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Catch RJD2 and JG of Remote Places at The Oval tonight

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

The Oval is the place to be on Friday nights this summer, enjoying al fresco Food & Flicks events on the Ben Franklin Parkway with live music and outdoor film screenings.

Tonight’s special post-DNC presentation features sets by local electronic producers / singer-songwriters RJD2 and Justin Geller of Remote Places, followed by a playback of classic Will Smith movie Men In Black.

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Watch the latest Double Decker Music Series video; see Moor Mother on this weekend’s installment

Weyes Blood | phot by Scott Troyan | scotttroyan.com | courtesy of the artist
Weyes Blood | phot by Scott Troyan | scotttroyan.com | courtesy of the artist

The third annual season of the Double Decker Music Series has brought a lineup of off-center Philly artists to the roof deck of a moving sightseeing bus for unique and intimate performances. The latest video from the series, shot by Philly videographer Bob Sweeney, just came out this week. In it you can see the spoken word / electronic soundscape collaboration between Nyfolt and Karl Cooney, as well as experimental artist Neil Feather casting dream-like tones as the bus rides around Center City. There’s some scene-setting from tour guide / series curator Sebastian Petsu as well. Continue reading →

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In Conversation with Garbage’s Butch Vig

Garbage
Garbage | photo courtesy of the artist

Garbage have had a lot of ups and downs over their twenty-plus years together. Through it all, however, they’ve consistently managed to produce pristine, propulsive pop-rock hybrids that sounds as thrilling and just ahead of the curve now as they did on their self-titled introduction to the world back in 1995.

Their current album, Strange Little Birds, is already being heralded in many circles as their best album since then, and not without good reason. Over its eleven tracks, the band’s signature sound stretches and sprawls with a playfulness and precision they haven’t shown in over a decade. We’ll get to see how it stretches out live too when they play The Fillmore this Saturday night.

Alas, drummer and co-founder Butch Vig will not be in attendance. Grounded from flight on doctor’s orders after a bout of sinusitis, this freed him up for a chat about the new album, how the band fits into the musical landscape of today, and what’s kept them band together all of these years… Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Ceramic Animal

Stylish Bucks County four-piece Ceramic Animal dabbles in psychedelic rock of the classic variety. The keyboard-and-guitar interplay you’ll hear in this week’s Key Studio Session hits an undeniable Doors-esque sweet spot; the guitar solos (particularly on “Codename Righteous”) are totally Pink Floyd. However, as much as the band informs its sound by history, it works with one foot in the now, and is getting ready to release its self-titled debut album this fall. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Willie Nelson & Family, Neil Young + Promise of the Real, and Sheryl Crow headlining Outlaw Music Festival

Neil Young photo via NPR World Cafe session
Neil Young | photo by Julie Gardner | NPR

Willie Nelson & Family, Neil Young + Promise of the Real, and Sheryl Crow are headlining the inaugural Outlaw Music Festival taking place Sunday, September 18th at Montage Mountain, Scranton. Additional performers announced so far including the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Lee Ann Womack, and Brothers Osborne. Continue reading →

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Mercury Girls gear up for tour with bold new jam “Holly”

Mercury Girls
Mercury Girls | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Yesterday, we announced that Philly indiepop sextet Mercury Girls was part of one of the strongest tour lineups this fall, joining Foxing and Balance and Composure on a huge autumn run that comes to Union Transfer on November 18th. Today, we’ve got news of their next release – they’re on Continental Drift, a four-way split on Slumberland Records that also features Wildhoney, The Spook School and Tigercats. Continue reading →

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Hang Loose: Alabama Shakes, Gary Clark Jr. burn down BB&T for XPN Fest night two

Alabama Shakes | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN
Alabama Shakes | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

We might have been various degrees of soaking wet. But Alabama Shakes made it easy enough to forget.

“Here’s how it’s gonna work,” frontwoman Brittany Howard told the crowd. “I’m gonna give you a bit, and you’re gonna give it back.

And so it went: the band tore across a blistering 90-minute set that worked in most of the songs at the band’s disposal – including a thundering “Always Alright” from the Silver Linings Playbook soundtrack, the contemplative “Joe” (a live cut from an Austin City Limits comp), and a heaping handful from 2012’s Boys and Girls and last year’s Sound and Colour.   Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Cherry at Spruce Street Harbor Park, Grande Marshall at The Foundry, Honeytiger at Boot and Saddle

Cherry at Key Fest | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Cherry at Key Fest | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

We’ve brought them in for a Key Studio Session and couldn’t get enough so we added them to Key Fest — now, Cherry will be performing at the free Spruce Street Harbor Park Waterfront series tonight. The brainchild of former punk band Kite Party member Russell Edling, Cherry will be playing along with Belgrade for the scenic concert. And hey, who doesn’t love free live music? Head over to the XPN Concert Calendar for more info. You can check out their live sessions with us below. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Temple of the Dog reuniting, kicking off tour at the Tower

Temple of the Dog | via Rolling Stone

Chris Cornell is getting the band back together.

In 1990 the Soundgarden frontman gathered some friends together and formed Temple of the Dog as a tribute to the late Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone. The supergroup (which featured other members of Mother Love Bone and Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam) recorded an album and then called it quits, but now it’s time for a victory lap.

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The Key Studio Sessions: Loose Tooth

I finally managed to see Philadelphia punk outfit Loose Tooth this spring. We’ve dug their music for a while over here at The Key, ever since the first songs from 2015’s Easy Easy East began to surface in the blog world — but it wasn’t till the band was paired with Abi Reimold on the release show for the latter’s Wriggling that I got to experience the force of nature these four Philadelphians are in concert. From the stage at Johnny Brenda’s, a torrent of interlocking guitars by Kian Sorouri and Kyle Laganella were led by intricate bass lines from Larissa Sapko and thunder drums from Christian Bark – it was dynamic, reaching from simmering lows to scorching highs. And it made me super psyched to hear the new record that’s wrapping up production at Headroom Studios.

When Loose Tooth stepped in the XPN studio to record their Key Session this past weekend, it was a double treat of sorts – firstly because of the six songs they played, only one (“Lizzy”) was previously featured on Easy. The rest are getting their first airing here, and I’m purely pumped about how fierce they sound. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head