Philadelphia’s Strand Of Oaks is just one week away from dropping its latest LP, Hard Love. We’ve already heard two of its anthemic, hard-rocking singles, “Radio Kids” and “Rest Of It”, and while the former boasted both a traditional music video and a lyric video, the latter enjoyed no such luxury. That is, until now. Stream the lyric video for “Rest of It” below. Continue reading →
Preston Elliot had starry-eyed expectations as he drove to Philadelphia in 1995. He was on his way to a new gig as afternoon host at an alternative rock radio station, a format he was very excited to transition into; it was also his first radio job in a major market after several years of hosting top 40 in St. Louis. Visions of an immaculate production studio with big, shiny, state-of-the-art equipment and all the comforts of a big city kept him excited on the 18-hour trip.
And then he got to WDRE.
The station was coming out of a bumpy three years at 103.9 FM on the Philadelphia airwaves, mixing various degrees of local hosting with a simulcast from a parent station in Long Island. It had recently re-established itself with an all-local airstaff broadcasting out of a studio in a Jenkintown office park. A studio that, to put it mildly, was rough around the edges.
“I walked in, and Bret Hamilton was on the air,” remembers Elliot . “He saw the look on my face, we exchanged pleasantries. And then he said ‘Yeah, I thought the same thing when I first stepped in here as well.’ He could read my mind.”
The host microphone was held onto the stand with bumper stickers; the wall was soundproofed with blue foam. The booth was small; Elliot, who now has a much more spacious studio co-hosting the Preston & Steve morning show on WMMR, likens it to a tiny closet. In short, DRE was kind of a dump.
“But it ended up being really really fun,” Elliot remembers. “It was kitschy, it was cool, it had attitude.” And that fit perfectly with the station’s voice in the regional radio landscape. “How ratty that studio was gave us as jocks this feeling of edginess, of not being polished by any means at all.” Continue reading →
Marco Benevento has spent the last decade making a name for himself as a jazzy experimental rock artist, but his musical personality isn’t nearly as furrowed-brow-serious as that description may make him seem.
Just take one look at him in the “Heavy Metal Floating Upstream” video we’re premiering today, clad in his signature tie-dyed, candy stripe suit and hot pink Ray Bans playing one of the catchiest songs off of last year’s The Story of Fred Short LP. He’s loose, easygoing, and totally engaging as he rocks away on his keyboard/synth rig (as anyone in the audience for his 2014 Free at Noon can attest to). There’s a Jim Jamesian quality to the sparkling brightness of the song, the melodic keyboard and splashy cymbals elevating it to cinematic heights.
Recently, 13-year-old reel to reel tapes of some of Bob Marley‘s live recordings were discovered in London, and now those recordings have been restored. The analog tapes had been sitting in a decrepit London hotel for some 40 years; many of which had suffered water damage, but have now been restored. The tapes were discovered at the old Kensal Rise hotel where Marley stayed in the 70’s when he was performing in London and Paris. Continue reading →
Two hours of new music (without Super Bowl commercial interruption) commences at 8pm tonight on XPN. We’re excited to dip into “Mike’s Mailbag” and pull out some listener submissions. Plus we’ll hear what Father John Misty has been up to, musically speaking. One of the best rock albums of the year so far just came out. It’s from the duo Japandroids and you’ll want to crank your stereo up for that one. Also new tunes from our Free at Noon guest Flo Morrissey & Matthew E. White, the Bay Area’s Sjowgren, and much more … Continue reading →