I Think Like Midnight releases a labyrinth of an EP


I Think Like Midnight | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN |

I Think Like Midnight, the Philly instrumental rock four-piece (and self-proclaimed “close cousins” of Pell Mell, Luna and You La Tengo), are back with their second release of 2018, an EP called Kompromat. The title is derived from a Russian word meaning compromising material, usually in reference to a political figure. It seems impossible for art made in the last few years to lack any political context, but rarely is that context so subtle. The title is only the slightest nod, not letting itself be consumed by connotation. The lyric-less jam session leaves space for ambiguity, the songs open to limitless interpretation. Continue reading →


The Key Studio Sessions: I Think Like Midnight

This week’s Key Studio Session is for those who love to hear artists venture outside their comfort zone.

West Philly guitarist Andrew Chalfen spent the late 80s and early 90s playing raucous power pop in The Wishniaks, around the same time that keyboardist Joe Genaro and drummer Dean Sabatino made weird and wonderful rock music in the Dead Milkmen. As the years passed, Chalfen shifted his focus to the soaring indie tones of The Trolleyvox and connected with folk-leaning bassist Josh Newman, who played with Philly scene staples American Altitude and Heyward Howkins.

The collective project of those four musicians, I Think Like Midnight, doesn’t sound like any of those bands, and is all the more special for it.

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I Think Like Midnight present an evening of instrumental rock next month

I Think Like Midnight
I Think Like Midnight | photo via Facebook

I Think Like Midnight was a project born out of necessity. That is, the necessity for Philadlephia musician Andrew Chalfen to hear another record by Pell Mell, a band that hasn’t released new material since 1997. Instead of waiting for that Portland instrumental outfit to reunite, Chalfen and his collaborator Dean Sabatino hiked up to Ithaca, NY last year and made their own Pell Mell-inspired record, Warm Seclusion Structure.

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Two to Tango: The Midnight Hour’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge

The Midnight Hour
The Midnight Hour | photo courtesy of the artist

While T2T is normally reserved for a full-bill’s worth of entertainment, the joining of together legendary rapper/instrumentalist Ali Shaheed Muhammad (best known for his role in A Tribe Called Qwest) and equally audacious producer/player Adrian Younge (collaborator to Kendrick Lamar, Ghostface Killah and Philly’s own William Hart) for The Midnight Hour is worth breaking precedence.

The jazzy, soulful, and freeform orchestration, rhythms, and lyricism of the pair’s recorded output (their eponymous 2018 album, a soundtrack for Netflix’s Luke Cage) certainly does. I caught up with the dynamic duo — together, in separate cribs in Los Angeles — right before they camped out at Johnny Brenda’s for a mid-week jam, November 28. Continue reading →


The Skeleton Key: Ring in 2019 with Tuareg desert jams, the return of chiptune legends Chromelodeon, Kenyan benga rock n’ roll, and so much more

Hank Wood | photo by Yoni Kroll

I forget, are we supposed to take flying cars to the gig or just view it on our VR goggles? The future is so complicated.

Welcome to 2019! I hope you’re all totally recovered from whatever you did to yourself on Tuesday and Wednesday and ready to tackle the new year. There’s a lot to look forward to over the next twelve months. Hell, there’s a lot to look forward to just between now and February. So let’s get started with the year’s first Skeleton Key, your monthly news and gossip column covering all things Philadelphia DIY. Continue reading →


The Skeleton Key: The ABCs of November with Adrian and Ali, Bowerbird and bugs, CraftNOW, Daydream Nation, and more

On The Water | photo by L.J. Brubaker | | courtesy of the artist

These days it’s so tempting to revel in the awfulness of the world, to throw your hands up and just give in to this feeling that nothing will ever change. Bad news has been coming from all sides and whatever respite we can get is incredibly fleeting. I’m reminded of the song “Another Happy Day” from 90’s Westchester punks 2.5 Children Inc. that has the line, “You said cheer up and I’m trying / But it’s hard when the whole world’s dying.” And that was written almost 25 years ago! Continue reading →


Just Announced: Holly Golighty and the Brokeoffs will play PhilaMOCA next month

Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs | photo via

Georgia roots players Holly Golighty and the Brokeoffs are bringing their unique take on Americana to PhilaMOCA on September 11. The duo will be promoting their May release, Clipetty Clop, their first in three years. They’ll be accompanied by Philly’s I Think Like Midnight, a quartet of local indie alums and “lovers of the lost art of instrumental rock.” Tickets are on sale now, more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


The Skeleton Key: A Blizzard of gigs for March including Creten lutes, London postpunks, and a Bugg

Palm | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Palm performs at the First Unitarian Church on March 26th | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

You heard that story about Barbara Streisand getting her dog cloned, twice? I’ve been thinking about getting the same thing done to myself, just so I maybe can go to all the awesome shows happening this month. Unfortunately I went to school for journalism and not biomedical engineering so instead of having a mad scientist lair full of half-baked clones walking into walls while screaming, “I can’t wait for Superchunk and Swearin’ next month!” … I’m writing this column saying the same.

Welcome to the March edition of the Skeleton Key, your friendly neighborhood gossip column. As I sit here working on this, the weather report is calling for nonstop rain and possibly even snow for the next 24 hours. But just because it’s gross out doesn’t mean you should stay inside! It doesn’t keep bands home and so it shouldn’t keep you home. So bundle up and get to the gig. Continue reading →