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Keep Ya Head Up: Stream the November (Rain) 2018 edition of What’s The Frequency?! on WXPN

WTFXPN | still from video

On the second Friday of every month, WXPN’s John Vettese hosts WHAT’S THE FREQUENCY?!?!!, a four-hour, request driven showcase of 90s and 90s-adjacent music. If you can’t tune in live, we’ve got archives of each episode for you here on The Key.

Sometimes I go into WTFXPN knowing exactly what I want to play. And sometimes the request channels totally take the reins.

On a soggy, cold Friday night in the month of November, the year of 2018, the latter occurred, with some listeners asking for deep cuts from OutKast, Beat Happening, Rainer Maria and Faith No More; other listers making requests in response to previous requests (Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance” in response to The Mountain Goats’ “No Children” and its “I hope you die” chorus, a parallel that’s more than coincidental), and me racing to keep up with it all.

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You And Your Autumn Sweater: Listen to the October 2018 edition of What’s The Frequency?! on WXPN

#WTFXPN, August 2018

On the second Friday of every month, WXPN’s John Vettese hosts WHAT’S THE FREQUENCY?!?!!, a four-hour, request driven showcase of 90s and 90s-adjacent music. If you can’t tune in live, we’ve got archives of each episode for you here on The Key.

October is my favorite month of the year and the second Friday is my favorite day of the month, so the October edition of What’s The Frequency is always something special.

This time around, I delved into the autumnal vibes and moods with goth-leaning nuggets and otherwise ominous selections from The Cure, Angelfish, Dr. Octagon and DJ Shadow. Indie rock had a strong showing, and thanks to the recent Death Cab for Cutie double header at The Tower Theater, we mixed in some Letters to Cleo, Number One Cup, and that dog. And the requests were out of control this month, with listeners recommending fantastic cuts by Dub Narcotic Soundsystem, Ghost Town DJs, Sleater-Kinney, Slint and more.

Listen to an archive of the entire show below, subscribe to the official #WTFXPN Spotify Playlist here, and tune in for the next edition on November 9th, 2018.

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Failure and Hum keep the 90s torch burning bright at the Electric Factory

Failure | Photo by Matthew Shaver | brightloud.com
Failure | Photo by Matthew Shaver | brightloud.com

I don’t wanna be accused of hyperbole here, but the 90’s may have been the greatest decade for music in the history of time (yes,  including the 60’s).  John Vettese is doing a swell job of proving that with his show What’s The Frequency??? #WTFXPN (full disclosure: he’s my editor).  What could be a more wonderful way to celebrate the 90’s than on ‘Frequency’ Friday with a pair of woefully underplayed acts of the 90’s?

Failure began as so many behemoths did, with Steve Albini behind the boards.  Some touring with Tool and they should have been next up roster after Soundgarden.  Twas not to be, and they reached the status of popular bands that never quite broke through the surface (see Far and Quicksand).  Hum was a one hit wonder (if you let the charts tell you what a hit is) and much more expansive than that title implies.  More dynamic and dirty than their contemporaries, with a tendency to drone on a bit, and make the unpolished feel polished. Continue reading →

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Announcing What’s The Frequency?: The music of the 90s on XPN

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What’s The Frequency? premieres this Friday night on XPN

The music I grew up with in the 90s is often thought of as one of two things. But beyond the spheres of grunge / alternative (Nirvana / Smashing Pumpkins) and hip-hop / pop (Biggie / TLC), there’s a rich tapestry of music. Ryan Adams got his start in the 90s, as did Ted Leo. Belle and Sebastian and PJ Harvey were in their respective heydays in the 90s. And it’s all awesome stuff, which is why I’m excited to launch a monthly show exploring the decade on WXPN. Continue reading →