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A.M. Mills puts a fresh twist on a classic sound in the Window Box EP

A.M. Mills | photo via the artist’s Facebook page

Window Box, the latest EP from Philly’s own A.M. Mills, has been a long time in the making. The retro songwriter has kept a fairly low profile since his former project Blood Feathers disbanded a few years ago (If your memory stretches back far enough, you may recall seeing the band play both Free at Noon and XPoNential Festival in 2010). Mills released a few songs online over the last couple of years, “Wreckin’ My World” and “Window Box,” which now appear on the new EP, along with four new tracks.

The songs on Window Box were recorded in San Francisco in 2013 but the full collection wasn’t released until this past November, when Mills surprise-released the EP on a Tuesday. Now, the EP has received a ringing endorsement from Joey Sweeney (yes, that Joey Sweeney), who shared “Wreckin’ My World” on his long-running blog Philebrity. Continue reading →

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Watch Kristin Hersh’s new “Wonderland” video before she plays Boot & Saddle this spring

Kristin Hersh
Kristin Hersh | photo by Peter Mellekas | courtesy of the artist

Legendary performer Kristin Hersh began her career as the frontwoman of Throwing Muses, the influential band she formed when she was only 14 years old. Now, decades later, Hersh is still at it as a solo artist — and she’s currently preparing for a massive tour behind a massive album that includes a Philly stop. Continue reading →

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Hear Thin Lips’ Chrissy Tashjian discuss overcoming fears and anxieties on WHYY’s The Pulse

Thin Lips
Thin Lips | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN

Times are busy for Philly’s Thin Lips — the band has a new record in the works and an episode of Weathervane Music’s Shaking Through series coming out in a few days, and now singer/guitarist Chrissy Tashjian is featured on WHYY’s The Pulse health and science podcast, discussing some of the challenges she faces while making music. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Sunflower Bean discovers afternoon rock at World Cafe Live

Sunflower Bean | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

It’s official, the consensus is in: afternoon rock shows are the best. Of course, the Free at Noon crowd has always known that, but it’s great to hear that Sunflower Bean agrees. When the band took the World Cafe Live stage this afternoon ahead of their sold-out show tonight at Everybody Hits, their surprise at the size and enthusiasm of the crowd was palpable. After kicking off their set with “Easier Said,” lead singer and bassist Julia Cumming wondered aloud, “Don’t you guys have anywhere to be?” The audience’s response — that they wouldn’t want to be anywhere else — was all the affirmation Sunflower Bean needed to pour a wild amount of infectious energy into their set. Continue reading →

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Listen to Dreamswell’s new EP Act 2, catch them at Boot & Saddle this weekend

Dreamswell | photo via the artist’s Facebook page

Dreamswell is still a fairly new project, but they’re already back with their second EP — fittingly titled Act 2. And if you’re familiar with some of the band members’ other projects — like Hemming and Madalean Gauze — Dreamswell’s deep and haunting sound may take you by surprise (in a good way). Continue reading →

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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 →