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Mike Bell and the Movies release “American Christmas, Idiot!”

Mike Bell and the Movies at the backstage door | Photo by Peter Murray | petermurrayphotography.com
Mike Bell and the Movies at the backstage door | Photo by Peter Murray | petermurrayphotography.com

Philadelphia power-pop group Mike Bell and the Movies released an original punk Christmas song this week called”American Christmas, Idiot!” The band, which features members from Algernon Cadwallader, Dogs on Acid, and The Weaks is donating all proceeds of sales from the song will go to local music education nonprofit Rock to the Future. The program works with over 300 Philadelphia students each year through after school and in-school programs, and summer camps. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Bruce Warren’s favorite reissues of 2014

The Allman Brothers | Photo by Jim Marshall
The Allman Brothers | Photo by Jim Marshall

Year-End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2014 awesome. In this installment, XPN Program Director Bruce Warren shares his favorite reissues of the year.

Some of the best “new” music I heard this year was old music. Led Zeppelin, The Velvet Underground, Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Tears For Fears all got the reissue/remaster/bonus track treatment in 2014. Dylan released The Basement Tapes Complete, and Miles Davis completists must put their hands on every second of his 1970 Fillmore concerts. Personally I think 2014 was better in the reissue department than the new music department. Here’s a list of some of the best reissues of 2014. Continue reading →

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Slip into After Party Collection by QQQ

QQQ
QQQ | photo via Facebook

Hot off of a music video airing on Rage TV in Australia, Philly’s QQQ have released a new EP called After Party Collection. The four-song record expands on the beat-oriented electronic music of previous video “The Ebullient” (which is included on the EP) and stitches warped synths with found sounds and textured samples.

Continue reading →

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Philly hip-hop vet Spade-O talks about the history of the scene with DJ Circuitbreaka

Spade-O | Photo by D. McDowell | via Philly 360
Spade-O | Photo by D. McDowell | via Philly 360

This past week on MyRadioPhilly, DJ Circuitbreaka brought scene veteran Spade-O of Major Figgas on the show to talk about his journey as one of Philadelphia most respected hip hop artists. During the interview Spade-O touched on a plethora of topics: reminiscing about the epic cyphers between Philly his crew and Beanie Sigel’s State Proterty, calling their battles historic and based more in respect than serious rivalry. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Bobby Long serenades World Cafe Live upstairs with his rootsy jams

Bobby Long | Photo by Cameron Pollack
Bobby Long | Photo by Cameron Pollack

UK folk artist Bobby Long played a striking and sincere show upstairs at World Cafe Live for today’s Free At Noon. The set was a mix of the old and new, the opener coming from his yet-to-be-titled crowd-funded album, followed with some of Long’s older tracks from his debut, A Winter Tale, and second, Wishbone. He jokingly commented on their central theme of death this close to the holidays, jibing “Happy holidays, everyone.” Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Maureen Walsh’s Top 5 EPs of 2014

Charlotte Church | via facebook.com/charlottechurchofficial
Charlotte Church | via facebook.com/charlottechurchofficial

Year-End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2014 awesome. In this installment, Key contributor Maureen Walsh shares her favorite EPs of the year.

Within the past few years, artists have gotten more creative with how they release their music. One trend that is resurging is the EP. The EP used to be an extra set of songs that was released between albums. Lately, however, EPs are a way for artists to put out material and not be constricted to having an entire album’s worth of songs. This frees them to create short experiments and release material more frequently. Continue reading →

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Robert Drake’s Christmas Countdown: Kay Starr introduces us to “The Man With the Bag”

Kay Starr

It’s just 6 days ‘til The Night Before on XPN … and to help get us prepared for 24 hours of yours truly, I present to you a unique holiday song each day!

Today we travel back to 1950, when Irving Taylor, Hal Stanley and Dudley Brooks penned this Christmas classic, “(Everybody’s Waitin’ for) The Man with the Bag”. Brooks is best known as a jazz pianist and arranger who spent years collaborated with Elvis Presley on some of his most famous albums and movies (including the Elvis’ Christmas Album!) Originally sung by Kay Starr – this song has been covered over and over … but in this case, nothing beats the original. Sadly no video of Kay singing this song exists – so this will have to do … and yes, Kay is alive and well at age 92!

Be sure to join me for my 22nd annual edition of The Night Before on XPN; 24 hours of me and my eclectic collection of seasonal sounds – midnight to midnight on the 24th day of December … only on WXPN.

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Download a World Cafe performance by Ethiopian musican Hailu Mergia

Hailu Megria and Low Mentality | Photo courtesy of the artist
Hailu Megria and Low Mentality | Photo courtesy of the artist

Hailu Mergia is a keyboard player and Ethiopian music star who now lives in the U.S. He came to World Cafe‘s attention through Awesome Tapes From Africa, the website where Brian Shimkovitz posts cassette tapes of African music he discovers. That’s what led Shimkovitz to Mergia. Continue reading →

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company