Philadelphia rap auteur Lushlife (Raj Haldar) continues on a hot streak of album partnerships, this time with beat connoisseur Botany (Spencer Stephenson) to form The Skull Eclipses.Together, they specialize in a sort of lo-fi, kind of psych infused, and refreshingly nostalgic experimental hip-hop.Analog synthesis, twisted beats, and rapid fire boom-bap are the name of the game here, and a three-year journey spanning cross country collaborations paid off, and Lushlife brought it home to celebrate. Continue reading →
Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, Key photographer Matthew Shaver ponders unlikely combinations of eats and sounds.
Eating out is meant to be a social event, a gathering of friends and family where someone else does the hard work, leaving you to drink and be merry. Time and circumstances align every so often that I eat out alone, my only company are my headphones and an iPod full of hopes and dreams. Like fine friends or fine wine, fine music can be associated with a great restaurant, or a great plate. I’ve listed some of my favorite pairings below (Note: I am a vegetarian, and the choices all reflect that.) Continue reading →
I had a chance to speak to Dessa before her show at World Cafe Live on Thursday night, and in my moment of terrible small talk, I mentioned how uncomfortable I sometimes feel at venues like the upstairs. It is a stage that is barely elevated, with direct crowd access, and I know I’m blocking people (I’m 6’2”). I always try to be mindful of that, and move off to the side/back after a song or two, to get out of the way.Color me surprised when Dessa stopped the show, after the first song, and, in a moment of professional courtesy, invited me to the stage to capture a photo of her in front of the crowd.It was a small moment, but a gesture that meant a lot to me, as a photographer that has dedicated 10 years and thousands of shows to this, but more importantly, as a fan. Continue reading →
Kesha Rose Sebert (better known as just Kesha) made one thing abundantly clear as soon as she hit the stage at the Fillmore on Saturday night – she was there on her terms.With more than a few middle fingers to her detractors, she loudly proclaimed that she owns her music, and she takes care of herself.After an extended absence, and some demoralizing public battles, Kesha has a new album with Rainbow and a fresh, positive outlook on the future.Welcome back, Kesha. Continue reading →
Manchester Orchestra make rock music.While you could potentially apply any number of hyphenates to their style, they are all extraneous.They make “rock” music, and, they make it well.More than a decade in to the game, Andy Hull has one of the most prestigious discography’s in the biz, and he’s barely 31. Five (technically six) albums, a fistful of EPs, and an ever growing legion of fans that realize that Manchester Orchestra is not here to reinvent rock music, but to save it.
Each album buys them a bigger venue, from North Star Bar, to TLA, to the Temple Performing Arts Center, and finally Sunday night at the Fillmore.Each step up is paid for in blood and sweat, as they work hard to earn their status as a must-see live act.Selling out the venue, they did not shy away from fan favorites like “Shake It Out” mingled amongst new material from A Black Mile to the Surface (opening with the triple-threat of “The Maze,” “The Gold,” and “The Moth”).Every song sounds thunderous, even milder material on the albums comes with a layer of grit on it when Hull’s falsetto goes reaching, straining for the skylights. Continue reading →
30 years in to the career, Neurosis has lost none of their edge. They have the swagger and confidence of people who have been in the game for as long as they have, but their stage presence is void of pretension. While many credit them as one of the forefathers of what could simply be called “post-metal” they make no claim to any throne other than the one of being able to reign down hell with the urgency of molasses pouring from a jar — which is as fine a description as any of their Union Transfer gig on Monday night. Continue reading →
Los Angeles’ Sir Sly make their kind of infectious indie-pop-rock so well that it was no surprise to walk in to The Foundry a bit early only to be confronted by a crowd of dedicated fans pushed up against the stage. Make no mistake: their music appeals to the sing-along set, and they know every word. The all ages show left little room for stragglers, and the trio themselves did the best they could to exude fun energy across the limited stage size. Vocalist Landon Jacobs carries himself with a swagger that could have benefited from a little more space, but had no trouble working the crowd up, while Jason Suwito and Hayden Coplen kept the grooves going. Continue reading →
I am not a New Kids On The Block fan.I am also not a New Kids On The Block hater.I grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, and adopted the persona wholeheartedly.I watched Saved By The Bell, had a slap bracelet, and saw Cool As Ice in theaters (if you’ve never heard of that, Google it and come back to berate me in the comments).NKOTB was something that permeated the era, so I knew their songs, I saw their videos, and yes, I memorized some lyrics.I watched the videos on MTV, and along with Paula Abdul and Boyz II Men among many others, would record the video shows on VHS to watch over and over. Continue reading →
On Saturday afternoon, June 24th, 2017, the city of Philadelphia officially renamed the stretch of Broad Street between Christian and Carpenter as Boyz II Men BLVD. The R&B crooners have had a long and storied career that began in the city almost 3 decades ago. The fitting tribute took place on the steps of the Philadelphia High School of Creative and Performing Arts. Continue reading →
Icelandic post rock band Sigur Ros brought its summer tour to the Mann Center for the Performing Arts last night. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the band performed two career-spanning sets as a trio, mixed with their trademark visual spectacle. Check out a gallery of photos from the show care of our Matthew Shaver. Continue reading →