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Firefly 2019’s lineup led by Panic! At The Disco, Travis Scott, Post Malone, with Courtney Barnett, Vampire Weekend, Hop Along on the undercard

from left, Panic! At The Disco | photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN // Travis Scott | photo by Isaiah Spicer for WXPN // Post Malone | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

While Firefly‘s recently-announced 2019 lineup isn’t doing anything to improve the Dover, Delaware festival’s track record of booking overwelmingly male headliners, seeing psychedelic rap visionary Travis Scott take the big-font Saturday-night prime slot is indeed a silver lining, especially in the wake of his ridiculous ASTROWORLD tour stop at the Wells Fargo Center.

Scott is sandwiched between Friday’s appearance from pop punk dramatists Panic! At the Disco and Sunday’s closing set from hip-hop’s voice of suburban ennui, Post Malone, who admittedly has a few catchy songs in his playbook. But as the case is with most festivals of this scale, the true excitement at Firefly lies in its undercard. Continue reading →

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Caracara navigates a world of moving portraits in new “Evil” video

Caracara | still from video

They went to SXSW in March, they’ve got a show coming up at the cages before December is out, and in between, the impressionistic post-hardcore Philadelphians of Caracara have kept a relatively low profile in 2018. This could change in the new year, though, as the band was recently picked up by Memory Music, the boutique label curated by Conshohocken producer Will Yip. Continue reading →

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Worriers covers The Magnetic Fields’ “Grand Canyon” for No More Dysphoria benefit

Worriers
Worriers | photo by Molly Adams | courtesy of the artist

Punk outfit Worriers are the closing artist on the new benefit compilation You Can Sing Me Anything: A Tribute to 69 Love Songs. The album pays tribute to The Magnetic Fields’ landmark opus, which celebrates its 20th anniversary next September, and raises money in the process for No More Dysphoria, a non-profit that provides trans individuals with financial assistance for medical costs.

Worriers’ frontperson Lauren Denitzio covered “Grand Canyon” for the project; on the original album, it is the 29th love song (or disc two, song six), but the compilation resequences the record so it ends on “Grand Canyon,” and Denitzio’s solo electric rendition gives it a resonant, Billy Bragg-ish quality to close out the set, as compared to the shimmering synthpop of the original. Continue reading →

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Watch Curly Castro get his Death Grips on in a fired-up teaser for the TOSH LP

Curly Castro | photo via curlycastro.bandcamp.com

If you just went off of his Bandcamp discography, it might seem like Philly rapper Curly Castro hasn’t been too busy since the run of singles following his debut LP Winston’s Appeal. This would not be correct by a longshot; Castro’s excellent Fidel project dropped in 2013 via Man Bites Dog Records, he released EPs Brody and Restroy & Debuild with the Wrecking Crew in 2015 and 2015, respectively. Earlier this year, he and Zilla Rocca teamed up in the new duo project Grift Company, and not too long ago he revisited his debut with the remix / reimagining project Winston’s Dubplate.

So now that we’re up to speed on his Bandcamp extracurriculars, it’s a good time to dive into Castro’s latest; TOSH, his first full-length since Fidel. The project drops this Friday, December 14th, and Castro has given followers a few specimens to try out in advance of its release. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Marissa Nadler turns World Cafe Live into the Roadhouse

Marissa Nadler | photo by Taylor Johnson for WXPN

I don’t know if Boston singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler was a fan of Twin Peaks: The Return (or the original series, for that matter) but I could 100% imagine her downbeat, distressed electric folk resonating from the stage of the roadhouse at the end of an episode.

Nadler performed at World Cafe Live today for WXPN’s Free at Noon concert series, on the heels of a Boot & Saddle gig earlier this week; her latest record, For My Crimes, was released in September on Sacred Bones Records. Her setlist pulled predominately from that record, with the exception of the spectral closer “Drive,” which came from Nadler’s 2014 album “July,” and the tender beauty of “Leave The Light On,” which came from the demos compilation Before July.   Continue reading →

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R.I.P. Pete Shelley of The Buzzcocks; watch video of the punk icons’ final Philadelphia concert from 2016

Pete Shelley of Buzzcocks onstage at The Trocadero in 2010 | photo by Eric Schuman

Pete Shelley, singer-guitarist of influential Northern England punk four-piece Buzzcocks, has passed away today at his home in Estonia; he was 63 years old.

As the band Tweeted earlier this afternoon, “Pete’s music has inspired generations of musicians over a career that spanned five decades and with his band and as a solo artist, he was held in the highest regard by the music industry and by his fans around the world.”

Shelley formed Buzzcocks with fellow singer-guitarist Howard Devoto, and debuted in 1976 opening for Sex Pistols’ legendary Lesser Free Trade Hall concert. Devoto left the band to form Magazine the following year, making Shelley the frontman through the band’s run of 70s albums, Another Music in a Different Kitchen (1978), Love Bites (1978), and A Different Kind of Tension (1979). After taking most of the 80s off, the band reunited in the 90s, releasing records every few years and touring regularly. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Wu-Tang Clan will celebrate 25 years of 36 Chambers at Franklin Music Hall

Wu-Tang Clan circa 1995 | via Billboard

Legendary Staten Island rap crew Wu-Tang Clan is playing two full-cast reunion concerts at the top of the new year (well, almost full-cast; RIP, ODB) to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their groundbreaking debut LP, Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers…and we’re #blessed to have one of them here in Philly.  Continue reading →

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Here’s what you’re saying about the 80s #XPNAtoZ

Even in detention, Ally Sheedy’s Allison Reynolds knew that Prince was going to be a hit in the #XPNAToZ | still from video

The 80s edition of the #XPNAToZ special has been in full 24/7 swing for the past week, and the conversation on social media and in the real world is booming. People love it, people can’t stand it, people are generally into it but didn’t like that we played that one song, people don’t understand the Springsteenian excess. Here’s a roundup of some of The Key’s favorite Tweets from the #XPNAToZ hashtag. Join the conversation over that-a-ways, and keep listening; we’ve still got a lot of 80s A to Z to go! Continue reading →