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The Key Studio Sessions: Fresh Cut Orchestra

Two and a half years ago, the three leaders of Philly’s Fresh Cut Orchestra - Josh Lawrence on trumpet, Jason Fraticelli on bass and Anwar Marshall on drums – had never so much as jammed together. They were just three players from the local jazz scene who had reputations as versatile collaborators (we first saw Lawrence sitting in with Hennessey Bonfire at a World Cafe Live gig a few years back) when they were recruited by Lenny Seidman at The Painted Bride to work together on a night of music for the Old City arts venue’s 40th anniversary.

Shaun Brady told their story in City Paper earlier this year: as much as their beginnings were the result of essentially being thrown together, the trio’s chemistry clicked, and earlier this year the FCO (now a robust ten-piece) released their excellent debut LP, From the Vine, via local imprint Ropeadope Records.

Continue reading →

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Celebrate 25 years of Social Distortion at Festival Pier in August

Social Distortion | photo via facebook.com/socialdistortion
Social Distortion | photo via facebook.com/socialdistortion
Rewind 25 years to March 27, 1990, when legendary punk rock group Social Distortion released their self-titled album.

The album was their first with Epic Records, their best-selling worldwide, and their first to enter the Billboard 200. The album’s “Story Of My Life,” “Ball and Chain,” “Ring of Fire” and “Let It Be Me” all reached Top 25 on Billboard’s single’s charts.

The group is celebrating the 25th anniversary of this iconic album with a North American tour, kicking off in Temple, AZ, and they’ll grace Philly on August 19 at Festival Pier (which is notably their only stop on the tour alongside Lucero and Benjamin Booker). Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: RFA at MilkBoy, Hurray for the Riff Raff at World Cafe Live, Abi Reimold at Ortlieb’s

RFA | photo via rfaband1.bandcamp.com
RFA | photo via rfaband1.bandcamp.com

Local boys RFA just finished their freshman year of college and are still riding high on their Freaking Out EP, released back in January. The band plays snappy and hooky rock and roll a la The Strokes and The Stones, and tonight opens for Pine Barons and Clear Plastic Masks at MilkBoy. Tickets and more information can be found here. Continue reading →

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Key Fest At-A-Glance, Part One: A high-energy indie / punk opening with Cayetana, Commonwealth Choir, Hurry and Slingshot Dakota

Slingshot Dakota | photo by Megan Kelly
Slingshot Dakota | photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

The first-ever Key Fest is nearly upon us, and anticipation around these parts is high. Three nights of music by Philadelphia artists, a spectrum of sounds and styles, and a lot to look forward to. It’s essentially the first time a local venue has turned over three nights of their calendar to us and said “here, have fun” – and we tried to do right by them in curating three unique bills of artists that we felt worked alongside one another and, more importantly, that we’d want to go see.

All this week, leading up to opening night, we’ll bring you night-by-night Key Fest At-A-Glance rundowns, telling you who these artists are we booked and why we’re pumped to have them on the show. To begin at the beginning, let’s look at opening night. Continue reading →

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Watch The War on Drugs make their daytime TV debut on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

The War on Drugs | Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com
The War on Drugs | Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com

We’ve watched hometown heroes The War on Drugs rock various late night performances, like in July when they performed on the Late Show with David Letterman alongside Letterman’s house band leader Paul Schaffer, or in January when they performed “An Ocean in Between the Waves” for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, or just this month when they graced Jimmy Kimmel Live.

But yesterday marked their daytime television debut, as they took on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and played an awesome performance of the daydreamy “Red Eyes.”  Continue reading →

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F’ed Up announce exclusive Zodiac tour with Doomsquad, release edgy new track “California Cold”

Fucked Up | Photo by Brendan George Ko
Fucked Up | Photo by Brendan George Ko

Toronto hardcore punk group Fucked Up have just announced an exciting new tour that will hit Philadelphia in late June. The group is playing exclusively from the Zodiac series of 12″‘s they’ve been releasing for over seven years now. In addition, they have decided to add members for their live performances – fellow Canadian punk trio Doomsquad, notching them to up to a 9-person band. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Donn T at Johnny Brenda’s, Dark Blue at Boot and Saddle

Donn T | via Donn T's Facebook
Donn T | via Donn T’s Facebook

Dynamic Philly soul singer Donn T is celebrating the release of her second album, Flight of The Donn T, tonight at Johnny Brenda’s. A collaborator of Marsha Ambrosius, Zap Mama and John Legend – and, yes, sister to a drummer named Ahmir Thompson, but let’s not make too big a deal out of that – she made a splash in 2010 with her album Kaleidoscopic, and last year founded her own D Tone Victorious label to release Flight. The album is vibrant and engaging, at turns recalling Erykah Badu and Sade, and tonight she celebrates it at the latest Re-Set party, curated by local fave Res and also featuring Kate Faust. Tickets and information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Neil Young and Band of Horses will play SBC this July

Neil Young | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | www.joedeltufo.com
Neil Young | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | www.joedeltufo.com

This Just In: Neil Young will be making a stop to Camden’s Susquehanna Bank Center on July 16th as part of his Rebel Content tour. The tour comes with a new collaborative album Young recorded with Willie Nelson’s sons Lukas and Mikah titled The Monsanto Years, set to release on June 16th. Continue reading →