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Unlocked: Wander an artful maze of memory in Hop Along’s “Powerful Man” video

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A scene from Hop Along’s “Powerful Man” video

Most people know Frances Quinlan as a singer and songwriter, the powerful voice behind Philly’s Hop Along. But visual art was actually her first calling; she founded the band almost ten years ago as a freshman studying at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Most of her album art is the work of her own hand, with no shortage of ambition either. At the Get Disowned album release party in the basement of the First Unitarian Church, Quinlan decorated the stage with dozens of larger-than-life-sized leaves from the album cover, and then handed dozens more out to the audience. (It was June and the basement was sweltering, so they made good handheld fans, as well as mementos for the fans.) And the intricate, beautiful still life on the cover of Painted Shut is her work as well.

The new music video for “Powerful Man” might be Quinlan’s most complex and rewarding fusion of art and music. Continue reading →

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Watch Cayetana’s live acoustic performance for Boston’s WZBC

Cayetana | Photo by Jessica Flynn | jflynnphotography.com
Cayetana | Photo by Jessica Flynn | jflynnphotography.com

We’re huge Cayetana fans over at The Key. The punk trio’s latest album, Nervous Like Me, was voted best album of 2014 by our critics, and we were pumped when they recently rocked opening night of the inaugural Key Fest.

Fans might be used to the somewhat louder / rawer sound from Cayetana, but frontwoman Augusta Koch’s recent live acoustic session for Boston’s WZBC shows she can conquer a stripped-down sound, too. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Apache Relay at Johnny Brenda’s, Acid Mothers Temple at Boot and Saddle

The Apache Relay | Photo by John Vettese
The Apache Relay | Photo by John Vettese

Nashville country-soul six-piece The Apache Relay returns to Philly tonight to headline Johnny Brenda’s. The band, which built some buzz following a 2013 tour with Mumford and Sons, released its self-titled third LP last April, which drew comparisons to The Head and the Heart and Delta Spirit. Joining them on the bill are Great Peacock and Philly psych outfit Circadian Rhythms; tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Awesome summer shows continue to pile up with The Front Bottoms and LVL UP to play PhilaMOCA

The Front Bottoms | Photo by John Vettese
The Front Bottoms | Photo by John Vettese

The summer concert calendar keeps getting better. Most recently, Philly has added The Front Bottoms to the agenda on a show featuring special guests LVL UP. The two quirky punk rock crews will play PhilaMOCA this summer on June 5th and we’re pumped. Find more information on the show by heading over to their Facebook event page and be sure to check out some of their music below. Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: Darla show another side of their funk with live video for “It”

Darla
Darla | photo by Evan Chapman

Local seven-piece instrumental group Darla are fast movers. Just four months after releasing their sophomore record Darla Forever! the group of Drexel students are prepping for a split effort with Philly friends The Reflexes, which will feature a brand new live take of the former’s track “It.” We are happy to premiere the in-studio video that accompanies the song below.

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Jason Isbell brings new record to The Mann’s Skyline Stage this summer

Jason Isbell
Jason Isbell | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com

Jason Isbell has announced a summer tour that includes a stop at The Mann‘s Skyline Stage on July 29th. The string of dates coincides with the release of Isbell’s fifth solo record Something More Than Free, which follows up 2013′s acclaimed Southeastern LP. Tickets and information for the all-ages, outdoor concert will be available here on May 8th. Revisit his sold-out Keswick performance from earlier this year here, watch him perform “Cover Me Up” live at Austin City Limits, and listen to a new song, “24 Frames” below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Trail of Dead at Underground Arts, of Montreal at Chameleon Club

And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead | Photo by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com
And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead | Photo by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com

Austin indie rock adventurers …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead headline Underground Arts tonight. Their sound has traveled many avenues but always hit hard in the past efforts, but 2014′s IX was inspired by Philly’s own The War on Drugs. In an interview with Echoes and Dust, Jason Reece said the band’s last two records were an influence:

This layered Krautrock kind of vibe. We were thinking of Echo And The Bunnymen, Ocean Rain. These dense and bigger sounding albums. We were kind of into some 80’s music, Psychedelic Furs. Which is funny cause we’re not really a band that’s into the new wave sound, I don’t think we’ve ever made an 80’s sounding record. That’s kind of what we were jamming out to, the early 80’s sounds.

Opening the show is Philly’s Pine Barons; tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Action Bronson at The TLA, Kiska at Boot and Saddle

Action Bronson | Photo by Mark Schaffer
Action Bronson | Photo by Mark Schaffer

He may have just this year released his major label full-length debut, but Queens MC Action Bronson has become a household name for people in the know since debuting in 2008. Tonight, he brings his new LP Mr. Wonderful to the TLA; it’s a fast-paced mix of irreverent rhymes and pointed delivery. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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