MusicNotes from the XPN Morning Show: John Fogerty responds to alleged “controversy,” Ryan Adams writes music for new Al Pacino movie, and Patti Smith to perform at the Vatican

Tommaso Boddi/Getty
Tommaso Boddi/Getty

John Fogerty has responded to the “so-called” controversy, created by some over the performance by Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl & the Zac Brown Band’s of Fogarty’s CCR classic: “Fortunate Son” at the Concert for Valor on Veterans Day in front of military veterans in Washington. Continue reading →


Moms Rock! The Key’s salute to our six favorite rock n’ roll mothers

Patti Smith, photographed by Annie Liebovitz in 1996 with her son Jackson and daughter Jesse

The awesome job of being a mother is impressive enough. But how about being a mother, and a rock n’ roll icon? An astonishing number of artists have managed the balancing act of family life and public life over the years, perhaps not getting the credit they’re due. Which hopefully will change sooner rather than later. An indie documentary called Rock N Roll Mamas celebrating the trials and triumphs of musical motherhood is making it’s way around the film festival circuit this year. And while it hasn’t yet screened locally, we’re doing our part on The Key on this Mother’s Day by saluting a half-dozen of our favorite rock n’ roll moms. It goes without saying that we’ve missed countless artists with offspring, and please let us know who they are in the comments.Begin reading our Moms Rock! countdown by clicking here.


Punk legend Patti Smith recieves the Hepburn Medal at Bryn Mawr College

Patti Smith | Photo by Chris Sikich |

Most colleges consign punk rock to dorm rooms, obscure airwaves or an out-of-the-way venue. Maybe even a class or two. But when it comes to the top brass, not too many pledge allegiance to the punk flag. Then again, not too many Main Line schools get to salute a legend like Patti Smith.

“I suspect Bryn Mawr actually has a punk spirit,” college President Jane McAuliffe said Thursday night before presenting Patti Smith with the Katharine Hepburn Medal.

Photo by Chris Sikich |

Kim Masters of The Hollywood Reporter, the night’s master of ceremonies, pointed to actress Katharine Hepburn and her mother, family-planning advocate Katharine Houghton Hepburn — both Bryn Mawr graduates — as “trailblazing women who defied convention.”

And while that description also fits Patti Smith, she’s not necessarily the first candidate you’d come up with for the Katharine Hepburn Medal, which was first awarded in 2006 to recognize achievement in film and theater, women’s health and civic engagement. The previous winners — actresses Lauren Bacall and Blythe Danner, mural maven Jane Golden and HIV expert Helene Gayle — fit more neatly into the medal’s mission.

But Smith’s CV is anything but neat; you’ll run out of hyphens before she runs out of energy. She’s a rocker-memoirist-photographer-actress-model-playwright-muse-critic-painter-poet — and you know I’m forgetting something. Not bad for a South Jersey girl who dropped out of Glassboro State College to be somebody in New York City. Continue reading →


The Week So Far: 10 must-read stories on The Key

Left to right: Helen Leicht, John Belushi and Ed Sciaky

Holiday Radio Past: Ed Sciaky sends holiday on WIOQ cheer circa 1984 [link]

Philly rocker Tommy Conwell performs acoustic for The Key Studio Sessions [link]

Digging the deep roots of St. James and the Apostles, who play The Fire tonight [link]

Need a soundtrack to your Thanksgiving dinner table? Try our Spotify playlist [link]

Central Pennsylvania’s music scene mourns the loss of its biggest advocate, Jersey Mike [link]

Watch rare video of Patti Smith on the Mike Douglas Show when it was based in Philly [link]

Is that Denison Witmer playing a spandex-clad workout instructor? [link]

Pissed Jeans rage on with a new track, “Bathroom Laughter” [link]

Ring in the holidays with XPN2‘s Jingle Jams, now through New Year’s! [link]

Yeasayer discovered light, and color. And took it on tour. [link]


Watch the Patti Smith Band on The Mike Douglas Show, 1977-78

For the unfamiliar, The Mike Douglas Show, a daily television variety show, was based in Philadelphia between 1965 and 1978. During it’s time here, Douglas had hundreds of incredible musical guests on the show including Frank Zappa, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin and John Lennon and Yoko Ono who co-hosted the show one week with Douglas. Below, watch a couple of videos for Patti Smith performing on the show from April 1977. (via Dangerous Minds). Below the performances you’ll find a video of Smith from March 1978, when she visited the show to promote her book of poems, Babel. Patti Smith opens for Neil Young and Crazy Horse at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday, November 29. Tickets and information on the show can be found here.

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Patti Smith performing with Neil Young and Crazy Horse November 29th at the Wells Fargo Center

Patti Smith will be opening for Neil Young and Crazy Horse when they play the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday, November 29th. Tickets go on sale this Friday, June 8th at 10 a.m. at Smith’s new album, Banga is out today. Young and Crazy Horse release a new album, Americana, tomorrow. The album, the band’s first since 2003′s Greendale nine years ago, is a collection of classic, American folk songs including “”Tom Dooley,” “Oh Susannah,” “This Land Is Your Land,” and “Wayfaring Stranger.” Listen to the full album here via Rolling Stone or stream “Oh Susanna” below.