting their own shows, but the stations come together on Wednesday, March 14 for NPR Music’s Public Radio Showcase at the famous Stubb’s BBQ. Continue reading →


The Cranberries will complete work on their final album with the late Dolores O’Riordan, reissue their debut

Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries | photo by Amarvudol | via Wikimedia Commons

When Dolores O’Riordan passed away in January, it put the breaks on two projects the Irish singer and songwriter was working on with her band, The Cranberries.

Not only was a deluxe reissue of the band’s 1993 debut Everybody Else Is Doing It So Why Can’t We in the works to celebrate its 25th anniversary, which was March 1st of this month, but a new album was in the works. Today, the surviving bandmates — bassist Mike Hogan, guitarist Noel Hogan, and drummer Fergal Lawler — shared via The Cranberries’ website that after much reflection, both projects were moving ahead. Continue reading →