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Lame-O Records announces second annual ‘Rock Residency’ for charity at Boot & Saddle

Dominic | photo by C.J. Harvey | courtesy of the artist
Dominic | photo by C.J. Harvey | courtesy of the artist

Philly’s Lame-O Records has announced its second annual “Rock Residency”, a series of benefit shows taking place at Boot & Saddle this January. Every Thursday of the month, members of the Lame-O roster and more will perform for various organizations in need. Check out the flyer below.

Night one, which takes place on January 5th, will benefit Planned Parenthood and feature performances from Lame-O’s Hurry, Dominic, and new signers Cherry. Then, on January 12th, Slaughter Beach, Dog, Loose Tooth, and No Thank You will play in support of Juntos, Night three, the 19th, will feature Thin Lips, The Superweaks, and The Obsessives for The Attic Youth Center, and night four, the 26th, will feature Three Man Cannon, Katie Ellen, and The Afterglows for Philly ACLU. Continue reading →

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Elizabeth Huston presents an interactive exploration of classical compositions with 10 Synchronisms

10 synchronisms
Church of the Holy Apostles and the Mediator, venue for 10 Synchronisms | photo courtesy of Elizabeth Huston

Two years ago, harpist Elizabeth Huston invited audiences to wander through a musical performance rather than to just sit and watch one. Presenting Luciano Berio’s 14 Sequenzas – a career-spanning set of pieces for solo instruments or voice – Huston decided to mount each Sequenza in discrete spaces through the First Unitarian Church, presenting each one in a contextually appropriate, immersive setting from a circus scene to a 1960s bedroom.

Arriving in Philadelphia from her native Seattle a few years ago, Huston quickly became intrigued by the city’s diverse arts scene – and disappointed that the kinds of imaginative staging and performance that she saw in the Fringe Festival didn’t seem to translate into the classical music world.

“Seattle isn’t quite as culturally active as Philadelphia,” she says. “So the Fringe Festival completely changed the way I saw the idea of performance. I saw dance pieces that were site-specific and theater pieces where there was a lot of audience interaction, and I was really curious why I’d never seen that in music. It’s odd that all the other art forms are very interested in how they can innovate in the way they frame a piece, so I started thinking about how you could do that in music.”

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mothers at Johnny Brenda’s, Strand of Oaks at Arden Gild Hall, Dominic at Ortlieb’s and more

mothers
Mothers | Photo by Kristin Karch | courtesy of the artist

Athens, Georgia rock four-piece Mothers had a break out year in 2016 with the release of When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired. The band teeters between emotive melodies and explosive dissonance, and in concert that contrast is heightened. Tonight they return to the stage at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Philly Jazz Guide: Top picks for live jazz in December

jazz
Mark Kramer and Eddie Gomez | photo courtesy of the artists

I’m not going to make things easy on you this month. Maybe it’s because the latter part of the month is swallowed by the holidays, or maybe it’s just sheer coincidence, but most of this month’s jazz highlights are crammed into a single weekend right at the outset. It’s possible to make several of these with some careful planning, but a couple of them may come down to coin tosses – but it’s worth catching as many as possible.

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Son Volt will paint Ardmore Music Hall with notes of blue this April

Son volt | photo by David McClister | courtesy of the artist
Son volt | photo by David McClister | courtesy of the artist

St. Louis alt-country rockers Son Volt are set to headline Ardmore Music Hall this April 5th in support of their upcoming album Notes of Blue. The band was founded by Jay Farrar in 1994 after the breakup of his influential alt-country band with Jeff Tweedey, Uncle Tupelo. Son Volt has released eight albums in the years since, and Notes of Blue will become number nine this February 17th. For more information on their Ardmore set, head over to XPN’s Concert Calendar. Tickets go on sale this Friday. Continue reading →

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Pop / rock faves The Fray dazzle The Fillmore

The Fray | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN
The Fray | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN

Denver rock outfit The Fray graced The Fillmore on Wednesday, November 16, bringing Boston’s American Authors along with them. While fans are anxiously awaiting a new album from The Fray, the recent singles “Corners” and “Changing Tides” were present on both their recent Best Of album and their setlist.

This tour cut down on the typical number of openers, allowing American Authors to play a slightly longer set. Lead singer Zac Barnett raved about how much he loves “the food, the scenery & the people…. the people!” that greet them when they come through Philly. He shared that, come January, the band will have been together for ten years and he’s been “trying to get rid of them for the last nine.” This sort of light-hearted energy was present throughout the entirety of their 45-minute set.

They opened with the wonderfully upbeat “Go Big or Go Home,” seasoned with rich harmonies and percussion. The inclusion of slightly less typical instruments like banjo and large drums played by Barnett and bassist Dave Rublin added a lot of depth to their set. Barnett’s powerful and emotive vocals really shined through live, leaving behind the slight vocal processing typically present in their recordings. American Authors ended their set by playing their wildly popular song “Best Day of My Life” to a room full of people singing it back. This band is seriously underrated and has more than enough talent and passion to be one of the biggest in their genre.

The Fray came out to a stage lit by soft blue lights that matched the feel of the song, “Singing Low,” perfectly. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: MH The Verb at Silk City, Diana at Boot and Saddle and A.M. Mills at Ortlieb’s

MH The Verb | Photo courtesy of the artist
MH The Verb | Photo courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia jazz-inspired hip-hop artist MH The Verb plays tonight at Silk City. The rapper recently released a video for his song “Last Dance” commemorating the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut in collaboration with his production collective ArtHouse95. Check out the video for “Last Dance” below and click here for more information and tickets. Continue reading →

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TJ Kong and The Atomic Bomb “prepare to send 2016 to Hell” with NYE Boot & Saddle set

TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb | via the band's Facebook page
TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb | via the band’s Facebook page

Philly’s TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb have spent the past year keeping busy on the live circuit, and this past summer, they shared a brand new single “She Don’t Keep Time.” That’s all well and good, but for a lot of us, 2016 has been anything but rosy. This sentiment is certainly not lost on Kong and The Bomb, who. in a recent Facebook post, announced that they were “done grieving” and that “It’s time to send 2016 to Hell”.  On December 31st, they’ll put a final nail in this year’s coffin with a headlining performance at Boot & Saddle. If you’re a frequent reader of The Key, you should already know what to do for tickets and more information, but if not, then I suggest you try clicking here. Continue reading →

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E. Grizzly, Carl Kavorkian, and Static Brothers plot triple release party with special guests

Moor Mother | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Moor Mother | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

When it comes to Philly DIY, it’s not often that a weekend passes without a slew of record release shows, but it’s even less often that we get a triple release show. That’s going to change this December 17th, though, as Philly’s E. Grizzly, Carl Kavorkian, and Static Brothers have joined forces to do just that. They’ll be joined by special guests Moor Mother and Hirs for what is sure to be an evening of celebration and brutal, righteous noise. Continue reading →