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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hardwork Movement at Underground Arts, Circa Survive at Electric Factory, Deadfellow at Johnny Brenda’s, and more

Hardwork Movement | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN

Known for their energetic performances, Philly hip-hop collective Hardwork Movement will bring the party to Underground Arts tonight; Kuf Knotz also plays. The band recently released For The People, their first recording as a full band. Hardwork Movement members Becca Imani and Dani Gershkoff recently joined The Key to perform an a cappella rendition of “Don’t Block the Sun” — listen below, and watch the full band Key Studio Sessions performance of “Walk It Off”. Find tickets and more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Deadfellow plays the lead in a postmodern rock drama

Deadfellow | photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

Deadfellow’s Hayden Sammak is quite a character. Burgundy velvet-jacketed and long-bearded, the Philly local looked every bit the old-fashioned classic rock n roller this Free at Noon as he drawled sweet verses of love and California livin’ while retro, psychadelic sounds bounced about.

But something just didn’t fit with this picture-perfect 60’s throwback. And if you’ve ever read an interview with the Deadfellow frontman, this disconnect makes perfect sense. Because despite the shiny exterior of Deadfellow’s latest album, Mescalifornia: A California Dream, the intent seems to be more sarcastic and critical in nature; where Hammak harps on a present-day shallow culture towards love. Continue reading →

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Listen to Philly multi-instrumentalist Will Brown’s debut album No Relief

Will Brown | photo by Dana Davis | instagram.com/famousdanadavisvia willbrown.bandcamp.com

Multi-instrumentalist Will Brown is no stranger to the Philly music scene. Playing in multiple Philly groups such as Deadfellow and Rylan Brooks, Brown has made his presence known around the region. This week, he released his album No Relief, entirely recorded and mixed by himself. The record spreads through multiple styles and textures and is a compelling listen for fans of anything from psych rock to hip-hop. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Mike Vasilikos’ all-Philly best of 2018

Orion Sun | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN | agellmanphotos.com
Orion Sun | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN | agellmanphotos.com

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2018 incredible. Today, XPN’s Mike Vasilikos recaps the best music he’s heard come out of the Philly scene this year.

More lists! Yes, it’s almost time to flip over the calendar but not before everyone gets a chance to reflect on their favorite music of the past 12 months.  I guess it’s my turn!  Last year, I altered my approach to year-end reflections.  The idea being: focus on what’s happening locally, because in all honesty Philadelphia is a special place for music.  Across all musical landscapes, the artistry in our community rivals anywhere in the country.  So that said, here’s what I was listening to in 2018. Continue reading →

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Watch Helen Leicht’s 10th Annual Home for the Holidays concert featuring Ali Awan, Hardwork Movement, Katie Frank, Mutlu and more

The 10th Annual XPN Home for the Holidays concert | photo by Lisa Schaffer | SkylerBug.com

XPN midday host Helen Leicht has been celebrating the holidays on air since 2009 with her annual Home For the Holidays concert, gathering some of her favorite voices in the Philadelphia region to sing festive music for the final XPN Local show of the year.

For the tenth annual edition of the concert, Helen took Home For the Holidays out of the studio and onto the stage. Recorded on Sunday, December 2nd before a sold-out crowd at World Cafe Live, this year’s Home For the Holidays included ten musicians in the round, plus two featured performances and a group singalong to close the night. Continue reading →

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RSVP for Helen Leicht’s Home For the Holidays concert featuring Good Old War, Jeremy Keys, Katie Frank and more

WXPN Home For The Holidays

Every December XPN midday host, Helen Leicht, gathers a group of Philly-area musicians in a local studio to record the sounds of the season for a special radio broadcast called Home For The Holidays. This year marks the 10th Anniversary of Home for the Holidays, and to celebrate, she’s recording the show live! Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Mike Vasilikos’ All-Philly best of 2017

Max Swan
Max Swan | photo courtesy of the artist

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, XPN on-air host and assistant music director Mike Vasilikos shares his favorite Philly music of the year.

Around this time each year I start the daunting task of trying to prioritize my favorites songs and albums of the year.  It’s a task that has become more arduous year after year.  Nonetheless, as I began to sift through my iTunes library I noticed that much of music had something in common … Philly music was dominating.

2017 was a tremendous year for bands like The War on Drugs who continued their ascent as a modern day rock and roll pillar with A Deeper Understanding.  Tim Showalter of Strand of Oaks dominated my stereo early in the year with the muscular, yet emotionally charged Hard LoveSheer Mag’s Need To Feel Your Love is as brazen a debut as we’ve heard in years.  And Waxahatchee’s Out of the Storm tops my overall Album of the Year list.  Katie Crutchfield produced a flawless collection of indie rock that see’s her making good on her massive potential. Continue reading →

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Listen to Chill Moody on The Oh Word?! Podcast

Chill Moody | Photo by: ellencm.com | ellencm.com
Chill Moody | Photo by: ellencm.com | ellencm.com

After returning to Philly from a short East Coast tour, local hip-hop master Chill Moody made a stop on the most recent episode of Joe Manno’s Oh Word?! podcast. Introduced as “rapper, activist, man of mystery,” the West Philly native delves deep into his music career in the hour-long conversation with Manno, talking candidly about everything from his career milestones to social media to the NBA. Continue reading →