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The Week Ahead: Phosphorescent, Ingrid Michaelson, Cat Power, Bouncing Souls

Cat Power
Cat Power | photo by Eliot Lee Hazel | courtesy of the artist

We’re in the year-end wind-down zone, but that doesn’t mean you should plan on spending the next week huddling up at home and binge watching Schitt’s Creek (though that wouldn’t be a terrible idea in moderation). We’ve flagged a several shows that are totally worth your attention, beginning tomorrow night with rock legend Ronnie Spector in Bethlehem, and carrying through Sunday when Bouncing Souls take on The Queen in Wilmington. Here are 12 concerts you can see in the next seven days all around Philadelphia. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Top 15 Albums of 2018

This is the music that moved us in 2018

In her review of Lucy Dacus’ Historian, Key writer Sarah Hojsak uses a vivid phrase that sums up both the record, as well as the emotional landscape of 2018: “desperately sad but never hopeless.”

Oh, wait, I’m sorry…would you describe your year as happy? That must be nice, good on you. For many of us, it’s not as straightforward: the toxicity of the country at this moment in history, and the various players that fuel that toxicity, has a draining effect, whether you’re a marginalized person who is in the line of fire or an empathetic soul who is distressed from afar. There’s also the let-down: the pouring of our energies into something to watch it fail, whether personal or public.

And yet we experience moments of joy throughout it all: weddings are had, families are started, a breathtaking sunset is observed from the westbound platform of the Berks Avenue el stop. And there’s music, a constant source of joy and comfort that centers our lives. Continue reading →

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Here’s what’s on tap for WXPN’s Thanksgiving Programming

Kid…we realize you’ve got a busy day ahead of you on Thursday, whether you’re spending Thanksgiving cooking dinner for family and friends, or you’re stuck at work or otherwise separated from the ones you love.

Maybe you’re on an epic trip from New York to Kansas to Chicago with a gregarious co-traveler. Maybe you’re watching law enforcement take 27 eight-by-twenty seven eight-by-ten color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was.

Pop cultural references aside, we here at WXPN hope to make your day as stress free as possible, and we’ll do that the best way we know how: through music. Continue reading →

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I Used To Know H.E.R.: Cali R&B enigma lights up Franklin Music Hall

H.E.R. | photo by Taylor Johnson for WXPN

Bay Area singer and songwriter Gabi Wilson prefers to keep a low profile and let the music she releases as H.E.R. do the talking. Since 2016, she’s released a handful of acclaimed EPs that caught the attention of hip-hop and R&B scene players like Pusha T and Alicia Keys. As H.E.R. prepares to release a full length debut, she took her most recent projects — I Used To Know H.E.R.: The Prelude and I Used To Know Her Part 2on a U.S. club tour, and it found her headlining the stage of the Franklin Music Hall on Friday night.

Fans were treated to a set that showed off Wilson’s versatility — she went from rocking the mic to playing the piano to performing songs on acoustic guitar. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Jessie Reyez, Max Swan, Pusha T, Killiam Shakespeare and more

Killiam Shakespeare | photo via killiamseason.bandcamp.com

Think a holiday week means there’s no live music to keep you entertained? Think again. Starting tonight with rising R&B star Jessie Reyez, carrying through an album release from Killiam Shakespeare this weekend, and a Green Room showcase with DaniLeigh on Monday, here are twelve concerts you can see in the next seven days all around Philadelphia. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Letters to Cleo, Caroline Rose, Keyon Harrold, (Sandy) Alex G and more

Keyon Harrold
Keyon Harrold | photo by Deneka Peniston | courtesy of the artist

It’s starting to get cold out, friends. And before you find yourself faced with the prospect of bundling up in heavy winter attire to get groceries, much less to get to the gig, we recommend you fit in many shows this week as possible this moth. Here are 25 concerts to see in the next seven days all around Philadelphia: free shows, jazz gigs, folk and funk, and one of the most jam-packed Fridays we’ve seen in a while.    Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Girlpool, Shannon and the Clams, Low, Richard Thompson and more

Shannon & The Clams album cover designed by Perry Shall | photo courtesy of the artist

Sure, maybe you aren’t going to attend all 17 shows we’re recommending this week — that would be an impressive feat. But with a variety of sounds from roots to retro rock to indie rock to jazz to punk to global folk fusion, you’ve got no excuse for not seeing at least once concert in the next seven days. Read on for our recommendations. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Full Bush, Josh Ritter, Christine and the Queens, Kaia Kater and more

Christine and the Queens
Christine and the Queens | photo by Jamie Morgan | courtesy of the artist

While there’s not much doing on Halloween itself, that’s fine — it’ll just give you more time and space to roam your neighborhood as a free agent looking for parties, collecting candy, or collecting candy with your kids if you’re at that point in your life. The rest of the week, though: JAM. PACKED. Here are 18 concerts to see in the next seven days in and around Philadelphia, from tonight’s punk rock mischief night gigs at Johnny Brenda’s and Ortlieb’s, to indie rock, soul and trance all round the region on Sunday. Continue reading →