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Lenny Kravitz proves he’s still a rockstar force to be reckoned with at The Met

Lenny Kravitz | photo by Jamie Stow for WXPN

Lenny Kravitz has a palpable rockstar energy, and you can feel it whether you’re pressed against the back wall of The Met or sitting three feet away from him. He’s a legend whose influence branches across all aspects of funk, soul, and rock, and his charisma will touch you whether you’ve been a decades-long fan or not. The Raise Vibration Tour solidifies his top-tier rank among artists who know exactly how to work a room and refresh classic hits that have been played hundreds of times. Continue reading →

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#XPN5050: 1998

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, John Vettese is putting the musical spotlight on the year 1998.

An absolutely, utterly ridiculously number of now-classic albums first made their way into the world in 1998. Neutral Milk Hotel’s in The Aeroplane Over The Sea. Lauryn Hill’s Mis-Education. Tori Amos’ From The Choirgirl Hotel. Billy Bragg and Wilco’s Mermaid Avenue. Air’s Moon Safari. Massive Attack’s Mezzanine. Madonna’s Ray of Light. Belle and Sebastian’s Boy With The Arab Strap. Jay-Z’s Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life. Lucinda Williams’ Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.

That’s just a short list — I could go on and on, honestly — and outside the full album zone, think about the hits that year from Fatboy Slim, Pearl Jam, Semisonic, Fastball, Lenny Kravitz, Natalie Merchant, Soul Coughing, New Radicals and so much more.

Suffice it to say, 1998 was a solid year for music through and through, and it was a thing of joy to celebrate it on the #XPN5050 this week.  Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Maureen Walsh’s top five Instagrammers to follow in 2018

Ernest Stuart’s Instagram | still from video

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2018 incredible. Today, Key contributor Maureen Walsh recaps the year’s best Instagram follows.

Tired of the arguments and pettiness of Facebook and Twitter, this year I (and many others) began focusing more of my time on Instagram. Seeing pictures of cats, sunny vacations, concerts, and fun hangouts beats witnessing one awkward argument after another between strangers.

There are five people that I have been following on Instagram that are funny, talented, and Gritty. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Hiss Golden Messenger, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Caracara, State Property and more

DJ Jazzy Jeff | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
DJ Jazzy Jeff | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

It’s another chill week, but we’re fortunate in Philly when a chill week still means we’ve got a diverse spread of concert options large and small. The DIY scene goes acoustic in the First Unitarian Church side chapel, a Philly legend cuts it up on the 1’s and 2’s, a cult favorite of reggae at Kung Fu Necktie, and a reunion by a force of nature in 90s rap: here are ten concerts to see all around Philadelphia in the next seven days.  Continue reading →

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Philly Jazz Guide: Top picks for live music around town in October

Trombone Shorty | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com

Though it doesn’t have the reputation of landmark rock festivals like Woodstock or Monterey Pop, the October Revolution in Jazz was at least as monumental for the free jazz scene. Organized by trumpeter/composer Bill Dixon in 1964, the four-day event was the first of its kind and included pioneering figures in the music like Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, Steve Lacy and Andrew Hill. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Gabriel Garzón-Montano at The Foundry, LP at World Cafe Live, RFA at PhilaMOCA

Gabriel Garzón-Montano
Gabriel Garzón-Montano | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN

Multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Garzón-Montano brings his dynamic debut LP Jardin to The Foundry tonight. The Brooklyn neo-R&B artist stopped by World Cafe to talk about the record with host Talia Schlanger recently, recounting his big break with Lenny Kravitz, the plethora of fruit and plant references in his lyrics, and his family’s musical history. Tickets and information for the all-ages show can be found here. Watch “Crawl” below.

Continue reading →