Real Estate to return to Philly, kick off 2012 spring tour April 3rd at First Unitarian Church

Photo by Joe Del Tufo

The members of Real Estate announced today that they’ll kick off their spring U.S. tour in Philly this April. The band has been touring in the States, Europe, and Australia since November promoting its album Days. “Easy”, the next single from Days, will be released on vinyl and digitally March 5th, but is available for pre-order now. Real Estate played a Free At Noon show at World Cafe Live back in January, which you can listen to here. (You can also read our review here.) Tickets for the April 3rd show at First Unitarian Church go on sale tomorrow at noon. Full tour dates below.

3- Philadelphia, Pa. @ First Unitarian Church
4- Baltimore, Md. @ Ottobar
5- Richmond, Va. @ Strange Matter
6- Raleigh, N.C. @ Hopscotch Presents at Lincoln Theatre
7- Athens, Ga. @ 40 Watt Club
8- Oxford, Miss. @ Cats Purring Dude Ranch
9- Little Rock, Ark. @ Rev Room
10- Dallas, Texas @ Club Dada
11- Austin, Texas @ The Mohawk
15- Indio, Calif. @ Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
19- Mexico City, Mexico @ Caradura
20- Seattle, Wash. @ The Neptune
22- Indio, Calif. @ Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
23- Santa Cruz, Calif. @ Catalyst Atrium
24- San Francisco, Calif. @ Great American Music Hall
25- Reno, Nev. @ Holland Project
26- Salt Lake City, Utah @ Urban Lounge
27- Englewood, Colo. @ Gothic Theatre
28- Lawrence, Kansas @ Bottleneck
29- St. Louis, Mo. @ Plush
30- Columbus, Ohio @ Newport Music Hall

1- Harrisburg, Pa. @ Appalachian Brewing Co.


RIP Don Cornelius; Philly bands on Soul Train

After hearing yesterday’s sad news regarding the passing of Don Cornelius, we thought we’d take this opportunity to take a look at some of the great Philly bands that were on Soul Train. The theme song for the show, “T.S.O.P,” recorded by MFSB with backing vocals by The Three Degrees was written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff; Gamble talked to NBC 10 Philadelphia about the impact of the show and the how the song “Love Train” came about:

I used to talk to Don two or three days a week and I used to tell him, ‘you need a theme song.’ We started playing around with some different melodies and that’s when we came up with “T.S.O.P.” (the Sound of Philadelphia), the Soul Train theme. Everybody knew that was a funky theme for him. It’s a track that’s known all over the world.

I wanted to name it the “Soul Train theme.” He said ‘I don’t want it to be named the “Soul Train Theme” because that’s my brand. I don’t want you guys to have my brand.’ I said ‘well, let’s call it “T.S.O.P.,” the Sound of Philadelphia and I’ll put down the subtitle “The Soul Train Theme.” So he agreed. Later on in life he said that was the dumbest move he’d ever made.{laughs} Because it really was the Soul Train theme.

When our artists played on “Soul Train” our sales shot through the roof. Every Saturday “Soul Train” was watched by millions and millions and millions of people. There was a time when you couldn’t get many rhythm and blues and African American artists on television. Of course “American Bandstand” was on every day. “American Bandstand” was a wonderful program here in Philadelphia but it didn’t really have a lot of emphasis on rhythm and blues and black artists. When Don Cornelius came along he specialized in exposing black artists that people had never seen before. I think that’s his legend. He contribute something to the American culture. Who could ever forget the Soul Train line? Who could ever forget Don Cornelius saying love peace and soul? He’s a legend. His contribution to American culture is unbelievable. It’s not just here in America, it’s all over the world…his legacy will go on and on for generations to come.

Definitely worth reading is this heartfelt tribute to Cornelius written by Questlove in which he says: “Soul Train to me is the GREATEST creation and inspiration of my life.”

Below, watch some classic sounds of Philly from Soul Train


“Let’s Move It Philly 2012” fundraiser for Black Thought’s GrassROOTS Community Foundation

 The GrassROOTS Community Foundation is a collaborative effort of Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, co-founder and lead MC of the Roots, and sociologist Dr. Janice Johnson Dias. According to their website, the organization is “committed to contributing to the health and well-being of vulnerable populations and disadvantaged communities. Merging the talents of socially conscious artists with those of a rigorous scientific research and creative team, we are investing our energies to developing the capacity of community based organizations that offer educational and recreational services to disadvantaged women and girls.” On Saturday, February 18th, Black Thought is holding his annual “Let’s Move It Philly” charity event for GrassROOTs at Sigma Sound Studios featuring performances from Black Thought and Questlove, DJ Rich Medina, DJ Diamond Kuts, the Money Making Jam Boys and Nikki Jean. Tickets are $30 in advance, $40 at the door. Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.


Tonight’s Concert Pick: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour at Union Transfer

Add The Asteroids Galaxy Tour to your list of “worthwhile bands you didn’t realize you already knew.” The work of this jazzy psychedelic-pop duo has been featured in numerous television shows and commercial advertisements. Browsing through the selections on your iPod Touch might stir up memories of the 2008 Apple commercial that introduced The Asteroids Galaxy Tour’s first single, “Around The Bend.” Cracking open an icy Heineken, meanwhile, might remind you of “The Golden Age,” featured in last year’s beer campaign. Though ad-related publicity has, in part, kept The Asteroids Galaxy Tour’s popularity afloat for the last two and a half years, the band’s new album, Out Of Frequency, could earn its place in pop culture’s collective consciousness purely on its own musical merit. (And it might even inspire a fresh wave of memorable ads that will play on loop in your mind.) The Asteroids Galaxy Tour performs with Vacationer at 8:30 p.m. at Union Transfer; tickets to the all-ages show are $15. —Lisa Henderson


Sharon Van Etten to perform a Free At Noon concert at World Cafe Live on Friday, February 10th

Dusdin Condren/Courtesy of the artist

Sharon Van Etten will perform a Free At Noon Concert at World Cafe on Friday, February 10th. (Van Etten will be at Johnny Brenda’s later that night for a sold-out XPN Welcomes show with Shearwater.) The Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter (and WXPN favorite) will be touring in support of her upcoming album, Tramp, which will be released on February 7th on Jagjaguwar Records. You can listen to the album via streaming audio (courtesy of NPR Music) here. Some of the sessions for Tramp were mixed by Brian McTear at Miner Street, the recording studio that is home to Shaking Through, the online video and audio collaboration between WXPN and Weathervane Music. Sharon was the inaugural Shaking Through artist in January 2010; you can watch her Shaking Through video and listen to the track “Love More” below.

Tickets become available to the general public tomorrow afternoon following the Free At Noon performance by Pete Donnelly; for earlier access to Free At Noon tickets, sign up for WXPN’s weekly email newsletter—you’ll be able to RSVP on Thursday mornings, immediately after the performing act has been announced.

As always, check back with The Key on Friday afternoon after the show for photos, a review, and a recording of the full performance.

Shaking Through: Sharon Van Etten from Weathervane Music on Vimeo.


My Morning Download: “Love Minus Zero/No Limit” by Jackson Browne

Chimes Of Freedom: The Songs Of Bob Dylan is a fantastic four disc, 76 song collection of Dylan covers honoring 50 years of Amnesty International and celebrating the work of Dylan. More than eighty artists contribute their versions of Dylan classics and lesser known songs including “All Along The Watchtower” by the Dave Matthews Band, “You’re A Big Girl Now,” by My Morning Jacket, Sting’s cover of “Girl From The North Country,” “Like A Rolling Stone,” a collaboration between Jeff Beck and Seal and “Corrina Corrina” by Pete Townshend (see video below). Below, download “Love Minus Zero/No Limit” by Jackson Browne compliments of Amnesty International.



Video: Kathleen Edwards and Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver) from World Cafe Live

Kathleen Edwards performed last night at World Cafe Live. Her new record, Voyageur, was co-produced by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, and last night’s concert goers were treated to a special appearance from Vernon. Special thanks to the guys from Philly’s Work Drugs for the photos they took during the show. They commented: “Justin definitely played the role of side man, singing and playing guitar on some cuts from the new record.”

Below, you can watch a fan video of the song “12 Bellevue.”