By

#XPN5050: 2004

For fifty weeks this year, we’re celebrating the music of a specific year every Saturday on WXPN. We’ll be choosing the years randomly; for this week’s #XPN5050, Julian Booker is putting the musical spotlight on the year 2004.

AhhhhhhhhhhhhhI’M COMING OUT OF MY CAGE AND I’VE BEEN listening to the records that we had on repeat 15 years ago. This week, for a spotlight on 2004, it’s all about the beats and bravado of Franz Ferdinand, Kanye West, The Killers, and Modest Mouse. We’ll hear sky-high anthems from Arcade Fire, raw indie rock burners by The Walkmen, and contemplative ballads by Mindy Smith.

Looking for folk-pop? How about Feist or Nellie McKay. Some orchestrated indie rock? Regina Spektor’s Soviet Kitsch, coming right up. Some funky love jams from Prince? Of course! Continue reading →

By

#XPN5050: 1982

For fifty weeks this year, we’re celebrating the music of a specific year every Saturday on WXPN. We’ll be choosing the years randomly; for this week’s #XPN5050, Dan Reed is putting the musical spotlight on the year 1982.

Combat RockNebraska1999. Need we say more?

The year 1982 was awash in the glitz, glam, and hair products of New Wave acts like A Flock of Seagulls, Culture Club, and Adam Ant, who wrote impossibly catchy music to go with their aggressive fashion statements. It was the year Marvin Gaye got “Sexual Healing,” Neil Young went supersonic on “Transformer Man,” and Queen and David Bowie found themselves “Under Pressure” in one of rock’s most enduring duets. It was the year that Toto’s “Africa” topped the charts for the first time. Continue reading →

By

#XPN5050: 1971

For fifty weeks this year, we’re celebrating the music of a specific year every Saturday on WXPN. We’ll be choosing the years randomly; for this week’s #XPN5050, Julien Booker is putting the musical spotlight on the year 1971.

48 years ago, the music world was alight with a heavy-hiting hit parade of now classics. Roll call: Carole King’s Tapestry. Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On. Joni Mitchell’s Blue. David Bowie’s Hunky Dory. Sly and the Family Stone’s There’s A Riot Goin’ On. Led Zeppelin’s untitled album. (Or Zeppelin IV, if you prefer. Or Zoso. You know, the album with “Stairway to Heaven” and symbols and songs about Middle-Earth. Continue reading →

By

#XPN5050: 2000

For fifty weeks this year, we’re celebrating the music of a specific year every Saturday on WXPN. We’ll be choosing the years randomly; for this week’s #XPN5050, Bruce Warren is putting the musical spotlight on the year 2000.

The millennium turned, and gifted us with OutKast’s Stankonia, P.J. Harvey’s Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea, Radiohead’s Kid A and so much more.

Quirky indie rockers Grandaddy reached a whole new audience with The Sophtware Slump, Steve Earle wowed us with Transcendental Blues, and D’Angelo released the immortal Voodoo, with that jaw-dropping video for “Untitled (How Does It Feel).”  Continue reading →

By

#XPN5050: 1987

 For fifty weeks this year, we’re celebrating the music of a specific year every Saturday on WXPN. We’ll be choosing the years randomly; for this week’s #XPN5050, Robert Drake is putting the musical spotlight on the year 1987.

32 years ago, U2 reached new heights with The Joshua Tree, Sinéad O’Connor made her debut with The Lion and The Cobra, Bruce Springsteen got sentimental on Tunnel of Love, INXS made the world Kick, Eric B. and Rakim arrived with Paid In Full, and R.E.M. declared that it was the end of the world as we know it (and they felt fine).
Continue reading →

By

#XPN5050: 1972

For fifty weeks this year, we’re celebrating the music of a specific year every Saturday on WXPN. We’ll be choosing the years randomly; for this week’s #XPN5050, Helen Leicht is putting the musical spotlight on the year 1972.

This week’s #XPN5050 takes us back 47 years, to 1972. It was a leap year with two additional leap seconds, making it the longest year in history — and to those who were watching the Watergate scandal begin to unfold on the news, it probably felt like the longest, too. But that’s where music comes in handy — in 1972, music was as much of an escape from the real world, and an outlet to process it, as ever.

David Bowie reinvented himself as Ziggy Stardust, and the Rolling Stones released their 10th studio album Exile on Main St. Roberta Flack’s version of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” topped the charts, and Philly’s own Todd Rundgren released his biggest hit, “Hello It’s Me.” ABBA formed that year, though they were still known by the less-catchy name “Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid.” Continue reading →

By

#XPN5050: 1993

For fifty weeks this year, we’re celebrating the music of a specific year every Saturday on WXPN. We’ll be choosing the years randomly; for this week’s #XPN5050, Julian Booker is putting the musical spotlight on the year 1993.

26 years ago, everyone was talking about this new thing called the internet, and the introduction of web browsers made it easy for us to welcome this new technology as a part of our daily lives. The way we listened to music was changing, too. By ’93, CDs were beginning to outsell cassettes, and you could take your tunes on the go with a Sony Walkman that would only set you back 30 bucks.

Mariah Carey’s “Dreamlover” topped the Billboard charts for eight weeks straight, and Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle became the fastest-selling hip-hop album ever. Beck burst onto the scene with “Loser,” and Radiohead released their debut album, Pablo Honey. The Cranberries also made their debut that year, giving us songs like “Dreams” and “Linger.” Continue reading →

By

#XPN5050: 1980

For fifty weeks this year, we’re celebrating the music of a specific year every Saturday on WXPN. We’ll be choosing the years randomly; for this week’s #XPN5050, Kristen Kurtis is putting the musical spotlight on the year 2013.

We’ve been circling relatively modern times a lot in recent weeks on the #XPN5050, so this week we’re seriously throwing it back. 1980 was the year of “Hungry Heart” and Bruce Springsteen’s The River. It was the year of Kurtis Blow’s “The Breaks” and one of hip-hop’s first major advances into the mainstream. It was the year of Pretenders and “Brass in Pocket,” and U2’s Boy and “I Will Follow.”  Continue reading →

By

#XPN5050: 2013

For fifty weeks this year, we’re celebrating the music of a specific year every Saturday on WXPN. We’ll be choosing the years randomly; for this week’s #XPN5050, Mike Vasilikos is putting the musical spotlight on the year 2013.

It was the year Daft Punk got lucky, Jason Isbell took us to Stockholm, and Lorde celebrated royals. It was the year of Beyoncé’s self-titled, Arcade Fire’s Reflektor and Kurt Vile’s Wakin On a Pretty Daze. Listen to our playlist of 2013 music below! Continue reading →

By

#XPN5050: 2008

For fifty weeks this year, we’re celebrating the music of a specific year every Saturday on WXPN. We’ll be choosing the years randomly; for this week’s #XPN5050, Helen Leicht is putting the musical spotlight on the year 2008.

Eleven years ago, My Morning Jacket felt Evil Urges and got super weird on their fifth studio LP, while Vampire Weekend and MGMT made the blog rock world explode with jams like “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” and “Kids.” Electronic singer-songwriter Lykke Li debuted with “Little Bit” and “Dance Dance Dance,” Santigold stepped up with “L.E.S. Artistes” and her self-titled debut, and Kanye West got sentimental and sensitive on 808s and Heartbreak.

From Philly, The War on Drugs debuted with Wagonwheel Blues, and Amos Lee marked his Last Days at the Lodge. And even though they’re not from Philly, The Hold Steady has such a home in the XPN-verse, it’s hard not to remember how big they were in 2008 with Stay Positive and “Sequestered in Memphis.”
Continue reading →