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Watch Strand Of Oaks perform “Ruby” with Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, and members of My Morning Jacket

Strand Of Oaks performs on Thr Late Show with Stephen Colbert | Still from YouTube video

Last month, Strand Of Oaks’ Timothy Showalter took to Twitter shortly after releasing the official music video for “Ruby” saying “this is by far one of the happiest songs I’ve ever written”. And by the grin on his face during much of last nights performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, it was clear to see the joyous memories come to life.

I’m sure it didn’t hurt having an all-star Americana-Folk group of friends behind him, including Jason Isbell (who is featured on the album), Amanda Shires, and Bo Koster and Tom Blankenship of My Morning Jacket who played a role in the creation of Strand Of Oaks’ forthcoming record Eraserland Continue reading →

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Items Tagged Philadelphia: Love or betrayal, death or glory

Fake Pulp | via fakepulp.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.

Night settles in. The jacket that was questionably necessary in the morning now feels essential, and is not really helping besides. Little things act as triggers, like a favorite music venue revamping its menu unexpectedly, getting rid of several vegan options. Or people converging just outside the front door, chain smoking and having frivolous conversations about celebrity encounters. A recording session not going completely as planned; instructions handed down encouraging neutrality and disengagement; a Lyft driver taking the most nonsensical roundabout route imaginable from South Philly uptown.

The weekend began with division and rhetoric, that awkward dance around co-workers and casual encounters where you try to silently ascertain which side they’re on so as not to offend. Or, if you’re particularly unlucky, you find yourself among a very outspoken group who ascertained wrong, whose assumptions about your own leanings couldn’t be more incorrect. You watch the news in secret at work as the afternoon wears on, you scroll through the GIFs and memes on the long train ride home, you laugh at that hateful guy getting punched in the face over and over again. You take a deep breath. And you mobilize. Continue reading →