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DiPinto: The Philly guitar player’s guitar

Chris DiPinto | Photo by Tom Beck
Chris DiPinto | Photo by Tom Beck

From the opposite side of Girard Avenue, DiPinto Guitars looks just like any other store in Fishtown. You’d never guess it’s somewhat of a tourist destination for many big name guitarists.

“So many famous people have been in here,” says Chris DiPinto, the company’s founder, owner and designer of all DiPinto brand guitars. J Mascis, Richie Havens, and Earl Slick, who played guitar for David Bowie throughout much of his career, are just a few of the names that have patronized DiPinto’s store. A few other big names have stopped by, which DiPinto was less familiar with. “Oasis was in here. After they left somebody told me it was them. And I was like ‘oh, I don’t even know those guys,’” DiPinto says. However, he’ll never forget the phone call from the voice that said “This is Rick Nielsen.”

“You don’t know how many calls I get from friends that are like ‘This is Neil Young,’” explains DiPinto. “And he was like ‘No, this is really Rick Nielsen and I want to come into your shop.’” Continue reading →

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

via facebook.com/kopeckymusic
via facebook.com/kopeckymusic

It’s late June, and you know what that means: we’re about halfway through festival season. We’re sure you got fired up at Firefly, danced at Governor’s Ball and shook your knees at Shaky Knees already, but here at The Key, we’re just getting started. We still have some pretty big name festivals to get through, including Lollapalooza, Osheaga, and of course XPN’s own XPoNential Festival (woot woot!). Now that Made In America has finally released its lineup, we can finally get on with part two of our list!

To recap from part one of our Ultimate Guide to North American Summer Music Festivals, our list is comprised of the biggest festivals still to come this summer with important details for each one, including which Philly bands are playing which festival, other notable bands playing, and any other additional festival facts you might want to know. On with the list! Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: The Figgs kicked off an exciting Memorial Day weekend

The Figgs | Photo by Megan Lynch
The Figgs | Photo by Megan Lynch

Audience members for this week’s Free at Noon were treated to a special Memorial Day Weekend gift, as The Figgs rocked the downstairs stage at the World Cafe Live. The band was in Philly to promote their new album, Other Planes of Here, their latest release in a long string of releases dating back to 1992. It was a relaxed, yet still rock and roll atmosphere, as lead singer/guitarist Mike Gent ordered a vodka martini in the middle of the set. Songs on the band’s set list for today were “Late Nights and Early Flights,” “Paper Knives” and “Something’s Wrong.” After the radio show, members of the audience got to hear the band do a cover of The Who’s “Happy Jack,” a nice surprise before heading out for Memorial Day Weekend. If you were there or listened on the radio, make sure to check out the band’s performance tonight at Dawson St. Pub. Information for the concert can be found here. Listen back to the set and check out a gallery of photos below. Continue reading →

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Fly with Cheers Elephant on their newly released track “Airliner”

Cheers Elephant's "Airliner" cover art
Cheers Elephant’s “Airliner” cover art

Ok, so because of videos like this, this, this, and this, we kind of knew this was coming. But here at The Key we can’t get enough of local expats Cheers Elephant, so we’re going to blog about their new release anyway! The former Philly turned LA quartet has finally released the studio version of “Airliner,” following last month’s single “Speak Think.” Both songs are part of a flurry of new music from the band, and in case you haven’t been following, the band has a few more good ones you should expect to be released as well; there’s the jammy, chillax, Kurt Vile-esque “Summer Surf,” and the catchy and fun “Steak Knife,” which is sure to get you dancing. But before you check those songs out, make sure you check out “Airliner” below. Continue reading →

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Rocking and Rolling Down South: A recap of Atlanta’s Shaky Knees Festival

Dr. Dog | Photo by Tom Beck
Dr. Dog | Photo by Tom Beck

There’s usually a downside to festivals having stacked lineup: with so many great artists, you’re never going to be able to see them all. So when I made the trek down south to attend what is becoming the best indie-rock festival in North America – the Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta – there were a lot of difficult choices to be made. Do I see The Kooks or Wavves? Kaiser Chiefs or Manchester Orchestra? Wilco or Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds? Dr. Dog or Diamond Rugs?

But even with all these conflicts (my picks: Wavves, Manchester Orchestra, Wilco and Philly’s Dr. Dog), I wasn’t disappointed. Continue reading →

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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 →