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Items Tagged Philadelphia: More to love and where to find it

Tsuagaido | via tsuagaido.bandcamp.com

Here at The Key, we spend a lot of time digging through every new release from Philadelphia that shows up on Bandcamp. Periodically, we’ll check in to present you with the most interesting, most unusual and overall best of the bunch: this is Items Tagged Philadelphia.

No, I didn’t go to the parade on Thursday. No, I didn’t watch the game the Sunday before. No, I don’t particularly love football culture. Yes, I tried my best not to be a total buzzkill for like everybody around me, even people who I’m reasonably positive weren’t particularly keen on sports until late January or so. No, I don’t think I really succeeded at that, and my apologies to everyone who had to deal with my brooding ass this past week. Yes, I survived it all, and am glad it’s over.

Thankfully, there was a lot of great music to get me through. A solid new jam from Hop Along, and one from The Wonder Years seemingly referencing Hop Along; a new Queen of Jeans record on the way and an unreleased live Hardwork Movement joint (performed for those who stuck around for the off-air encore at Friday’s Free at Noon).

And of course, there’s always the stuff I’ve never heard before. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: The Posies, Strand of Oaks, King Britt, Inara George and more

XPoNential Music Festival | photo by Joe Del Tufo | deltufophotography.com

Let’s send out January in a big way, friends. The weather is unseasonably warm and we’ve got 24 concerts over the next week for you to choose between, centered in Philadelphia with a couple day trips to locales like Bethlehem and Ardmore. Dig in below, and happy concertgoing. Continue reading →

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Items Tagged Philadelphia: Songs of suburbia and disconnected cell phones

Sarah M. | via sarahm.bandcamp.com

Here at The Key, we spend a lot of time digging through every new release from Philadelphia that shows up on Bandcamp. Periodically, we’ll check in to present you with the most interesting, most unusual and overall best of the bunch: this is Items Tagged Philadelphia.

Confession time: I’ve not yet been to a concert in 2018. I, who spend a major portion of my time each day finding shows to tell you about, and to urge you to go to them, have not actually been to one yet this year. And I think I’m at peace with that.

Part of my absence has been due to to the fact that I spent the end of last year and the beginning of this year contending with a hellish, unshakeable cold that was transmitted to me and several other WXPN-ers by a coworker who shall remain nameless — about which all I have to say is yo, people in the working world, freaking take sick days when you’re sick. On the plus side, I’ve been reading a lot of books (enjoyable) and watching cheesy action movies (sometimes awful, sometimes fun) and getting some QT in with my three cats (always fun). And I’ve been listening to a lot of music.

From the latter, I’m happy to bring you the first installment of Items Tagged Philadelphia for 2018 — nine short, sweet new releases ranging from trip-hop infused trap (or is it the other way around?) to suburban emo treatises to a release that might just be an Either/Or for Philadelphia circa 2018. And lest I come off as any more of a bloody hypocrite here, let me just say I am super excited for my first concert of the year to be Cayetana’s sold-out benefit for the Attic Youth Center this Wednesday at Boot & Saddle. Hope to see some of you there.

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Minji Kong has a deadpan singalong party in “I Don’t Want to Say Goodnight” video

Minji Kong | via artist’s Facebook

Earlier this fall, local bedroom pop artist Minji Kong released Thanks, I Appreciate It — a three song EP that Kong crafted in just 24 hours because she wanted to make music before heading back to a new semester at school. You know, totally casual stuff. Now, she’s shared a new five-track EP wonderfully-titled, My Plant Wants to Live and So Do I, along with a video for its opening track, “I Don’t Want to Say Goodnight.”

Looking through Kong’s relatively young Bandcamp page, there’s a notably cozy and cohesive kind of aesthetic that perfectly matches her chill, lo-fi tracks. It gives off mysterious, cool and ethereal vibes — suggesting that therefore, Kong is all of those things too. And while her first video likewise embraces this kind of aesthetic, it does so in a melodious parody, where Kong portrays a heartwarming sort of awkwardness for the camera. Continue reading →

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Items Tagged Philadelphia: I turned the pages solemnly, and then

Bumsweat | via bumsweat.bandcamp.com

Here at The Key, we spend a lot of time digging through every new release from Philadelphia that shows up on Bandcamp. Periodically, we’ll check in to present you with the most interesting, most unusual and overall best of the bunch: this is Items Tagged Philadelphia.

Looking back, I totally would have done a few things differently. I would not have set an arbitrary “weekly” benchmark to report back to you on the weird, wild and wonderfully ear-catching Philly artists I find in my Bandcamp digging. My weeks are unpredictable at WXPN HQ; the only constant is an already high volume of listening, reading, writing, recording and editing, before this project even comes into play. I also would have made a more valiant effort to keep up with these artists I uncovered throughout the year; some were easy to follow (shoutouts Sea-Offs, MHYSA, S-21, Erica Gibson) and some I haven’t checked in on since initially spotlighting them.

I might have tried to be more discerning, choosing fewer releases each week so I’d have space and time to reflect and write more about the ones I was highlighting. I would have found better things to say to introduce each column; I should have STFU about the weather, which seems to be a de facto entry point to many of them. Get it together, man.

But for something that started as a New Years’ Resolution whim twelve months ago — ie. give a listen to every single release posted to Bandcamp with a Philadelphia tag in 2017, report back on the good stuff — I’m decently pleased with how it played out. Continue reading →

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Danimakesmusic meditates on seasonal solitude with the new song “Street Signs”

Danimakesmusic | via the artist’s Facebook page

As much joy as the holiday season can bring, there’s something about those certain quiet, melancholy songs that somehow fit the mood just right. And while Danimakesmusic‘s new track “Street Signs” isn’t a holiday song, per se, it’s hauntingly sad and reflective in a way that perfectly captures the loneliness that can creep in even during the happiest of times, a soundtrack for that almost indescribable feeling of the weather getting colder and the world becoming decked in twinkling lights. Continue reading →

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Items Tagged Philadelphia: And so it goes, some things are meant to be

Overwinter | photo by facebook.com/overwinterpa

Here at The Key, we spend a lot of time each week digging through every new release from Philadelphia that shows up on Bandcamp. At the end of each week, we present you with the most interesting, most unusual and overall best of the bunch: this is Items Tagged Philadelphia.

Oh my. Has it really been… *gulp* …43 days since our last edition of Items Tagged Philadelphia? Kindly disregard the word “weekly” in that intro blurb up there, and trust me when I say that I never stopped listening to all the amazing Philadelphia music making its way on to Bandcamp this autumn, even if I fell short on time to tell y’all about it.

Hopefully today’s installment, which rounds up some 24 releases that I dug in recent weeks, will make up for it. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Louie Louie at Beautiful World Syndicate, Sea Offs at Kung Fu Necktie, Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers at Sellersville Theater, and more

Louie Louie | Firefly Music Festival 2017 | Photo by John Vettese

There’s nothing better than a Philly band playing a Philly record store — especially when it’s an act we haven’t seen around town in awhile. Louie Louie‘s last hometown appearance was at Spruce Street Harbor Park when the weather was still warm, and after a short break the band is back with a new lineup and new songs — they’re playing Beautiful World Syndicate tonight; Myrrias will also perform. Louie Louie released their debut LP Friend of a Stranger in January, and it’s full of the band’s otherworldly retro pop sound that makes them standouts in the scene. Watch “After Me” from the band’s Key Studio Session below and find more information on the event here. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Erica Corbo at Connie’s Ric Rac, Cabinet at Ardmore Music Hall, Joey Sweeney and the Neon Grease at Boot & Saddle

Erica Corbo | via ericacorbo.bandcamp.com

The night before Thanksgiving can be a quiet time for concerts, but Philly didn’t disappoint this year. First up is Erica Corbo — she was an Items Tagged Philadelphia find earlier this year and her release I, America is a theatrical pop gem with a unique steampunk aesthetic. Corbo is the featured artist at open mic night at Connie’s Ric Rac, which should provide perfect solace from the holiday rush. Get there early for happy hour and open mic signups; find more information here. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Maitland at Johnny Brenda’s, Veev at The Pharmacy, 8Static Festival at Icebox Project Space

Maitland | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com
Maitland | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Atmospheric rock locals Maitland headline at Johnny Brenda’s tonight, their biggest local gig since the June release of the Glimpse LP. That record fused Josh Hines’ pensive, empathetic songwriting with propulsive rock care of his bandmates Alex Hines on Bass, Adam Shumski on drums and Evan Moffatt on lead guitar. Tonight, the band is joined by equally emotive Philly artist Abi Reimold, who released the impressive Wrigglingthe XPN Concert Calendar LP in 2016, as well as atmospheric rock instrumentalists Square Peg Round Hole. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at ; watch the band play “Sycamore” in their Key Studio Session below.
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