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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Long Hots at Eastern State Penitentiary, Dirty Dollhouse at MilkBoy, Caracara at Everybody Hits

Long Hots | photo by Scott Troyan | courtesy of the artist
Long Hots | photo by Scott Troyan | courtesy of the artist

Eastern State Penitentiary would be a powerful backdrop for a concert any day, but tonight’s show has a special reason for being there. It’s Justice Fest LIVE!, a concert in support of criminal justice reform — hence the historic prison yard setting — and Philly rockers Long Hots are one of the featured performers. The event will also include several guest speakers, including D.A. candidate Larry Krasner, plus more entertainment from DJ Cosmo Baker and a Songs from the Inside performance (music composed at Graterford prison). Revolution Taco and Foolish Waffle will provide the food, Yards will provide the beer. Find tickets and more information on JusticeFest here. Watch a video of Long Hots’ recent Boot & Saddle performance below.

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The Key Studio Sessions: Caracara

In a previous life, Will Lindsay and George Legatos played electropop for the basement show punk kids in W.C. Lindsay, a group we dug a lot around here at The Key. In a concurrent life, Carlos Pacheco-Perez and Sean Gill are two-thirds of Square Peg Round Hole, the progressive, percussion-driven instrumental ensemble that we also enjoy, whether they’re onstage or in the studio.

This would lead us to reason that we’d be all about Caracara, the new collaborative project of those various musicians. But we were nevertheless surprised how epic their debut record wound up being.
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Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Listen to Caracara’s debut album Summer Megalith ahead of their Everybody Hits show

Caracara
Caracara | photo by Emily Dubin | thedubyscoop.com | courtesy of the artist

Philly indie rockers Caracara hit us with a few teasers from their debut album Summer Megalith last month, and the anticipation has been building ever since. Now, the waiting is over, release day is here, and Summer Megalith is finally out in the world. Not to be mistaken for the bird, Caracara create the kind of spirited, honest, pour-your-soul-into-it music that is so essential to the Philly scene right now. Spattered with fuzzy instrumentals and woven with dense and reflective lyrics, the 12-track album (engineered and mixed by Jake Ewald of Modern Baseball fame) is a must-listen for these early fall, weather-changing days. Continue reading →

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Listen to three songs from Caracara’s debut album Summer Megalith

Caracara
Caracara | photo by Emily Dubin | thedubyscoop.com | courtesy of the artist

Yesterday, Philly indie rock four-piece Caracara dropped a teaser for its debut record Summer Megalith. Today, we have more complete details: the album is out September 22nd via Flower Girl Records — grab a preorder here — and they’ll celebrate on September 27th at Everybody Hits with So Totally and Worlds Greatest Dad (details on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar).

Along with the announcement comes a bevy of music — a video for “Glacier,” shot by Em Dubin, along with three songs streaming on Caracara’s Bandcamp. They run a gamut that would be expected of the band with this sort of background — a collaboration between Carlos Pacheco Perez and Sean Gill of instrumental experimental trio Square Peg Round Hole and William Lindsay and George Legatos of synthpoppers W.C. Lindsay. Continue reading →

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Caracara teases debut album with Flower Girl Records, Summer Megalith

Caracara
Caracara | photo by Emily Dubin | thedubyscoop.com | courtesy of the artist

I’m quite a sucker for crunchy guitars and ambient soundscapes. On their own, these two stylings are swell. But when combined, the result becomes supremely swell.

New Philly outfit Caracara demonstrated through their debut singles “Revelatory” and “Glacier” that they’ve earned this supremely swell title, so I’ve been pumped for more tunes from the W.C. Lindsay and Square Peg Round Hole brainchild ever since.

Today, the band has at last shared news of an upcoming debut album, Summer Megalith, by ways of a beautifully filmed teaser trailer shot by CJ Harvey. The record will be available on September 22nd via Cam Boucher’s (from Sorority Noise) label, Flower Girl Records.

Watch the teaser video below, and get ready for Caracara’s soon-to-be-released Summer Megalith. Continue reading →

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Listen to Caracara’s immersive new single “Glacier”

Caracara
Caracara | photo by Emily Dubin | thedubyscoop.com | courtesy of the artist

The hiatus announced last March by Philly electro-dance-punk band W.C. Lindsay came with the promise of “neither stopping nor slowing down,” and last month they made good on this with the release of a debut single from a new collaborative project.

The brainchild of W.C. Lindsay’s Will Lindsay and George Legatos and Square Peg Round Hole’s Sean Gill and Carlos Pacheco-Perez, Caracara is Philly’s newest-by-name but by no means newest-to-the-scene indie rock outfit. Last week they dropped another single—the second of what I hope will be many as we wait for the release of a vaguely announced LP to come later in the year. Continue reading →

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Caracara are looking for a sense of relief in “Revelatory”

Caracara | via caracaraphilly.bandcamp.com
Caracara | via caracaraphilly.bandcamp.com

Indie rock kids Caracara are prepping to release a yet-to-be-announced debut record at the end of 2017, but in the meantime, are holding us up with their debut single “Revelatory.” Made up of members of Square Peg Round Hole and W.C. Lindsay, the band’s reverb-filled guitars and swooning synth play huge parts in the debut track, as Caracara searches for a way to express whatever it is they’re feeling.

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: John Vettese’s Top Six Philly Music Discoveries of 2017

Aleana | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Aleana | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. To kick off the series, Key editor John Vettese recaps six of his favorite Philadelphia music discoveries from the past 12 months.

Earlier today, I was listening to a conversation with Johnny Brenda’s talent buyer Chris Ward on the 25 O’Clock podcast, and he made a very interesting point. The bumper crop of musical talent in Philadelphia, or what is often perceived as such, is no sudden phenomenon. It’s not as though, pre-2006, the city was in some dire straits or a lesser creative state, and has subsequently grown and evolved to the present-day bursting of the proverbial seams.

The truth is that amazing music — rap music, rock music, pop music, soul music — has always existed in the 215; in many cases (the Gamble & Huff era), it’s downright thrived. But as Ward pointed out, a more recent confluence of factors and persons and places and institutions over the past decade (like him and JBs, I might add, or like our friends at The Deli and Jump, or like countless others) have helped amplify the scene tremendously.

Every year around this time, as we launch into The Key’s annual year-in-review extravaganza, I begin by sitting down and reflecting on the new artists and new-to-me artists who, over the past twelve months, have knocked me sideways. There have always be artists like this, whether or not the outside world is paying attention. And there always will be; even if, at some point, the zeitgeist declares Philly to be “over,” if you look and listen, you’ll find them continually creating, somehow, somewhere.

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Vern Matz’s debut, “Trampolines,” portrays personal introspection via changing sonic soundscapes

Vern Matz | photo by Noah Silvestry | courtesy of artist

Philly, meet Vern Matz — a fairly new three-piece hailing from Yale University (which also includes The Key’s own Noah Silvestry, on drums.) Described as “the lovechild of a philosophy major, an investment banker, and a boy with a David Foster Wallace tattoo,” these boys recently recorded their self-titled debut EP at Fishtown’s Miner Street Recordings, which will be released this January. Before then, you can listen to their first single from the EP, “Trampolines,” below. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Joshua Chase Miller

“What do you think of that vocal harmonizer?” asked Joshua Chase Miller during his Key Studio Session. “I turned it down, was it too much?”

I responded that I actually liked hearing it in the mix. It took his songs, which were solid piano-driven pop songs to begin with, and added an otherworldly Bon Iver flare to them.

Miller laughed at this observation. “It’s not like I don’t have three Bon Iver tattoos or anything,” he slyly responded. “My inner fanboy comes out no matter what.”
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Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head