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The Week Ahead: Strand of Oaks, Ivy Sole, Mavis Staples, Swearin’ and more

Ivy Sole at SXSW | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

From alt rock heros to rising stars in hip-hop, a Philly favorite taking over three nights at Boot and Saddle in South Philly, while a soul queen posts up for two nights at World Cafe Live in University City. And the time of year being what it is, there are not one, not two, but three holiday shows on the calendar this week. Here are 16 concerts to see in the next seven days all around Philadelphia.  Continue reading →

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Swearin’ brought Fall into the Sun home to Philly for their record release show

Swearin | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

While Swearin’ was playing the basement of the First Unitarian Church last Wednesday night, there was a square dance going on upstairs. Although the separate worlds that so often exist within that same building no longer phase anyone, on this particular occasion it seemed like a timely reminder of how singular the music community in Philadelphia is; how it ebbs and flows as time passes, changes happening so subtly you don’t notice them until suddenly, a once-beloved band is sorely missed. And on Wednesday night, Philly’s music scene got one of its missing pieces back. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Swearin’ returns to Philly for an Everybody Hits gig

Swearin
Swearin’ | photo by Ali Donahue | courtesy of the artist

A quick note about Swearin’, the revived indie rock four-piece fronted by songwriters Allison Crutchfield and Kyle Gilbride. Firstly, their show in the basement of the First Unitarian Church last night smoked. Sarah Hojsak will have a full report on the proceedings tomorrow, so I won’t steal her thunder, but I will add that if you missed the gig — fear not! Swearin’ just announced a return to their hometown on Saturday, December 8th, when they’ll headline everybody hits, alongside Skeleton Key fave Dark Thoughts. Tickets go on sale tomorrow at noon, more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.
Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Swearin’, Death Cab For Cutie, Gorillaz, Florence and the Machine, and more

Florence and the Machine | photo by Vincent Haycock | courtesy of the artist

This week, our concert agenda includes indie rock institutions as well as left-of-center art popsters, arena shows to DIY shows, rock and roll and folk and Afrobeat and everything in between. Here are 19 concerts you can see in and around Philadelphia over the next seven days. Continue reading →

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The Skeleton Key: October is haunted with thrift store discos, horror flicks in cemeteries, and gigs from Swearin’ to Sun Ra Arkestra

Sun Ra Arkestra | photo by Koof Ibi Umoren for WXPN

“This year Halloween fell on a weekend and me and the Geto Boys were …” Wait a minute! Halloween isn’t on a weekend this year! But even when it falls on a Wednesday I’m still more excited for Halloween than just about any other day out of the year. It’s not just the special, yearly concerts – Dead Milkmen, Sun Ra Arkestra, all the cover shows happening around town – though that’s a huge part of it. Halloween is this huge celebration of the weird and the wonderful, an excuse to dress up and have fun and get real obsessed with ghosts. And there’s really no better city for Halloween than Philadelphia, which embraces the holiday the second the clock turns midnight on October 1st.

Welcome to the Skeleton Key, your monthly DIY calendar and column here in The Key. Let’s get spooky! Continue reading →

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Falling Back Into It: Allison Crutchfield on the new era of Swearin’

Swearin
Swearin’ | photo by Alexander Rotondo | courtesy of the artist

It wasn’t long ago that Allison Crutchfield swore off the possibility of a future for Swearin’. 

The band she co-founded with singer-guitarist Kyle Gilbride and released two albums with dissolved not long after the songwriters’ romantic relationship did. Swearin’s breakup, perhaps inevitable at the time, gained a sense of finality as the years stretched on.

“We really had an idea about how this band was just gonna be,” says Crutchfield now, looking back on the events that led to Swearin’s end. “And so when we broke up, it was because none of us could imagine the band existing in the way that we were.”

Until recently it didn’t seem likely that Swearin’ would be revived. Its members moved on to other projects, and Crutchfield released her first solo album, the fantastic Tourist in This Town, last year. But then a conversation between Crutchfield, Gilbride and the band’s third core member, drummer Jeff Bolt, led each of them to admit they missed Swearin’. Weighing what it would take to do the band again, they realized it could be possible — just with a different approach than before. Continue reading →

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Swearin’s Kyle Gilbride takes the lead on Fall into the Sun closer “Future Hell”

Swearin
Swearin’ | photo by Alexander Rotondo | courtesy of the artist

The first Swearin’ record in five years, Fall into the Sun, comes out in just one month, and ahead of the release date the band has shared “Future Hell,” the album’s third single and closing track. While the new record, much like Swearin’s previous material, has both Allison Crutchfield and Kyle Gilbride sharing songwriting duties and trading off on vocals, this is the first new song we’ve heard that’s lead by Gilbride. Continue reading →

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Swearin’ shares a second single from Fall into the Sun, “Untitled (LA)”

Swearin
Swearin’ | photo by Alexander Rotondo | courtesy of the artist

2018 marks a new era for Swearin’, the beloved Philly band that parted ways a few years back before reuniting earlier this year. Not only will their forthcoming album Fall into the Sun be the band’s first release in five years, but it marks a growth in songwriting and a dive into introspective territory, tackling head-on the challenges and changes the band members have faced since they last made music together. Continue reading →

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Swearin’ returns with “Grown Into A Ghost,” the first single from new LP Fall Into The Sun

Swearin
Swearin’ | photo by Alexander Rotondo | courtesy of the artist

After reuniting for a tour with Superchunk earlier this year, then announcing that they joined the ranks of Merge Records, beloved indie rock band Swearin’ has revealed a bit of their first album in five years. Fall Into The Sun will be released on October 5th via Merge Records, and the lead single “Grown Into a Ghost” is out today. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Swearin’ at the First Unitarian Church

Swearin
Swearin’ | photo by Ali Donahue | courtesy of the artist

One of the best Philly bands there ever was will return home to the basement of the First Unitarian Church this fall. Local punk/DIY scene favorites Swearin’ rose to acclaim before breaking up in 2015, and for a while it seemed like the band was done for good. But last fall, news broke of their unexpected reunion, and they opened a few shows on Superchunk’s recent tour, including a stop at Union Transfer in April. As vocalist/guitarist Kyle Gilbride wrote in a press release, “Sometimes a band takes on a life of its own, and it seems this one came back to us when it was ready, and in its new form, to stay for the foreseeable future.” Continue reading →