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The Key’s Year-End Mania: 2017’s ten best Philly artist portraits

Cayetana | photos by Mary Ferrigno | courtesy of the artist

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, Sarah Hojsak takes a look at some of the best artist portraits of 2017.

During last year’s end-of-the-year rush, The Key took a brief step away from music itself and instead started digging through the images surrounding it. The result was 2016’s ten best Philly artist portraits — a collection of some of the most visually stunning, ridiculously outlandish or otherwise eye-catching promotional photos from our beloved local musicians.

As you well know, we have no shortage of great music happening here in Philly, and lucky for us so, so many of our favorite artists released new music this year. With those new tunes came a whole new batch of images to take in — they range from the standard artsy but professional press photo to the quirky personality pic and everything in between, and they come from some of music’s best photographers. The best ones, regardless of the forms they take or the themes they use, caught our attention and didn’t let go. Here’s a far from thorough but nonetheless delightful selection of some of 2017’s standouts. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Orion Tango at Ortlieb’s, Riverside Rhythm and Rhyme at Roxbury Performing Arts Center

Orion Tango
Orion Tango | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN | cameronpollackphotography.com

Local experimental power trio Orion Tango bring their ambient instrumentals to Ortlieb’s tonight, playing along with Graffiti Wisdom, Taylor Kelly and Progressive Overload. The band features Philly musicians Tim Motzer on guitar, Jeremy Carlstedt on drums, and Barry Meehan on bass; they released their second album The Apple of No this summer. Revisit Orion Tango’s Key Studio Session below and find tickets and more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar.   Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Shamir at the First Unitarian Church, Work Drugs at Boot & Saddle, Leif Vollebekk at World Cafe Live, and many, many more

Shamir | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Recent Philly-via-Vegas transplant Shamir closes out a busy year of touring with a hometown show at the Church tonight, following the release of their new album Revelations last month. Shamir’s vibrant and introspective pop songs touch on everything from queer identity to being a millennial, all with a blunt and witty honesty. Read The Key’s interview with Shamir here, watch the video for “90’s Kids” below and find more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Lame-O Records announces third annual Rock Residency featuring Cherry, Harmony Woods, Slaughter Beach, Dog and lots more

Cherry | photo by Liz Waldie for WXPN

Lame-O Records‘ annual Rock Residency benefit series at Boot & Saddle returns for its third year next month, and WOW would you look at that lineup. A Lame-O event never disappoints, but this year they’ve put together an exceptionally stacked roster of labelmates and friends to take over Boot & Saddle every Thursday in January. And it’s all for a good cause — the proceeds from each show will benefit several local charity organizations. Continue reading →

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Lucy Dacus shares new song “Night Shift,” will play Johnny Brenda’s in April

Lucy Dacus | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

If you’ve seen Lucy Dacus in the last year or two, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard “Night Shift” — the Richmond, VA singer-songwriter has been performing the song live since she wrote it in 2016. Now, the first-ever recorded version of the song appears as the first single from Dacus’ just-announced sophomore album, Historian, out next spring. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Joey Sweeney at Maas Building, AllegrA at All Night Diner, Muscle Tough at Johnny Brenda’s, and more

Joey Sweeney & The Neon Grease | photo courtesy of the artist

Philly songwriter Joey Sweeney and his band The Neon Grease lead the lineup at Jojo’s Holiday Variety Show tonight at the Maas Building. The pay-what-you-will event benefits Rock to the Future and is also a release party for Sweeney’s new holiday EP, Smilin’ Through. The event will also feature some other musical acts, including Beat Jams, Hi Soft, Settled Arrows and the Birdsall Band, plus comedy from Doogie Horner and Jaime Fountaine. Listen to Sweeney original song “Don’t Kill Yourself This Christmas,” off the new EP, below and find more information on tonight’s show here. Continue reading →

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The Barren Marys and Teenage Bigfoot’s Political Party split gets vinyl release

The Barren Marys | photo via thebarrenmarys.bandcamp.com

Remember what a rough year 2016 was? Philly punk scene staples The Barren Marys and Teenage Bigfoot do. At the end of last year, the two bands came together to release Political Party, a split EP filled with songs that articulate the anger and confusion that arises from a turbulent political landscape.

2017 has been an …interesting… year all on its own, and to celebrate the year coming to an end, Frankensense Records is giving Political Party its first physical release. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Daedelus at Johnny Brenda’s, Aphra DJ set at Da Vinci Art Alliance, Cam’ron at Voltage Lounge

Daedelus | photo by Shubostar | via the artist’s Facebook page

Daedelus, the prolific Los Angeles-based project of Alfred Darlington, brings his Antidote Tour to Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The experimental electronic project has a few dozen releases from over the years, the most recent being this year’s Wears House. Mono/Poly and Free The Robots will also play tonight’s show, and DJ Phonographiq will be spinning tunes throughout the night. Find tickets and more information on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Lithuania faces a turbulent world on the new album White Reindeer

Lithuania | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo racheldelsordophotography.com

Philly punk rock trio Lithuania aren’t ones to allow for weeks and months of buzz leading up to a new release to build — they’d much rather catch everyone off guard by sending an entire album out into the world without any notice. At least, that’s what their latest news would have you think. The new album, White Reindeer, is out now digitally; it’s the band’s first full-length since 2015’s Hardcore Friends. Lithuania is made up of Dr. Dog drummer and solo artist Eric Slick, DRGN King’s Dominic Angelella (who also recently released a solo album) and Deleted Scenes’ Ricardo Lagomasino. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Angel Olsen at Union Transfer, Elephant Stone at Underground Arts, Sports at PhilaMOCA

Angel Olsen | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN

If you caught Angel Olsen‘s mesmerizing set at XPN Fest this summer, or even if you didn’t, chances are you’ll want to snag a last-minute ticket to the singer-songwriter’s headlining show at Union Transfer tonight. Olsen’s playing two nights in Philly, but tomorrow’s show is already sold out. White Magic opens both shows. Olsen’s 2016 release My Woman was voted one of The Key’s top albums last year, and she followed it up this year with Phases, a collection of rarities and B-sides. Watch Angel Olsen’s video for “Special” below and find tickets and more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →