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Driftwood Soldier talks religion, the roots of rock n’ roll and Porchfest on 25 O’Clock

driftwood solder
Driftwood Soldier | photo by Kyle Cassidy | courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia gutter folk duo Driftwood Soldier joins Dan Drago on his latest episode of the 25 O’Clock Podcast. In addition to their latest EP, Blessings and Blasphemy, bandmates Owen Lyman-Schmidt and Bobby Szafranski are co-organizers of West Philly Porchfest, and they discuss both things over the course of an hour and 20 minutes. Continue reading →

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Listen to Marley McNamara talk about building your own path in music, managing The Districts and more on 25 O’Clock

Marley McNamara | via 25 O’Clock

One of the hardest-working behind-the-scenes people in Philadelphia’s music community is Marley McNamara — manager of The Districts, The Dove and the Wolf and more, show-runner at Johnny Brenda’s and all around rock and roll enthusiast.

This week, she appeared on the latest episode of the 25 O’Clock Podcast with host Dan Drago, and the two talk about how McNamara forged her own path in the music world, how she found the artists she works with and why she prefers working in places that value musicians for their creative vision and not their commercial appeal.

Listen for lots of conversation on the Philly music scene, about how Car Seat Headrest helped her stay tapped into music fandom, why The Districts are distancing themselves from “Funeral Beds” and the reason she’s totally okay with that. Stream it below. Continue reading →

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Check out 25 O’Clock’s smorgasbord conversation with Hezekiah Jones

Hezekiah Jones
Hezekiah Jones | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN | cameronpollackphotography.com

Raphael Cutrufello, known through his project Hezekiah Jones, stopped by the 25 O’Clock podcast for another conversation with the always engaging Dan Drago. Although this is a music-centered podcast, it’s always fun when the cast really just shoots the bull with each other, which is exactly what the two did for over an hour. Cutrufello dives into why he really loves his garden, all the weird crap he digs up in his lawn, and how he really digs Glenn Miller and The Singing Nun. Listen to the conversation below. Continue reading →

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Listen to locals Ju-Taun talk deep Philly roots on an episode of 25 O’Clock

Ju-Taun | photo by Stan Golden for WXPN
Ju-Taun | photo by Stan Golden for WXPN

Dan Drago’s 25 O’Clock podcast has nabbed many of Philadelphia’s key players over the past few years, and the most recent episode featuring James, Jake, and Samoeun of Jersey’s Ju-Taun is no exception. The massive hour and a half talk goes into James and Jake’s upbringing with their promoter and producer father and Samoeun’s coming to America, capped off with a performance from the genre-bending three piece.

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Sonja Sofya talks pop studiousness, Steely Dan and feminism on the 25 O’Clock podcast

Sonja Sofya | photo by Lisa Schaffer | skylerbug.com | via facebook.com/sonjasofya

The new installment of the 25 O’Clock Podcast features Philly keyboardist, vocalist, songwriter and collaborator Sonja Sofya, who has a lively and wide-ranging 90-minute conversation with host Dan Drago.

Of course her great Patterns We Know LP, released in the fall, is discussed, as well as the work with fellow Philly artists like Ross Bellenoit that went into completing it. Sonja shares her background in studying music at a rigorous academic level during high school and college  — she admits she did not have stage parents but kinda wishes she had. She and Drago contrast classical and pop approaches to writing, and how the ideal lies somewhere in between, balancing studiousness and accessibility. Steely Dan is brought up as an example of this middle ground, and they share a laugh over the divide: people are either Steely Dan lovers or haters (they’re both lovers, I’m not). The same can also be said, they note, for Lady Gaga (which, vice versa).

But the conversation gets super interesting when Drago makes an offhand comment about the “amount of quality female-fronted music coming out of the city the past few years.” Sonja returns to that phrase, “female-fronted,” a little bit later in the show. “You feel like that’s a recent phenomenon?” she asks, turning the tables on her host, and there’s a very uncertain pause that follows. Continue reading →

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Listen to The Lawsuits’ Josh Friedman talk recording, touring and more on 25 O’Clock

The Lawsuits | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN
The Lawsuits | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN

Dan Drago, the host of the music conversation podcast 25 O’Clock, had a very special guest on this week’s show –Josh Friedman, drummer of Philly staples The Lawsuits. Listen and download the episode below, as Dan and Josh talk local venues, the band’s extensive touring schedule and unconventional recording styles, as well as discussing (with great praise) Beck’s Odelay. Continue reading →

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Ubiquitous Philadelphia videographer Bob Sweeney guests on the latest episode of 25 O’Clock

@sweeneybob recording #CoverClub

A photo posted by RDITS (@rootdownintheshadow) on

I can’t even begin to guess the number of times Bob Sweeney’s videos have appeared in the pages of The Key. Dude has worked with a remarkable range of Philadelphia artists, from Moor Mother to Nik GreeleyThe Bul Bey to The LawsuitsZilla Rocca to Queen of Jeans and more.

Bob is the guest on the latest episode of the 25 O’ Clock Podcast, and he gets in a long and wide-ranging conversation with host Dan Drago about the hustle for video work, coming of age to 90s independent cinema, the trappings of nostalgia (“it’s okay as long as you don’t live in it”) and embracing one’s roots in small town America (in Bob’s case, Scranton; in Dan’s case, Rochester). Continue reading →

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Listen to “Less Talking, More Tunes” for the 55th 25 O’ Clock Podcast

abi reimold
Abi Reimold | photo by Em Dubin | courtesy of the artist

This week, 25 O’ Clock Podcast‘s Dan Drago decided to step away from his typically interview-driven episodes in exchange for something a little more laid back with a lot more music.

The 55th episode, dubbed “Less Talking, All Tunes,” consists of previously unreleased performances from past guests and studio tracks from new / forthcoming albums. This playlist dominate the hour long podcast, with occasional interjections from Drago, who decided to change it up in lieu of what he calls a “hell of a fall” for any number of reasons. Continue reading →

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Listen to a candid conversation with A Day Without Love’s Brian Walker on the 25 O’ Clock podcast

Brian Walker of A Day Without Love
Brian Walker | Photo by Abi Reimold

Back in July, Brian Walker of A Day Without Love posted a moving and poignant essay on his website. Under the headline Being Black in a White DIY Scene, Walker explores exactly that: his own experiences and frustrations as both an artist and a music fan in a scene that preaches inclusivity but doesn’t always practice it. Continue reading →

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25 O’Clock celebrates 50 episodes with live music and conversation from the Philadelphia Podcast Fest

Night Windows | Photo via facebook.com/nightwindows
Ben Hughes (center) of Night Windows is featured on Episode 50 of 25 O’Clock | Photo via facebook.com/nightwindows

Time flies when you’re having fun, and suddenly here we are listening to episode 50 of a great local music podcast.

Over the last two years, host Dan Drago has had some pretty interesting guests on the 25 O’Clock show: Dani Mari, Joe Reinhart, MH the Verb, Bruno Catrambone and dozens more (even The Key’s own John Vettese!). We’ve come to expect bi-weekly installments of diverse conversation that pull back the curtain on both the music and the musicians, and this milestone recording is no different.

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