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Beano French, A.M. Mills, Octave Cat and more join the Waterfront Sessions July lineup

A.M. Mills | photo by Joshua Cicetti | courtesy of the artist // Octave Cat | photo by Ben Wong | courtesy of the artist // Beano French | photo courtesy of the artist

On a Thursday night in the summer, there’s no better place to be than Spruce Street Harbor Park. The park’s annual Waterfront Sessions encourage you to “tap your toes and groove to jams by some of Philly’s finest artists,” with a free concert each week throughout the season. The sessions kicked off last week, and the July lineup has just been announced, bringing us four more weeks of music to look forward to. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jens Lekman at Union Transfer, Sheena & Thee Nosebleeds at Kung Fu Necktie, Octave Cat at Johnny Brenda’s, and more…

Jens Lekman | photo by Ellika Henrikson
Jens Lekman | photo by Ellika Henrikson | courtesy of the artist

Swedish songwriter Jens Lekman will bring his idiosyncratic pop stylings to Union Transfer tonight in support of his latest album, Life Will See You Now. It features the infectious lead single “What’s That Perfume That You Wear?”, probably the most romantic song about smells I’ve heard. Stream the video for the track below. Then, head over to XPN’s Concert Calendar for tickets and more info on the show. Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: Members of Lotus and Dopapod team up for new Octave Cat project, share “Fever Subsides” single

octave cat
Octave Cat | photo by Mike Ryan | courtesy of the artist

Octave Cat is an experiment that went right.

The funky new collaboration from Jesse Miller (Lotus), Eli Winderman (Dopapod), and Charlie Patierno, (Kate Faust, Kuf Knotz), was supposed to just be a day spent messing around with some vintage synths. But the tapes were rolling as Miller and Winderman twisted knobs and pressed keys on The Cat, a rare synth made by Octave in the 70s (see what they did there), and on playback the pair heard something more than just experiments. That session turned into a full-fledged project that will release its debut self-titled album this year, and today we have the premiere of new single “Fever Subsides.”

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The Week Ahead: Octave Cat, Ruby The Hatchet, PnB Rock, Potty Mouth and More

Ruby the Hatchet | photo by Jake Gravbrot | via facebook.com/RubyTheHatchet

On the one hand, it’s a quiet week. On the other hand, I dare you to go to Ruby The Hatchet’s Ortlieb’s gig on Saturday and claim that it’s quiet. From the haunting instrumentals of Hour to the space rock of I Think Like Midnight, the garage rock of Queen Vice and hiphop of PnB Rock, here are ten concerts to see in the next seven days all around Philadelphia. Continue reading →

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Queen and Adam Lambert provide much-needed catharsis at Wells Fargo Center

Queen + Adam Lambert | photo by Gabriela Barbieri for WXPN

In its lifetime, Queen – whether with the late Freddie Mercury or with Adam Lambert – have been considered many things. They have been art rock, arena rock, jock rock, heavy metal, disco, glitter, rockabilly. Bombastic. Brash. Glamorous. Forceful. Ferocious. Precious. Fey. Obvious. Oblique. Potent. Sexual. Sensual. Magnetic.

Cathartic was never one of the things you thought of when you considered Queen. At least not until now.

Surely, Queen had emotion to their work. Please. But their music and lyrics didn’t – for me – never truly felt purgative, relieving or cleansing. They may have sung “I Want to Break Free,” but, rarely did their music feel freeing or soulfully exorcising. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Jessie Reyez, Max Swan, Pusha T, Killiam Shakespeare and more

Killiam Shakespeare | photo via killiamseason.bandcamp.com

Think a holiday week means there’s no live music to keep you entertained? Think again. Starting tonight with rising R&B star Jessie Reyez, carrying through an album release from Killiam Shakespeare this weekend, and a Green Room showcase with DaniLeigh on Monday, here are twelve concerts you can see in the next seven days all around Philadelphia. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: The Posies, Strand of Oaks, King Britt, Inara George and more

XPoNential Music Festival | photo by Joe Del Tufo | deltufophotography.com

Let’s send out January in a big way, friends. The weather is unseasonably warm and we’ve got 24 concerts over the next week for you to choose between, centered in Philadelphia with a couple day trips to locales like Bethlehem and Ardmore. Dig in below, and happy concertgoing. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Ben Wong’s favorite artist portraits of 2017

You Do You | photo by Ben Wong | brotherlylost.com

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, Key photographer Ben Wong revisits some of his favorite artist portraits from the past 12 months.

The artist portrait is an interesting process for both the photographer and the musician(s). It’s one of the few times that there are literally no rules. In many cases the more imperfect the better. It requires trust and creativity for both parties to conceive a vision and tell a story by showing. Philadelphia especially, while rich with talented musicians, is also home to some of the most talented visual artists. We help contribute to the artist’ brand as much as they help build ours. This year I was fortunate enough to work with a variety of different artists and explore my love for portraiture with musicians from all corners of the Philadelphia scene. Continue reading →

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Faces of Philadelphia (Musicians) portrait series opens at Brewerytown Beats tonight

anna mraz
Portrait of Raj Haldar by Anna Mraz | photo via Philebrity

Local artist Anna Mraz is celebrating the diverse spirit of the Philly music scene with her Faces of Philadelphia (Musicians) exhibit, opening tonight at Brewerytown Beats. We want to give several hat tips to Philebrity, who spotted the First Friday event and gave us a sneak peak into the watercolor-on-plexiglass portraits that will be lining the walls of the Brewerytown record store.

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Trap Rabbit’s latest song deserves to be way longer than it is

Trap Rabbit | photo by Kuf Knotz | courtesy of the artist

Sometimes you find a song so good that you want it to last forever. That is the case with the latest Trap Rabbit single. “Chunnel Through The Garden” is another slice of psychedelic alt jazz that sounds as if it could be stretched ad infinitum. Sadly though, the song is just under 3 minutes, so the repeat button will have to suffice.

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