Radiohead, Stevie Nicks, Janet Jackson and more will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Radiohead | photo by Natalie Piserchio |

The votes have been tallied and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019 runs the gamut from British rock to American R&B.

The seven artists that will be inducted are The Cure, Def Leppard, Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks, Radiohead, Roxy Music, and The Zombies. They will be honored at the 34th annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Friday, March 29, 2019, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Tickets will be available to the public in the new year, and the event will be broadcast live on HBO. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Barns Courtney at The Foundry, Janet Jackson at Wells Fargo Center

Barns Courtney | Firefly Music Festival 2017 | Photo by John Vettese

Barns Courtney returns to Philly tonight at The Foundry at The Fillmore to promote his September LP release, The Attractions of Youth. The British folk pop rocker was seen on the small stages at Firefly Music Festival this past summer, and hasn’t played Philly since 2016, so this show has been a much-anticipated return. Get details on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar and watch the video for “Fire” below. Continue reading →


Just Announced: Janet Jackson’s massive North American tour stops in Philly and Bethlehem in November

Janet Jackson| via
Janet Jackson | via

Our girl Janet Jackson is back after postponing her ‘Unbreakable’ tour multiple times, announcing the ‘State of the World’ tour. This 56-date run kicks off in September before heading up Sands Bethlehem Events and the Wells Fargo Center on November 11th and 13th, respectively. She wants this to be a celebration, saying “It’s [the tour] not about politics. It’s about people, the world, relationships, and just love.”

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Link Roundup: Q&A w/The Dismemberment Plan’s Travis Morrison, Janet Jackson plays the hits in AC

The Dismemberment Plan’s Travis Morrison “’Here’s to another goddamn new year,’ Travis Morrison speak-sings on Dismemberment Plan live staple and crowd-favorite ‘The Ice of Boston.’ Here’s to it, indeed. On Jan. 20, The Plan will perform on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon before embarking on a short tour—its first in more than seven years—that will include a series of shows on the East Coast, two in Chicago, and a week in Japan. The trek begins shortly after Barsuk’s deluxe reissue of the Plan’s Emergency & I, which gets vinyl treatment for the first time, complete with a handful of bonus tracks and extensive liner notes that include an oral history of the band compiled by The A.V. Club’s own Josh Modell.” (The A.V. Club)

Janet Jackson’s Coming To AC To Play ONLY The Hits! “You can watch the video above to hear Janet herself talk about her upcoming tour, but all you really need to know is that she’s coming to the Borgata in Atlantic City on March 25th and 26th (it’s the closest she’ll come to Philly); tickets are $95-$135 and go on sale this Friday morning; and she’ll only be playing songs from her new 34-track compilation album Number Ones, which means you won’t have to sit through any crappy new stuff. Win!” (Make Major Moves)

Senate to try again on controversial antipiracy bill | Media Maverick – CNET News “The U.S. Senate judiciary committee will take another crack at arming the government with broad antipiracy powers. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the judiciary committee’s chairman, said today that the government must take action against ‘online criminals’ who harm American jobs by obtaining the nation’s intellectual property without paying for it.” (CNet)

Sign of the Times: Sony Closes Major CD-Manufacturing Plant in New Jersey “After 50 years in operation, Sony is closing a major CD-manufacturing plant in New Jersey. The killer: the shift to digital music downloads and a soft economy. Surprise. Once the Sony DADC plant in Pitman ceases manufacturing operations, about 300 workers will lose their jobs. Sorry guys.” (Hypebot)


#XPN5050: 1986

For fifty weeks over the next 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 1986.

For a turbulent year of alarming news stories — from the Challenger to Chernobyl to Mad Cow Disease and the Iran-Contra Affair — the music of 1986 was equally turbulent, and not easily contained in a box.

You had Paul Simon collaborate with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the Boyoyo Boys to record Graceland, the album that defined the second era of the veteran singer-songwriter’s career, and an eternal best-rock/pop-album-of-all-time contender.

You saw New Order release its fourth LP, Brotherhood, topping charts in its native United Kingdom and getting a warm reception stateside as well, solidifying the Manchester band’s transition from post-punk to electronic dance, particularly on the hit single “Bizarre Love Triangle.”

Run D.M.C. and Beastie Boys brought hip-hop to the mainstream with Raising Hell and Licensed to Ill, respectively, while Janet Jackson re-invented herself as a pop goddess on Control and They Might Be Giants debuted with their self-titled collection cerebral indie rock.

Other albums with hits galore on the mainstream and college rock scenes were Prince’s Parade, Madonna’s True Blue, and R.E.M.’s Life’s Rich Pageant. 

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Mariah Hall’s Top 7 TV Soundtracks of 2018

The cast of GLOW season 2 | via YouTube

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2018 incredible. Today, Key contributor Mariah Hall recaps seven of her favorite television soundtracks from 2018.

I don’t watch movies anymore. I can’t remember the last time I went to a movie theater, and there’s something about a two hour running time that makes me want to scroll past— maybe it’s an underlying fear of commitment, or the fact that my iPhone has destroyed my attention span. TV shows are so much easier to invest in, and Netflix has made them abundantly accessible. Click on a promising pilot and six hours later you’ve finished an entire season and all of the munchies in your kitchen cabinet. The only way to escape that nagging hole in your chest is to start the next show, and one session of binge watching has turned into a full-blown addiction. Welcome to the Golden Age of Television. Here is my roundup of best binge-worthy shows with killer soundtracks of 2018. Continue reading →


Christine and the Queens hold court at Union Transfer

Christine and the Queens | photo by Matthew Shaver for WXPN

Héloïse Letissier is a star. That may not be news to you if you’ve been following her work as Christine and the Queens since her 2014 debut Chaleur Humaine, or even its English 2015 translation simply titled Christine and the Queens. It might not even be a surprise if you’re just getting acquainted with her via this year’s commanding, life-affirming sophomore album Chris. There is a difference, however, between recognizing stardom and witnessing stardom, in real time, on stage. Letissier’s performance at Union Transfer last Friday was a showcase of stardom at its best. Equal parts vivacious, vulnerable, and virtuosic, it saw the radiant French popstart bring the kind of spectacle usually reserved for big arenas and amphitheaters to an indie club without losing any of its grandeur. Continue reading →