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Watch Bruce Springsteen crash Southside Johnny and Gary Tallent’s show at the Stone Pony

Bruce Springsteen at The Stone Pony | still from video

On Saturday evening, Bruce Springsteen appeared at Asbury Park, NJ’s Stone Pony for the first time in eight years — his last appearance there was at a benefit for Monmouth County’s Ranney School in 2011, but his historic rise in the 1970s has long been associated with the beloved rock venue. Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song(s) of the Week: “Manic Monday” and “The Glamorous Life” by Prince

Prince Originals | via The Current

When Prince died in 2016, a hefty collection of unreleased music was left behind — a collection that the legendary artist clearly intended to keep hidden. Over the past year, his estate has begun sifting through it, first for Piano and a Microphone 1983, and now for  a compilation of polished demos for songs he gifted to other artists, many of which went on to become those artists’ signature songs. 

The new album Originals features tracks like “Sex Shooter” (originally for Apollonia 6), “Jungle Love” (originally for Morris Day and The Time), and “Nothing Compares 2 U” (made famous by Sinéad O’Connor). Continue reading →

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#XPN5050: 1987

 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, Robert Drake is putting the musical spotlight on the year 1987.

32 years ago, U2 reached new heights with The Joshua Tree, Sinéad O’Connor made her debut with The Lion and The Cobra, Bruce Springsteen got sentimental on Tunnel of Love, INXS made the world Kick, Eric B. and Rakim arrived with Paid In Full, and R.E.M. declared that it was the end of the world as we know it (and they felt fine).
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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “History Repeats” by Brittany Howard

Brittany Howard | photo by Danny Clinch | courtesy of the artist

Alabama Shakes‘ frontwoman, Brittany Howard, has led the band through chart-toppers and Grammys since their debut album Boys & Girls came out in 2012. Their sophomore effort Sound & Color came in 2015 and pushed them deeper into the alternative music scene. Now, Howard has just announced a forthcoming solo album titled Jaime, due September 20th via ATO Records. She’s also shared the LP’s leading track, “History Repeats”. Continue reading →

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Watch Wilco and Courtney Barnett play “Handshake Drugs” at Solid Sound

Wilco | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN // Courtney Barnett | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

This weekend, Wilco threw their annual Solid Sound Festival at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Alongside performances by Tortoise, The Feelies, Jonathan Richman, and more, one of this year’s features was “Wilco Karaoke,” where fans got to sing Wilco favorites with the band backing them. Continue reading →

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#XPN5050: 1972

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, Helen Leicht is putting the musical spotlight on the year 1972.

This week’s #XPN5050 takes us back 47 years, to 1972. It was a leap year with two additional leap seconds, making it the longest year in history — and to those who were watching the Watergate scandal begin to unfold on the news, it probably felt like the longest, too. But that’s where music comes in handy — in 1972, music was as much of an escape from the real world, and an outlet to process it, as ever.

David Bowie reinvented himself as Ziggy Stardust, and the Rolling Stones released their 10th studio album Exile on Main St. Roberta Flack’s version of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” topped the charts, and Philly’s own Todd Rundgren released his biggest hit, “Hello It’s Me.” ABBA formed that year, though they were still known by the less-catchy name “Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid.” Continue reading →

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Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: Mike Krol

Mike Krol | Photo by Emily De Hart for XPN

Joining us for this Indie Rock Hit Parade live session is a real character. Los Angeles singer Mike Krol draws from his roots in graphic design to make punchy, electrifying power-punk. Over the course of four albums (the latest of which, Power Chords, was released at the beginning of this year on Merge), Krol has concocted blown-out anthems of heartbreak and joy. Before a show at Boot and Saddle earlier this year, Krol brought his band, bassist Allison Crutchfield (also of Swearin’, Waxahatchee and p.s. eliot), guitarists Graham Hunt and Sean Lango, and drummer Brian Granillo, to our studio to rip through a bunch of songs from Power Chords.

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PRESS PLAY: 4 New Albums out June 28th!

PHOTO BY: Alysse Gafkjen
PHOTO BY: Alysse Gafkjen

Friday is new release day! Each week we feature a selection of new albums being released and songs we LOVE.  This week marks the return of The Black Keys, and they’re ready to rock!  Also, it’s release day for alt-country singer Jade Jackson, the Minneapolis band Night Moves, and the strummy songwriter Chris Staples.  Dig in!

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The Prince Estate shares rare Paisley Park footage set to “Manic Monday” demo

Prince Originals | via The Current

Last year, the Prince estate shared Piano & a Microphone 1983, a release that blurred ethical lines for many. When Prince died in 2016, a hefty collection of unreleased music was left behind — a collection that the legendary artist clearly intended to keep hidden. This year, his estate has shared a compilation of polished demos for songs he gifted to other artists, many of which went on to become those artists’ signature songs. 

Raising further questions about whether or not Prince would be devastated to know that these recordings reached the public’s ears, Originals features tracks like “Sex Shooter” (originally for Apollonia 6), “Jungle Love” (originally for Morris Day and The Time), and “Nothing Compares 2 U” (made famous by Sinéad O’Connor). Continue reading →