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Hopelessly devoted to rocking: Courtney Barnett at the Electric Factory

Courtney Barnett | Photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Courtney Barnett | Photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Aussie singer-songwriter/guitarist Courtney Barnett and her band rocked it out out the Electric Factory on Thursday night. Barnett is currently touring in support of her critically-acclaimed 2015 album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. With multiple festival set appearances, a recent debut performance on SNL’s season finale and a Grammy nomination, Barnett has had quite a busy year since her last performance in Philly at last year’s XPoNential Music Festival. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Heron Oblivion melted, shredded, and just absolutely destroyed at World Cafe Live

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Heron Oblivion | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN | sydneyschaeferphotos.com

Heron Oblivion was introduced as an “east coast meets west coast” band during today’s Free At Noon. Ethan Miller (bass) and Noel Von Harmonson (guitar), the west coasters, have been in bands for year both individually and together, most notably Comets On Fire. More recently, they’d gotten together with east coasters Meg Baird (drums, vocals), a Philly local, and Charlie Saufley (guitar). When the four started playing some informal jam sessions, the songwriting process came easily. So easily, in fact, that the self-titled debut from Heron Oblivion, released March 4th on Sub Pop, came as a result. Continue reading →

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Get ready for Dock Street Brewery’s free concert to finish off Philly Beer Week with Black Landlord, Needlepoints, and more

dock_street_2016

Every year, Philly Beer Week takes ten days to celebrate the city’s beer community. With just eight days until the festivities begin on June 3rd, excitement is through the roof. While we here at The Key are ready for things to begin, we especially have our sights set on the tail end of Philly Beer Week. That’s because on June 12th, the last day of the extended week, Dock Street will be hosting a scavenger run and free music fest. Starting at 2:30pm (with music at 3pm), head to 50th & Baltimore Ave for the perfect cap to a fun-filled ten days. Continue reading →

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This Day in Music History: The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan is released, Red Hot Chili Peppers get their first #1 album 22 years into their career

The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

1957 – Buddy Holly and the Crickets release their first record, “That’ll Be The Day,” which goes to #1 in the UK and #3 in the US. The song is inspired by John Wayne’s frequently-used, world-weary catchphrase, “That’ll be the day,” in his movie The Searchers, which Holly, Jerry Allison, and Sonny Curtis had seen in June 1956. It is also the first song to be recorded by The Quarrymen, the skiffle group that subsequently becomes The Beatles.

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Interview: RJD2 talks his new album Dame Fortune, collaborating, and the Columbus music scene

RJD2
RJD2 | Photo by Benny Mistak | courtesy of the artist

If you’re into RJD2, you know the electronic producer / songwriter is big on collaborating. Even longer than his list of studio albums (which clocks in at 10 with this year’s Dame Fortune) is his list of production work, and the names are big: Aesop Rock, Mos Def, Massive Attack, Elbow, Yo La Tengo and Son Little just scratch the surface. So when he started work on the new project, the Columbus native and former Philadelphia resident called up some old (and new) friends to fill in the gaps. The result is a synchronous, soulful album full of twists, turns and eclectic surprises.

We spoke with RJ about how his production and songwriting methodology has changed from 2002’s Deadringer debut to Dame Fortune, his long list of Philly collaborators and what it’s like to be back in Columbus. Read the interview below, and see the master in action at Union Transfer on Saturday, May 28th.

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Seizing the Moment: The Birth of Needlove Records

Needle Points | Courtesy of the artst
Needle Points | Courtesy of the artst

In the fall of 2014, Needle Points were approached by Scott McMicken of Dr. Dog with interest to produce their next album. It was to be the neo-psych ’n’ rollers’ second album, following up their six-song LP, Bom Tugangu, that they self-released the year prior. However, the album has yet to see the light of day.

After spending two weeks at Mt. Slippery studio with McMicken, the band spent the next year and a half shopping the end result around to multiple record labels. They received varying levels of interest, as local as Brooklyn and as far away as England. Ultimately the band decided it would be in their best interest to release it on their own. They would utilize it to get their own record label, Needlove Records, off the ground with plans to finally release the new album later this summer.

The startup record label will be run by Needle Points’ lead singer Colin Holloway and drummer Jordan Kaplan. Having already released their own Bom Tugangu debut and through their dealings with other musicians and labels through their work with McMicken, the two definitely have some do-it-yourself experience under their belts.

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