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Watch Bruce Springsteen and Social Distortion cover Johnny Cash at Asbury Park’s Sea.Hear.Now Festival

Bruce Springsteen and Social D | photo by @looksdeceiving via Brooklyn Vegan

The folks in North Jersey could not have asked for better weather for the first ever Sea.Hear.Now Festival, which happened on the Asbury Park beach over the weekend. In addition to sets by Blondie, Brandi Carlile, Frank Turner,and The Menzingers, a highlight was Bruce Springsteen joining veteran punk rockers Social Distortion onstage on three songs, including the latter’s cover Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash’s “Ring of Fire.” Continue reading →

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Watch Paul McCartney take us through his new childrens’ book, Hey Grandude

Paul McCartney | still from video

After releasing a new record this year, Paul McCartney returns his sights to writing with the announcement of his latest children’s book, Hey Grandude. In addition to publishing memoirs and lyric books, McCartney released his first children’s novel, High in the Clouds, in 2005. His latest is the first that will be released as a picture book, and was inspired by his eight grandchildren, one of whom set off a spark of inspiration by calling Macca “grandude,” as he explains in the video announcement below. Continue reading →

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What does the Music Modernization Act mean for artists? The Dan & Dan Music Podcast explains.

photo by John Vettese 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! 

The Music Modernization Act is a bi-partisan piece of legislation that is on the path to becoming law, and it is a major potential win for singers and songwriters.  Dan and Dan enlist the help of attorney Carrie Ward, owner of Ward Law Group in Philadelphia, to help break things down for us and explain why musicians should be excited.  Also, Dan Reed laments over the Bob Seger farewell tour and to Dan DeLuca’s delight, Maroon 5 is playing the Super Bowl.

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Watch Beck and Jenny Lewis cover Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon”

Beck and Jenny Lewis | still from video

You gotta appreciate a good astronomy gimmick. Last night was the harvest moon, aka the full moon that falls closest to the beginning of autumn, and to mark the occasion, modern rock vet Beck teamed up with singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis to sing Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon.” The cover happened during a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater, where Lewis was opening for Beck. Watch a clip of it below, see more videos over at Brooklyn Vegan, and check out our review of Beck and Lewis’ Festival Pier concert from this summer.
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Jeff Tweedy announces new album WARM; read the liner notes and watch “Some Birds” video

Jeff Tweedy | Photo By Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy will return with a new solo album later this fall. The album is called WARM and will be released November 30; the first single “Some Birds” and its accompanying video are out now. Tweedy’s last solo effort was 2017’s Together At Last, which featured re-workings of Wilco tunes and songs from his previous side projects, but this will be his first LP of original solo material. Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Before The Next Teardrop Falls” by Al Green

Al Green | photo by Erika Goldring | courtesy of the artist

Al Green has released his first new single in almost a decade, “Before The Next Teardrop Falls.” The song was originally recorded by country singer Duane Dee in 1968, and popularized by Freddy Fender in 1975.

Green recorded the song as part of Amazon’s Produced By series at Sam Phillips Studios Memphis with producer Matt Ross-Spang. The series also includes new songs by Margo Price, John Prine and William Bell. Continue reading →

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Watch unearthed footage of John Lennon and George Harrison in studio in 1971

John Lennon and George Harrison in the studio | still from video

Today brings a great surprise to Beatles fans of the world—who we estimate make up about 100% of the WXPN audience. In anticipation of the upcoming reissue of John Lennon’s seminal 1971 LP Imagine, the Lennon estate has released previously unseen footage from recording sessions for the song “How Do You Sleep?” Those who know their fab-four history will remember this song as Lennon’s post-Beatles diss track to Paul McCartney. Recorded just two years after the band’s breakup, it contains such biting lyrics as “those freaks was right when they said you was dead” and “the only thing you done was yesterday.” It’s a fascinating document, showcasing the sheer pettiness that lingered from the Beatles’ end days. Some might call it a sort of a fitting metaphor that the ultimate icons of 60’s peace and love would start the 70’s with an egoistic feud.

Cultural implications aside, the footage is compelling for many other reasons. For one, it features a standout performance from George Harrison, who delivers some particularly soulful slide guitar. His restrained solo exemplifies the subtle mastery of the quiet Beatle. Equally impressive is the sheer rawness of the footage. In its released version, “How Do You Sleep?” features generous echo effects and lush strings. Here, it’s reduced to nothing more than a band in a room. Continue reading →

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Prince probably never wanted us to hear Piano & A Microphone 1983

Prince’s Piano and a Microphone 1983

Prince‘s death is potentially the greatest moneymaker his estate could ever ask for. With the notoriously picky and reserved artist no longer at the reins, they are not only free make his music more widely accessible — finally making much of his discography available on streaming services last year — but they’re also free to dig into his legendary Paisley Park vault. With today’s release of the first posthumous Prince album, the rest of us stay caught between the allure of more classic Prince and the certainty that we’re experiencing his art in a way he never would have wanted. Continue reading →

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Watch The Dixie Hummingbirds in concert for XPN’s Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul

The Dixie Hummingbirds | Photo by Ellen C Miller for WXPN

On Wednesday evening, August 29th, the legendary Dixie Hummingbirds kicked off their 90th year anniversary celebration with a live show for the Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul project at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. A standing room only crowd was presented with a concert that was part musical celebration, part history lesson and paid tribute to the Hummingbirds of the past and connected to the current group, Ira Tucker Jr., Carlton Lewis III, Lyndon Baines Jones, Torrey Nettles, Troy Smith, and Roy Smith. Continue reading →