#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 →


The Roots’ Dice Raw brings MLK / Nina Simone homage The King of Love to New Freedom Theatre on Juneteenth

Dice Raw | photo courtesy of the artist

Karl Jenkins, better known as Philadelphian hip-hop artist Dice Raw, has written and produced The King of Love, a theatrical tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It will be performed by the New Freedom Theatre for one night only on June 19th at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA). It coincides with the observation of Juneteenth, which commemorates the abolition of slavery in Texas in 1865.  Continue reading →


Grayling shares “Chalk Dust,” their first new song in over three years

Grayling | photo by Ashley Gellman | courtesy of the artist

The last music Grayling released was her Everything That Burns EP. The five song collection came out way back in April of 2016. In the three years since that release we haven’t heard much new material from the Philly alt-punk artist (though they remained a presence on the city’s live music scene). That changed this week when Grayling’s Lexi Campion took to social media to announce that she has signed with 6131 Records and has a new song available. The track, titled “Chalk Dust” displays a great deal of artistic growth since the last time we heard from Grayling.

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Camp Candle will have you grooving in no time with new single “NRT”

Camp Candle | photo by Matt Decker | courtesy of the artist

It’s summertime, which can only mean one thing: Camp Candle is releasing new music. The Philly indietronica duo just announced that their next EP, If We Had a Pool, will be out August 23; it follows last year’s “Save Me” and 2017’s Light. The lead single from the four-track EP, the smooth and funky “NRT,” is out now wherever you stream your music.  Continue reading →


Isolation feels familiar in Tate’s new single “Bad Hangover”

Tate | Photo by Sarah Rudderow | via

Everyone is familiar with occasional feeling of loneliness where you feel oddly detached from a person or a place you’re usually connected to. Maybe somebody screwed you over, or maybe you’re exhausting yourself by repeating your own mistakes. Either way, you’re unsettled. Philadelphia four-piece Tate conveys this aura in their latest indie-rock single “Bad Hangover.” We’ve all been there. Continue reading →


Y La Bamba’s “Mujeres” music video is a call to protect and fight for all women

Y La Bamba | still from video

Y La Bamba ‘s new music video for “Mujeres,” the title track to its 2019 album, is exactly what the commanding, percussion-heavy song deserves. It features women of every demographic embracing and celebrating their femininity. The group’s lead singer and songwriter Luz Elena Mendoza said, “This song is a daily mantra to continue to protect and fight, for all women, for myself.” Continue reading →


Rockers Galore is wildly catchy and powerfully political on new Sak Pase EP

Rockers Galore | via

Rockers Galore‘s style is hard to pin down. On any given track the Philly group, led by vocalist / bassist Blayer Pointdujour, will bounce between hard rock, kompa, hip hop, funk, and more. Rather than being overwhelming and exhausting, like that list of genres threatens to be, Rockers Galore’s music is addicting and wildly fun. The group’s latest release, Sak Pase, is a tight four track collection that serves as a perfect introduction to the vibrant world of Rockers Galore.

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Olivia Neutron-John presents a weird summer playlist for late nights and long van rides

Olivia Neutron-John | photo by Jen Dessinger

West Philly-based musician Anna Nasty — AKA Olivia Neutron-John — has had a busy few months.

There was a tour to Texas and back in March for South by Southwest. A new album came out in May on Sister Polygon, their first recordings in five years. The record release show, a truly memorable night at PhilaMOCA with The Ire and Radiator Greys, was a couple weeks before they set off on their current tour with Memphis no-wavers NOTS that’s taking them from Cincinnati to Durham with a stop in Philadelphia tonight. There’s a West Coast jaunt starting later this month that includes a show in Tijuana and a bunch of dates with DC post-punk darlings Priests. Oh, and in September they’re opening up for a little band called Stereolab in Brooklyn, no big deal.

All that adds up to a lot of time spent in the van. For Anna Nasty, that means a lot of time digging deep into all manner of music. We asked for a recent playlist and the self-described “aggressive bedroom pop” performer, whose own songs occupy a space of sparse-but-purposeful electronic minimalism of keyboard, bass, and vocals, happily and excitedly obliged.

Olivia Neutron-John plays at Boot & Saddle tonight with NOTS and Deep Tissue; more information can be found here. Continue reading →