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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Kamasi Washington at Union Transfer, Soraia at MilkBoy, Secret American At Johnny Brenda’s, and more

Kamasi Washington
Kamasi Washington | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Following the release of his latest EP Harmony of Difference in September, Los Angeles-based jazz master Kamasi Washington brings his saxophone-driven tunes to Union Transfer tonight. Philly’s own Sun Ra Arkestra opens the show. Read The Key’s interview with Washington here, listen to “Truth” off the new EP below and find tickets and more information on the XPN Concert Calendar.  Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Strand of Oaks at Philly Music Fest, Soraia at MilkBoy, Thundercat at Union Transfer

Strand of Oaks | photo by Tom Beck for WXPN

It’s day two of the inaugural Philly Music Fest at World Cafe Live, and Strand of Oaks take the stage for a headlining set. The festival’s eclectic lineup seeks to showcase local musicians and encourage Philadelphians to support our scene. Also performing today are Steve Gunn, Deadfellow, Ivy Sole, Shannen Moser, and lots more. Check out the festival’s website for tickets, set times, and more info. We most recently saw Strand of Oaks rocking the Marina Stage at this year’s XPN Fest; read a recap of that performance here. Below, watch a video from the band’s recent World Cafe session. Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: Soraia reflects on the late Jeff Buckley in “Wandering Star”

Soraia | photo by Mark Weiss | courtesy of the artist
Soraia | photo by Mark Weiss | courtesy of the artist

Philly hard rock force of nature Soraia is readying its latest project, Dead Reckoning, due out October 13th on Little Steven Van Zandt’s label Wicked Cool Records.

The band’s past releases have focused on high-octane garage rock — overdriven guitars dishing speedy riffage, racing to keep pace with frontwoman ZouZou Mansour’s dynamic vocals — and this record has no shortage of that, right from the opening punch of “Quicksand.” But Soraia also takes advantage of the vinyl LP format to stretch out into the realm of different sounds and styles like glossy 80s pop (“Why?”), arena-ready slow burn anthems (“Come Down, Angel”) and glimmering retro rock, best exemplified in the song we’re premiering for you today, “Wandering Star.”

The penultimate song of the record incorporates classic 50s guitar arpeggios and a tremolo effect in the vein of Santo & Johnny’s “Sleep Walk,” and when the lyrics kick in, Mansour reflects on love and mortality as it relates to one wandering star in particular. Continue reading →

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Vicariously follow ZouZou Mansour’s road warrior badassery in Soraia’s tour diary on My Life in Sound

soraia
Soraia | photo by Beth Herzhaft

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a frontwoman for a badass hard rock band? If you’re like me, your answer probably fell somewhere along the lines of “only all of the time always.” I mean, c’mon, these ladies are the epitome of coolness and kick-assery. A prime example: ZouZou Mansour of Philly rock group, Soraia. Local blog My Life in Sound is helping us unworthy plebeians live out our rockstar dreams vicariously through ZouZou’s tour diary, which documents Soraia’s time jamming along the East Coast this spring. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Rick Astley at Electric Factory, Soraia at Milkboy, Erykah Badu at Boardwalk Hall and more…

rick astley
Rick Astley, circa 1987

Rick Astley rolls into town tonight for a show at the Electric Factory. The 80s popstar is touring in support of 50, his 2016 return to recording and first number-one album since the release of his 1987 debut. The Key’s Maureen Walsh previewed Astley’s visit earlier this week, highlighting a few songs she hope’s the “Never Gonna Give You Up” singer will play. Check that out here, pick up tickets here, and watch “Angels On My Side” from 50 below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mannequin Pussy at Everybody Hits, Soraia at The TLA, Steady Hands at Ortlieb’s and more…

mannequin pussy
Mannequin Pussy | photo by Sam Rudich | courtesy of the band

Digging last week’s Key Studio Session with Mannequin Pussy? Catch the local outfit at Everybody Hits tonight to welcome them home from a long tour and celebrate the release of their stellar new LP Romantic. More information for the all-ages show with Spirit of the Beehive and Beth Israel can be found here. Stream the Key Session here and listen to “Emotional High” below. Proceeds from the show will be donated to the Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Soraia at Johnny Brenda’s, Salt N Pepa at BB&T Pavillion, Spill at Chameleon Club and more

soraia
Soraia | photo by Beth Herzhaft

Philly rockers Soraia open the show at Johnny Brenda’s tonight, joining local glam-loving crew Creem Circus for a night of guitar riffs and cranked amplifiers. The band’s new Less Than Zero EP features the jagged rocker “Electrocutioner,” which you can check out the music video for below. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Soraia revive 80s arena rock on “Electrocutioner”

soraia
Soraia | photo by Beth Herzhaft

Before heading across the bridge to Mount Holly, NJ for Hollystock Music & Arts Festival later this month, local rockers Soraia will make a stop a Johnny Brenda’s on Saturday, August 6th. The band channels the raw glamour of 80s arena rock acts like Pat Benatar and Heart on their latest Less Than Zero EP, a highlight of which is the polished and catchy “Electrocutioner.”

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Bigness at The Barbary, Northern Arms at Boot and Saddle, & More

the bigness
The Bigness | photo by Bryan Karl Lathrop Photography | http://www.bklphoto.com/

Philly band The Bigness headlines tonight at The Barbary in Northern Liberties, supported by local bands The Lemats and The Upticks (only bands with “The” in the name are allowed to perform tonight). The Bigness released their debut LP Time Traveler last year to follow 2011’s Surf + Turf, growing into their solid indie rock sound. More information on the 21+ show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Radiator Hospital at PhilaMOCA, Carolyn Thorn at Milkboy, Mac DeMarco at the Electric Factory and more…

Radiator Hospital
Radiator Hospital | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Radiator Hospital return to PhilaMOCA tonight for their first local show since November. The Philly project of Sam Cook-Parrott released its latest LP Wedding Album in February, which features “old songs, new songs, borrowed songs and blue songs” including “Singer’s No Star” below. Pick up tickets for the all-ages show with The Spook School, Bent Shapes and Littler here.

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