The Key Studio Sessions: Needle Points

I know, I know, it’s a lot to take in. The shaggy hair, the flowing technicolor robes, the dreamcatchers and medallions. Just go with it. Philly psychedelic five-piece Needle Points might come across as bizarre folks of questionable seriousness – the sort who create a paisley alter with candles and empty beercans in the center of the studio – but when it comes to their music, they rock hard and don’t mess around. Continue reading →


El Caribefunk, Black Landlord, Needle Points are on the lineup to this Year’s 2nd Street Festival, which is going to be really really fun

The weird red devil-looking dude who’s the mascot of the 2nd Street Festival | photo courtesy of

One of Philly’s best free festivals / block parties is back for it’s sixth year, and this is looking to be the one best yet.

The 2nd Street Festival, which takes place on 2nd street between Germantown Avenue and Green Street in Northern Liberties, will be jam packed with craft vendors, tasty food and tastier beer. But most importantly, great music. The lineup has some pretty great acts including TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, Needle Points, Joey Sweeney & the Long Hair Arkestra, Black Landlord, DRGN King, Weird Hot, El Caribefunk, Milton, The Hello Strangers, Mock Suns, and more. You’re excited already, aren’t you? Well then make sure you head over to NoLibs on August 3rd to join in on the fun! And remember, it’s free, so bring your friends and family and any other random people you may know.

The complete lineup can be found after the jump, along with music from some of the artists on the bill.

Continue reading →


Watch Needle Points’ trippy “Cocoanuts” video

Photo via
Photo via

Local psychedelic rockers, Needle Points, released a video for “Cocoanuts” off of last year’s Bom Tagangu. The band makes “street level bougie” out of jazzy guitar riffs, sweet drum beats and liberated lyrics. Earlier this year, the band did a session with the Drexel student-run station WKDU. This weekend, the band will be a part of The Barbary’s Breakout 2 in Milton, PA.

The short video for “Cocoanuts” begins with drums beating and indistinct lyrics. However, it quickly grows into a fanatic, joyful sort of chaos with the addition of a rhythmic guitar and various percussion. The images on the screen fluctuate between trippy closeups of various objects and a pretty cool dancing tiger. It’s an interesting accompaniment to the music, bringing out the more tribal elements of the Needle Points.

Watch the video below. Catch the band at Firefly next week. Get more information here.


Hear a new Needle Points live studio session from WKDU

Needle Points | photo via
Needle Points | photo via

In a new studio session with Drexel student-run station WKDU, garage-psychedelic band Needle Points jam to out their tracks “Just Watch Me Know,” “I Drink Rainfall” and “City Walls” (and more).  After you take a listen below, be sure to check out their last album, Bom Tugangu, and purchase it on your preferred medium (vinyl or digital, here).  They don’t have any upcoming shows in Philly, however, if you happen to be attending next month’s Firefly Festival in Dover, Delaware, be sure to check them out on June 20th presented by Red Bull Sound Select.


Watch Needle Points perform at Ortlieb’s Lounge, filmed by BITBY (playing Little Berlin on 6/1)

needle points

One of the newest bands on the scene, Philly’s Needle Points will open for Amanda X, Weed and Cascadia at Little Berlin this Saturday.  Needle Points is a collaboration between Dave Ulrich and Danielle Kinoshita that began earlier this year, making “street level boogie” steeped in afro-beat drums, fuzzy guitar riffs and free-spirited melodies.  Tickets and information for the all-ages show presented by The Dream Oven can be found here.  Below, watch a live performance by Needle Points at Ortlieb’s Lounge filmed by Bands in the Backyard.


Get ready for Dock Street Brewery’s free concert to finish off Philly Beer Week with Black Landlord, Needlepoints, and more


Every year, Philly Beer Week takes ten days to celebrate the city’s beer community. With just eight days until the festivities begin on June 3rd, excitement is through the roof. While we here at The Key are ready for things to begin, we especially have our sights set on the tail end of Philly Beer Week. That’s because on June 12th, the last day of the extended week, Dock Street will be hosting a scavenger run and free music fest. Starting at 2:30pm (with music at 3pm), head to 50th & Baltimore Ave for the perfect cap to a fun-filled ten days. Continue reading →


Put The Needle On The Record: Daryle Lamont Jenkins

Daryle Lamont Jenkins | photo used with permission

Hello, I’m Alex! I love music! I, like you, also love art, film, literature, geek culture (comics especially), sci-fi, and other forms of myth-making, storytelling, and imagining. I also consider myself a political person in the sense that I want to fight for a world more equitable, sustainable, and just. I’ve often thought that music– a medium that encapsulates so much of the art we consume, from the packaging and visual representation, to music videos, lyrics, and conceptualizing– had a chance to speak to many interests at once. This collapsible, packaged idea is often what draws us to specific artists; rarely are we, as music fans, simply interested in just the sound. It’s why artists like Kendrick Lamar and Beyonce are infusing their music with arresting visuals, films, and truly monumental concepts; this “more than music” aesthetic has defined genres like Hip Hop and punk for the decades they’ve been around.  Still, there seems to be a split in rebellious music from its political roots, despite many new artists taking up the reins in the tumultuous Trumpian time we live in. Can the fervor and passion be rekindled?

As a kid in the south, I remember pouring over the lyric sheets in Public Enemy records and being exposed to so many new ideas, so many brilliant people. I remember trekking to the midwest to go to punk music festivals and discovering zines, socially conscious lifestyles, and the empowerment that comes with DIY– that you can do it yourself outside of mainstream, away from corporate interference. In fact, music and the community surrounding it, particularly punk rock, gave me an avenue to come out as a gay man. So, in the spirit of this, we present a new monthly feature: Put the Needle on the Record! We talk with local activists, community leaders, and organizers and ask them their connection to the music scene, to explore the political potential of those scenes, and to see how music (and other art forms) have inspired them to create, to move beyond just beats, rhymes, and guitars and into the heart and soul of their communities. Continue reading →


The Key Studio Sessions: Ali Awan

“I kind of get stir crazy if I’m not out playing shows,” says Ali Awan. “I always have to be in a certain project, I love writing and working on stuff.”

In recent years, the Philadelphia psych rock singer-songwriter — WXPN’s Artist to Watch for the month of January — has played lead guitar in a handful of northeast bands, including Philly’s Needle Points and New York’s Jane Church. But his own solo material was always in back-of-mind, and the four songs populating his Bandcamp page, going back to his year-old debut solo release “Citadel Blues,” were all the result of downtime within other projects.

“I was pretty much writing a lot of this stuff as I was in those bands, but I never knew how I wanted to present it,” he says. “Should I get a band together? Is it just a recording project? Playing ‘Citadel’ live was the last thing on my mind, because as much as I love being a frontperson, I also love just playing guitar.”

It’s not a new obsession, either. Awan is 26 now, but he’s been playing music around Philly for more than a decade, going back to when he was a 14-year-old kid who would take the regional rail downtown from Abington to catch punk shows in basement venues with names like Disgraceland and Halfway House.
Continue reading →


Tiny Desk Philly – 2017 – Page Three

Post War Dream previewed “I Remember” off of their new We’ll Be Just Fine LP in a glowing living room.

Solo artist Lauren Scott performed an acoustic version of her “Sand Song.”

Acclaimed vocalist Farah Siraj honored her Grandmother with a beautiful performance of “Shades of You.”

F. Woods went electric with a solo rendition of “Stranger in My House.”

Sean Coyne turned showed off his looping skills in his video for “Drip Dry.”

Local trio Ladies & Gentlemen shared a song called “Haircut with Gina” for their submission.

Slow Mourning introduced their new collaboration in the Tiny Desk video for “Ozora.”

Folk-pop singer and songwriter (and impressive fingerpicking guitarist) Jordan Flaherty plays his song “The Body Keeps the Score” in front of a fishtank.

Funky reggae ensemble The Lion’s Paw played “Sixteen” in a combo garage / studio space.

Singer-songwriter Tim Osborne played “Store Bought Magazine” in an attic office space.

Michael Spear Duo played the revved up folky number “Get Back Hope” on acoustic guitar and mandolin.

Singer songwriter Bree and The Reeds dabbles in pop, soul and R&B with keys and vinyl on “Broke.”

Folk crew Man About A Horse is surrounded by stringed instruments on their one-mic performance of “Yo Bear, Yo.”

Erin Fox, frontwoman of hard rock trio Resilient, goes solo acoustic on this pensive performance of “For Us All.”

With an old school Nintendo Gameboy in the mix, rock duo Hidden Machines jam out on “Late Afternoons That Last Forever.”

Singer songwriter Maggie Mae performs the delicate “Eltern” surrounded by strings of holiday lights.

Trippy four-piece Sixteen Jackies channel some Flaming Lips vibes in low lights on “Blood Feast.”

Singer-songwriter Erin E. Decker plays the acoustic “Drown” amid autumn leaves.

Joe Makoviecki of Jackson Pines plays a reflective song called “Even When I’m Gone” in a living room.

Cheerful singer-guitarist Gretchen Schultz juggles acoustic guitar and tambourine on the bluesy “Spirit Down.”

An acoustic trio led by Matt Spitko also dishes blues-inspired licks on “A Lot Of Work To Do.”

Looking out a window with a whiskey glass and a notepad at his tiny desk, Young Sam James plays “My Pale Blue Dot.”

David Joseph’s home office is the setting for the electric guitar slow jam “The Last Ones Around.”

A piano bench, a candle and a glass of wine are Bryant Eugene Vazquez’ companions on the sorrowful “Hand in Hand.”

Singer-songwriter Ernie Gaines is backed by guitarist Dai Miyazaki in the soaring melody of “Roses x Ether.”

Party rock crew Johnny Popcorn simmers down for “Secret,” as frontman Hezekiah live sketches the set with a rainbow colored array of markers.

An ornate couch, a vinyl copy of Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde and a shiny Gretsch guitar accompany Jon Cox of Mother Moses in this performance of “The Riddle Poem.”

Footage of a bizarre ritual or Needle Points‘ psychedelicized performance of “Needlove” for the Tiny Desk contest? You decide.