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Singer-Songwriter Bliss: Mary Gauthier and Allison Moorer played World Cafe Live at the Queen

Allison Moorer and Mary Gauthier | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Allison Moorer and Mary Gauthier | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

The live pairing of the singular talents of Mary Gauthier and Allison Moorer this past Saturday at World Café Live at The Queen was nothing short of sublime. Part of a small tour of the East Coast, Gauthier and Moorer traded songs and anecdotes. Only their voices and guitars separated them from the respectable upstairs audience. But their sense of lyric and melody removed this barrier, making it a most intimate and rewarding artistic affair. Continue reading →

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Gang of Four shows the TLA What Happens Next

Gang of Four | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Gang of Four | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Wednesday night at TLA, the singular punk oddities Gang of Four played the second night of their US tour in support of their eighth LP, What Happens Next. It is an aptly titled record as there is only one original member in the band, Andy Gill, after lead vocalist Jon King left the band in 2013. When mixed with songs from throughout their career that began in 1977, the new album’s material fit in place quite well. And the crowd that filled in nicely after a sparse beginning was quite rapturous in their applause for Gang of Four. Continue reading →
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Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker packed the house at World Cafe Live

Cracker | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Cracker | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

The middle of January in Philadelphia means its time for one of the best live one-two rock ’n’ roll punches around — Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker. World Café played host to their sold-out performances Saturday and both bands were at the top of their game. Led by David Lowery, one of the foremost crusaders for fair compensation for musicians, they cruised mainly through California settings, transporting their frigid fans to sunny musical highs. Continue reading →

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A scorching double-bill from The Vaselines and Amanda X at Johnny Brenda’s

The Vaselines | Photo by Chris Sikich | <a href=http://countfeed.tumblr.com target="_blank">countfeed.tumblr.com</a>
The Vaselines | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

Last Thursday Scottish punk masters The Vaselines captivated a sold out Johnny Brenda’s. Scorching through a 22-song set, they were a brilliant act to behold. And with Philly-based Amanda X opening, it was a perfect night of rock, both old and new.

Led by the charming duo of Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee, The Vaselines were entertaining in both song and banter. Their works immortalized by Nirvana — “Son of a Gun,” “Molly’s Lips” and “Jesus Doesn’t Want Me for a Sunbeam” — were riveting, with “Jesus” having a seeming air of nuanced poignancy. (And despite a seemingly out-of-place request by the audience of a Nirvana cover, they even played a brief riff from “Come as You Are.”)  Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Chris Sikich’s Top Live Experiences Outside of Philadelphia

Jack White | Photo by Chris SIkich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Jack White | Photo by Chris SIkich | countfeed.tumblr.com

Year-End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2014 awesome. In this installment, contributing photographer Chris Sikich shares five outstanding concerts he saw out of town.

I love seeing shows in Philly, but many opportunities are taken to see music outside of the city. Below are five of my top live experiences outside of the confines of Philadelphia. Continue reading →

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Beautiful truths with Over the Rhine at Underground Arts

Over the Rhine | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Over the Rhine | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

Last Saturday’s cold and wet attitude could not prevent the warmth and beauty of Over the Rhine from overtaking Underground Arts. Husband and wife duo of Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler let their folk rock wrap the seated audience in the wealth of their 23-year musical history. With their newest holiday-themed release Blood Oranges in the Snow as a backdrop, they delivered their take on “reality” Christmas. And with some cuts from other works, including their masterful 2013 double album Meet Me at the Edge of the World, it would be tough to disappoint anyone in the rapt crowd. Though a seemingly odd venue for such a band, Underground Arts ended up being quite a fine setting for Over the Rhine’s beautiful truths. Continue reading →

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Work Drugs and Vita and the Woolf bring holiday cheer to Boot and Saddle

Work Drugs | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Work Drugs | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

Last Friday, seasonal cheer arrived at Boot & Saddle early in the form of Work Drugs’ annual “Christmas Spectacle” show. Their brand of electro rock was just right for a Friday night boogie in South Philly. Santa hats, Christmas songs old and new (including a few of their own concoctions) and a balanced mix of guitar, keyboards and harmonies were received with open arms. Continue reading →