Preview The 31st annual Night Before on XPN with Robert Drake and Eric Schuman - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
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Newly named by the Philadelphia Inquirer as the tenth most quirky local holiday tradition,The Night Before with DJ Robert Drake spreads holiday cheer to the WXPN listening universe this Saturday and Sunday.

On Tuesday afternoon, Drake stopped by the WXPN studio to chat on-air with Eric Schuman about what we can expect on the 29-hour marathon broadcast, which begins Saturday, December 23rd at 7 p.m. EST with “The Night Before The Night Before,” a five-hour pregame before kicking into a full 24 hours of Christmas Eve mirth.

Drake ran through many of the highlights of his expertly-curated holiday programming: a playback of WXPN’s recent Home For The Holidays concert (SNACKTIME’s set airs Saturday at 9 p.m., Suzanne Sheer’s performance eases you into Sunday morning at 7 a.m., and John Faye and Friends will keep the energy high Sunday at 5 p.m.).

Drake also plans tributes to Leroy Anderson, composer of “Sleigh Ride”; to Wynton Marsalis, who we’ll hear a program of jazz holiday faves from; and to Phil Spector, and in particular a Christmas Eve afternoon deep dive into his 1963 album A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector; Schuman will join him for that discussion of “one of if not the most essential Christmas album of the rock and roll era.”

At noon, Drake plans a playback of Groovelily’s Striking 12 album, and at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve, he’ll preset the Lux Radio Theater 1947 production of It’s A Wonderful Life. And for those tuning in from around the country and around the world, Drake encourages use of the Jingle Cam at XPN.org to get a look at his “holiday masterpiece” of studio decoration; this year is the first year Drake’s decorations have stretched across the studio ceiling, and are punctuated by a collection of new wave, punk, and alternative-themed ornaments by artist Matthew Lineham.

Drake and Schuman also spin two unique preview songs to give listeners a taste of the curatorial mindset of The Night Before:

“Another Christmas Song” by Brittlestar, the project of comedian Stewart Reynolds, “the internet’s favorite dad,” and “Santa Lost A Ho” by The Christmas Jug Band, a project of famed LA musician Dan Hicks.

“I want to celebrate the uniqueness of Christmas,” sayd Drake. “There’s so much quality holiday music that never gets airplay.”

Listen to Robert Drake and Eric Schuman’s preview of The Night Before below, and set your clocks to tune in beginning at 7 p.m. this Saturday night, December 23rd.

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