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25 O'Clock

Philadelphia's longest running music podcast (we think), with your host, Dan Drago. Conversations with artists and community, intimate musical performances, in-depth discussions on performing, touring, recording, and being alive.
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Now displaying: Page 1
Jul 16, 2024

Dan first heard of Brendan McGeehan back when he interviewed Aaron Parnell Brown about their band, The Right Fiction. Brendan talks about growing up on coastal Maryland, gravitating towards the bass at a young age, his journey as a record producer, and his first time solo-outing Peace Fortress. With the foundation of the tracks recorded largely in one long session, Brendan pieced together a stellar instrumental LP called 'New Moon', featuring players like Adrian Harpham, Logan Roth, and Will Brown, as well as countless guests. 'New Moon' is out July 18th wherever you get digital music (as well as a vinyl pre-order), and the band will play a record release show at The Fallser Club the same night in Philadelphia

Jul 9, 2024

As promised, here's another set of Philadelphia music for the summer! Use the clickable playlist below to link up with the artists you love, see them play, check out their records, all of it. There's so much great music coming out this summer, sometime we have to take a sec to take it in. Enjoy!

  1. Alek Barkats- Jewels

  2. Sixteen Jackies- One of the Boys

  3. The Lower Aetna- Carny Song

  4. Brother Of Monday- Every Circle Can Have Two Centers

  5. Solar Circuit- Good Time

  6. Reese Florence- Night Tea

  7. Brittany Ann Tranbaugh- Bushwick

  8. Roberta Faceplant- Yee Haw Stuff

  9. Jackson Pines- Julie Jane

    10. Clover- I Cried At Costco

Jul 2, 2024

It's playlist time again! So many Philly artists are putitng out new music this summer, so here's just a small selection of what's on offer. See the clickable playlist below for direct links to all the artists you'll hear on this episode. And, as you can imagine, Vol. 1 implies another set coming next week. Dan was sent so much great music, he had to make two whole episodes to hold it all. This week features a set of music from Sweet Juice Fest artists, don't miss the fest this year at Awbury Arboretum in Germantown.  

  1. Jay Johnson and the OTC Collective- Apple Of My Eye

  2. Stella Ruze- Firework- Origin (forthcoming)

  3. Grandogs- Wither on the Vine

  4. Ridge Runners- The Rest Of Us

  5. Luke Simo- Time Gone

  6. Samantha Rise- Til They’re Free

  7. Noun w. Radiator Hospital- Lesson Learned

  8. Red Means Run- Things You Hold True

  9. Echo Kid- Immortal Jones

    10. Ross Bellenoit- The Language Of Dreaming- Signals

 

Jun 25, 2024

Dan has known of Quincy Stallworth for years, especially for Quincy's job running SoFar Sounds concerts in Philadelphia since around 2018. Quincy sits down to talk about his musical upbringing in the Baptist churches of Southwest and North Philadelphia, his early bands, and how he always excelled at the "business" side of being in a group as much as the musical side. Quincy and many others were all abruptly terminated from SoFar last winter, but Quincy already has his next thing going: Mill Street Music, an intimate listening room over the bridge in Mount Holly, NJ. Dan and Quincy get into a lot: Bowie, cocaine albums, how to keep something from getting too big, the ups and downs of his SoFar journey, and how you'll always find yourself drawn to driven, creative people no matter what. Check out Mill Street Music's calendar, as well as Quincy's photography, and his podcast, Quince Questions

Jun 18, 2024

James Haro came from Los Angeles (San Gabriel to be exact) over 15 years ago and made his home here in Philly. He talks with Dan about growing up in an old mission town, being a "secret songwriter" from age 6, early bands and projects (mostly lost to the depths of MySpace), coming to Drexel for college, and why he never wanted to leave. James began his current project, James Haro In Storage, during the early pandemic times, writing and recording out of (you guessed it) a storage unit. He's since released singles, put on a one-man show for Fringe/Canonball Fest in 2023, and continues to be active in the community with a quarterly open mic at Plays and Players' upstairs bar and music room. James' newest EP, 'Go Ahead', is out on June 20th and available wherever you get digital music. 

 

Photo by Ashley E. Smith

Jun 11, 2024

Dan and Benjamin Hughes of Night Windows have been friends since about 2011 or so, when their bands played together in New York a few times. Dan holds Ben up as one of his favorite songwriters of all time, and Ben returns to the show for the first time in about six years. Ben talks about the recent Night Windows records, including the most recent 'In Memories' LP, and delves into how the songs came together, the difference with the writing process on the last couple of records, and how he didn't write or do anything musical for nearly half a year during the pandemic. Grief, sadness, small-town life, and how to come out of it are all themes that live large in the Night Windows song book, and Ben gets into all of it. 'In Memories' is out now and available wherever you get digital music, and also available on vinyl through the band's website

Night Windows w. Graduation Speech, 6/12 at McLaughlin Norcross Memorial Dell

Check out Ben's first 25 O'Clock appearance back in early 2015.

Jun 4, 2024

Dan has been a Chris Kasper fan since he first heard him on WXPN over 15 years ago. Chris sits down to talk about growing up a metalhead drummer, surrounded by a whole family of musicians. From loud drums and Led Zeppelin to discovering bluegrass and Appalachian folk while living in West Virginia, Chris reminisces on moving to Philadelphia almost 20 years ago, meeting peers like Amos Lee, Ben Arnold and Birdie Busch at Dawson Street Pub, playing shows at The Fire, and growing into the Americana singer-songwriter that we all know. Improvisation, uncertainty, working in the moment: these are all things that Chris loves to employ when making records, and his newest is no exception. Chris Kasper's latest LP, 'Sunlight In An Empty Room' is out now, available wherever you get digital music, and on vinyl at his website

 

Photo by Kiley Ryan

May 28, 2024

Dan talks with Bret Tobias, formerly of The Bigger Lovers and Moped, now helming The Bret Tobias Set. From seeing the Replacements on MTV, discovering House of Love and Philly's own The Wishniaks, it was inevitable that Bret make his life about music. Bret talks about his aversion to being classified in any scene or community, the independent music feeding frenzy of the mid 90s that had Moped being wined and dined by A&R and execs, and the sudden, overnight disappearance of said attention. He takes us through the saga of The Bigger Lovers and the many records and tours alongside some of their heroes (Superchunk, Minus 5, Jonathan Richman, Alex Chilton, etc), and how he's always kept something going musically, no matter what. The Bret Tobias Set put out an absolutely stellar EP last year called 'Pleaser Vol. 1', and the band is a who's-who of Philadelphia indie rock, featuring members of A.M. Mills, Photon Band, and The War On Drugs. A new record is on the way this fall, and we're honored to offer a special sneak peak at their upcoming single, "Fait Accompli", due out on June 20th. 

May 21, 2024

Dan talks with James Everhart, a man who's been part of a lot of Philadelphia music over the years, about his long tenure amidst bands like Low Cut Connie, Scantron, and his current project, 10-member supergroup Cosmic Guilt. James talks about hitting the road with Low Cut Connie right out of college, and how he had to pull back from the touring life for his own mental health and stability. Dan and James talk about the careful balance that it takes to have a band with 10 members, British psych folk, James' designs for Philly brewery Human Robot, letting each member put their mark on a song, a close eye on visual aesthetics, and the inspiration for their newest album being a mansion made out of junk in Vineland, NJ. Cosmic Guilt's newest album, 'Palace Of Depression', is out May 31st on their Bandcamp and wherever you get digital music. 

May 14, 2024

Todd Mecaughey has been part of the Philadelphia music community for a good while, in bands like New Connection and Secret American. He's also an engineer and producer at Cambridge Sound Studios, and has been since its inception. Dan and Todd talk about their love of Phish and the Grateful Dead (and how both bands are pretty dang punk rock), learning the ropes under former Sigma Sound producer Jim Salamone as a young engineer, watching the upward swing of Secret American fall apart and turning to podcast production for a paycheck during the pandemic, the 'Workaholics' cast and touring as their live FOH tech for their podcast 'This Is Important', and balancing fatherhood and family life with the never ending demands of the music business.

May 7, 2024

Dan goes in deep with Judah Kim as he talks about growing up "lucky number 7" of 8 siblings, the influence of his older brothers' garage bands, the lack of any Asian American role models in alt rock, studying voice and production at Berkley, sobriety and gratitude, and the burnout that comes with always having to make "content". With a journey that's taken him from Philadelphia to Los Angeles and back again, Judah and Dan discuss the pitfalls of being an independent musician, Judah's interest in mental health as it applies to Koreans, and the weight of insurmountable expectation and ambition that can come from growing up as a  Korean American.

Judah is part of Asian American Pie, a concert at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia on Friday, May 11th, featuring a lineup of Asian American/Pacific Islanders bands and artists, including Moonroof, Beau Freres, Alyssa Garcia, and longtime friend of the podcast, John Faye. 

Apr 30, 2024

Dan gets Jonathan Miller and Ed Olson of Fire In The Radio on the line to talk about how the band came together, took a break, came back together even stronger, and their upcoming return home to a Philadelphia stage at Sing Us Home Fest in Manayunk. Jon and Ed talked about growing up in the Philly punk and hardcore scene, being influenced by Dave Hause both as a musician and as a friend, growing your songwriting over the years, the trials that come with keeping a band of adults with lives and families together across the country, and how the punk spirit of youth ends up defining how you see the world going forward.

Photo by Jessica Flynn

Apr 23, 2024

Dan talks with lifelong Philadlephia musician Eliza Hardy Jones about everything: early days in Buried Beds with Brandon Beaver, touring and playing with mewithoutyou, Grace Potter, Iron and Wine, and her newest gig as a touring member of The War On Drugs. Eliza tells great stories about DIY touring life, vocal coaching the Philadelphia Eagles, quilting, and how she channeled her grief from a lost pregnancy into her latest LP, 'Pickpocket'. 'Pickpocket' is available wherever you get your digital music, and also as a limited edition vinyl LP from her website. The War on Drugs return to play in Philadelphia on 9/17 at The Mann with The National and Lucius.

Apr 16, 2024

Dan talks with Nicole Bauza, songwriter and frontwoman of Nervous Nikki and the Chill Pills. Nicole talks about growing up as a BMX biker, getting drums at an early age, the quiet joys of farming and gardening, herbs as medicine, her tea farm in Schwenksville, and the ups and downs of keeping a band going amidst family life and general day to day shenanigans. The newest Nervous Nikki LP, 'St Anthony's Fire', is available at their Bandcamp and wherever you get digital music. 

Apr 9, 2024

Dan just met Alex Wash of Granddogs a month or so ago, and he's already got him on the mic telling his life story. Alex talks about growing up in Lititz, PA (home of Rock Lititz), learning piano via the Suzuki method, living in Nashville and San Antonio in pursuit of the musician life, finding a job at Howl At the Moon as a piano player, and turning that into his steady day gig. Alex created Granddogs as a way to share his original songwriting, and the band has a new single dropping on 4/14 called "When You Call", available on all digital platforms. 

Don't miss Inside Hustle, a Philadelphia music industry and networking event this Saturday, 4/13 at REC Philly, brought to you by the Philly Music Fest and WXPN FM. The event features a panel moderated by World Cafe's Raina Douris, and an open house with folk from radio, studios, booking, artist management, record labels and more. The event is free, sign up for a ticket in advance

Apr 2, 2024

Dan talks with Joel Tannenbaum (Plow United, Snow Fairies, Skywriters) and Nick Palmer (WAX WAV, The Danger O's) about their new project The Blackburns. Nick tells the story of how he thought he was out of the music game until he got a message from Joel (Plow United was a huge band for Nick as a teen) that he was looking for a songwriting partner. Needless to say, Nick was back in, and the two of them quickly wrote a full length record. Joel and Nick talk about the process, what they did and didn't want to do, their mutual Twin Peaks obsessions, and the record as a love letter to their youth and young adult lives spent in small, regional punk scenes. The Blackburns' debut LP is out on April 12th, available on independent label Sell The Heart Records, the group's Bandcamp, and wherever you get your digital music. 

Mar 26, 2024

Dan talks with Zoe Lemon, a trained and seasoned violinist who is fairly new to the singer-songwriter game. Zoe talks about growing up in the rural parts of Chester County, the ups and downs of music school at Temple University, graduating right into the pandemic, van life, and learning to write songs by herself out on the road. Her latest EP, 'Tailspin', is the result of those road-trip songs, which she made with Packie Cronin (Rally Point/Attic Posture) and Rob Bolz (Tribe Sound Records). She was featured late in 2023 on WXPN's The Key Studio Sessions. From her childhood pet goat bullying her and her siblings, to finding her way as a performer, Zoe brings a brightness and eager spirit to her live show and records, and we're looking forward to what she does in 2024.

Mar 19, 2024

Dan goes in deep with Scott Radway about his early musical tastes (all Beatles), going to music school despite his parents advice to the contrary (they had both attended music school), composition, touring with bands, and becoming both an accomplished producer and songwriter on his own (he's currently a member of lo priestess with wife Gina LC of Dear Forbidden). Song cycles, Rush, Beck, the many flavours of psychdelia, begging, becoming a new father, and more. 'Poppies' is the new LP from Scott, it's out March 22nd wherever you get digital music, and available to preorder on vinyl at his Bandcamp. Also, Dan offers up a few words about The Grape Room, a long standing independent music venue in Manayunk, which just announced its closing this last weekend.

Mar 12, 2024

Dan talks with Dave Perry about his band Athensville, growing to like the weird music your older brother plays when you're young, the many missed connections between him and frontman Matt Taglang (who was on the show back on #203) and their eventual meeting as adults, and choosing a side in the lesser debated "Echo and the Bunnymen vs The Smiths" argument. Dave also talks about their new single, "Desiderata (Free Tyree Wallace)", how it came to be, and how he came to be involved in the movement to help get an innocent man out of prison and back home. The new single is available wherever you get digital music, and you can learn more about the story of Tyree Wallace, sign the petition, find out how to donate and more at freetyreewallace.com.

Feb 27, 2024

Jeremy Garber is the co-founder of Grind Select, an independent record label based in Philadelphia that is celebrating it's 10th year this year. Dan and Jeremy talk about how Jeremy found his way into the music world via punk and hardcore on Long Island, being part of the first music business major at Syracuse University, and what it takes to keep a label going for ten years amidst all the tumult and uncertainty in the music industry. Current Philadelphia bands on Grind Select include Pine Barons, Son Step, and Grocer. You can keep up with all things Grind Select over at their site, including new releases, tour dates for artists, merch, and more.

Feb 20, 2024

Dan and Kara Koser bond immediately over being fellow loudmouths, and their love of the Norristown Zoo, of all things. Kara talks about growing up and trying to find her place as a singer and performer, getting sober and figuring out how to be a musician again, singing contests, skipping an entire line of the National Anthem during a performance once, and how moving to Manayunk (not her first choice, initially) changed everything. She met the guys who would end up being her band, Koser, at the Grape Street Pub open mic, and has finally been able to create the music she's had in her head. Their newest EP, appropriately titled 'loudmouth soup', is out wherever you get digital music. Follow the band on their mailing list to keep up on all their comings and goings.

Photo by Runamok Images

Feb 13, 2024

Dan sits down with Grammy winning engineer/producer/songwriter Sam Rosen to talk about her work in the studio with folk like Jazmine Sullivan, John Legend, Khemist, and Dan's longtime friend Alec Stewart's Lucky Rabbit project. Sam recounts how she got into the engineering chair at MilkBoy The Studio, working with a ton of hip hop and r&b projects, her persistence in still making her own music, and the importance of great vocal production. Sam releases her original music as Samryebread, and her latest single "R U OK?" is out now wherever you get digital music.  

Feb 6, 2024

Dan is pleased to bring Brian Walker back for his 3rd full length episode (sort of like the SNL "5 Timers Club"). Despite a recent move to the Boston area, Brian is and will always be part of the Philadelphia community. He's been making music as A Day Without Love for over a decade, as well as being a sharp commentator on DIY, the state of touring acts, and all things community related. Dan and Brian have a lively conversation about the similarities and differences between the Boston and Philadelphia music worlds, touring, venues, sandwiches, etc. Brian has a new ADWL LP out now, 'A Stranger That You Met Before', available on Ur Mom Records and wherever you get your digital music. 

 

Photo by Bill Streicher

Jan 30, 2024

Dan talks to Lily Enos (Winding Way Records) about growing up in Wildwood, NJ, the loneliness of being a weird, arty kid, watching her dad play in bands, and how she ended up picking up a guitar and writing her own songs (she would sing rather than talk to herself). Lily talks about making the music she’s making now through various online collaborations, working with people who are good at what they do, navigating the music business, and always learning how to do it better. “Retaliation”, the newest single by Lily Enos, is available wherever you get digital music and via Winding Way Records.

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