Natives of the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Richie and his brother Charli Ingui began making music in New York City under the name Dedications, from 1962 to 1964. But it was a name change and a little song called “Expressway to Your Heart” that broke them big. Continue reading →
Philadelphia’s Allison Crutchfield has been teasing her Merge Records debut for months now, and the wait is finally over. Tourist In This Town is out January 27th, but you can stream it in all its sun-drenched glory now via NPR. It’s a varied ten-song set, but if you already checked out “Dean’s Room” and “I Don’t Ever Wanna Leave California,” that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. While the record may try on a variety of indie rock and pop flavors, the personal storytelling at its core is what gives it its strength. Continue reading →
Doylestown post-hardcore act Circa Surive are currently on tour celebrating the tenth anniversary of On Letting Go, their sophomore record. It included a stop at The Fillmore last week with Turnover and mewithoutYou. Now, they’ve shared a new pair of b-sides on their Bandcamp page, “1000 Witnesses” and “The Most Dangerous Commercials.”
If you’ve been a fan of Circa Survive up to now, neither of these songs should come as too much of a surprise — which is to say, they’re big and bold, the arrangements are winding and the dramatic, the vocals soar, and the drums pummel you like a machine gun. You can stream both tracks below. Continue reading →
This Sunday, January 22nd, Doylestown’s Siren Records will host a Women’s Benefit with live performances from Queen of Jeans, Lily Mae, and Julia Hudak. The event will also feature food and drink from local vendors Perfect Day Coffee, Manoff Market Gardens and Small Batch Kitchen — the proprietors of which all happen to be women as well. The event is free to the public, but that doesn’t mean you should come with an empty wallet. If you donate $5 or more, you’ll be entered into a raffle to win a $100 Siren Records Gift Card and t-shirt — and all funds from the raffle will go to A Woman’s Place, an organization that combats intimate and domestic abuse. For more information, consult the Facebook event page. Continue reading →
Ceramic Animal are doing something special. Combining soulfulness borrowed from The Doors with the slacker vibe of dad rockers everywhere, their newest record The Cart is breaking down rock and roll barriers.
It’s been more than four years since we last heard from Japandroids, and a lot can happen in that span of time. I was in high school when Celebration Rock came out, and like me, Brian King and David Prowse have done some growing up in the interim. Where their sophomore record was all brute-force hooks and balls on walls, Near To The Wild Heart Of Life takes a more nuanced approach. It doesn’t stop it from being any less exhilarating, though, and you can stream it now over at NPR. Continue reading →
It’s a month of Lame-O Records at South Philly venue Boot & Saddle, and it’s a month of Lame-O here at The Key. With the local DIY label putting together such a strong lineup of mostly-local artists we’re psyched on for their Thursday night gigs, we’re taking out some time each week to highlight the series on these pages and on the WXPN airwaves.
This week, Chrissy Tashjian — frontwoman of power pop punk four-piece Thin Lips — joined me on the XPN Local Show for a guest DJ set of songs that inspire her as a guitarist, tonally and emotionally and energetically. It’s music she listens to during her 9-to-5 as a contractor, she says, and it gets her through the day. It also happens to be music made by her friends, and Chrissy talks about that feeling of community and camaraderie, about the home that the label has made for her, especially as she prepares to go to Europe for the first time on a Thin Lips tour with Lame-O affiliates Modern Baseball, The Superweaks and The Pooches.
Chrissy also talks about the importance of The Attic Youth Center, which Thin Lips’ show at the Boot acts as a benefit for. It’s a center for a LGBTQ youth, and as Tashjian says, “It’s so hard being a queer person in your formative years…which are confusing for anybody, with the hierarchy of cruelty that is middle school and high school. [The Attic] is a really great space for people, a safe space.”
If you missed it, you can stream Chrissy’s entire guest DJ set and check out the playlist below. Continue reading →
If there were any doubt in your mind that Chicago is the best hip-hop city in America right now, do yourself a favor and listen to Saba‘s 2016 outing Bucket List Project. It’s a remarkable collection that builds on the promise of 2014’s Comfort Zone mixtape; the vibe is tripped out but lively, his slice-of-life lyrics are inspiring, funny, occasionally moving and always honest. Soul harmonies mix with trap beats on the amazing “GPS,” the almighty noname teams up with him on “Church / Liquor Store,” juxtaposing virtue and vice.
Simply put, it’s an arrival and thanks to an attention-grabbing verse on Chance the Rapper’s “Angels,” Saba had a lot of people there to greet him last year. This winter and spring, he takes Bucket List on a headlining U.S. tour, and in some good news for those of us who missed his 2015 show at The Barbary with Mick Jenkins and Kirk Knight, it includes a Philly gig, headlining Chinatown’s famed Trocadero Theater balcony stage for an all ages show on Sunday, March 26th. Continue reading →