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The Key Studio Sessions: Coping Skills

Philly’s Coping Skills need to start a podcast. Sure, Rachel Dispenza and Lauren DeLucca write fantastic punk / indiepop songs that are witty, catchy, humorous-yet-poignant, addressing issues that range from the college industrial complex and the mid-20s crash to gender roles and sexism; their self-released Relatable Web Content was a brilliant debut that not enough people talked about last year.

But the incredible chemistry heard on their songs carries over to Coping Skills as people. Being in the studio with them for a few hours earlier this month was wildly fun; even when they’re not technically “on,” Dispenza and DeLucca have a remarkable conversational rhythm, fast-paced and funny, building on one another’s thoughts, making cutting observations about gigs and touring and working in the service industry.

I mention how I almost wish the chatter was being recorded in addition to the songs; I said I could totally hang with an hour of Coping Skills in podcast form. They nodded, seemingly digging the suggestion. “That would be the longest con!” Dispenza shouts, grinning widely. “‘You thought you liked us for this music thing, but what about this…'” I’m not sure if a seed was actually successfully planted here, but if Coping Skills: The Podcast does emerge, we will be the first to let you know. Meantime, their music alone is stellar, and we’re glad to showcase a couple new songs for you in the band’s Key Studio Session. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Support the Attic Youth Center with Colleen Green, Mannequin Pussy, and Coping Skills this April

Mannequin Pussy | photo by Scott Troyan | scotttroyan.com
Mannequin Pussy | photo by Scott Troyan | scotttroyan.com

On Thursday, April 13th, LA songwriter Colleen Green and Philly’s Mannequin Pussy and Coping Skills will play a benefit show at Everybody Hits. The gig will benefit the Attic Youth Center, Philadelphia’s only independent LGBTQ youth center. With Green performing full band and this being Mannequin Pussy’s last Philly show until the fall, it’s an event that’s not to be missed. For tickets and more information, head over to XPN’s Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Local acts Coping Skills, Tombo Crush and more support the Trevor Project on benefit Heart Hitter comp

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Coping Skills | photo by Julia Leiby | courtesy of the band

Heart Hitter: Vol 1 is a new compilation of cover songs organized by local artist JL Simonson and featuring a handful Philly bands in support of The Trevor Project, a national suicide prevention organization that offers crisis intervention, mental health education, and other critical services for young LGBTQ people. The comp is available on Bandcamp now, with 100% of the proceeds being donated to the organization.

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Listen to Coping Skills cover DCFC for their Ben Gibbard-themed tour

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Coping Skills | photo by Julia Leiby | courtesy of the band

Last April, Coping Skills shared their sophomore release, Relatable Web Content. It featured a track called “Fuck Me Up, Ben Gibbard“, and now the song has inspired US Tour of the same name. Supposedly, the dates are a pilgrimage of sorts, culminating in Chicago where the duo will attend Gibbard’s January 20th performance at Thalia Hall with Julian Baker. In anticipation, they’ve shared a cover of Death Cab For Cutie’s “A Lack of Color” from Transatlanticism. Check out the track as well as a full interview with the band over at The Grey Estates. Find the tour’s humorous poster by Michael Smaczylo below. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Coping Skills at Trash House, Brain Candle at Kung Fu Necktie

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Coping Skills | photo by Julia Leiby | courtesy of the band

Bummer pop duo Coping Skills will play DIY space Trash House tonight  along with Central PA faves The Mellowells. Coping Skills released the excellent LP Relatable Web Content earlier this year; watch the “Drop Out of College” video below. The Mellowells latest, Head Space, came out this past September, but check out a live rendition of past single “Alexander Supertramp” below. In addition, the show will also features performances by Harmony Woods and Bloom, so head over to the Facebook event and get to the gig. Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: Coping Skills clock in at Boot & Saddle in new “Drop Out Of College” video

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Coping Skills | photo by Julia Leiby | courtesy of the band

Local duo Coping Skills released their sophomore effort Relatable Web Content earlier this year, striking a goldmine of “bummer pop” feelings and fun. The record, which is now in it’s second cassette pressing over on Bandcamp, has several standout tracks: the atmospheric “We Bury Our Dead Alive,” the bouncy “4 Days with Me Will Change Your Life (Cool Girl),” and “Drop Out of College,” whose accompanying video we’re premiering today.

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Skate Jawn benefit comp feat. live recordings from Curtis Cooper, AllegrA, and Doggo

Curtis Cooper | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN
Curtis Cooper | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN

Over the summer, West Philly’s Grays Ferry Skatepark was once again transformed into the DIY tune-fest: the Skate JawnWhile raising money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the jawn boasted a rad local lineup including Abi Reimold, Stippling, Doggo, AllegrACurtis Cooper, and Coping Skills.

Now, with the help of the new local non-profit media collective, Dissenter Works, the gig’s philanthropic good-naturedness is being resurrected by ways of a benefit compilation of a few live recordings from the night. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: SPORTS

Reasons to love SPORTS: to begin with, their mantra, “friends FIRST, band SECOND.” You can’t miss that contagious camaraderie when seeing them onstage or in the studio — free of ego, free of pretense, free of the B.S. that ultimately divides artists who are motivated by forces other than playing music they love. There’s ample laughter and supportive sentiments from bandmate to bandmate, intermixed with sick riffs and catchy melodies. It’s refreshing to see: despite their tongue-in-cheekily competitive name, SPORTS is just a group of upbeat pals who moved from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio to Philadelphia to write songs and rock shows.
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Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Download The Key Studio Sessions Volume 20 (featuring Palm, Sammus, Sorority Noise, Slaughter Beach, Dog and more)

The Key Studio Sessions Volume 20 | cover photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Just in time for your Labor Day weekend rotation, we present you with 16 standout artists from all corners of the Philadelphia music community, performing live at WXPN Studios and recorded for The Key Studio Sessions.

In this, the 20th edition of our regular scene-surveying compilations, we hear veterans — the breezy psychedelic pop of Circadian Rhythms, the pensive and Pink Floydian neuroses of Queen Jesus — and we meet relative newcomers — like atmospheric emo four-piece Small Circle and driving riff rockers Honeytiger. As always, there’s stylistic variety: rapper Ivy Sole lowkey rocks the mic and experimental instrumentalists Palm get weird with interlocking licks and askew rhythms; Katie Frank brings some heartland-y country torch and twang and Ellen Siberian Tiger dials up the studied musical theatrics.

We teamed up with the folks at Folkadelphia to co-present sessions with SΔMMUS and Harmony Woods, captured a beautiful solo electric performance by Sorority Noise‘s Cameron Boucher, mellowed out to windswept Bossa Nova-flavored jazz by Ensemble Novo, and cheered Jake Ewald on as Slaughter Beach, Dog jammed on “104 Degrees” for a roaring six minutes. And, as always, there’s more still, in great performances from basement show staples coping skills and ominous electronic soundscaper Harrowgrove. Continue reading →

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Home Outgrown Presents: Some Shows, a 3-day DIY fest next week

Three Man Cannon | Photo by Jessica Flynn

Home Outgrown Presents is a Philly DIY promotions group that books some pretty spicy shows. Their latest concoction? A three-day festival packed to the brim with beautifully crunchy basement tunes.

Honestly and descriptively dubbed as “Some Shows: A Fest We Didn’t Know What to Name,” the three-day event gets even better when you take in the stellar fourteen-artist lineup. Three Man Cannon, The Superweaks, and Curtis Cooper headline each night, while Coping Skills, Caracara, Grayling, Major Pursuit and more fill out the bill. Continue reading →