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Tyler Burkhart’s two new tracks mirror the changing of seasons and mindsets

Tyler Burkhart | photo via tylerburkhart.bandcamp.com

Lancaster’s Tyler Burkhart has been steadily self-releasing lo-fi Bandcamp gems for a few years now. Adding to this collection of chill bedroom pop, Burkhart recently released two new tracks, “When you go wrong,” and “New start (The secret)” ahead of his upcoming album Lost days, which is set for a December 1st release date. Continue reading →

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Get to Church early this Sunday for Lame-O and Friends Acoustic Pop Up Show

Lame-O Records’ 5th Birthday bash is coming up this Sunday at First Unitarian Church, which will be a big Lame-O family gathering featuring performances by Slaughter Beach, Dog, Shannen Moser, Cherry and no thank you. And now, there’s an official pre-party for the party. Located in the Church’s Side Chapel will be an acoustic pop-up show featuring “Lame-O and Friends.”

Though the specific “friends” are not detailed, a Facebook post notes that “A LOT of friends will be playing.” And knowing how stacked the record label’s artist roster is, I think it’s safe to assume this is going to be quite a merry time. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: The Lone Bellow exudes togetherness in an exuberant World Cafe Live set

The Lone Bellow | photo by Liz Waldie for WXPN

Fall — at least for me — is time for sad folk music. As leaves are painted warmer, and breezes are swept colder, that somber sweet-spot of brittle-strummed melancholy whispers endlessly from my earbuds. And as these songs are often paired with hopeless, dismal lyrics, this seasonal soundtrack tends to be more than a little depressing.

Enter: The Lone Bellow’s exuberantly optimistic vein of folk, which will have none of this dispirited business. Though in no way strangers to feelings of pain and devastation, members Zach Williams, Brian Elmquist, and Kanene Donehy Pipkin have an infectious ability to channel their wounds into earnest hopefulness.

The result is a sound that lets you wallow — but only if we’re all wallowing together in unison. A sound that says yes, life is very often the absolute worst, and don’t worry, we are going to croak out the intense heartache of it all. But we are also going to yell and shout and stomp and clap up a storm of unbridled joy.

All of which these moods were summed up immediately at today’s sold out Free at Noon, as the trio opened their acoustic set by belting the bluesy prayer, “Is It Ever Gonna Be Easy,” off their newest album, Walk Into a Storm. Continue reading →

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On this day thirty years ago, The Cars were rocking Philly’s beloved venue, The Spectrum

The Cars | photo via artist’s Facebook page

“Happy 30th anniversary, The Cars!”

“Thanks, but, eh, for what exactly, random lady shouting at me?” I can only imagine the alarmed power pop icons would answer in question.

“For playing Philly’s The Spectrum thirty years ago, ya loons!” I’d respond emphatically before sprinkling a handful of confetti. Then we’d part ways. End scene. Continue reading →

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Vern Matz’s debut, “Trampolines,” portrays personal introspection via changing sonic soundscapes

Vern Matz | photo by Noah Silvestry | courtesy of artist

Philly, meet Vern Matz — a fairly new three-piece hailing from Yale University (which also includes The Key’s own Noah Silvestry, on drums.) Described as “the lovechild of a philosophy major, an investment banker, and a boy with a David Foster Wallace tattoo,” these boys recently recorded their self-titled debut EP at Fishtown’s Miner Street Recordings, which will be released this January. Before then, you can listen to their first single from the EP, “Trampolines,” below. Continue reading →

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Remember Sports as they vanquish confusion from their so-simple-its-confusing-as-heck name

Remember Sports | photo via twitter.com/remembersportsb

Attention all Sports fans: ehr no — I mean, not like the “football” kind of sports. No, not basketball either, or any other form of recreational sporting team activity. Sports, like the band. But not that band, the other one. You know, the Philly one.

My goodness, who could’ve known how exhausting an uberly simple band name could be. Probably not Sports, the four-piece band of Kenyon College pals. Or maybe they did, and these wholesome punks wanted to be ironic like me with my beloved, context-less COLLEGE tee I found at a thrift store (no, middle-aged frat dad, this is not a nod to John Belushi in Animal House, I’m trying to be ~ironic~ here.)

A google search to find the band’s crunchy tunes or social media sites more often that not quickly free-falls into an enigmatic online quest, where you must pass through a forest of sweat arm bands and athletic watches before dueling a “band of wizards from Oklahoma” — eventually feeling small and confused as you find yourself shouting “no you’re not!” at your inanimate laptop while “You Are the Right One” streams in blissful ignorance at your weird and unexpected journey.

Well, friends, please stop screaming. First, because that song is a jam. Second, because Sports hears your calls for help and is taking action. This valiant move comes in the form of smacking on a permanent qualifier to their name. Without further ado, world, meet the new and improved, Remember Sports. Continue reading →

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Meet Cat Park’s newest music project, the low-key angst-pop duo, tact

tact | photo by Cat Park | courtesy of the artist
tact | photo by Cat Park | courtesy of the artist

It seems that instead of releasing a succession of albums from one singular band — as most musicians do — Philadelphia’s Cat Park simply joins or creates a whole new band every time there’s new songs to share.

Creatively speaking, this separation of sounds and themes makes perfect sense, as this method allows for whatever different, new ideas that come to mind immediately be put to fruition — with the added bonus of not throwing off your bandmates and fanbase.

Continuing in this pattern, Park is now etching in her new duo, tact, to the already-long repertoire of musical projects — which boast the likes of Amanda XEight, All Bad and Preen.

Composed of Park on vocals, guitar, and bass, and Jarret Nathan on drums, tact evokes 90s riot grrl rock as much as 70s punk icon Patti Smith in this brief six-track release. Continue reading →