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Robert Drake’s Christmas Countdown: Trip Shakespeare help us enjoy “Snow Days”

trip shakespeare

It’s just 8 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’s song comes from a band that knows snow days, as they are from Minneapolis. Trip Shakespeare got picked up by A&M in 1990 and released Across The Universe. While a commercial flop (selling only 30,000 copies), it produced one of my favorite winter songs – period. I play it every Night Before since I started 21 years ago… it’s tradition! I give you “Snow Days” by Trip Shakespeare.

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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Watch a new live video for Dr. Dog’s “Heart It Races”

Dr. Dog at The Electric Factory | Photo by Caitlin McCann | caitlinmccannphoto.com
Dr. Dog at The Electric Factory | Photo by Caitlin McCann | caitlinmccannphoto.com

Okay, okay, technically “Heart It Races” is not Dr. Dog‘s song. It’s a cover of a single from the aughties Australian indie pop band Architecture in Helsinki. When AiH released a 2007 remix single for the song, they included a couple covers of the song – including one by our Philly boys, who at that point were best known for their We All Belong album and touring with My Morning Jacket. Continue reading →

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Robert Drake’s Christmas Countdown: The Roches perform Christmas classic “Hallelujah” live

The Roaches
The Roaches

It’s just 9 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! There are just a dozen or so MUST-HAVE recent Christmas CDs and one is We Three Kings by The Roches. Filled with beautiful harmonies and unique takes on classic songs – but nothing beats when The Roches perform “Hallelujah.” Fact is, they’ve been singing it for 40 years and, in 1979 at the behest of Paul Simon, The Roches were asked to perform it coast-to-coast on NBC’s Saturday Night Live … the rest is history.

Here they are just before that big break, performing the song that would put them on the radar – during the fall of 1978 at the Capitol Theare in Passaic, NJ.

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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Watch Bob Dylan perform a concert for one lucky fan at the Academy of Music

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan

When Bob Dylan was in town last month to play three concerts at the Academy of Music, we told you about a concert he performed for one fan, Fredrik Wikingsson. The concert was part of an ongoing Swedish film series entitled “Experiment Ensam” or (Experiment Alone), where people experience things completely alone that are usually reserved for large crowds. The director, Anders Helgeson, set-up the private show, and paid Dylan an undisclosed amount of money. Helgeson then asked his friend and TV personality, Fredrik Wikingsson to take part in the experiment. Continue reading →

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Robert Drake’s Christmas Countdown: The Brett Domino Trio covers “Fairytale of New York”

Brett Domino Trio
Brett Domino Trio

It’s just 11 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 spotlight a Christmas song that should NEVER be covered – as the original by The Pogues, featuring Kirsty MacColl, is one of my all-time favorites. However, a few years ago musician/comedian Rob J. Madin produced a quirky cover of “Fairytale Of New York” as his alter-ego Brett Domino and it has stuck with me ever since. I give you The Brett Domino Trio (yes, there’s just two of them) with English pop singer Alexa Goddard and their version of the classic.

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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Justin Townes Earle’s winter tour brings him to Arden Hall, Strand Capitol

Justin Townes Earle | Photo courtesy of the artist
Justin Townes Earle | Photo courtesy of the artist

Americana troubadour Justin Townes Earle is releasing his latest record, Absent Fathers, in January. It’s a companion LP to his September record Single Mothers, and in support of the new collection, Earle is going on a winter tour that brings him through our area twice. He’ll hit up Arden Gild Hall in Arden Delaware on February 26th, and then will play the Strand Capitol Performing Arts Center in York on February 27th; Gill Landry opens both shows. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. This fall, Earle played a World Cafe Session while on tour through Philadelphia; listen to the session here and watch a video for “My Baby Drives” below. Continue reading →

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Robert Drake’s Christmas Countdown: Buster Poindexter kicks things off with “Zat You, Santa Claus?”

Buster Poindexter
Buster Poindexter

It’s just 12 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! With twelve days to go, we start things off with the ghost of the New York Dolls, David Johansen, aka Buster Poindexter, with the holiday classic “Zat You, Santa Claus?”

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.

Continue reading →