Trap Rabbit talks virtuosity, collaboration and Philly on the 25 O’Clock Podcast

Trap Rabbit
Trap Rabbit | photo courtesy of the artist

Philly instrumental duo Trap Rabbit gets around, whether they’re backing rappers like Kuf Knotz or working with singer-songwriters like Sophie Coran. For the latest episode of the 25 O’Clock podcast, bandmates Arjun Dube (drums) and Logan Roth (keys) chat with host Dan Drago about their origins, their entry point into the Philadelphia music scene, and how they’ve managed to stay so busy as musicians. Continue reading →


“The ethic of taking care of ourselves” fuels new benefit comp with tracks from Void Vision, Plastic Ivy, and more

Casey Grabowski performs as Secret Societies | still from video

Cancer is a cruel disease. It kills slowly, sometimes over the course of years, and even when it’s been cut and irradiated out of the body there’s still always that worry it may come back. Likewise, there is no quick solution, no easy fix. Treating cancer can take years and is incredibly taxing on the body, mind, and last but not least the wallet.

Local musician and artist Casey Grabowski has been living with stage four pancreatic cancer since 2017. Known both in electronic music circles – he played as Nearest, Obligate Surrogate, and Secret Societies and booked events for years – and as the founder of the Philadelphia Zine Fest, Grabowski, a civil engineer by trade, has been unable to work during that time. His wife and main caretaker Michelle Dewey set up an ongoing digital fundraiser that has allowed the couple to tread water while he receives medical care.

Still, even with the help of friends and strangers, they are seriously struggling to get by. Continue reading →


Now Hear This: New songs from Cat Power, Elvis Costello, Matthew Dear, Half Waif, Richard Swift, Spiritualized and more

Half Waif | photo by Tonje Thilesen | courtesy of the artist
Half Waif | photo by Tonje Thilesen | courtesy of the artist

Every month, noted song expert K. Ross Hoffman presents Now Hear This, a sampling of fresh specimens for your consideration.

This past Saturday was my 36th birthday, and, as it happens, this is my 36th Now Hear This column.  (I’ve been secretly keeping track: the first fifteen installments ran weekly over at Philly Voice during the fall of 2016; the monthly columns for The Key started in February 2017).  Thirty-six feels like a significant year – more so than 35 in many ways (especially considering what’s been happening to the institution of the presidency).  It’s divisible by more numbers, even if five isn’t one of them.  As one friend pointed out, it means I’m now old enough to vote twice! And, more notably, it means that I’ve been a quote-unquote “adult” for fully half of my life; that the time since I left my parents’ house now equals the time that I lived there.

So it’s afforded a nice opportunity to reflect back on the time around my 18th year – an age perhaps less overtly mythologized in song than sixteen or seventeen, but probably even more transformative in real (contemporary) life – which in my case was also the era of Y2K.  I’d reckon that nobody felt the cultural and historical shift from the 20th to the 21st century, from the 1990s to the still-nameless-after-all-these-years 2000s, more acutely than those of us for whom it paralleled the end of high school and the start of what-comes-next; i.e. me and my fellow circa-1982 babies: the oldest, truest millennials.  Conveniently, just two days before my birthday, September Now Hear This boy-toy Troye Sivan joined up with plasticwave popgenius (and certified ‘90s bitchCharli XCX to drop a video memorializing and celebrating the pop culture of that period – specifically 1999, although the references span roughly 1997-2000 – when, as many have mentioned, its creators were still in single digits, if not diapers.  It represents exactly, and in exquisitely realized detail, the “borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered (late) ‘90s” that I have been ambivalently anticipating for quite some time now.

Continue reading →


Just Announced: Margo Price returns to World Cafe Live in December

Margo Price | photo by Natalie Piserchio |

If you didn’t get enough of Margo Price at this past summer’s XPN Fest, don’t worry — she’ll be back in Philly before 2018 is over. The year since the release of sophomore album All American Made has been a chaotic one, but Price isn’t pausing to rest. She has announced new stops to her ongoing tour, including a show at World Cafe Live on December 28. So if you’re looking for the perfect gift for that one friend who is really into country music, you’ve found it. Continue reading →


Just Announced: Bouncing Souls revive early material with How I Spent My Maniacal Summer shows in Croydon and Wilmington

Bouncing Souls | photo courtesy of the artist

Jersey punks The Bouncing Souls make their comeback with a Northeast tour called How I Spent My Maniacal Vacation. That’s right, that the band will revive material from 1996’s Maniacal Laughter and 2001’s How I Spent My Summer Vacation in one monster setlist.This weekend Bouncing Souls has a gig at Neshaminy Creek Brewing Co in Croydon, PA, about an hour outside of Philly. In December they return with a set at The Queen in Wilmington, joined by cabaret punks The World/Inferno Friendship Society and Worriers. All tour dates are listed below; more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Anniversary documentary Sonic Youth: Daydream Nation screens at PhilaMOCA

Sonic Youth in the Daydream Nation gatefold album art | photo by Michael Lavine | via Facebook

NYC noisemakers Sonic Youth will mark the 30th anniversary of its acclaimed 1988 double album Daydream Nation with multi-city screenings of the Lance Bangs-directed concert film of the same name. The documentary features footage of the band performing in Glasgow in 2007, as well as clips from Bangs’ personal Super8mm archive. PhilaMOCA is hosting the Philly premiere on November 18; find tickets or more information in the event’s Facebook event page. Below, watch a trailer for the documentary. Continue reading →


Just Announced: Sharon Van Etten will headline Union Transfer in February

Sharon Van Etten
Sharon Van Etten | photo by Ryan Pfluger | courtesy of the artist

After taking several years off to go back to school, launch an acting career, and start a family, singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten returns to music with her fifth album, Remind Me Tomorrow, which comes out January 18th on Jagjaguwar Records. The record was announced with an urgent rocker called “Comeback Kid,” a high-energy earworm that very directly addresses her re-emergence. Continue reading →