Tonight’s Concert Picks: Gary Numan at Union Transfer, Secret Nudist Friends at Boot & Saddle

Gary Numan | Photo by John Vettese

80s New Wave icon Gary Numan headlines Union Transfer tonight in support of his new album Savage: Songs From A Broken World, released in September. It’s been over three years since the electro and industrial music pioneer’s last album and stop in Philly. Garage pop duo Me Not You opens the show. Find tickets and more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Pick: Gary Numan at The Trocadero

Gary Numan | Photo by John Vettese
Gary Numan | Photo by John Vettese

80s icon Gary Numan headlines The Troacadero tonight in support of his latest album, Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind), released back in October. A driving mix of heavy industrial textures and dark melodies, it shows the singer in top form, and his setlists from earlier tour dates sees him balancing the new tracks with classics from his back catalog – like “Metal” and “Are ‘Friends’ Electric.” Download the single “I Am Dust” below and get tickets and information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar.


Download “I Am Dust” by Gary Numan, playing the Trocadero this Sunday, March 23rd


Gary Numan has impressed generations of ears since his debut album back in 1978 with Tubeway Army. As the New Wave subsided, Gary found his footing in the rise of industrial sounds and put out a series of solid releases to his core fan base. With the years ticking by – perhaps led by nostalgia – Gary began to incorporate more electronics and classic “Numan” sounds into his songs – demonstrated with his 2006 Jagged release. His most recent visit to Philadelphia (and The Trocadero) in 2011 allowed everyone to experience flashbacks as he performed The Pleasure Principle in its entirety, in celebration of its 30th anniversary. Now he has come full circle – as his newest release – Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind) – truly embraces his past with a strong nod to the future. Below, download “I Am Dust.” Numan plays the Trocadero this Sunday night, March 23rd. Go here for tickets and more information about the show.

Purchase Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind) here.


Travel to the Dark Side of New Wave on the October 2018 edition of Land of the Lost on WXPN

via DJ Robert Drake

On the final Friday of every month, WXPN’s Robert Drake hosts Land of the Lost, a showcase of new wave, punk, synthpop, and general rock of the 80s. If you can’t tune in live, we’ve got archives of each episode for you here on The Key.

No genre of music is more closely associated with Halloween than goth, and no era is more closely associated with goth than the 80s. Which makes the October edition of Robert Drake’s Land of the Lost a treat every year.

For this year’s edition of the show, which aired on Friday, October 26th, Drake played goth rock staples like Siouxsie & The Banshees, Christian Death, The Cure, and Gene Loves Jezebel; their synth-oriented cousins like Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, and Ministry; and sinister, seasonally apt songs from artists that aren’t necessarily witchy in aesthetic, like The Specials, The Clash, Dramarama and more.

Listen to the entire four-hour show in the player below.   Continue reading →


The Week Ahead: Childish Gambino, David Byrne, Thin Lips, The McCrary Sisters and more

Childish Gambino’s This Is America | still from video

We hope you’ve got your schedule cleared, because the next seven days are seriously busy on the live music front. Kicking off tonight with Childish Gambino’s long-awaited headliner at Wells Fargo Center, and running through the return of punk legends The Vibrators on Monday, here are 23 concerts you can see in and around Philly over the next seven days. Continue reading →


Speedy Ortiz covers the elusive Liz Phair outtake “Blood Keeper”

Speedy Ortiz | photo by Shervin Lainez | courtesy of the artist

In anticipation of their upcoming tour supporting Liz Phair, Philly rockers Speedy Ortiz have shared a cover of one of the iconic songwriter’s own tunes. But instead of covering one of Phair’s better-known songs, they chose a deep cut — “Blood Keeper” is an elusive outtake from Phair’s 1998 LP Whitechocolatespaceegg and never got a proper release, though Speedy Ortiz’s cover proves that the song hasn’t been entirely forgotten. Continue reading →


Zig-Zag With Me: Beck closes out the Colors tour in style with Jenny Lewis at Festival Pier

Beck | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

In his trademark non-sequiter way, Beck Hansen had a perfect way to summarize his varied quarter-century long career: “discursively musical explorations.”

“Thanks for zig-zagging along with me all these years,” he told a packed Festival Pier last Friday night on the final night of tour in support of his 2017 LP Colors. It was a fitting summation of the set, as well, which raced from alt-rock radio classics like opener “Devil’s Haircut” to modern electropop bangers “Dreams,” tender acoustic moments like the aching “Lost Cause,” and globally minded jams like “Que Onda Guero.” Not to mention covers galore: in the mix throughout the night, we heard “Raspberry Beret” by Prince (acoustically appended to Midnite Vultures’ “Debra,” which led to a full-crowd singalong) Kanye West’s “Power” (like a few seconds of “ahhh’s” and “hey’s” at the end of “Girl”) and an absolutely bonkers encore medley…which we’ll get to.

In short, it was a big party fitting for the end of the tour — but bringing the party is exactly what Beck has done for the past quarter century, regardless of whether his albums found him in sad, introspective mode (MutationsSea Change, Morning Phase) or upshifted into postmodern impressionist gear (Odelay, Midnite VulturesThe InformationColors).      Continue reading →


The Key’s Year-End Mania: The Django Pages – A.D. Amorosi’s greyhound rates the hits, disses the misses of the year gone by

Django Amorosi | photo by Reese Amorosi | courtesy of the artist

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, Key contributor A.D. Amorosi turns to his trusty greyhound Django for some musical feedback.

Your best friend does not always like the music that you like. That’s what friends are for. At least this is the case of Django, our greyhound, with whom my wife and I share a loving bond and living/listening space on a daily basis. It’s his house, he just lets us live there.

If I am reviewing a Migos single with Pharrell Williams, he is reviewing it too.  Same with a Johnny Cash box set, a Sheer Mag download, an Archie Shepp YouTube moment, or what-have-you.  If I am laughing at Love & Hip Hop: New York and watching the dilemma between Remy Ma and her husband/manager Papoose, chances are Django is observing this behavior – and my reaction – with his ears pricked high. Does he enjoy everything on Love & Hip Hop? No. Can I tell the difference? Yes. Continue reading →