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The Key Studio Sessions: Kingsley Ibeneche

When we first met Kingsley Ibeneche, he was dancing.

More specifically, he was onstage backing Kate Faust and her sensual electronic rock with impressive poise and fluid motion. The Camden artist, who studied ballet at University of the Arts and spent a few years after school practicing modern dance in Germany, has always been an interpreter of music, the vehicle that a current of music sets into motion. But the more time he spent around it, the more he began to absorb and incorporate music directly into his practice. This year, Ibeneche debuted with CHi, an eclectic EP that serves as a fine introduction to him as a singer and songwriter, an interdisciplinary artist. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Ron Gallo scares me (in a good way) at the First Unitarian Church

Ron Gallo | photo by Tom Beck for WXPN

Did you know that every single time Gene Simmons says that rock is dead, a new great rock and roll album is born? Seriously. It’s an actual fact. Or at least I think. Anway, one of the latest people to disprove Simmons — whose idea of rock and roll is to dress up in gothic clown costumes, blast pyrotechnics and sell action figures to distract from the mediocre-ness of his band’s music — is Philly’s own Ron Gallo.

Gallo, who sadly left us for Nashville about two years ago, came back to the city that loves him most (no offense, Nashville, but it’s true) last night to showcase the latest iteration of his ever-evolving style. No longer was he “Americana Ron” or “Roots Rock Ron.” This time around he was “Rock and Roll Ron,” with some other stuff mixed in as well. Continue reading →

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Get to Church early this Sunday for Lame-O and Friends Acoustic Pop Up Show

Lame-O Records’ 5th Birthday bash is coming up this Sunday at First Unitarian Church, which will be a big Lame-O family gathering featuring performances by Slaughter Beach, Dog, Shannen Moser, Cherry and no thank you. And now, there’s an official pre-party for the party. Located in the Church’s Side Chapel will be an acoustic pop-up show featuring “Lame-O and Friends.”

Though the specific “friends” are not detailed, a Facebook post notes that “A LOT of friends will be playing.” And knowing how stacked the record label’s artist roster is, I think it’s safe to assume this is going to be quite a merry time. Continue reading →

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Nymphaea returns with the enigmatic Shang Bronze EP

Nymphaea | photo via the artist’s Facebook page

Nymphaea, the soft and synthy solo project of Philadelphia multimedia artist Marit Rose Stafstrom, first came our way earlier this fall in the form of Abode of the Merciful, a Bandcamp benefit release that made its way into The Key’s Items Tagged Philadelphia series. Now, just two months later, Nymphaea is back with a new EP, called Shang Bronze. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: U2 will play a second night at Wells Fargo Center on June 14th

U2 | photo by Anton Corbijn | courtesy of the artist
U2 | photo by Anton Corbijn | courtesy of the artist

U2 releases its 14th studio album, Songs of Experience, in just a couple weeks, and the band’s summer 2018 stop in Philly just got a little bit longer. After the previously announced June 13th date at Wells Fargo Center went on sale yesterday, U2 added a second date on Thursday, June 14th. Tickets go on sale Monday, December 4th through Ticketmaster Verified Fan, more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Erica Corbo at Connie’s Ric Rac, Cabinet at Ardmore Music Hall, Joey Sweeney and the Neon Grease at Boot & Saddle

Erica Corbo | via ericacorbo.bandcamp.com

The night before Thanksgiving can be a quiet time for concerts, but Philly didn’t disappoint this year. First up is Erica Corbo — she was an Items Tagged Philadelphia find earlier this year and her release I, America is a theatrical pop gem with a unique steampunk aesthetic. Corbo is the featured artist at open mic night at Connie’s Ric Rac, which should provide perfect solace from the holiday rush. Get there early for happy hour and open mic signups; find more information here. Continue reading →

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Lady Alma and Loose Ends’ Jane Eugene bring the conversation and burn the house down at Kindred Presents

Kindred Presents | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

On a cool and crisp Monday night, a hundred or so people are packed into Warmdaddy’s, for Kindred Presents, a weekly series that is part talk show, part concert / jam session / revival. Most of the attendees were seated in the dining area, some standing by the bar, pretty much all were smiling, taking in the easy, familial vibe that permeated the room. Upon entering the room, I was seated at a large round table in the back with a group of folks I didn’t know. After a round of introductions, we shared a couple plates of Southern-style sweet and buttery cornbread, joked and made small talk, while waiting for the start of the show.

Aja Graydon Dantzler and Fatin Dantzler, better known as Kindred The Family Soul, took to the stage backed by their tight house band, laying down a mellow, soulful groove. For the past 26 weeks or so, Kindred The Family Soul have hosted Kindred Presents  a variety show-style live series in which the duo invites a veritable who’s who of contemporary Black music for an evening of soul food, fun, intimate conversation and music.

The show’s format is simple, Aja and Fatin conduct a short, casual chat with the guest, after which the guest proceeds to join the band and burn the house down! The first guest of the night was Philly’s own Lady Alma Horton. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Benjamin Clementine will play the TLA in January

In epic fashion, UK award winning composer, vocalist, pianist, and songwriter Benjamin Clementine returns to the music world with I Tell A Fly. It is rare that we see an album that covers so many eras of music as I Tell A Fly does; Clementine shows off his knowledge of baroque harpsichord sonatas, chant-based compositions, and orchestral techniques all the while staying in the present and incorporating modern rock drumming and standard pop chords in major keys. I Tell A Fly is a musical history lesson in essence as well as a compelling statement on cultural displacement and the importance of individuality.

Starting in late January, Clementine takes his music to the masses, kicking off his North American Tour for I Tell A Fly. The tour comes to Philly on January 29th at the Theatre of Living Arts. Continue reading →

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Lil Uzi Vert continues his rock star reign with a revamped edition of Luv Is Rage 2 and a Liacouras Center show

Lil Uzi Vert | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN
Lil Uzi Vert | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

2017 has been a record-breaking year for North Philly rap star Lil Uzi Vert. Before releasing the full length Luv Is Rage 2, Uzi’s “XO TOUR Llif3” went quadruple-platinum, breaking multiple records for streaming numbers and hard-copy sales. Luv Is Rage 2 also recently went gold after debuting at #1 on the Billboard 100. Uzi is now a certified rock star and lives his life to fit the part. And just when we thought he was taking a break from releasing new music, he gifted us four new songs on the deluxe version of Luv Is Rage 2: “Skirr Skir”, “Loaded”, “Diamonds All On My Wrist,” and “20 Min.” Continue reading →

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Pinegrove’s Evan Stephens Hall apologizes for sexual misconduct, cancels tour

Pinegrove | photo by Lauren Rosier for WXPN

Evan Stephens Hall, frontperson of New Jersey indie rock band Pinegrove, posted a lengthy message on the band’s Facebook page today addressing accusations of sexual misconduct and apologizing for his behavior. “I’m so sorry. i have never felt remorse like this before,” he writes. “I will think about how i could have been better in this situation for as long as i live.” Continue reading →