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

Sonja Sofya | photo by Lisa Schaffer | | via

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 →


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 →


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 →


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

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

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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Listen to David Sweeny (aka Johnny Showcase) on the 25 O’Clock Podcast

Johnny Showcase
Johnny Showcase | Photo by Jeremy Quattlebaum for WXPN

Anyone who has seen a show from Johnny Showcase and The Mystic Ticket know that what they do on stage is more than just an ordinary concert. They are musicians who wholeheartedly commit themselves to taking on a character and do so to make the event an experience like no other for their audience. In describing the latest episode of his 25 O’Clock Podcast, Dan Drago admits that when he contacted David Sweeny (aka Johnny Showcase) to come on the show, Sweeny countered by asking if Drago wanted to interview Sweeny himself, or his character, being Johnny Showcase. Yes, it is a tad confusing, but it speaks to how serious Sweeny is about his transformation into a performer separate from his everyday self. Continue reading →


Nerd out about everything music with Nik Greeley on the 25 O’Clock Podcast

Nik Greeley | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN |
Nik Greeley | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN |

If there was any doubt that he’s a massive music aficionado, the first few minutes of Nik Greeley‘s appearance on the 25 O’ Clock Podcast handily squelch them. The guy nerds out about everything from The Rolling Stones to Radiohead’s Kid A (which he first heard as a South Jersey 10-year-old kid) with host Daniel Drago, enthusing about the music he loves and how it helped shape him as an artist.

Along the way, he talks about his admiration for dedicated local promoters like the R5 Productions crew and the Ardmore Music Hall folks, discusses his fondness for the jam rock scene both local (Out of the Beardspace) and national (Phish), and tells an awesome story about meeting George Clinton. He also performs a new / unreleased acoustic number called “Maybe There’s A Reason” that has Sam Cooke vibes in spades. Continue reading →