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Coming Next Week: World Cafe brings you Sense Of Place Philly

STS in the World Cafe studio | Photo by Rich McKie
STS in the World Cafe studio | Photo by Rich McKie

After World Cafe‘s Sense of Place series has travelled all around the world, we decided to come home.  Starting Monday, we spend the week of our Sense of Place Philly scratching the surface of all the incredible music our home city has produced in the past, and particularly  right now.

Philadelphia is having a musical moment.  There are so many factors that support that. We asked our WXPN staff what they loved about our city and three things came up over and over.  The parks and open space: Philadelphia is home to Fairmount Park a giant system of green space.  The neighborhoods: affordable housing abounds whether you live in Fishtown, West Philadelphia or Mt Airy and we love our neighborhoods. The third item? Why, beer, of course. Philadelphia is craft brew heaven.

This environment has helped foster the bands we will hear this week. Continue reading →

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XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…Save an animal, meet an author, ride a sculpture!

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Sunday is the 6th annual With Love: Super Adoption Dayat the Piazza in Northern Liberties, sponsored by Citizens for a No-Kill Philadelphia.  It’s the largest event of its kind in Philadelphia history and one of the largest nationwide.  Pet shelters in our area took in some 29,000 stray and unwanted animals last year, about a quarter of which were euthanized.  Pets are there waiting for good homes, awards are given, and there are fun activities and refreshments. Continue reading →

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XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…Mother’s Day, Dad Vail, Asian Pacific American Heritage, and more!

DAD14-AHarry Emerson Vail was the oldest rowing coach in the country at the time of his death, and the regatta that bears his name is now in its 81st year.  In the 1970s, the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta was the first intercollegiate rowing regatta to invite women’s crews to participate during race days at the same distance as men.  This year’s 175 or so races on the Schuylkill River involve some 128 colleges and universities. Continue reading →

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XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…Penn Relays, Philadelphia Science Festival, ACANemy Awards, jazz, orchids and art books are all on tap this weekend!

25penn_CA0-articleLargeThe Penn Relays is now the longest uninterrupted collegiate track meet in the country.  When it started at Penn in 1895 it drew an unexpected 5,000 spectators, and it’s now the most attended meet in the nation. This year’s  attendance is likely to top 110,000 for the third year in a row to watch more than 22,000 entries, about half high schoolers.  If you can’t attend you can watch the action live at flotrack.com.   And if you’re coming anywhere near Franklin Field in University City, be aware that traffic and parking are congested.  Through Saturday. Continue reading →

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XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…Cherry blossoms and festivals usher in spring!

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cherry blossoms

The annual Subaru Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival is a sure sign of spring!  The Morris Arboretum has traditional Daiko drumming Saturday,  origami workshops, and a tour through the Japanese garden.  Sakura Sunday at the Horticulture Center in Fairmount Park is a day-long celebration of all things Japanese: live music and dance, martial arts demonstrations, arts & crafts, karaoke, and more.  There are shuttle buses from Center City…and pets are welcome! Continue reading →

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Philly Music 101: The basics everyone needs to know about the Philadelphia scene right now

Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com
The Districts | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com

Philadelphia is a city of many wonders: a buzzing food scene, an established craft beer culture, and a parade of historical landmarks. But one aspect of our city that we are particularly passionate about is our magnificent local music community and all that is has to offer. Here at The Key, we often focus on the particulars of our scene – where artists will be playing each night, brand new local releases, etc. - so much so that we can forget how overwhelming it can be for newcomers to get their bearings.

So for those of you having trouble finding where to start, we are introducing this new Philly Music 101 series as your guide through the wonderful world of the Philadelphia music scene: all of its passionate, loving members, from artists to venues to studios and more. It’s meant to help new fans navigate the scene as much as emerging musicians looking to break in and behind-the-scenes folks trying to get their start. We hope it will illuminate just what makes it so damn exciting for music lovers to live here. To kick it off, here is a by-no-means-complete overview of the different pieces of the Philadelphia music scene that have come together to make up its sturdy foundation. Continue reading →

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Breaking Down the Boys’ Club: Why PhilaMOCA’s She Shreds showcase is so necessary

Marisa Dabice of Mannequin Pussy performs at Hazzard Hall | Photo by John Vettese
Marisa Dabice of Mannequin Pussy performs at Hazzard Hall | Photo by John Vettese

There’s a musical revolution going on in Philadelphia, hidden away in the corners of makeshift venues peppered throughout the city. It’s a revolution unbeknownst to many but a revolution that is, to borrow a phrase, hidden in plain sight. It’s a revolution against your parents’ rock music, a revolution against the historically prevailing notion of rock and roll as a boys club, a revolution against the idea that rock and roll should look and behave a certain way.

On April 4 at PhilaMOCA, this revolution will be on stage in full force, as Portland, Oregon’s She Shreds magazine hosts a celebration of musical women in Philadelphia. On the bill are rock stalwarts Swearin’ and Amanda X, punk heavies Mannequin Pussy, and power poppers Anomie (a solo project of Field Mouse’s Rachel Browne), along with DJ sounds by DJ SAD 13 (Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz).  [Girls Rock Philly band Jane Doe was scheduled but unfortunately had to drop out.]

It’s an event that will highlight a Philadelphia scene that excels in its acceptance, support, and diversity, one that can be held up as a model for the musical landscape at large. Continue reading →