If you’re a fan of WXPN, chances are you’re a fan of Bruce Warren, as well—the Assistant Station Manager and Executive Producer of World Cafe.
Born and raised in Philly, Bruce got his start at the station over twenty-three years ago as a volunteer DJ and has become one of the leading tastemakers in the Philly music scene. His favorite artists range from Bruce Springsteen and the Clash to Run DMC and Drake, so he’s not bound by genre.
Bruce took the time to chat with LiveGoodFast about working at XPN as well as living the good life in the City of Brotherly Love.
LGF: What is a typical day like for you at WXPN?
Bruce Warren: You know, I don’t really have a typical day, but I guess in some ways I do. I typically get into work an hour or two before most of the staff gets in. I use that time to listen to music, listen to the station, do some writing for The Key, and scope out what’s happening in the music world that I use to inform the kinds of things we might want to do at the station with bands we book, records we play, and trends we’re interested in.
Every day I’m also in a few different meetings, not just for programming and digital and web stuff, but I collaborate closely with our marketing and events folks and fundraising staff. We have so much going on. I like to think of my job as a creative, energetic spark plug. It’s always fun because it’s rock and roll and we’re building a fantastic community that’s driven by a mission—not profit and corporate greed.
LGF: What’s the last concert you’ve been to? Tell us about it!
BW: Well, I’ve been to about a half dozen shows in the last month. The last amazing
concert I saw was D’Angelo at the Keswick. That was mind blowing. What a showman—it was like two hours of non-stop funk and R&B and dancing all night. The band was tight, yet loose, and he just came to entertain people and there wasn’t anyone who walked out of that theatre who didn’t have a great big smile on their face.
LGF: The show is over and you’re starving. Where’s your favorite late-night spot for good eats?
BW: It all depends what time it is, right? This is gonna be a lame, so not “hip” answer, but I don’t care. There’s nothing like a turkey hoagie from Wawa after a show. But I’ve hit Johnny Brenda’s, The Industry, Sang Kee in Chinatown, and the Melrose Diner in the past. If anyone is reading this and knows of any awesome sushi restaurants open late, let me know.
LGF: It’s Sunday morning and you have the whole day to yourself in Philly. What’s on your agenda?
BW: I can’t remember the last whole day I had to myself, let alone myself in Philly.
I’d probably go to a restaurant I’ve been wanting to try with a good book, walk around the parts of town I like such as Rittenhouse Square or Old City, or I’d take a really long bike ride knowing that I didn’t need to be home by a certain time!
LGF: If you could interview any musician, living or dead, who would it be and why? What would you ask them?
BW: Okay Jenn, now this is another unfair question! Wow. If I had just one to pick it would be
Elvis Presley. I think the reason why is sort of obvious. He brought it all together and he impacted so many on record, in the studio, on TV, in movies. Blues, gospel, R&B, country that begat the rock. I have been obsessed with 68 Comeback and Elvis in Memphis recordings for years. I’d probably ask him about those records, why he made them. And I’d ask him to walk me through every second of how those early recordings went down.