Tonight’s Concert Picks: Lucy Dacus at Johnny Brenda’s, Monsieur Perine at World Cafe Live, Gwen Stefani at BB&T Pavilion

Lucy Dacus | photo by Carly Hoskins | via

Richmond indie rocker Lucy Dacus brings her debut album No Burden To Johnny Brenda’s tonight. Also playing tonight is RFA. Dacus’ entire record was recorded in Nashville in just one day, and despite that short amount of time it’s still a gem.  Listen to No Burden below, read Tyler Asay’s interview with her here and get tix to the 21+ show over at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Lucy Dacus talks Richmond, Tiny Desk concerts, and autobiographies ahead of her Johnny Brenda’s gig on Tuesday

Lucy Dacus | photo by Dusdin Condren | courtesy of the artist
Lucy Dacus | photo by Dusdin Condren | courtesy of the artist

She may just have turned 21, but Lucy Dacus sings with the honesty of someone way beyond her years. Her debut album, No Burden, was just reissued by legendary indie Matador Records and was met with critical acclaim by everybody from TIME Magazine to NPR’s Bob Boilen. No Burden is a collection of lovelorn rock songs ornamented with Lucy’s drifting alto and honest, passionate lyrics, whether it be driving (“Strange Torpedo”) or heartbreaking (“Trust”).

Her band, made up of Oberlin music alum Jacob Blizard on guitar, Miles Huffman on drums, and Bobby King on drums, bring Lucy and her unorthodox guitar playing from a singer with a song to sing to full-on emotional catharsis. Lucy plays Johnny Brenda’s this Tuesday, July 19th, with Philly indie-rockers RFA. I spoke with Lucy on the phone about two weeks ago, where we discussed everything from her hometown of Richmond to her inspirations behind No Burden to what she has coming up in the future.  Continue reading →


19 Philly concerts we’re looking forward to in 2019

Kacey Musgraves | photo by Senia Lopez for WXPN // Anderson .Paak | photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN // Steve Gunn | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

After the excitement of ushering in the New Year, sometimes the winter months can become a bit bleak. The holiday season is over, but the freezing cold temperatures remain, and it can be tempting to stay indoors as much is possible. But we all know that the best way to keep the doldrums away is by catching some live music, and lucky for us there are a lot of great shows coming our way this winter. Here’s what The Key recommends. – Sarah Hojsak Continue reading →


The Week Ahead: Phosphorescent, Ingrid Michaelson, Cat Power, Bouncing Souls

Cat Power
Cat Power | photo by Eliot Lee Hazel | courtesy of the artist

We’re in the year-end wind-down zone, but that doesn’t mean you should plan on spending the next week huddling up at home and binge watching Schitt’s Creek (though that wouldn’t be a terrible idea in moderation). We’ve flagged a several shows that are totally worth your attention, beginning tomorrow night with rock legend Ronnie Spector in Bethlehem, and carrying through Sunday when Bouncing Souls take on The Queen in Wilmington. Here are 12 concerts you can see in the next seven days all around Philadelphia. Continue reading →


The Key’s Top 15 Albums of 2018

This is the music that moved us in 2018

In her review of Lucy Dacus’ Historian, Key writer Sarah Hojsak uses a vivid phrase that sums up both the record, as well as the emotional landscape of 2018: “desperately sad but never hopeless.”

Oh, wait, I’m sorry…would you describe your year as happy? That must be nice, good on you. For many of us, it’s not as straightforward: the toxicity of the country at this moment in history, and the various players that fuel that toxicity, has a draining effect, whether you’re a marginalized person who is in the line of fire or an empathetic soul who is distressed from afar. There’s also the let-down: the pouring of our energies into something to watch it fail, whether personal or public.

And yet we experience moments of joy throughout it all: weddings are had, families are started, a breathtaking sunset is observed from the westbound platform of the Berks Avenue el stop. And there’s music, a constant source of joy and comfort that centers our lives. Continue reading →


Watch boygenius perform a Tiny Desk Concert

Boygenius | photo by Cameron Pollack for NPR

We can’t get enough of boygenius, the new collaborative project from singer-songwriters Lucy Dacus, Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers, so their recent appearance at NPR’s Tiny Desk almost makes up for the fact that the trio’s tour skipped over Philly. Decked in their band uniform of matching embroidered jackets, the group shares a single microphone in the tight office space, performing stripped-down versions of three songs off their new self-titled EP. Continue reading →


Pouty figures out “Adulting” on new release

Pouty | photo by Emily Alden | via

Pouty is the solo project of Rachel Gagliardi, formerly of Slutever. In the last few years the Philly artist has jetted back and forth between her hometown and Los Angeles, where she is primarily based. Her latest release, out now via Get Better Records, was written and recorded in Philadelphia with the help of Al Creedon (Control Top) and drummer Ricardo Lagamasino (Lucy Dacus). Continue reading →


Phoebe Bridgers covers (Sandy) Alex G’s “Powerful Man”

XPNFest 2018 Behind The Scenes | photo by Rachel Del Sordo |

As if Phoebe Bridgers wasn’t already making all your indie rock dreams come true releasing boygenius’ EP last week with Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus, she just today shared a cover of (Sandy) Alex G’s “Powerful Man” via Amazon Music. The single is part of Amazon’s “Produced By” series, this time featuring Simone Felice of The Felice Brothers. Conor Oberst is also credited on harmonica. Continue reading →


The National warm hearts and inspire action on a chilly fall evening at the Mann Center

The National | photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN |

Indie rock foretellers The National returned to Philadelphia on Thursday night, where they ushered in the beginning of fall with their Sleep Well Beast tour at the Mann Center. With opening sets by Phoebe Bridgers and Cat Power, and a forecast that called for a rain that never really came, the night was a reflective experience brought on by the political undertones of the day and a warming sense of community. Continue reading →


XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Me and My Dog” by boygenius

via Matador
Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus | photo by Lera Pentelute | courtesy of the artists

The three musicians behind the new project boygenius — Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus — are well known individually for their solo work, but have evidently been thinking about joining forces for some time now. After some vague teasing of a collaboration, we finally know what the songwriters have been up to. They’ll release a self-titled EP as boygenius in November and have shared three tracks from it. Continue reading →