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Interview: Dave Hause discusses moving away from Philly and touring with family

Dave Hause. Source: hitthefloor.com
Dave Hause | Photo via hitthefloor.com

Any regular Key reader or XPN listener is familiar with Dave Hause. The Philadelphia native and Loved Ones frontman turned solo artist has been a much beloved fixture of The Key, and rightfully so. Hause pretty much embodies the spirit of the local scene, even if he now finds solace in residing on the opposite coast (we’ll forgive him).  And if his seemingly never-ending slew of tour dates and side projects popping up implies anything, it’s that he’s not planning on slowing down any time soon. His sophomore album Devour is painful, and beautifully so. A retrospective and heart-wrenching record, it is arguably one of the most raw things Hause has written, including his more punk-centric back catalog. I had the chance to chat with him about moving on after Devour, working with family, and his migration west. You can read the full interview below. Continue reading →

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Pitchfork gazes into the future of Will Yip and Studio 4

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

Pitchfork recently published a feature story about Will Yip, the celebrated and highly-regarded producer based in Conshohocken, and the studio and scene surrounding his work.

Yip has produced albums for numerous Pennsylvania bands, including Circa Survive, Title Fight, Tigers Jaw, Balance and Composure, Nothing, and Superheaven. He works out of Studio 4, a legendary area recording space run by Phil Nicolo. The article explores his work with some of these bands in-depth, observing their genre-bending tendencies that draw heavily from music of the latter 20th century. It also touches on the fact that Yip’s bands have reached younger generations that are constantly told underground music scenes are “dead”. Continue reading →

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She Got It: Lee Mazin talks about climbing the Dreamchasers ranks and making the perfect summer jam

Lee Mazin | Photo via facebook.com/LeeMazin
Lee Mazin | Photo via facebook.com/LeeMazin

First Lady of Meek Mill’s Dreamchasers camp, Lee Mazin has emerged along with artist like Tink, Angel Haze and Nitty Scott MC as being the new guard of women emerging on the national hip-hop scene.  Much like the other artists mentioned, Lee displays a distinct sound all her own.  Cunning and witty with a rawness in her flow that can only come from her Philly roots, Lee’s newest anthem “She Got It” is just about ready to blow up and be her biggest single yet – it’s perfect for the summer.  Luckily I got a chance to briefly talk with Mazin and discuss working with her mentor Meek, along with her own music and what’s coming up in the future. Continue reading →

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Bethlehem’s VoirVoir reminds us what local music is really about

VoirVoir | photo by Jess Cuttic | via facebook.com/Voirvoir
VoirVoir | photo by Jess Cuttic | via facebook.com/Voirvoir

Bethlehem, PA was once a towering empire, thanks to Bethlehem Steel, America’s second largest steel producer during much of the 20th century. Now, as the buildings and machinery of a bygone era rust away, a new empire is taking the reins in Bethlehem: the music scene.

With the help of annual events like Musikfest, as well as the addition of the SteelStacks and Sands Bethlehem Casino venues, Bethlehem’s music scene is growing at an astounding rate. Behind the scenes, local and underground venues are popping up all over the city. This is good news for bands that are working their way through the music world. One of these bands is indie rock outfit VoirVoir.

I had a chance to talk with one of the band’s masterminds, Matt Molchany. We chatted about the recording of VoirVoir’s debut album, their upcoming shows, and what’s happening in the Bethlehem music scene. Continue reading →

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We chatted with Piper, the 11-year-old girl who was the first winner of St. Vincent’s Mixtape Delivery Service

St. Vincent | photo by Rachel Del Sordo
St. Vincent | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Earlier in June, Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) told her fans she would make them personalized mixtapes via her Beats 1 radio show, St. Vincent’s Mixtape Delivery Service. All fans had to do was submit a letter of 50 words or fewer describing how their lives would benefit from a personalized St. Vincent playlist.

On July 1, she hosted her first installment of the show on Apple Music, announcing the first lucky individual: 11-year-old Piper Murray from Newark, Delaware.

Piper loves to sing and dance, and says she has St. Vincent hairbrush karaoke parties in her room at night. She’s into modern, electronic-leaning music like Purity Ring and Chvrches. During the show, Clark talked with Piper about her love of singing and dancing, a musical she performed in, her family, and her hobbies.

The Key was lucky enough to chat with Piper and her dad, Matt, about this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Continue reading →

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The vibrant Whitney Peyton talks beginning, digital novel, and what to expect in the future

Whitney Peyton | Photo by Michael Carnrike
Whitney Peyton | Photo by Michael Carnrike

The young and charismatic Whitney Peyton has quite a few accolades for an artist still considered to be underground.  In the midst of winning tri-state contests and recognition from major media outlets like MTV and ABC (to name a few), the rapper also contributed to a collaborative children’s album that received a Grammy in 2012. Most recently, she’s been involved with a new innovative graphic novel that features 26 different underground artists from around the globe called How An Atomic Fart Saved The World.  With all that, the always hungry Whitney Peyton has her eyes set on future projects and music, looking to take her Underdog movement to a new forefront and demographic.  I was given the chance to talk to Peyton about her background and aspirations. Continue reading →

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The inside story of Little Furnace with label owner Jack Firneno

Little Furnace Label | Photo courtesy of Jack Firneno
Little Furnace Label | Photo courtesy of Jack Firneno

Little Furnace is a relatively new local label, run by Jack Firneno. The label’s roster includes Cicada Jade, Borrowed Equipment, The Band Sheep, Tim Schmid, Alyssa Marsdale, Dime Street Joker, and Ashton John. The creator and backbone of the fresh faced record label reflected over email with The Key about a the label, its roster and a Little Furnace show at Connie’s Ric Rac in South Philly last month. The show included many of the artists on the label, including Ashton John. Firneno wrote: ”I’ve never seen a bar go from empty to packed as fast as when he’s (Ashton John) playing.” Here’s more on Little Furnace from Jack Firneno: Continue reading →

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Meet The Chip Breakers: a South Philly folk duo transcending genre boundaries

Taken from Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/thechipbreakers/photos
Photo by Hope Helmuth | https://www.facebook.com/thechipbreakers/photos

Meet The Chip Breakers, a South Philly folk duo that weave together compelling tales with soaring melodies and the sincerity that lies behind a strummed banjo. Consisting of Joe Miles and Tom Contarino, The Chip Breakers prefer to refer to themselves as an “aggressive acoustic band” rather than put a distinct label on the captivating music they create. Upon first listen of their self-titled debut EP, this is instantly apparent. The listener is met with a whirlwind of influences that defy genre barriers, harkening the likeness of The Felice Brothers, Frank Turner, and even The Black Keys. Continue reading →

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Plow United members Joel Tannenbaum and Brian McGee discuss their current projects

Plow United | Courtesy of Isaac Turner
Plow United | Courtesy of Isaac Turner

The tale is a common one: a couple of teenagers meet in high school, and bored in a suburban working-class town, decide to start a rock band. More than likely, they will play in a few talent shows, maybe record an EP on an older sibling’s gear in their parents’ garage, and eventually dissolve into the ether that is yellowing show fliers and forgotten websites. However, this worn-out story does not hold true to the legend of Plow United. Continue reading →