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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love” by The Bird and The Bee

The Bird and the Bee | photo by Alexa Nikol Curran | courtesy of the artist

In 2010, The Bird and The Bee – the duo of Inara George and Greg Kurstin — released Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates. They recently released announced their next tribute — Interpreting the Masters Volume 2: A Tribute to Van Halen, on August 2nd, with covers of “Panama,” and “Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love.” Continue reading →

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#XPN5050: 1980

For fifty weeks this year, we’re celebrating the music of a specific year every Saturday on WXPN. We’ll be choosing the years randomly; for this week’s #XPN5050, Kristen Kurtis is putting the musical spotlight on the year 2013.

We’ve been circling relatively modern times a lot in recent weeks on the #XPN5050, so this week we’re seriously throwing it back. 1980 was the year of “Hungry Heart” and Bruce Springsteen’s The River. It was the year of Kurtis Blow’s “The Breaks” and one of hip-hop’s first major advances into the mainstream. It was the year of Pretenders and “Brass in Pocket,” and U2’s Boy and “I Will Follow.”  Continue reading →

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Jenny Lewis and Death Cab For Cutie have been performing a Postal Service song on tour and I couldn’t be happier

https://www.instagram.com/p/BysdpYUgYb6/

After putting out their latest album, Thank You For Today, in August 2018, Death Cab For Cutie have been on the road. Recently the indie heavyweights have been joined by Jenny Lewis, who just put out On The Line in March. Death Cab’s frontman, Ben Gibbard and Jenny Lewis were key members of The Postal Service. Gibbard and Lewis have been performing “Nothing Better” together as an encore. Obviously this is a very big deal and worth all of your attention. There hasn’t been any sort of Postal Service reunion since 2013, when the full band got together to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Give Up. Jimmy Tamborello is missing from the current reunion tour, but it is a big deal nonetheless.

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Bruce Springsteen and The Meaning of Life: Western Stars is uneven, but unafraid

Bruce Springsteen | photo courtesy of the artist

At this point in history, Bruce Springsteen doesn’t need to try anymore.

If we’re being completely honest, he hasn’t needed to try for a long time. The man wrote, recorded, and released no fewer than three masterpieces in the first ten years of his career – 1975’s Born to Run, 1980’s The River, and 1983’s Nebraska. The albums that surrounded them were all valiant efforts filled with strong, nuanced songwriting and major radio hits. His live shows have been things of legend since he was playing The Stone Pony and The Main Point. On legacy alone, arenas of fans the world around will continue flocking to the man who put Asbury Park on the map, regardless of what he brings to the table – whether it hits or misses.

Springsteen’s newest offering, Western Stars, is out today. It is his nineteenth studio album, and on the surface could be heard as a lackluster late-career move by a 70s rock veteran. But if you consider the road that led to it, it’s not that at all. Continue reading →

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PRESS PLAY: 7 New Albums out June 14th!

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real | Photo by Joey Martinez

Friday is new release day, and each week we’ll feature a selection of new albums being released and songs we LOVE.  This week, The Boss returns, Lukas Nelson wants you to “Build A Garden”, and Calexico and Iron & Wine team up again,  Hear selections from those new albums, and more! Continue reading →

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Watch The Avett Brothers take a ride with death in the new song “High Steppin'”

Avett Brothers | photo by Crackerfarm | courtesy of the artist

Just in the nick of time for summer, The Avett Brothers released an upbeat single called “High Steppin.” The song is a departure from their typical bluegrass, folk sound, and veers heavily towards country-pop.

Despite this, “High Steppin” is not your typical country hit, mixing in electronic beats alongside piano and fiddle. The music video, also released today, provides just the right amount of quirk to compliment the track. Scott Avett is clad in a bedazzled, red cowboy suit and a large brimmed beige cowboy hat. He drives a truck down your typical country backroads. That may not seem too out of the ordinary, except for the fact that none other than his brother, Seth Avett is perched in the backseat dressed in a skeleton suit. Throughout the video, he presumably masquerades as death.  Continue reading →

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Elvis Costello accepts an honor from the British government ’cause his mom told him to

Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello | photo by Stephen Done | courtesy of the artist

Turns out everyone feels that inherent impulse to make their parents proud, even esteemed artists like Elvis Costello. The 64-year-old singer, known for ballads like “Alison” and rockers like “Pump It Up” was recently awarded an OBE award — Officer of the Order of the British Empire, an honor bestowed by the Queen of England upon those that have demonstrated tremendous achievement in their given field.

The Brit is known for songs like “Oliver’s Army,” that are at times critical of the British throne and the country’s imperialism over the course of world history. Costello initially intended to refuse the award, but explained his reason for accepting it in a press release on his website. The letter reads in a spunky, humorous way that is only fitting for the artist.

In it, both mother and son refer to outgoing prime minister Theresa May as “rubbish.” However, much to Costello’s chagrin, his mother, Lillian MacManus, still tells her son to receive the award. Continue reading →

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#XPN5050: 2013

For fifty weeks this year, we’re celebrating the music of a specific year every Saturday on WXPN. We’ll be choosing the years randomly; for this week’s #XPN5050, Mike Vasilikos is putting the musical spotlight on the year 2013.

It was the year Daft Punk got lucky, Jason Isbell took us to Stockholm, and Lorde celebrated royals. It was the year of Beyoncé’s self-titled, Arcade Fire’s Reflektor and Kurt Vile’s Wakin On a Pretty Daze. Listen to our playlist of 2013 music below! Continue reading →

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Raphael Saadiq announces first album in eight years with new single “Something Keeps Calling”

Jimmy Lee cover art | courtesy of the artist

In the eight years since he released Stone Rollin’, singer-songwriter and producer Raphael Saadiq has just been adding to his resume. He has collaborated with the likes of Miguel, Solange, John Legend, and more, been nominated for an Oscar, and scored HBO’s Insecure. Following all this and a stellar set at last week’s Roots Picnic, Saadiq is finally ready to unleash a new album onto the world. On August 23rd he will release the deeply personal Jimmy Lee via Columbia Records.

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