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Just Announced: Screaming Females is taking THOU and HIRS on tour, playing Union Transfer in April

Screaming Females | photo by Grace Winter | courtesy of the artist
Screaming Females | photo by Grace Winter | courtesy of the artist

New Brunswick, NJ DIY veterans Screaming Females have been a steadfast force in the East Coast scene for over a decade, and it releases its seventh LP, All At Once, in February on Don Giovanni Records. This week, the band — led by acclaimed guitarist and songwriter Marisa Paternoster — announced its spring tour, which comes to Union Transfer on April 5th. Continue reading →

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Philly punk five-piece S-21 is playing its final show tomorrow; listen to a new song “Thirst for Violence”

S-21 | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philly five-piece S-21 has been making politically-charged punk rock since September of 2015, and coming up on their two year-anniversary, they’re sadly bringing their run to a close. Their show at the First Unitarian Church basement tomorrow night is their farewell, but they’re not exiting without one last addition to their discography.

The band caught my ear this winter when I came across their Year Zero EP, released on Slugsalt Records, in an installment of Items Tagged Philadelphia. Continue reading →

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Celebrate 10 years of Two Piece Fest with The Afterglows, HIRS and more

two piece fest
The Afterglows | photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN

How do you squeeze over twenty bands on a bill for a festival in the basement of the First Unitarian Church and have the show run smoothly? Two stages, ten years of experience, and just enough time between acts for the packed crowd to shuffle from one end of the room to the other. The folks behind Two Piece Fest have been doing this for a decade now, so when the annual event hits the Church on February 25th we can expect the usual jam-packed day of celebrating duos of all sounds and styles.

Continue reading →

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Slingshot Dakota, Trophy Wife, +HIRS+ playing Two-Piece Fest 8 at PiLam

Slingshot Dakota | photo by Megan Kelly
Slingshot Dakota | photo by Megan Kelly

In its unique dedication to musicians who come in duos, Two-Piece Fest has announced the lineup for its eighth annual show. The daylong DIY-scene show was created by Philly natives Peter Helmis of Algernon Cadwallader and Craig Woods of Towers. They established TPF back in 2007 for their own two-person collaboration, Peter & Craig. This year’s show will take place on February 14th at Pilam in West Philly. Continue reading →

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Chill Moody introduces new Phirst Tuesdays at Bourbon & Branch to support Philly local talent

Chill Moody | Photo courtesy of the artist
Chill Moody | Photo courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia music advocate and hip hop artist Chill Moody announced today that he will be heading a new music initiative in Philadelphia called Phirst Tuesdays. Phirst Tuesdays will be an open mic/jam session that will take place every first Tuesday of the month at Bourbon & Branch. The night of sign-up performances will feature Chill Moody’s own band including Man-Man, Wheatbread and JRoc to play as the performers’ live backing band throughout the night. Phirst Tuesdays will also include various hosts, with December’s to be hosted by R&B artist Beano who has recently returned from a tour in Africa singing back-up vocals for Jahiem. Continue reading →

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My Morning Download: “Thirst” by City and Colour (playing Electric Factory tomorrow night Wed. 9/18)

Photo by Dustin Rabin
Photo by Dustin Rabin
City and Colour (acclaimed singer-songwriter Dallas Green) will be in town tomorrow evening – Wednesday, September 18th – performing at the Electric Factory with Lucy Rose opening. City and Colour recently released The Hurry and The Harm. It’s the first City and Colour album recorded outside of Canada. Green recorded the album in Nashville, Tennessee’s Blackbird Studios with an excellent group of musicians including Jack Lawrence on bass (The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather), Bo Koster of My Morning Jacket on keybaords, Spencer Cullum (Caitlin Rose) on pedal steel and two heavyweight drummers – Matt Chamberlain (Pearl Jam, Fiona Apple) and James Gadson (Bill Withers, BB King). Below, download “Thirst.”

Go here for tickets and more information about the show.

Purchase The Hurry and The Harm here.

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Evolution, Not Throwback: Mace Canister Recordings’ Chuck Meehan is a punk scene vet living in the now

Chuck Meehan | photo by Karen Kirchhoff
Chuck Meehan | photo by Karen Kirchhoff for Loud! Fast! Philly! | loudfastphilly.com

Kevin Seconds of the band 7 Seconds might still sing about how he’s “going to stay young until I die,” but he’s in his late 50s at this point, and not getting any younger. That same attitude, this idea of youth as an ideal, has always been one of the pillars of punk. But what if you don’t live fast and die young? You can be like Seconds and still sing those same songs to the same group of nostalgia-seekers looking to regain their past glory or at the very least try and plug in to something that existed well before they were born. Or you can be like Philadelphia’s own Chuck Meehan – same age as Seconds, give or take a few months – and spend your time trying to make the current punk scene better than anything that has ever existed before.

Meehan played bass in hardcore legends YDi in the early 80s, but if you ask anyone who knows him now, that will be way down at the bottom of the list of things they bring up. “Chuck just gets it,” according to Amy Opsasnick, who plays guitar in Ramones-core band Dark Thoughts. “He doesn’t have to rely on living in the past because he is in the present, but can use his past in a positive way — in sharing wild ass stories, pointing out cycles, parallels, and tired trends. He’s more excited about what’s up now.”

When he’s not at his job as a coordinator at an international shipping company, Meehan’s free time is almost completely engulfed by music. He’s a fixture at punk shows across the city. While he sometimes ends up at a more established – read: legal – venue, his heart and soul firmly reside in the chaotic basements and warehouses of DIY punk, spots he jokingly refers to as geographically NOYFB (None of Your Freakin’ Business, in more polite conversation). Continue reading →

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Items Tagged Philadelphia: Weather changes moods

Hannah Frances | via hannahfrances.bandcamp.com

Here at The Key, we spend a lot of time each week digging through every new release from Philadelphia that shows up on Bandcamp. At the end of each week, we present you with the most interesting, most unusual and overall best of the bunch: this is Items Tagged Philadelphia.

I will never not tell you to go see live music in some way or another. It’s part of my role here at The Key — shining a light on the artists that dwell in Philadelphia, as well as the spaces where their art comes to life. It’s just that, often, there’s so much of both of those things.

Friday night, I had a ridiculous amount of gigs to choose between. Two record release parties were on the calendar — one for Radiator Hospital, who headlined the church in support of the awesome and uplifting Play The Songs You Like, and one for Hound, who played Space 1026 to celebrate the asskicking Born Under 76. Technically, there were three, if you consider that The Lame-Os’ opening slot on the Preen / Pears gig at Everybody Hits was in celebration of their new self-titled jawn; and on the non-yay-new-album front, Vita and the Woolf headlined Johnny Brenda’s and The Overcoats played Arden. (To say nothing of huger shows like Ben Folds at The Fillmore, Brand New at the Tower, etc.)

Sometimes we have an embarrassment of riches. Sometimes it’s fine (and necessary) to step away from it all and collect your head. I ultimately chose the Vita show on Friday night — and I’m totally glad I did, it was a thrill to see a band I’d first seen perform to maybe a dozen people at Ortlieb’s a few years back galvanize a sold-out crowd at one of Philly’s most popular venues — but I also haven’t left my house since, pretty much.

And it’s been wonderful. I’ve gotten a lot of reading done, I’ve watched a couple movies, and I’ve listened to a lot of music — stuff that’s been accumulating in my New Music playlist on iTunes as well as new finds on the Philadelphia Bandcamp tag. We are now solidly, seriously in the autumn weather zone, and I’m all-around loving it: the temperature stability after all the seasonal elongation and upheaval we experienced earlier this year, the emergence of playfully macabre decor ahead of Halloween, and the way the turning of the leaves and the cooling of the air guides artists inward to a more reflective headspace.

If that’s the place you’re in as well, you’ll probably find a thing or two to love in the fifteen releases below.

Continue reading →