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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Grayling at The Fire, The Faint at The Trocadero, Crystal Castles at TLA and more

grayling
Grayling | photo by Kim Woodcock | courtesy of the artist

Tonight, The Fire in Northern Liberties hosts emo-pop outfit Grayling. What started out as the independent project of frontwoman Lexi Campion has now turned into a four-person full time band. Grayling’s recent debut EP, Everything That Burns, dropped back in April. Tonight they play with Honeytiger, Zack Daniel, The Disgruntled Sherpa Project, and Foxster. If your music taste lies anywhere along the super versatile spectrum of indie/alternative music then be sure to get a ticket for this 21+ show that will have something for everyone. Check out Grayling’s studio session with The Key from earlier this week here. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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The Key Studio Sessions: Grayling

While Philly alt-punk upstarts Grayling packed up after its Key Studio Session this week, frontwoman Lexi Campion told us a story about an old drum teacher.

It was back when she was ten years old, early on in her percussive education. She went in for a lesson, and to her dismay at the time, her teacher said they were going to spend a day learning how to take the drumkit apart and put it back together, to screw and unscrew all its miscellaneous hardware components, to tune and retune the snare and toms. “You need to know how to do this stuff,” she was told.

To reiterate: Campion was ten. And getting such a diligent education early on shaped who she is as a musician today, it instilled a work ethic that carried into her two bands — the math-pop outfit Edelweiss (where she spent a year and change killing it on drums) and the more recently formed Grayling, where she runs the show. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Listen to Grayling’s debut EP Everything That Burns

grayling
Grayling | photo by Kim Woodcock | courtesy of the artist

Lexi Campion’s Grayling released her debut EP with NDE Records Everything That Burns this week, and you can listen to a stream of the entire thing via The Fader.

The first taste we got from Grayling was “Bidding War”, a slice of emo-pop that channeled St. Vincent as well as Circa Survive. Campion, who used to drum for indie rockers Edelweiss, takes powerful/experimental guitar music and gives it an extremely personal edge. Continue reading →

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Underground Arts to host International Women’s Day benefit, featuring Louie Louie, Ivy Sole, Queen of Jeans, Harmony Woods and more…

Ivy Sole | photo courtesy of the artist
Ivy Sole | photo courtesy of the artist

This International Women’s Day — Wednesday, March 8th — Underground Arts will host a benefit concert featuring Louie Louie, Queen of Jeans, Ivy Sole, Grayling, and many more. The event will benefit the new Crossroads Women’s Center, a community based self-help space. You can find a full lineup of the fifteen, possibly sixteen (wink, wink)  bill below. Then, head over to XPN’s Concert Calendar for tickets and more information. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Teenage Bigfoot at The Fire, Weekender at Bourbon and Branch, Snake Club at World Cafe Live

Teenage Bigfoot
Teenage Bigfoot | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com
Local pop-punk trio Teenage Bigfoot returned last year with the playful and rifftastic 2 Lit 2 Quit EP. Tonight, the band rocks a set at The Fire on Girard Avenue; tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Punk Talks Benefit at Everybody Hits, Tesselations at Bourbon & Branch, Spot Collins at Boot & Saddle and more…

grayling
Grayling | photo by Kim Woodcock | courtesy of the artist

Grayling, Coping Skills, Curtis Cooper, and more team up at Everybody Hits tonight for a show that benefits Punk Talks. Founded in 2015, the Cincinnati-based organization supports musicians and music industry workers with mental health access and education while on the road and at home. Joining the headliners will be Harmony Woods (one of John Vettese’s top local discoveries of the year), the UK’s Parker Lee, Weller, David Bello of The World is a Beautiful Place, and Zoe Allaire of Kississippi. Tickets and information for the all-ages show can be found here. Stream “Bidding War” by Grayling below.

Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: John Vettese’s Top Six Philly Music Discoveries of 2016

Harmony Woods | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Harmony Woods | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2016 incredible. To kick off the series, Key editor John Vettese recaps six of his favorite Philadelphia music discoveries from the past 12 months.

Ah, Philly. Keep on being awesome. It’s once again time for me to look back and reflect on the past year of music that came out of our community, and once again I’ve had a harder time than ever narrowing it down.

Locally rooted artists are breaking into the broader music conversation, whether they remain at home (Modern Baseball‘s Holy Ghost receiving international acclaim) or venture outward to other cities and scenes (Michelle Zauner’s sometimes-Philly / sometimes-Brooklyn Japanese Breakfast, Ron Gallo and Liz Longley taking up residence in Nashville). More people than ever are moving from other cities to Philly – including The Dove and The Wolf, who got their start in Paris. And as always, artists like Dr. Dog (who released an impressive two albums in 2016), Kurt Vile (who celebrates New Year’s Eve at The Fillmore) and The Roots (still rocking the late night TV party) rep the city on a national scale.

But this post isn’t about that. It’s my annual reflection on artists who I had not heard of prior to this year, who totally bowled me over and made me want to find out everything about them. These are artists that deserve to be one of those high profile artists in coming years. These are my favorite music discoveries of 2016. Continue reading →

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31 Concerts in 31 Days: Here’s your Philly live music agenda for December

Rhett MIller | still from video // Norah Jones | via Blue Note Records // Kurt Vile | via Matador Records
Rhett MIller | still from video // Norah Jones | via Blue Note Records // Kurt Vile | via Matador Records

I don’t want to hear about it. I know it’s a busy time of the year, what with the holidays and all. I know things in the world have been all out of wack lately. I totally feel that, believe me — I didn’t go to shows for like three weeks last month which, given my job, is sort of an abomination. But then I stepped into Johnny Brenda’s last Saturday, and from the second The Dove and the Wolf started playing, I knew what I had been missing. Music heals, music sets you free, and we all need to make time for music in our lives this month.

There are a lot of great prospective gigs on the December calendar — from perennial favorite Norah Jones to New Year’s Eve with Philly’s Kurt Vile, a hip-hop dance party with Mac Miller to a holiday spectacular with Work Drugs, a soaring all-ages set by Vita and the Woolf to a contemplative Tin Angel show starring Kristin Hersh – so once again, we’ll present you with a concert to see almost every day in December.  Continue reading →

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Local bands team up for holiday benefit show at Everybody Hits

grayling
Grayling | photo by Kim Woodcock | courtesy of the artist

This holiday season will bring together several local musicians for a good cause. The Holiday Benefit Show at Everybody Hits, which features emo/pop artist Grayling, fun punk duo Coping Skills, folk/punk songwriter Curtis Cooper (with a full band), and Zoe Allaire of DIY darlings Kississippi on the bill, will take place at Girard Avenue space on Wednesday, December 28th with proceeds going to Punk Talks.

Continue reading →