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Seeking Valor brings awareness to depression through their 7 of Diamonds LP

Seeking Valor | photo via facebook.com/SeekingValor
Seeking Valor | photo via facebook.com/SeekingValor

After losing their friend Gary to a battle with depression, Philadelphia rock six-piece Seeking Valor decided to write an album in his memory. More than just that, though, they wanted to write an album that could possibly save someone else’s life.  According to guitarist Frank Gannon, he resulting record – particularly the “So Far Gone” single, released back in October – is a testament to their friend Gary but also the band’s journey as a whole; 7 of Diamonds has not only been two years in the making, it has been two years of reflecting and processing.  I caught up with the group to ask them their album, the foundation that comes with it, and the upcoming release show at The Trocadero on May 2nd. Continue reading →

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Kurt Vile discusses new, darker album with Rolling Stone

Kurt Vile
Photo by Abi Reimold

Indie singer-songwriter Kurt Vile sat down in Los Angeles with Rolling Stone to discuss his upcoming new album, which is his darkest yet he said.

“It’s definitely got that night vibe,” Vile told Rolling Stone.

The prolific solo artist and founding member of The War on Drugs talked about finding new ways to write albums and getting out of the familiar routines he grew accustomed to, telling the magazine ”I wanted to get back into the habit of writing a sad song on my couch, with nobody waiting on me.” Continue reading →

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The Center-Stage Side Project: Eric Slick and Dom Angelella will bring a long-awaited Lithuania LP to Lame-O

Lithuania | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com
Lithuania | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

You probably know Eric Slick and Dom Angelella from the bands they play in full-time. But there’s another act that the two Philly musicians have been associated with for way longer than the former has drummed for Dr. Dog, or the latter has performed in DRGN King.

Lithuania has been active for going on ten years, but is often spoken about as a “side project” or a “duo project.” That’s not how the guys see it, and year the band takes the spotlight to release its long-in-the-works full-length debut. Hardcore Friends comes out this summer on Lame-O Records, and it’s the culmination of a collaboration Slick and Angelella began as UArts freshmen in 2005.

Continue reading →

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Local artist Qualiatik bridges neuroscience and electronic music

Qualiatik
Qualiatik | photo via Facebook

At the age of 21 Arielle Herman is a vibrant and peace-loving girl with a brain to boot. If studying neuroscience at Haverford College by day wasn’t enough, Herman transforms herself into the lustrous and abstract singer, songwriter and producer Qualiatik by night. Stemming from the idea and grand scheme of communication and perception, the definition of qualia represents both her endeavors and her musical persona.

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Mitski, Mumblr, Shannen Moser and more will play Daisy Fest to benefit Attic Youth Center

Mitski | Photo by Hundred Waters | via twitter.com/mitski_

(UPDATE: After a couple days of heated conversation on Facebook, Daisy Fest was apparently cancelled Wednesday night. It’s complicated, but in a nutshell, one of the artists on the LGBTQ benefit was called out when a band member made comments on social media that marginalized LGBTQ people. Concerns were raised, but not addressed, so acts began dropping off the bill – including the one whose presence had some upset. Wednesday night, the festival’s event page was abruptly deleted, evidently signaling its cancellation. We’ll keep our eyes out for further updates, but in the mean time, donations can be made to the Attic Youth Center here. -ed.)

Supporting the surrounding community on more than a musical level is a huge (and welcoming) aspect of the Philly scene. The first ever Daisy Fest, just announced today, will host some of the region’s favorite musicians to benefit the Attic Youth Center, a resource center for Philadelphia’s LGBTQ Youth Awareness Center. Continue reading →

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App’ing into bands; how Kississippi part I met Kississippi part II

Kississippi | photo by Ali Nugent
Kississippi | photo by Ali Nugent

It’s a blustery day at the end of January when I meet up with Zoe Allaire Reynolds and Colin James Kupson, the Center City/South Phila. duo who play as Kississippi. I race to the basement of Last Drop coffee shop, finding the two of them laughing over a sandwich and very colorful cupcakes Zoe brought from work.

Immediately we shift from their current perch on the couch to a table, where Zoe drapes her long red coat over a chair. I notice all three of us are wearing bright hues of orange and red; Zoe decides it’s all serendipity. Getting started with the interview, I ask about how the band got started, since the online releases of “Kissi’s” music come from varied lapses of time.

Zoe starts, “Well, …July? Technically August-ish.  Maybe July? I’ve been writing songs for a while as kind of like a solo thing, so for a while it was just like me. But then I met Colin, and— ”

I interrupt. “How’d you guys meet?”

Colin starts laughing and Zoe gives a big grin. “We met on Tinder…I think it’s really funny.” Continue reading →

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Scaling Rose Mountain with Screaming Females

Screaming Females | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Screaming Females | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

This week, local legends in the making Screaming Females capped off their first decade as a band with the release of the rollicking Rose Mountain. As slick and snarling as anything they’ve ever done, it makes a strong case for being the trio’s best work yet. In preparation for what is sure to be a righteous release show tomorrow at the First Unitarian Church, I caught up with singer-guitarist Marissa Paternoster, drummer Jarrett Dougherty, and bassist Michael Abbate to chat about their new record, moving to Philly and their last ten years playing together. Continue reading →

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Ground Up discuss organic beginnings, songwriting and tour with OCD

Ground Up at Union Transfer | via facebook.com/skilloverswag
Ground Up at Union Transfer | via facebook.com/skilloverswag

Philly’s Ground Up may have jumped into the realm of major exposure in recent years with songs like “Got Damn” and “Daps,” whose video views boast over 200,000 views. But it’s their summer smash “Lets Ride” that has captivated audiences and the those of us at The Key’s office. Bij Lincs, the mastermind and the creator of the group’s sound, is matched perfectly by MCs Malakai and Azar, whose lyrical prowess is both intuitive and witty. The guys are currently on tour but I caught up with them to ask where the inspiration on their newest songs came from and what they’re looking forward to about their upcoming hometown show. Continue reading →

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Watch Philly rocker Dave Hause talk songwriting and Devour on Last Call with Carson Daly

Dave Hause | photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Dave Hause | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

“I’m Dave Hause; I’m from Philadelphia, I make up songs and try to sing it in key.” That’s how the Philadelphia songwriter opened his spotlight on Last Call with Carson Daly this week, touching on topics ranging from his childhood in a religious, post-Hippie musical household to the intense songwriting process for his latest LP, Devour. Continue reading →

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Temple jazz performance major Ethan Fisher combines influences to make hip-hop beats

via ethanfisher.bandcamp.com
via ethanfisher.bandcamp.com

As a freshman jazz performance major, Ethan Fisher is focused on making music. That is why he self-produced his debut six-track EP, Beat Tape in his dorm room, using his Macbook, speakers, keyboard, and a mic.

It’s basically an experimental hip hop album and the intro sets a post-apocalyptic world ambiance, accompanied by rhythmic drum beats and jazz-influenced guitar. “Bass Jams” opens with a minimal drum pattern and features Fisher’s twin brother on bass, who is also a music major at Temple. Continue reading →