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Unbreak your heart to Honeytiger’s new video for “As It Will Happen”

Honeytiger | photo via https://honeytiger.bandcamp.com
Honeytiger | photo via https://honeytiger.bandcamp.com

Almost a year after its initial release, Philadelphia indie rock duo Honeytiger has shared a visual for “As It Will Happen”, Half Clean‘s rousing opener. The clip follows a heartbroken man wandering some graffitied ruins, smashing plates, bottles, and a guitar in the process. Breaking things is cathartic, and so is Honeytiger’s music, so if you didn’t kiss anyone on New Year’s, find solace in the video below. Continue reading →

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Listen to a wistful new / old ballad “Hearts” by Honeytiger

Honeytiger | photo via https://honeytiger.bandcamp.com
Honeytiger | photo via https://honeytiger.bandcamp.com

Local two-piece Honeytiger just dropped a wistful ballad called “Hearts.” In it, reverberant vocals mix with the gentle yet enduring notes of an acoustic guitar. Last January, they released their impressive debut Half Clean that mostly inhabited the realms of riff-rock with occasional pit stops in the land of pop. “Hearts” favors a trippy singer-songwriter dynamic that allows listeners a peek at another facet of the duo’s musical capabilities and willingness to explore new genres. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sun Ra Arkestra at Spruce Street Harbor Park, Honeytiger at Kung Fu Necktie, The Shondes at Johnny Brenda’s

Sun Ra Arkestra
Sun Ra Arkestra at Johnny Brendas | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

Philly jazz / space odyssey legends Sun Ra Arkestra play a free show tonight at Spruce Street Harbor Park. If you’ve never experienced this shimmeringly-attired crew’s journey’s into the outer rim, get thee to the river and let this dozen-to-twenty-ish member collective change how you experience music. More information at the XPN Concert CalendarContinue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Cherry at Spruce Street Harbor Park, Grande Marshall at The Foundry, Honeytiger at Boot and Saddle

Cherry at Key Fest | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Cherry at Key Fest | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

We’ve brought them in for a Key Studio Session and couldn’t get enough so we added them to Key Fest — now, Cherry will be performing at the free Spruce Street Harbor Park Waterfront series tonight. The brainchild of former punk band Kite Party member Russell Edling, Cherry will be playing along with Belgrade for the scenic concert. And hey, who doesn’t love free live music? Head over to the XPN Concert Calendar for more info. You can check out their live sessions with us below. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Verite at Union Transfer, Pine Barons at Kung Fu Necktie, Secret Nudist Friends at The Barbary

Verite | photo by Eric Ryan Anderson | via the artist’s Facebook page

Brooklyn-based singer, Kelsey Byrne, makes dark, indie electro-pop under the moniker, VERITE. She’s been releasing a slew of infectious singles and EP’s since 2014, with her debut album, Somewhere In Between, due out on June 23rd. Before then, you can experience VERITE’s expansive sound fill Union Transfer tonight when she opens for Betty Who. Find more info on tickets here and watch the tour video of VERITE’s awesome cover of The 1975’s, “Somebody Else,” below. Continue reading →

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Under new management, Drexel’s reimagined Flux fosters community

Drexel battlefest at Flux Space | photo by Marshall Woodruff | courtesy of the artist
Drift performs at the Flux-curated Battlefest | photo by Marshall Woodruff | courtesy of the artist

Everybody’s heard the philosophical question about the tree falling in the forest, and frankly, I could care less about figuring it out. Why should I care if some random tree in some random forest is making noise? It’s a tree. With that being said, when you apply the same question to an up-and-coming band, the answer becomes a lot more interesting and a lot more clear-cut. Yes, of course they can make a sound, but wouldn’t it be a lot more fun if someone was around to hear it?

Before you headline Madison Square Garden and save the world with your music, you just need to find a community that’s willing to give you a chance. For a lot of bands, that community is the school they’re going to—just ask R.E.M., Sleater-Kinney, Slowdive, Radiohead, and countless others. Everyone has to start somewhere, and the more supporting and accommodative that somewhere is, the easier it is to get your feet off the ground. As a student and musician currently finishing up my undergraduate at Drexel, I understand this all too well, but for much of my college career, the campus has lacked a place like-minded friends and I could call home. It wasn’t always that way, though.

About six years ago, a Drexel student received a grant for over $90,000 in top-of-the-line sound equipment. It was eventually installed in the basement of the James E. Marks Intercultural Center, resulting in the birth of Flux, the university’s premier concert venue. For the next few years, the space hosted performances from student, local, and touring acts, including Modern Baseball, The Districts, The Front Bottoms, and more. It was the community-centric space I had always dreamed of in high school, but just as I was beginning to feel optimistic about the future, things took a turn for the worse.

Midway through 2014, “The Man” had his manly say.  It’s announced that the Intercultural Center is being torn down to build a hotel, and shortly after, Flux hosts its last show.  The team spends the ensuing months searching for a new space to no avail. With no venue, they lose funding, the students involved graduate, and just like that, Flux disappears completely. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: John Vettese’s Top Six Philly Music Discoveries of 2016

Harmony Woods | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Harmony Woods | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2016 incredible. To kick off the series, Key editor John Vettese recaps six of his favorite Philadelphia music discoveries from the past 12 months.

Ah, Philly. Keep on being awesome. It’s once again time for me to look back and reflect on the past year of music that came out of our community, and once again I’ve had a harder time than ever narrowing it down.

Locally rooted artists are breaking into the broader music conversation, whether they remain at home (Modern Baseball‘s Holy Ghost receiving international acclaim) or venture outward to other cities and scenes (Michelle Zauner’s sometimes-Philly / sometimes-Brooklyn Japanese Breakfast, Ron Gallo and Liz Longley taking up residence in Nashville). More people than ever are moving from other cities to Philly – including The Dove and The Wolf, who got their start in Paris. And as always, artists like Dr. Dog (who released an impressive two albums in 2016), Kurt Vile (who celebrates New Year’s Eve at The Fillmore) and The Roots (still rocking the late night TV party) rep the city on a national scale.

But this post isn’t about that. It’s my annual reflection on artists who I had not heard of prior to this year, who totally bowled me over and made me want to find out everything about them. These are artists that deserve to be one of those high profile artists in coming years. These are my favorite music discoveries of 2016. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Grayling at The Fire, The Faint at The Trocadero, Crystal Castles at TLA and more

grayling
Grayling | photo by Kim Woodcock | courtesy of the artist

Tonight, The Fire in Northern Liberties hosts emo-pop outfit Grayling. What started out as the independent project of frontwoman Lexi Campion has now turned into a four-person full time band. Grayling’s recent debut EP, Everything That Burns, dropped back in April. Tonight they play with Honeytiger, Zack Daniel, The Disgruntled Sherpa Project, and Foxster. If your music taste lies anywhere along the super versatile spectrum of indie/alternative music then be sure to get a ticket for this 21+ show that will have something for everyone. Check out Grayling’s studio session with The Key from earlier this week here. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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The Key Studio Sessions: Grayling

While Philly alt-punk upstarts Grayling packed up after its Key Studio Session this week, frontwoman Lexi Campion told us a story about an old drum teacher.

It was back when she was ten years old, early on in her percussive education. She went in for a lesson, and to her dismay at the time, her teacher said they were going to spend a day learning how to take the drumkit apart and put it back together, to screw and unscrew all its miscellaneous hardware components, to tune and retune the snare and toms. “You need to know how to do this stuff,” she was told.

To reiterate: Campion was ten. And getting such a diligent education early on shaped who she is as a musician today, it instilled a work ethic that carried into her two bands — the math-pop outfit Edelweiss (where she spent a year and change killing it on drums) and the more recently formed Grayling, where she runs the show. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Philly’s Dear Friend will celebrate their new album at Ortlieb’s on Saturday

Dear Friend | via Bandcamp

Saturday night in Northern Liberties, Philly indie four-piece Dear Friend celebrates its album release at Ortlieb’s. The self-titled album is the band’s first record since 2014, and in the time since, the band has been an active part of the Philly music scene, playing gigs at Philly venues like Boot and Saddle, MilkBoy and Bourbon and Branch. Music from the new album hasn’t made its way online yet, but in the meantime, check out the audio from the band’s 2014 release (also self-titled). Saturday’s show is 21+, tickets start at $10 and can be found here. Continue reading →