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Free At Noon Flashback: Heron Oblivion melted, shredded, and just absolutely destroyed at World Cafe Live

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Heron Oblivion | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN | sydneyschaeferphotos.com

Heron Oblivion was introduced as an “east coast meets west coast” band during today’s Free At Noon. Ethan Miller (bass) and Noel Von Harmonson (guitar), the west coasters, have been in bands for year both individually and together, most notably Comets On Fire. More recently, they’d gotten together with east coasters Meg Baird (drums, vocals), a Philly local, and Charlie Saufley (guitar). When the four started playing some informal jam sessions, the songwriting process came easily. So easily, in fact, that the self-titled debut from Heron Oblivion, released March 4th on Sub Pop, came as a result. Continue reading →

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Get ready for Dock Street Brewery’s free concert to finish off Philly Beer Week with Black Landlord, Needlepoints, and more

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Every year, Philly Beer Week takes ten days to celebrate the city’s beer community. With just eight days until the festivities begin on June 3rd, excitement is through the roof. While we here at The Key are ready for things to begin, we especially have our sights set on the tail end of Philly Beer Week. That’s because on June 12th, the last day of the extended week, Dock Street will be hosting a scavenger run and free music fest. Starting at 2:30pm (with music at 3pm), head to 50th & Baltimore Ave for the perfect cap to a fun-filled ten days. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Vita and the Woolf at Bourbon and Branch, Cheerleader at MilkBoy, Borns at the Electric Factory and more

Vita and the Woolf | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com
Vita and the Woolf | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com

Philly electronic pop duo Vita and the Woolf step out to Bourbon and Branch tonight for their first Philly gig in a minute. The band teased some new music this spring – the asskicking “Brett” – and it lends support to the final night of Queen of Jeans’ May residency. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Philadelphia Eagle Connor Barwin talks about his Make The World Better benefit concert with WXPN’s Dan Reed

Dan Reed (left) with Connor Barwin (right) | Photo via https://twitter.com/WXPNDanReed
Dan Reed (left) with Connor Barwin (right) | Photo by Ann Reed via https://twitter.com/WXPNDanReed

Connor Barwin, the Philadelphia Eagles defensive player, recently stopped by WXPN to talk with XPN’s afternoon host Dan Reed about Barwin’s 3rd annual Make The World Better benefit concert on Friday, June 3rd at Union Transfer. The show is an all-Philly bill including Hop Along, Waxahatchee, and a surprise special guest. Continue reading →

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Interview: RJD2 talks his new album Dame Fortune, collaborating, and the Columbus music scene

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

If you’re into RJD2, you know the electronic producer / songwriter is big on collaborating. Even longer than his list of studio albums (which clocks in at 10 with this year’s Dame Fortune) is his list of production work, and the names are big: Aesop Rock, Mos Def, Massive Attack, Elbow, Yo La Tengo and Son Little just scratch the surface. So when he started work on the new project, the Columbus native and former Philadelphia resident called up some old (and new) friends to fill in the gaps. The result is a synchronous, soulful album full of twists, turns and eclectic surprises.

We spoke with RJ about how his production and songwriting methodology has changed from 2002’s Deadringer debut to Dame Fortune, his long list of Philly collaborators and what it’s like to be back in Columbus. Read the interview below, and see the master in action at Union Transfer on Saturday, May 28th.

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Seizing the Moment: The Birth of Needlove Records

Needle Points | Courtesy of the artst
Needle Points | Courtesy of the artst

In the fall of 2014, Needle Points were approached by Scott McMicken of Dr. Dog with interest to produce their next album. It was to be the neo-psych ’n’ rollers’ second album, following up their six-song LP, Bom Tugangu, that they self-released the year prior. However, the album has yet to see the light of day.

After spending two weeks at Mt. Slippery studio with McMicken, the band spent the next year and a half shopping the end result around to multiple record labels. They received varying levels of interest, as local as Brooklyn and as far away as England. Ultimately the band decided it would be in their best interest to release it on their own. They would utilize it to get their own record label, Needlove Records, off the ground with plans to finally release the new album later this summer.

The startup record label will be run by Needle Points’ lead singer Colin Holloway and drummer Jordan Kaplan. Having already released their own Bom Tugangu debut and through their dealings with other musicians and labels through their work with McMicken, the two definitely have some do-it-yourself experience under their belts.

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Folkadelphia Session: Circuit Des Yeux

Photo by Julia Dratel, courtesy of the musician.
Photo by Julia Dratel, courtesy of the musician.

Circuit Des Yeux‘s Haley Fohr worships at the altar of sound. I personally became a convert around Overdue, her release from 2013, but her whole body of work treats sound, all sound – the beautiful, the ugly, the harsh, the serene – as transcendent and worthy of consideration and use. She has faith in what is coaxed out of her instruments, circuitry, and voice, and she leads the audience to keep faith as well, to be led to extraordinary sonic locations.
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Courtney Barnett at the Electric Factory, Ill Doots at Johnny Brenda’s, Four Tet at 714

Courtney Barnett | Photo By Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com
Courtney Barnett | Photo By Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com

Singer-songwriter-rock-and-roller Courtney Barnett is on a victory lap in support of last year’s acclaimed record Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit; tonight, she plays her biggest Philadelphia gig to date, headlining the Electric Factory. With jams like “Pedestrian at Best” and “Dead Fox” and aching numbers like “Deprestion,” it will make you feel all the proverbial feelings. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Watch Courtney playing XPNFest last summer below. Continue reading →