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Six shows to see in June including Alvvays, Tigers Jaw and more

Alvvays | Photo via whenthegramophonerings.com/2015/01/28/live-review-alvvays-think-tank-newcastle/
Alvvays | Photo via whenthegramophonerings.com/2015/01/28/live-review-alvvays-think-tank-newcastle/

Memorial Day Weekend is best known as the unofficial start of the summer season. As it has come and went, the holiday weekend has also marked the start of the concert season as well. With that start, we have highlighted some awesome bands that are worth seeing throughout the month of June. Here are six of the best shows happening in Philly in June, beginning tonight at Johnny Brenda’s. Continue reading →

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The Key’s ultimate guide to 2015 North American summer music festivals – Part One!

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

In the past several years, destination festivals have changed the live music landscape in the U.S. and Canada. The core summer music festivals always used to be ones with the seemingly made-up words – Lollapalooza, Bonaroo and Coachella – but in the past five years alone, great new gatherings like Firefly, Hangout Fest, Made in America, Governor’s Ball, and Shaky Knees have sprung up. As a result, the festival scene is getting harder to keep track of, which if you think about it, is a pretty great problem to have.

To help you keep tabs on all the major music festivals going on this summer, we’ve compiled a list of some of the biggest ones, which Philly bands are playing which, other notable bands, and any other additional festival facts you might want to know. Stay tuned for a second list to be released during the second half of summer, which will include late summer festivals like Made in America, Osheaga, and Bumbershoot. On to the list! Continue reading →

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WXPN’s Top 200 Songs of the Year

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It’s a wrap: Here are the Top 200 Songs of the Year as voted on by the XPN community. Hozier placed six songs in the countdown; The War On Drugs and Spoon each placed five songs. Petty, Strand Of Oaks, Ryan Adams, Sam Smith, Courtney Barnett, and St. Vincent each had four songs in the countdown. These were the albums that you were clearly captivated by. Some of you have noted that a few of these songs came out in 2013; we debated long and hard about whether to include them in this year’s countdown and we decided to leave them in for the fact while Hozier and Courtney were introduced to our listeners at the end of 2013, they had their most reach and impact in 2014. Sometimes you gotta let the people decide. Thanks for voting, and listening and your support. Here’s to a rockin’ 2015. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Skye Leppo’s most heavily rotated albums of 2014

photo courtesy of jessieware.tumblr.com
photo courtesy of jessieware.tumblr.com

Year-End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2014 awesome. In this installment, contributing writer Skye Leppo shares her most heavily-rotated albums of the year.

While I maintain that my first love is pop music, I was very surprised—and delighted—by a lot of new projects and genres new to me this year. There’s a few albums I would have loved to include (Chet Faker’s electronic Built on Glass was THISCLOSE to making my list, as was LDR’s Ultraviolence). I tried to find common themes in my favorite 2014 releases, but as I sought guidance from my “Year In Music” charts on Spotify I realized this year’s releases pulled me in a lot of different directions without traipsing into too much common territory (although pop music did take the lead of my 39,000 listening minutes at 29%, or approximately 11,310 minutes of pop music). In no particular order, here are my most heavily-rotated albums. Continue reading →

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Best of 2014: Who voted for what

Best of 2014: Who voted for what

BestOf2014

RULES OF PLAY: Each contributor’s top-five list was entered into an excel doc with their picks assigned a point value. For ranked lists, the number one album was issued five points, the number two album was issued four points, three was three, four was two, five was one. For lists submitted in no particular order (the “equally-ranked lists” you’ll see below), each album was issued three points. My picks were given the same weight as everybody else’s. This is the hard data, the math, and math tells us that Cayetana ruled 2014. – John Vettese, editor 

Dotun Akintoye, contributing writer (equally-ranked list)

EMA – The Future’s Void
Ratking – So It Goes
Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 2
SZA – Z
Wussy – Attica

Rachel Barrish, contributing photographer

1. TV On the Radio – Seeds
2. St. Vincent – St. Vincent
3. Banks – Goddess
4. Hundred Waters – The Moon Rang Like A Bell
5. Sylvan Esso – Sylvan Esso

Kate Bracaglia, contributing writer

1. Dum Dum Girls – Too True
2. Spoon – They Want My Soul
3. Ariel Pink – Pom Pom
4. Real Estate – Atlas
5. tUnE-yArDs – NikkiNack

Rachel Del Sordo, contributing photographer

1. Cayetana – Nervous Like Me
2. Joyce Manor – Never Hungover Again
3. The Hotelier – Home, Like Noplace Is There
4. Taylor Swift – 1989
5. Elvis Depressedly – Halo Pleasures

Joe Del Tufo, contributing photographer

1. Afghan Whigs – Do To The Beast
2. War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream
3. Noah Gundersen – Ledges
4. Strand of Oaks – HEAL
5. Damien Rice – My Favorite Faded Fantasy

Beth Ann Downey, contributing writer

1. Jenny Lewis – The Voyager
2. Cayetana – Nervous Like Me
3. The Menzingers – Rented World
4. Restorations – LP3
5. Chumped – Teenage Retirement

Maura Filoromo, contributing writer

1. St. Vincent – St. Vincent
2. Oh! Pears – Wild Part of the World
3. Angel Olsen – Burn your Fire for No Witness
4. Crabapple – Is It You?
5. Phantogram – Voices

Rob Huff, contributing writer

1. Perfume Genius – Too Bright
2. FKA Twigs – LP1
3. Run The Jewels – Run the Jewels 2
4. Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness
5. Shabazz Palaces – Lese Majesty

Skye Leppo, contributing writer (equally-ranked list)

Bleachers – Strange Desire
Broken Bells – After the Disco
Future Islands – Singles
Lykke Li – I Never Learn
Jessie Ware – Tough Love

Julie Miller, editorial assistant (equally-ranked list)

Alex G – DSU
Marco Benevento – Swift
Clique – Clique
Steve Gunn – Way Out Weather
Roof Doctor – Mobile Freedom Home

Michelle Montgomery, contributing photographer (equally-ranked list)
Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
Hozier – Hozier
Strand of Oaks – HEAL
TV On the Radio – Seeds
The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream

Cameron Pollack, contributing photographer

1. Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 2
2. Taylor Swift – 1989
3. Modern Baseball – You’re Gonna Miss it All
4. Porter Robinson – Worlds
5. First Aid Kit – Stay Gold

Sameer Rao, contributing writer

1. Flying Lotus – You’re Dead
2. Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 2
3. Restorations – LP3
4. Banks – Goddess
5. SZA – Z

Matthew Shaver, contributing photographer

1. Phantogram – Voices
2. Sylvan Esso – Sylvan Esso
3. Braid – No Coast
4. Freddie Gibbs and Madlib – Pinata
5. Afghan Whigs – Do To the Beast

Chris Sikich, contributing photographer

1. Tweedy – Sukierae
2. Jessica Lea Mayfield – Make My Head Sing…
3. Strand of Oaks – HEAL
4. Lydia Loveless – Somewhere Else
5. Mirah – Changing Light

Marc Snitzer, contributing writer (equally-ranked list)
Alvvays – Alvvays
Cayetana – Nervous Like Me
Restorations – LP3
The Hotelier – Home, Like No Place Is There
The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream

John Vettese, editor

1. Cayetana – Nervous Like Me
2. Sylvan Esso – Sylvan Esso
3. Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
4. Strand of Oaks – HEAL
5. Modern Baseball – You’re Gonna Miss It All

Maureen Walsh, contributing writer

1. Eno / Hyde – Maybe World
2. Kylie Minogue – Kiss Me Once
3. Strand of Oaks – HEAL
4. Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Wanderlust
5. Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams

Brian Wilensky, contributing writer (equally-ranked list)

Kevin Morby – Still Live
Quilt – Held In Splendor
Sheer Mag – Sheer Mag
The People’s Temple – Musical Garden
Tomorrow’s Tulips – When

Bryne Yancey, contributing writer

1. Hard Girls – A Thousand Surfaces
2. Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues
3. Floor – Oblation
4. White Lung – Deep Fantasy
5. Restorations – LP3

Jeremy Zimmerman, contributing photographer

1. Foxing – The Albatross
2. Sun Club – Dad Claps at the Mom Prom
3. Alvvays – Alvvays
4. Modern Baseball – You’re Gonna Miss it All
5. The Menzingers – Rented World

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Teen Men at Boot and Saddle, The Fleeting Ends at Milkboy, Thrashgiving at Millcreek Tavern and more

Teen Men | Photo by Kate Bracaglia
Teen Men | Photo by Kate Bracaglia

Multimedia psych-pop outfit Teen Men are spending Thanksgiving Eve at Boot And Saddle. Though their full length debut is still a work in progress, their EP is a fun and frantic four-song set that you should put your ears to already if you haven’t yet. Learn more about the band – which features Spinto Band alums Nick Krill and Joe Hobson – in their feature interview with The Key’s Kate Bracaglia from last December. Tickets and information on the show can be found here. Continue reading →

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Five must-see artists at Made In America

Photo via facebook.com/actuallygrimes
Photo via facebook.com/actuallygrimes

As the Made In America fast approaches this weekend, one might feel a bit overwhelmed with the enormous amount of musical options to check out. Don’t feel stressed – we’re here to help! Here are our pics for five must-see performances this weekend, whether you’re catching the festival in person or streaming it on the MIA website. These artists are sure to keep the crowd buzzing well after their set ends. Continue reading →

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10 artists playing Firefly you shouldn’t miss

Lucius | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Lucius at Governor’s Ball | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

This year’s Firefly Music Festival has over 100 artists playing, and there’s no way for you to know them all. With the festival only three days away, you probably don’t have time to check out all the unfamiliar bands on the list. But that’s okay. That’s what we’re here for. We took a look at some of the best non-headliner acts playing the Dover, Delaware musical extravaganza and picked out ten performers you shouldn’t miss. Continue reading →