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A bunch of old dudes rocked Philly last night. You may have heard of them; they’re called The Sonics

The Sonics | Photo by Tom Beck
The Sonics | Photo by Tom Beck

Here’s what you need to know about The Sonics: The band is a highly influential garage rock band from the 1960s, who laid the roots for many punk and garage rock bands after them. Without The Sonics, there would no Clash, no Hives, no Ramones, no Strokes and no Nirvana. And despite their high energy, catchy, havoc-wreaking shows, the band never quite made it uber-famous. A few years ago, The Sonics, who are now all in their 70s, burst out of retirement and took their instruments with them, releasing and album, going on a world tour, and taking no prisoners. Last night, the tour finally stopped in Philly at packed TLA house. Continue reading →

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Mellow out with Circadian Rhythms’s new EP, A Passing Thought

Circadian Rhythms
Circadian Rhythms | photo via Facebook

This weekend, Philly indie pop artists Circadian Rhythms have unveiled a new EP called A Passing Thought, a five song flurry of Chicago-meets-The-Shins awesomeness. The EP opens up with “In the Flowers,” a song decorated with horns, shuffling drums and time changes, making you want to dance. “Nice to Be” continues the pop vibe and, the band keeps it up all the way through the EP’s last song, “Lady of the Water.” Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: The London Souls mystify a packed house at World Cafe Live

The London Souls | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com
The London Souls | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com

This week’s Free at Noon left my ears ringing. The London Souls stormed into the World Cafe Live, shredding through arguably the rawest specimen of blues-rock since The Black Keys released The Big Come Up in 2002. And just like The Black Keys, the band is a duo. But two people was all that was necessary to overpower the crowd with loud rock and roll, to which the audience replied with loud applause. The Souls were in Philly to promote their newest album, Here Come the Girls, and played several songs off of the album, including “Honey,” “Certain Appeal” and “The River.” Continue reading →

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The Key’s ultimate guide to 2015 North American summer music festivals – Part One!

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

In the past several years, destination festivals have changed the live music landscape in the U.S. and Canada. The core summer music festivals always used to be ones with the seemingly made-up words – Lollapalooza, Bonaroo and Coachella – but in the past five years alone, great new gatherings like Firefly, Hangout Fest, Made in America, Governor’s Ball, and Shaky Knees have sprung up. As a result, the festival scene is getting harder to keep track of, which if you think about it, is a pretty great problem to have.

To help you keep tabs on all the major music festivals going on this summer, we’ve compiled a list of some of the biggest ones, which Philly bands are playing which, other notable bands, and any other additional festival facts you might want to know. Stay tuned for a second list to be released during the second half of summer, which will include late summer festivals like Made in America, Osheaga, and Bumbershoot. On to the list! Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Diamond Rugs had the World Cafe Live crowd jumping

Diamond Rugs | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com
Diamond Rugs | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com

Diamond Rugs played a short, energizing set for today’s Free at Noon concert. Last month the band released its second album, Cosmetics, following up their self-titled 2012 debut. The supergroup, which consists of members / former members of Deer Tick, The Black Lips, Dead Confederate and Six Finger Satellite, played a selection of songs off their new album, including “Thunk,” which opened the set, “Couldn’t Help It” and “Blame.” Unfortunately the band won’t be playing in Philly any time soon, since they just rocked Ortlieb’s last night. But if by any chance you happen to be in any of these cities at the dates the band’s playing in them, be sure to check them out. Listen back to the performance and check out photos below. Continue reading →

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Blackberry Smoke plows through Philly

Blackberry Smoke | Photo by Tom Beck
Blackberry Smoke | Photo by Tom Beck

If you’re one of those people that’s upset about The Black Crowes breaking up, don’t worry. Blackberry Smoke’s got you. The blues-playin’, yee-hawin’ southern cats from Atlanta, Georgia strutted their stuff up North through Philly Friday, playing an intimate, stripped down set for XPN’s Free at Noon during lunchtime. But they plugged in their Les Pauls, raised some hell, and put the “Electric” in Electric Factory for the evening show. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Houndmouth plays a mesmerizing set at World Cafe Live

Houndmouth | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com
Houndmouth | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com

Indiana-bred southern rockers Houndmouth put on an amazing set at today’s Free at Noon, leaving the audience mesmerized. The band’s new album, Little Neon Limelight, is due out next Tuesday, and their setlist featured songs from the new records such as “Black Gold,” “Sedona” and the funny “My Cousin Greg,” all from the new album. Continue reading →

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10 Great G. Love songs not named “Cold Beverage”

 

G Love | photo via facebook.com/glovespecialsauce
G Love | photo via facebook.com/glovespecialsauce

G. Love & Special Sauce have officially reached the legal drinking age. The year 2015 marks the 21st birthday since the Philly-bred band released its self-titled debut album in 1994. But with a career spanning 11 albums (including G’s four solo albums), for some reason, some people still only know G. Love primarily for “Cold Beverage.” Stop the madness! Together, the band, which also includes drummer Jeffrey Clemens and James “Jimi Jazz” Prescott on bass, have recorded a slew of great jams with their trademark style that’s part hip hop, part unhinged blues, and for some reason these other jams have gone unnoticed. But not anymore! Here’s ten great deep cuts from G. Love & Special Sauce. Continue reading →

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When Worlds Collide: Comcast SportsNet reporters Reuben Frank and Sarah Baicker talk about new music and Free at Noon

Reuben Frank and Sarah Baicker in the CSN Studio | Photo courtesy of  Sarah Baicker
Reuben Frank and Sarah Baicker in the CSN Studio | Photo courtesy of Sarah Baicker

XPN’s Free at Noon series has become a hot commodity since its inception ten years ago, and in that time, the free weekly music series has developed many regulars – two of whom you might already be familiar with if your TV is regularly tuned to the Eagles and Flyers on Comcast SportsNet.

Philadelphia Eagles beat writer Reuben Frank and Philadelphia Flyers Beat Writer Sarah Baicker are frequently in the house at World Cafe Live, catching each week’s performance and sharing their reaction – positive and negative – on social media. They sat down to talk with The Key about the music they’ve been listening to lately, who has the best and worst music taste in the Comcast SportsNet Newsroom and their all-time favorite Free at Noons. Continue reading →

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Catching up with G Love before his March shows at the TLA

via facebook.com/glovespecialsauce
via facebook.com/glovespecialsauce

G Love has been a staple of the Philadelphia music scene for what seems like forever, with his first album, G. Love and Special Sauce, coming out nearly 21 years ago. But G. (born Garrett Dutton) never stopped making music and is back to the old touring grind this March with an extensive U.S. tour, which includes two stops in Philly at South Street’s Theater of the Living Arts, to promote his newest album, Sugar.

But this year’s Sugar Blues Tour is just the latest in G. Love’s storied music career; he’s basically toured nonstop over the course of the past 20 years, and doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon. In this interview for The Key, G. talks about his band hitting the drinking age, the return of original bassist James “Jimi Jazz” Prescott, and the grind that’s necessary to stay relevant in the music business. Continue reading →