Each of the five tracks on the EP are new, unreleased songs, which range from Honeytiger’s bluesy garage rock fuzz of “Going to England,” Doggo’s crunchy and swirling, “Donnie McNarb Super Bowl Champion XXIII,” Downtrodder’s blaring bout of truth in “Trashlisted,” Anna Ladd’s moving, soft-folk ballad, “Jawline,” and Psycle’s heavy battle cry, “Face the Fire.” Continue reading →
Philadelphia artist Anna Ladd released her latest effort The Cancer of my Tongue Behind my Teeth, >an eight song album that encompasses spoken word and lo-fi bedroom rock. Her words are often accompanied by the soothing lull of an acoustic guitar which make their honesty ring out all the more true. Continue reading →
“High Key” is a series of profiles conceived with the intent to tell the story of Philly’s diverse musical legacy by spotlighting individual artists in portrait photography, as well as with an interview focusing on the artist’s experience living, creating, and performing in this city. “High Key” will be featured in biweekly installments, as the series seeks to spotlight artists both individually and within the context of his or her respective group or artistic collective.
Jake Ewald would position the dissolution of beloved hometown heroes Modern Baseball more as an indefinite hiatus. One of the most heralded band of recent Philly history, MoBo played three sold-out goodbye-for-now sets at Union Transfer last Fall. Just before that, the below interview was recorded backstage at the inaugural Philadelphia Music Fest, where Ewald played a set with his new project, Slaughter Beach, Dog.
In the time since, Ewald has kept busy touring behind and gigging locally in support of Birdie, the second full-length for that band, and confounding music writers everywhere with Slaughter Beach, Dog’s unanticipated comma. The band trades pop-punk for a more acoustic-centered approach to Ewald’s unique brand of storytelling, and was recorded at his Fishtown studio The Metal Shop, a setup asselmbed with fellow MoBo-er Ian Farmer and Sorority Noise’s Cameron Boucher over the past four or five years, in a space he found on Craigslist. In this interview, we got Ewald’s perspective on straddling the space between one band winding down and another winding up, the scene that he discovered upon moving to Philly six years ago, and the ups and downs of different neighborhoods.
Here at The Key, we spend a lot of time digging through every new release from Philadelphia that shows up on Bandcamp. Periodically, we’ll check in to present you with the most interesting, most unusual and overall best of the bunch: this is Items Tagged Philadelphia.
Looking back, I totally would have done a few things differently. I would not have set an arbitrary “weekly” benchmark to report back to you on the weird, wild and wonderfully ear-catching Philly artists I find in my Bandcamp digging. My weeks are unpredictable at WXPN HQ; the only constant is an already high volume of listening, reading, writing, recording and editing, before this project even comes into play. I also would have made a more valiant effort to keep up with these artists I uncovered throughout the year; some were easy to follow (shoutouts Sea-Offs, MHYSA, S-21, Erica Gibson) and some I haven’t checked in on since initially spotlighting them.
I might have tried to be more discerning, choosing fewer releases each week so I’d have space and time to reflect and write more about the ones I was highlighting. I would have found better things to say to introduce each column; I should have STFU about the weather, which seems to be a de facto entry point to many of them. Get it together, man.
But for something that started as a New Years’ Resolution whim twelve months ago — ie. give a listen to every single release posted to Bandcamp with a Philadelphia tag in 2017, report back on the good stuff — I’m decently pleased with how it played out. Continue reading →
The Afghan Whigs are one of the best live rock bands ever, period. And they’ve always had an interesting relationship with Philadelphia. From their epic 3+ hour shows that went deep into the night at the TLA in the 90s, through a period where they intentionally passed over the city (citing relationship issues with the venues), the connection with the fans here has never waned. An Afghan Whigs show is never predictable, from vocalist Greg Dulli’s banter, through the weaving of classic songs into Whigs hits and back again. Hundreds were present at the Union Transfer Tuesday night to hang on every word, and sing every lyric. Continue reading →