WXPN midday host Helen Leicht has been on the airwaves in Philadelphia since 1976, and this October she’ll be honored for her 40 years of championing music and community.
On October 6th, Leicht will receive The Connector Award from LiveConnections – a local music education nonprofit where she serves as a board member. The award will be presented at LiveConnections’ annual fundraising event The Big Hurrah, held at World Cafe Live. The event will also include performances from jazz singer Joanna Pascale, percussionist Alex Shaw of Alo Brasil, and more. Tickets for the benefit event are $100 in advance, $125 at the door and can be found here. Continue reading →
Summer Fiction‘s new album Himalaya is was just released. I invited Summer Fiction a.k.a. Bill Ricchini to bring in an acoustic guitar, sing a few songs and talk about the new music. The new album was recorded at Manchester’s (UK) Eve Studios and they worked with B.C. Camplight. Recorded for Philly Local, Bill recorded an acoustic performance of “Perfume Paper”, “By My Side” and a Morrissey cover! WXPN Welcomes Summer Fiction Saturday night, June 20th to Boot & Saddle for their record release party. Continue reading →
The 6th Annual Philly Local Home for the Holidays show was recorded at Morning Star Studios in Montgomery County PA. It was a return visit to this studio and once again Glenn Barratt recorded the session. It’s always a wonderful day of music. A time for getting together with friends and making new friendships in the music community. I love hearing the artists warming up and working on arrangements. Continue reading →
XPN’s Helen Leicht is celebrating the holidays with a special free Philly Local Home For The Holidays show on Sunday, December 14th at The Flash in Kennett Square. The show will include performances by Lizanne Knott, Dan May, Jen Creed, and Cole Redding. Doors open at 12:30PM; the show starts at 1PM. Continue reading →
Ready for an awesome weekend of music? We thought so! We’ll be in on the festivities this weekend at the 53rd annual Philadelphia Folk Fest with everything from our own showcases to activities for the kids. Check out our schedule below or see the full festival line-up here. Continue reading →
Central Pennsylvania-bred rockers The Districts are in the middle of a pretty awesome week. On Tuesday, their self-titled EP came out on Fat Possum Records, and they played a pizza-fueled release party at A.K.A. Music in Old City Philadelphia. Tonight, they play their biggest Philly show to date, opening for Dr. Dog at the Electric Factory.
They also appeared live on the WXPN airwaves this week, performing two songs acoustic on the Leicht Lunch and chatting with host Helen Leicht about their plans now that their music is out in the world in a bigger way than ever before. Watch a video of the guys playing “Rocking Chair” in the XPN studios below, and listen to the entire interview in the Soundcloud player below. And get more information on the show tonight at the WXPN concert calendar.
Yesterday, Easton art pop five-piece Our Griffins released its debut LP Michael Boyd, which we’re featuring all week on the Unlocked series (download the song “Blood on My Sleeves” here). Last night, singer D.J. Brown and lead guitarist Travis Hobbie appeared live on the air on WXPN’s Philly Local Show with Helen Leicht for an interview and short acoustic set. From their on-air appearance, watch a video performance of “Come and Wake Me Up” from the album. See the official music video for the song here, and get more information on the album release show at The Fire tomorrow night at the XPN Concert Calendar. And check back tomorrow for our review of Michael Boyd.
With the announcement of his brand new song called “New” and a forthcoming album of the same name, Sir Paul McCartney called WXPN today for an interview with mid-day show host Helen Leicht; you can listen to an archive of the entire interview below.
Their conversation began by talking about New, which will see a U.S. release on Concord Records on Tuesday, October 15th.
McCartney recorded the new album with a team of heavy-hitting producers: Paul Epworth (known for his work with pop sensation Adele), Ethan Johns (he’s recorded Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne and Kings of Leon), Mark Ronson (popular for his work with Amy Winehouse as well as his solo albums) and Giles Martin (who staged The Beatles‘ Love show). As McCartney explained in the interview:
“The idea was to go do one track for each one and decide who would be the best for the album. I ended up falling for them all. We had such a good time in different ways. Ethan would be a little more acoustically leaning, Mark would be a little more R&B. They each had a different approach, so I ended up working with them all.”
Conversation turned to songwriting in general, and what keeps him at it. McCartney called it “an eternal fascination.”
“It really is just down to the fact that I love it. … If you said to me now that, okay, this afternoon, you’re just going to sit down and write a song. That wouldn’t depress me or frighten me, that would really excite me. I’d go ‘Oh, yeah, great great great.’And then taking it into a recording studio…and eventually you take it out on the road, and you play it for real people. That is the ultimate excitement. If you look at that whole line of stuff, it’s pretty cool.”
On revisiting his Beatles-era music when performing live, McCartney likened it to being somebody else reviewing a young man’s work. “I’m listening to myself as a 24 year old. As I’m singing the songs, I’m reviewing the lyrics and thinking ‘This kid wasn’t bad!'” Some moments, like “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite,” are downright challenging (“It’s contrapuntal, man!”). When Leicht pointed out that today is the anniversary of The Beatles’ final show in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, McCartney began to reminisce, but with a footing in the present.
“It is great to look at the old newsreels. You go, oh my God, is that really me? Obviously it was another time, and yes, we were younger. It was very exciting in its own way. The 60s were very exciting times, and I meet a lot of younger people who say ‘Wow, I wish I’d been there.’ I say ‘Well, no, don’t wish that, just be here now and enjoy this one, because there’s plenty of cool stuff going on now.'”
Listen to Leicht’s interview with Paul McCartney in its entirety in the player below. To hear his new single “New,” go here.
With the holidays on the horizon, WXPN is setting the soundtrack this year with Jingle Jams, an all-holiday music stream launching this Wednesday, November 21, at 88.5 HD2 in Philadelphia, 88.7 HD2 in Harrisburg, and XPN2.org online. The mix will be curated by DJ Robert Drake – who also hosts The Night Before, XPN’s annual 24-hour music marathon on Christmas Eve – and will showcase an eclectic assortment of holiday tunes, from the new and quirky to the classic. Continue reading →