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Just Announced: Resilient, Honeytiger and The Vernes will inaugurate The Key’s Philly Showcase at MilkBoy

Resiliant | photo by Leeland McCartney
Resiliant | photo by Leeland McCartney | courtesy of the artist

Here at The Key, we love Philly music — that, I hope, is kind of evident. We love going out to see live shows, we love hearing new artists from our community for the first time, and then bringing them to you. Which is kind of the idea behind The Key’s Philly Showcase, a new series of gigs we’re partnering with MilkBoy to present.

Beginning July 26th, we’ll bring some of our favorite new discoveries from the Philly scene to the stage on the final Wednesdays of the month, kicking off with a gig headlined by asskicking hard rock outfit Resilient. Led by singer-guitarist Erin Fox, the band wowed us with their 2016 debut Imagining Things, and their tremendous live energy when we caught them onstage at an International Women’s Day benefit this spring. They’ll be joined by Honeytiger, whose Half Clean LP spanned the blues-driven minimalism of The Black Keys with infectious and poppy modern rock hooks. On the pure pop side is The Vernes, a five piece that put out their self-titled debut in March; they’ll round the bill out with breezy and wistful summertime pop jams. Continue reading →

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“A Modern New Wave Fantasy”: Supergroup DREAMCAR make their Philadelphia debut at the TLA

Dreamcar | photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN

Is there anything trickier in music than the formation of a supergroup?  Usage of that term alone feels gratuitous.  Last year’s unveiling of the concept behind DREAMCAR, the creative union between AFI frontman Davey Havok and No Doubt members Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont and Adrian Young, arrived in particularly tabloidian fashion – reports were quick to assume No Doubt had replaced their iconic frontwoman Gwen Stefani and – GASP! – Stefani herself went on television to share she wasn’t aware until she read about it on the interwebs.  But on the heels of the May 12 release of its self-titled debut, DREAMCAR is quickly proving itself a horse of a different color, and it’s far better than you would expect. Continue reading →

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Sun Ra Arkestra, Anthony Braxton and more to play inaugural October Revolution of Jazz & Contemporary Music

Sun Ra Arkestra
Sun Ra Arkestra at Johnny Brendas | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

Inspired by jazz great Bill Dixon’s 1964 gathering of a similar name, Ars Nova Workshop and FringeArts have announced a new “deep listening festival” happening this fall called The October Revolution of Jazz & Contemporary Music. Scheduled for October 5th through the 8th and based at the riverfront HQ of FringeArts, OctRev revives a pivotal moment in jazz history with a new crop of boundary-pushing artists.

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Play It Right: Sylvan Esso at Union Transfer

Sylvan Esso | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

 

It’s hard to imagine many bands that are more just plain fun than Sylvan Esso. And last weekend during two very sold-out shows at Union Transfer, they both had fun performing and shared their magical sense of passion and humor with an adoring crowd of fans. I had been waiting to see the band again for almost two years, since first encountering them in Wisconsin at Justin Vernon’s inaugural Eaux Claires festival — and getting to see their explosive presence touring behind the just-released What Now did not, of course, disappoint. Continue reading →

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Folkadelphia Session: Honeysuckle

Courtesy of the artist.

Accolades, accomplishments, and positioning aside, at their most fundamental level, burgeoning Boston-based trio Honeysuckle write damn good songs and nothing beats that. Holly McGarry, Benjamin Burns, and Chris Bloniarz have immense chemistry and a real ease to their playing, which makes their creativity expressed through their music that much more impactful for the listener. The band’s most recent release, their eponymous 2016 album, displays this gelling of wild imagination and skillful execution, but where they shine is in the live domain. Catch them on tour in your area!
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Break Free Fest Spotlight: Soul Glo

Soul Glo | photo by Joey Tobin via soulglophl.bandcamp.com

“For years punk and hardcore have been deemed white genres of music,” write the organizers of Philly’s Break Free Fest, “pushing aside and ignoring people of color who have been shaping it for years.” The festival, which takes place on Saturday, May 27th at The Rotunda in West Philadelphia, seeks to bring those marginalized artists together and to the front. All week long leading up to the event, we’re highlighting some of the performers on the bill.

Soul Glo / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
soulglophl.bandcamp.com

1. Who is in the band, how long have you been around for, and how would you describe what you’re doing to someone who might not be familiar?

In our band currently are vocalist Pierce, guitarist Ruben, bassist GG, and drummer Jamie. Soul Glo has existed since July 2014. Essentially our music is the sound of the yelling and cussing in our heads as we field the various microaggressions of our lives.

2. What are you most excited about when it comes to Break Free Fest?

When it comes to Break Free, we’re most excited about the commingling of Black and Brown people who make and love to hear punk and hardcore. We’re most excited about being surrounded by those people and hopefully seeing this become an annual event, if it doesn’t exhaust Scout too much to do so. Continue reading →

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The Improbables’ new album Object To Be Destroyed will probably destroy PhilaMOCA on Friday

The Improbables | via facebook.com/theimprobables

Philly garage rockers The Improbables play their first show in over a year on Friday as part of the closing night of the Suitable for Framing art exhibition at PhilaMOCA. They’ll be joined by a Jason Killinger (of Spacin’ and Birds of Maya) solo set and I Think Like Midnight, which features members of both the Wishniaks and Dead Milkmen. Doors open at 8 p.m. with the small entrance request of a $10 donation. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Macy Gray at Ardmore Music Hall, Chris Kasper at World Cafe Live, Telyscopes at The Barbary, and more

Macy Gray | via facebook.com/macygrayslife

Macy Gray‘s back, folks. And she’s not slowing down one bit.  After releasing the jazz-infused album, Stripped, back in September, Gray continues to show her endless talents with a recent single “White Man.” While also being an insanely catchy, dance-able tune, the single also serves as a socially-conscious, empowering anthem. Don’t miss Macy Gray perform this and classics alike at The Ardmore Music Hall tonight. Find more info on tickets here, and watch the inspiring video for “White Man” below. Continue reading →

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The Crutchfield sisters covered Sleater-Kinney and here’s video proof

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Katie and Allison Crutchfield of Waxahatchee | Photo by Scott Troyan | scotttroyan.com

Katie (Waxahatchee) and Allison Crutchfield paired up for a jam session at last weekend’s Vulture Festival, and video has surfaced of one of the jams going beyond the sister’s discography. The duo covered Sleater-Kinney’s “Modern Girl,” off the 2005 album The Woods. The only thing not perfect about this all of this that the video cuts off before we get a chance to witness the entire song. Continue reading →

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Whitney bring the joyous Light Upon The Lake to Union Transfer

Whitney | photo by Tyler Asay for WXPN

On Monday night, Chicago indie rock band Whitney, who released their acclaimed debut Light Upon The Lake last year, played to fans both young and old at a packed Union Transfer. “This might be the biggest room we’ve played so far,” remarked vocalist/drummer Julian Ehrlich. “Get used to it!” exclaimed a voice from the audience, and he’s right. This talented six-piece, playing a modern version of soul/country-infused indie rock with catchy, cathartic melodies, only has larger rooms in front of them.

“The last time we were here in Philadelphia,” said Ehrlich, “We played at Johnny Brenda’s and there were five people there.” Whitney was started by Ehrlich (formerly of Unknown Mortal Orchestra) and guitarist Max Kakacek (of the disbanded Smith Westerns) in Chicago in 2015. Their set, which lasted a little over an hour, was made up of all the songs from their record, with a couple new ones thrown in as well. Continue reading →