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Listen to Mystery Science Theater 3000’s Joel Hodgson join Kristen Kurtis on the XPN Morning Show

Joel Hodgson and Kristen Kurtis | photo by Robert Drake for WXPN

We’re all pop culture fiends here at WXPN, so when Joel Hodgson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame first started appearing in our Twitter mentions over the past couple years, we collectively got a little giddy.

Turns out Hodgson is as big of a fan of us as we are of him (and his adventures in cheesy movies with Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo), and has been a loyal XPN listener since moving to the Philadelphia region with his wife ten years ago. He listens on his way to work, checks in with our hosts on social media, and was a huge voice in the commentary throughout XPN’s 50th anniversary broadcast of Woodstock.

Though he was still admittedly running on fumes from tuning in all weekend, Hodgson joined Kristen Kurtis on the XPN Morning Show on Monday, August 19th, to talk about the magical trip that was #XPNStock, among other things. Continue reading →

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The Jonas Brothers bring reflections on growth and next-level camp to Wells Fargo Center

The Jonas Brothers | photo by Morgan Smith for WXPN | phobymo.com

The Jonas Brothers are truly an anomaly. They have been both Disney pop sensations in their younger years, and become all the rage again as married adults, with a five-year break in between. They are well aware of their good fortune and ferocious fanbase, and their current tour — which touched down at Philly’s Wells Fargo Center last night — reflected upon their growth over the years.

While the Jonases played cuts from their new album Happiness Begins, they showcased an equal number of songs from Joe Jonas’ project DNCE, and touched on Nick Jonas’ solo career with “Jealous.” Of course, the latter portion of the show featured a medley of tunes from the Disney days, while more popular old tracks like “SOS” and “Year 3000” were played in full.

When Nick, Kevin, and Joe arrived on stage they wore brightly colored suits: green, purple, and red respectively. The stages were outrageously elaborate, equipped with fireworks, fire cannons, sky-high elevating platforms, neon circles on an enormous mobile, rainbow confetti, and even giant tube men. It was some next level camp. Continue reading →

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Busses return with a performance video of the new “Talk To The Sea” ahead of Spruce St. Harbor Park show

Busses | still from video

Since they released Wizard of the Eye in 2015 we haven’t head much from Philly’s Busses. That was intentional. After releasing and touring the record, the Philly prog-psych trio took a break from playing together. At some point though, after about four years of focusing on family, work, and other obligations, the trio came back to each other. Next Thursday, August 22nd, Busses will make their return to performing together. Before then, the band has shared a video of them playing a new track, titled “Talk to the Sea” live. It is the perfect reintroduction to their work.

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Free At Noon Flashback: Mwesno & the Shakes bring the festival vibe to World Cafe Live

On August 16th, 1969, Woodstock didn’t start its second day of music until 12:33 p.m.  Little did they know that 50 years later, this would allow WXPN just enough time to fit in it’s usual Free At Noon Concert before flipping back to #XPNstock – a broadcast of the entire Woodstock festival, as it happened, 50 years on. Fans listening in early couldn’t have been more satisfied, as XPN booked the perfect band to kick off the day.

Led by Michael Mwenso, Mwesno & the Shakes, a troupe of global artists, brought the festival vibe to World Cafe Live. A set of 3 horns along with two hype men (one on keys and another on stand up bass) start the show, getting the crowd in motion even before Mwesno, accompanied by two singers, joined them on stage. It was quickly apparent that this would be one hell of a set, mixing various styles of Jazz, blues and world music to an all-out party. Continue reading →

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On Meaning, Field Mouse transcend doom

Field Mouse | photo by Katie Krulock | courtesy of the artist

When Trump was elected in November 2016, it forced a lot of us to take stock of our values. The ongoing and constant-impending doom that characterizes this administration is debilitating at times. For Field Mouse, it definitely was for a while. The band went their separate ways and took a break from making music. Eventually though, they were drawn back to it. On their new album, Meaning, the Philly/Brooklyn indie rockers lay out what’s important to them and find meaning in this dark, troubled world.

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The Key Studio Sessions: Great Time

They’re rigorously schooled musicians, but as their name suggests, Great Time likes to have fun. Back in the early teens, vocalist Jill Ryan, guitarist / bassist Zack Hartmann, and drummer Donnie Spackman connected in New York City, where all of them were jazz students. They loved the music they were absorbing in class, but they also wanted to do their own thing. So after graduation, they moved to the Philadelphia burbs, built a home studio, and began writing electronic pop songs in the vein of Twin Sister, Sylvan Esso, and Little Dragon. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Boogieman Dela

Think you know Boogieman Dela? Think again. The Philadelphia artist has spent the past few years blurring genre lines, as we heard on his projects like last year’s Broken Watch series and 2017’s Feels Different. He can spit over hard-hitting trap rhythms just as easily as he can sing suave melodies, his love songs can be blunt and his raps can be sweet.

For this week’s Key Studio Session, Boogie stretches that musical grey area even further. Continue reading →

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Jacqueline Constance ruminates on reflection and resolution in a new video for “Carl Thomas”

Jacqueline Constance | still from video

Philly R&B singer Jacqueline Constance has made a name for herself through alluring single releases over the last several years and an engaging live show built around live looping and crowd participation. Her emotional vocals breathe life into the songs she creates, and her latest, “Carl Thomas,” has just recieved a beautiful music video treatment that highlights Jacqueline’s powerful lyrics.

Constance told us over email that “conceptually, ‘Carl Thomas’ is a song around reflection and resolution, and I wanted the video to reflect that. Especially the elements of scattered thoughts and emotions redirecting themselves to a particular event that you wished you had performed differently in, the party where I wish I was more social or an experience with lost love that I wish I could have been more open to.” Continue reading →

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Ringo Starr brings peace and love to The Met, with a little help from his All-Starr friends

Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

The one and only Ringo Starr took The Met stage last night alongside his All-Starr Band. The venue swelled with peace and love as the former Beatle and his talented, well-résuméd friends worked through classic after classic, covering decades of hits. “All I can promise is that each and every person in the audience will know at least one song tonight,” Ringo said before the band got grooving, evoking a roaring applause with his signature double peace sign. I think it’s safe to say that everyone knew a lot more than just one song. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Julia Jacklin will break your heart at The Foundry

Julia Jacklin | photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN

On Crushing, Julia Jacklin recounts the end of a relationship. The album is heartbreaking, yet addicting. The Australian artist writes emotionally potent songs that nestle their way into your heart and make you want to play them over and over again. On Monday, November 11th, Jacklin will bring Crushing to The Foundry. As sad as it may be, you won’t want to miss this show.

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