The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Heyward Howkins, Old Man Luedecke, Dana Alexandra

Photo by Kellie O'Heron
Photo by Kellie O’Heron

Weekender brought their Spanish Peaks EP in for a Key Studio Session, recording the debut effort’s four tracks live.  The fuzzy psych / pop four-piece are currently working a full-length with Kyle Johnson set for release early next year, and they’ll be playing tonight’s Making Time $2 Bill show at Voyeur Nightclub.  Stream and download “Spanish Peaks” below and get more info on the show here.

This week we celebrated the release of Be Frank, Furness along with Philadelphia native Heyward Howkins.  The Unlocked feature on the local singer-songwriter produced a stellar review, an enlightening interview and a free download of “Praline Country.”  Stream and download the track below and check out the full profile on Howkins here.

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Contest: Win a private soundcheck performance and meet & greet with Heartless Bastards (playing Union Transfer 10/29)

Heartless Bastards want to perform “only for you” during the sound check for their Union Transfer show on October 29th.  Contest winners will be invited to sit in on the band’s sound check, followed by a meet & greet with Erika Wennerstrom and the guys before enjoying the main event.  The bluesy rock band is touring in support of their 2012 record Arrow, and they have been impressing crowds with their high-energy live show from coast to coast.  Also performing  are Future Birds and Dana Falconberry.  Tickets are $18 here; doors open at 8:00 p.m. for the all-ages show. To enter the contest, comment below with your favorite track off of Arrow, then watch Heartless Bastards’ video for “Only for You” below.


XPoNential Fest: Dana Alexandra makes a splash on the Marina Stage (photos, audio, setlist)

Central Pennsylvania’s own Dana Alexandra kicked off the third day of the XPoNential Music Festival with an energetic performance at the Marina Stage. Philadelphia rapper Kuf Knotz joined her onstage for a song, and Alexandra enthusiastically interacted with the crowd, cooling them off with water balloons and water pistols. Check out a photo gallery above, and see the setlist below. here (via the WXPN media player). Continue reading →


Download The Key’s XPoNential Music Festival 2012 Sampler!

The 2012 XPoNential Music Festival is upon us, and we’re happy to say that, along with the national big names Wilco and Counting Crows headlining, we’ve got a solid offering of some of our favorite homegrown music on the bill. Dr. Dog and Dave Hause on Saturday, the Good Old War On Work Drugs triumverate across the weekend, singer-songwriters Matt Santry and Dana Alexandra, synth poppers City Rain and gothic Americana four-piece The Bailey Hounds. Most of those musicians have recorded for WXPN in one form or another, and as we get ready to open the gates at 5 today, we present you with The Key’s XPoNential Music Festival 2012 Sampler. You can download the entire thing here, and load it onto your iPod for the car ride over to Wiggins Park tonight. Tracklisting after the jump. Continue reading →


My Morning Download: “Where We Started” by Dana Alexandra from Philly Sings In The Key of Love, Vol. 2

To celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, XPN mid-day host Helen Leicht has curated a collection of 14 songs recorded by local bands. This year’s collection of Philly Sings In The Key Of Love includes songs by Tom Moon, The Bailey Hounds, Dave Hause, John Flynn, Brian Seymour, Pete Donnelly, Behn Wolfe and others. Yesterday we offered a free download of the song “Sweet Thing” by Lizanne Knott and Kuf Knotz than you can download here. Today we offer another song from the collection to download for free; “Where We Started” by singer-songwriter Dana Alexandra. Dana performs tomorrow evening, Saturday, February 11th at the Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center. Check back on Valentine’s Day to download the complete 14 song collection.


Helen Leicht’s Top Five Local Albums of 2011

This week, we’ll be taking a look at several WXPN/XPN2 staff members’ Best Of 2011 lists. Today, XPN’s Helen Leicht—host of Middays and XPN Local—tells us her five favorite local albums of the year.

1. Amos Lee, Mission Bell (Blue Note Records)


2. Matt Duke, One Day Die (Rykodisc) Listen to Matt Duke’s Key Studio Session


3. Hoots And Hellmouth, Salt (self-released)


4. Andrew Lipke, The Plague (self-released) Listen to Andrew Lipke’s Key Studio Session


5. Dana Alexandra, Wash Your Mouth Out (self-released)


Listen to Dana Alexandra’s Free At Noon performance

Courtesy of the artist

From NPR Music:

Dana Alexandra, a York, Penn., native, has captivated audiences with her distinctive voice and accomplished songwriting. After an extensive college tour, she put out a second album in June — Wash Your Mouth Out — that was recorded in Nashville, Tenn., with producer Dustin Burnett.

You can listen to Dana’s entire set here.