The Key’s Year-End Mania: Read the ten most-popular Key stories of 2016 - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band | Photo by Cameron Pollack |

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2016 incredible. In this installment, we bring you the ten most popular Key stories of the year.
10. Watch Bonnie Raitt and Amos Lee perform “Angel From Montgomery” – July 28, 2016

At the end of her set, Bonnie invited Philly singer-songwriter Amos Lee out to duet on John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery,” a song that Raitt originally recorded with Prine on her 1974 album, Streetlights. Not having any time to rehearse, Lee played the part perfectly, and it was a highlight of Raitt’s set.

9. PREMIERE: A master class in songwriting on Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties’ “Green Like The G Train” – April 21, 2016

“I think a lot of times people think of songwriting like, ‘oh now i have to write a sad song. Or a happy song. Or an angry song,’” Campbell explains. “[Writing for this project] was this admission that human existence is not binary. That we aren’t happy at one moment and angry at the other, we are all things at once to different degrees.”

8. WXPN presents the 100 greatest debut albums – August 31, 2016
Wrapping up the summer’s #TBTXPN series, this realtime list catalogued the top 100 debut albums as broadcast on WXPN in August.

7. Here’s what was happening at The Khyber 24 years ago this month – August 1, 2016

Many drunken nights were had there, green Yeungling empties lining up on the tables and stomped-out cigarette butts collecting on the ground. Oh, the cigarette butts. When Philadelphia banned smoking in bars and restaurants in 2008, and I left a gig for the first time not reeking like an ashtry, with no musty coat to contend with the next day, my mind was effectively blown. We used to live like this? I wondered. We used to go hoarse from smoke and liquor and screaming? But of course we did. Because music.

6. Paul McCartney played a 36-song setlist at Citizens Bank Park last night and it was glorious – July 13, 2016

There were Wings jams, “Hi Hi Hi” to “Live And Let Die.” There were Beatles deep cuts (“I’ve Got A Feeling,” “Here, There and Everywhere”) and mega-hits (you know which ones those are). Dude even busted out a Quarrymen jam, “In Spite of All the Danger.”

5. After 25 years at the World Cafe, David Dye’s role is changing – November 13, 2016

“On one hand, it is extremely hard to picture my life without hosting the World Cafe on a daily basis,” says Dye. “It is the best job in radio, working with the most talented people. For years I have had the opportunity to sit in the same room talking with the likes of Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock and thousands of others. Our 25th anniversary seems like the perfect juncture to get off the treadmill of daily radio and see what is next.”

4. Watch The Grateful Dead play the last-ever show at JFK Stadium this day in 1989 – July 7, 2016

The fans in attendance did not know the stadium was shutting down. The band maybe had gotten wind, since they closed the set with a cover of “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan, or maybe they were just paying tribute to one of the finest American songwriters of all time.

3. XPN Fest Recap: Father John Misty gets a lot off his chest – July 22, 2016
Tillman had plenty of commentary to fill his roughly six-minute speech which preceded any sort of music. He mentioned a certain “entertaining tyrant” who is dominating the political landscape. He stated that “evolution makes us half-formed when we come out, and culture fills the gap.” He found insanity in the fact that the very stage he stood on rested in the shadows of an actual battleship.

2. Watch an incredible montage of Bruce Springsteen playing “Thunder Road” over 41 years – March 3, 2016

There are fan videos, then there are super-fan videos. Today we found this one by evident Bruce Springsteen aficionado Phil Whitehead that collects 41 years worth of The Boss performing “Thunder Road” and makes them into an epic supercut.

1. R.I.P. Erik Petersen of Mischief Brew – July 15, 2016

Another one of the videos screening that night was “Where I’m From” by West Philly rapper The Bul Bey. That song, in it’s own beat-heavy summertime-jammy ear candy kinda way, is talking about the same exact issues – contrasting the downs and ups of the places we call home. After the event wrapped up, I caught Petersen and Bey talking shop afterwards — they totally noticed the parallels in one another’s songs before I did, and were nerding out about them. I quickly chatted with Erik; he was excited about releasing the new record on Alternative Tentacles, and plans to take it on the road in the subsequent year. Once again, he had that huge smile on his face. The lights came up and it was time to clear out; I extended my arm for a handshake, he went in for a bear hug. That’s the kind of guy Erik Petersen was.

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