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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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#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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#XPN5050: 2008

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 2008.

Eleven years ago, My Morning Jacket felt Evil Urges and got super weird on their fifth studio LP, while Vampire Weekend and MGMT made the blog rock world explode with jams like “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” and “Kids.” Electronic singer-songwriter Lykke Li debuted with “Little Bit” and “Dance Dance Dance,” Santigold stepped up with “L.E.S. Artistes” and her self-titled debut, and Kanye West got sentimental and sensitive on 808s and Heartbreak.

From Philly, The War on Drugs debuted with Wagonwheel Blues, and Amos Lee marked his Last Days at the Lodge. And even though they’re not from Philly, The Hold Steady has such a home in the XPN-verse, it’s hard not to remember how big they were in 2008 with Stay Positive and “Sequestered in Memphis.”
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#XPN5050: 1988

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, Bruce Warren is putting the musical spotlight on the year 1988.

It’s 1988, and your Walkman collection of cassettes game is strong. You’re holding a new album by this a new Philly hip-hop duo, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, few new releases by The Jungle Brothers, Eric B & Rakim, and some new band called N.W.A. was about to make musical history. New Jack Swing was in full effect, and while you were bummed about Bobby Brown leaving New Edition, you’d wind up playing side one of his solo sophomore release, Bobby, over and over. Continue reading →

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#XPN5050: 2018

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, Stephen Kallao is putting the musical spotlight on the year 1983.

Ready to feel nostalgic for…four months ago? This week on the #XPN5050, we revisit the music from 2018 that you loved at the time, and still love…because the time wasn’t all that long ago. Brandi Carlile, Kacey Musgraves, Janelle Monae, Hop Along, Lucy Dacus, Leon Bridges and more.

Mitski’s in the mix with “Nobody,” and Childish Gambino will appear with “This Is America.” We’ll also spotlight music that maybe you missed by The 1975, and The Interrupters…or music that you couldn’t possibly have missed, like Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “Shallow.” Continue reading →

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#XPN5050: 2005

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 2005.

Fourteen years ago, LCD Soundsystem made their debut and brought indie-dance mania into the mainstream spotlight; hard-working artists Grace Potter, My Morning Jacket, and Kathleen Edwards got their due with stellar albums, Bright Eyes released two stylistically diverse records in one shot, Fiona Apple returned with her long-awaited Extraordinary Machine, and Beck brought the party once-again with the Dust Brothers-helmed Guero.

The pop charts lit up with releases from James Blunt, Jack Johnson, Coldplay, and Gorillaz, and legacy rockers Bruce Springsteen and Bonnie Raitt released compelling work.   Continue reading →

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#XPN5050: 2014

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 2014.

It was the year that The War on Drugs got Lost in the Dream, Lana Del Rey lit our way with Ultraviolence, Beck revisited his introspective side on Morning Phase, Taylor Swift broke records with 1989, St. Vincent’s self-titled record blessed us with “Digital Witness,” and Sam Herring of Future Islands danced our way into our hearts. Continue reading →

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#XPN5050: 1996

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, Stephen Kallao is putting the musical spotlight on the year 1996.

1996 was a year of action, adventure, drama, baggy pants, and the massive amount of music in the post-Alternative boom. After spending the first several years of the decade listening to grizzled grunge rockers scream, the year saw the return of melody in modern rock hits like Fiona Apple’s Tidal, The Fugees’ The Score, Jamiroquai’s Traveling Without Moving, Sheryl Crow’s self-titled, and Wilco’s Being There. It was also the year of funky fun party rock crossovers like Beck’s “Where It’s At” from Odelay and Cake’s “The Distance” from Fashion Nugget, oddities like Moby’s punk record Animal Rights and indie classics like Belle & Sebastian’s If You’re Feeling Sinister. Continue reading →

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#XPN5050: 1970

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, David Dye is putting the musical spotlight on the year 1970.

Some might say that 1970 really started in 1969. In August of 69 at Woodstock, the youth and pop culture celebrated with three days of peace and music at Woodstock, marking an historical moment. Santana, who performed at Woodstock would release their debut in August 1969, but in 1970 they released Abraxas. The Beatles would release their final album together, Let It Be in 1970. That same year, however, Paul would release his solo debut. Beatle George would release the now classic triple album, All Things Must Pass, and Ringo Starr would play drums on John Lennon’s solo debut album.

Singer-songwriters in 1970? No shortage here. Simon & Garfunkel released Bridge Over Troubled Water, Neil Young released After The Gold Rush, Van Morrison dropped Moondance and His Band And The Street Choir, and Cat Stevens released Tea For The Tillerman, and Mona Bone Jakon. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young were still very much on our minds with Deja Vu, Stephen Stills went solo, and Joni Mitchell released Ladies Of The Canyon. Continue reading →

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#XPN5050: 1990

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 1990.

For those of you who are into the math, 1990 was 29 years ago. 1990 was a year marked by influential songs from all genres on the musical spectrum. Sinéad O’Connor released I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got and her #1 single “Nothing Compares 2 U” topped the charts around the world. Sonic Youth released Goo with an appearance by Chuck D of Public Enemy, the hip-hop group who released their own album in 1990, the ground breaking Fear Of A Black Planet. Continue reading →