One of Philly’s biggest DIY music festivals returns for a second year this weekend. Presented by goodhowareyou records and Paper Scissors Media, Great How’ve You Been Fest 18 will be hosted at two South Philly DIY spaces on Saturday, December 1st and Sunday, Dec. 2nd; the lineup features many of the label’s artists plus several other local acts. According to goodhowareyou, the mission is “to provide two full days of non-stop entertainment that is affordable, safe and welcoming to all, and supports artists directly.” Continue reading →
While there’s not much doing on Halloween itself, that’s fine — it’ll just give you more time and space to roam your neighborhood as a free agent looking for parties, collecting candy, or collecting candy with your kids if you’re at that point in your life. The rest of the week, though: JAM. PACKED. Here are 18 concerts to see in the next seven days in and around Philadelphia, from tonight’s punk rock mischief night gigs at Johnny Brenda’s and Ortlieb’s, to indie rock, soul and trance all round the region on Sunday. Continue reading →
Brooklyn-based label NonMutanthas just released Unite!, its second volume in a series of charitable Bandcamp compilations. The 26-track volume features songs from emerging Philly and NYC artists, including familiar faces Sheena & Thee Nosebleeds, Lizdelise, Full Bush, Resilient, and many more. All proceeds from its sale will go to United We Dream, an immigration advocacy organization that focuses on securing protections and educational access for immigrants, preventing deportations, and supporting LGBTQ immigrants. Continue reading →
On their self titled debut LP, Full Bush reveal themselves as the rare kind of band that defies any expectation. Their songs unfold like stories from the wittiest person you know, so spontaneous they feel improvised but so seamlessly constructed you’d think they were rehearsed for years. And like a great story, once you hear the beginning, you can’t stop listening until you hear the payoff. Continue reading →
Amid all of the usual Fourth of July festivities happening next weekend, Johnny Brenda’s will play host to a smaller event, bringing together local music for a good cause. On Saturday, July 7, a lineup of three local bands will join forces for Rock & Roll & Birth Control, a benefit show in support of Planned Parenthood. Strange Parts,the duo of Attia Taylor and Corey Duncan who just released their debut album Oh God, What A Beautiful Time I Spent In The Wild, will headline the show. Also on the bill are local duo Tactand punk four-piece Full Bush. Listen to music from each artist below. Continue reading →
Philly garage rock four-piece Full Bush brings the sweet sounds of punk grit on their new single, “Someone.” Usually the four-piece hits us with wild headbanging tunes, like in their 2016 song “Ray’s,” but this time, they’ve slowed things down and pace themselves.
Frontwoman Kate Breish deadpan vocals sneak along with throbbing drums, tense bass, and righteous guitar riffs as the song explodes, makes this five-minute track a thrash kid’s perfect fantasy. Continue reading →
Tonight, Philly psych rock heroes The War on Drugs will play their first hometown show in two and a half years at the Dell Music Center in support of their fantastic new record, A Deeper Understanding. If that’s not enough reason to get you out to Fairmount Park East on a Thursday night, the concert is a benefit for Connor Barwin’s Make The World Better foundation, which has been rehabbing parks and playground across the city since 2014 — their 2017 project will be announced at the concert tonight — and openers Land of Talk put out a fantastic record this year as well, via Saddle Creek. Tickets to the concert are still available, more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Watch the glorious, Philly-shot video for “Pain” below. Continue reading →
Philly four-piece Full Bush tore it up at last year’s First Time’s the Charm festival, and in the time since, they’ve continued kicking some serious butt in glorious punk style. Tonight they’ll be doing just that at Kung Fu Necktie alongside Geisha Facade, The Psychodelics, and The Hell Hole Store. Find info on the show here, and listen to a live version of “Ray’s” below. Continue reading →
Mindbending NYC five-piece Guerilla Toss make their return to Philly tonight for a headlining show at PhilaMOCA. Their 2016 outing Eraser Stargazer melds the ferocity of circuit bent punk, free jazz improv and tripped-out psychedelia, and their live sets are utterly immersive. Joining them is Philly’s Moor Mother, who’s Don Giovanni Records debut Fetish Bones is out this fall. Tickets to the all ages show are available at the door, more information can be found at Facebook. Continue reading →
Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2018 incredible. Today, Key contributor Yoni Kroll recaps his favorite bands that started in 2018.
What we want from bands is at times a very amusing catch 22: they need to be perfect but not polished, experienced but with a youthful electric energy permeating everything. It’s why you hear people talk crap on new bands. They’re young, they’re inexperienced, they’re doing something new or different or maybe not different at all. It’s why my roommate when I was 20 couldn’t stop talking about how every band I was getting into wasn’t as good as NOFX. True story.
But you know what? I’d rather see a bunch of new bands trying to figure it out than a bunch of old people going through the motions. It’s generally more fun and more interesting. Sure, you might not be able to sing along, but is that really your only criteria for enjoying a band? This year I got to see a bunch of bands that were either just starting or recently coalesced from ‘project’ to actual performance. That includes groups formed for the First Time’s the Charm 2018, a biennial concert held last July “made up of entirely new bands that must include women, people of color, queer, trans and gender non-conforming people, and those with disabilities” all playing their first sets ever.
The goal for the event, which I helped organize, was to create a space for those who have been marginalized in our music communities. It was a resounding success, we donated $1500 to music education non-profit Beyond the Bars, and most importantly eight brand new bands were unleashed on Philadelphia. While continuing past that initial performance is not necessarily a goal of the event, a number of bands from this year and past First Time’s the Charm concerts are still playing out regularly. That includes Teenage Bigfoot and Marge from the 2013 edition, Aster More, Taxes, and Full Bush from 2016, and Babe Grenade, Pritty Gritty, and GRIT from this past year. And yes, those are two bands with ‘Gritty’ in their names well before it was cool to do so. That’s how awesome First Time’s the Charm really is.
Without further ado, here’s some of the best new bands that I saw in the past year. Most of them don’t have any recordings yet, so keep an ear to the ground for that. Think of this also as a list of bands to look for in the coming year because I’m sure they’ll all be doing cool stuff. Continue reading →