By

Liz Fraser of Cocteau Twins performed with Massive Attack at the Mezzanine XXI tour kickoff in Scotland

Liz Fraser performs with Massive Attack | photo by photo by Roberto Ricciuti | via Pitchfork

The ethereal voice of Cocteau Twins singer Liz Fraser is a central part of Mezzanine, the 1998 album by groundbreaking UK electronic music trio Massive Attack — so much so that an anniversary tour celebrating the album without Fraser in person to perform her parts would be severely lacking. Thankfully, the band has Fraser on board for the Mezzanine XXI tour, which kicked off last night at the SSE Hydro arena in Glasgow, Scotland. Continue reading →

By

Just Announced: Massive Attack’s Mezzanine anniversary tour will come to The Met this spring

Massive Attack | courtesy of the artist

Remember when, a few weeks ago, Massive Attack encoded their 1998 album Mezzanine as DNA and then bottled it into a spray paint to celebrate its upcoming 21st anniversary? That’s an, uh, inventive way to reissue an album to say the least, but if you prefer a more traditional form of album anniversary celebration, good news is coming your way in the form of a tour: Massive Attack will tour Europe and North America throughout the winter and spring, with a show at The Met on March 19. Special guests lined up for the tour include Liz Fraser of Cocteau Twins, who sang on the album. Continue reading →

By

Massive Attack announces Mezzanine XXI tour

Massive Attack | via Facebook

Massive Attack’s influential 1998 album Mezzanine is turning 21. To celebrate, the band has announced the Mezzanine XXI anniversary tour of Europe, the UK, and North America in 2019. Accompanying them will be Liz Fraser of the Cocteau Twins, who sang on several songs on the album, most famously on “Teardrop.” In a statement the band called the tour, “our own personalized nostalgia nightmare head trip.” Massive Attack reissued Mezzanine encoding the album into DNA, and released a limited edition in the form of spray paint Continue reading →

By

XPN MusicNotes: Watch J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. play “Rockin’ the Free World” with Pearl Jam, hear new music from Massive Attack

J Mascis | Photo By Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
J Mascis | Photo By Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

Yesterday we featured Pearl Jam covering Aerosmith at their weekend show in Boston. Today: video of J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. jammin’ with Eddie Vedder and the boys Sunday night at Fenway Park on Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World.”  Watch it below. Continue reading →

By

Watch the new Reef the Lost Cauze video, “Massive Your High”

We are so psyched for Reef the Lost Cauze to release his new album, Reef The Lost Cauze Is Dead, being released as a free download on December 25th. Below, watch the video to a new song, “Massive Your High,” that nicely samples the trippy “Splitting The Atom” by Massive Attack. And yes, we do need to remind you that Reef busted out a serious Key Studio Video Session with us in September which is not to be missed. Watch it here.

By

#XPN5050: 1973

For fifty weeks over the next year, we’re celebrating the music of a specific year every Saturday on WXPN. We’ll be choosing the years randomly; for this week’s #XPN5050, Bruce Warren is putting the musical spotlight on the year 1973.

Seriously. Look at how many incredible albums came out in 1973. We’re talking about some of the most classic of the classic rock albums of all time like Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, Houses of the Holy by Led Zeppelin, Quadrophenia by The Who, Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Band On The Run by Paul McCartney and Wings, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s debut, Bruce Springsteen’s first and second albums, Steely Dan’s Countdown to Ecstasy and incredible albums by The Eagles, The Allman Brothers, Yes, Alice Cooper, Roxy Music, The Rolling Stones, Little Feat, and ZZ Top.

In 1973, R&B was on fire. Stevie Wonder released the ground breaking Innervisions, Marvin Gaye dropped Let’s Get it On, and Oakland’s Tower of Power gave us their seminal self-titled album. In other sounds, Herbie Hancock released the jazz funk classic Head Hunters, The Wailers released Catch A Fire, Tom Waits released his debut, Closing Time, and Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention blessed us with Over-Nite Sensation. Jazz fusion was in full effect: Mahavishnu Orchestra released Birds of Fire, and Mahavishnu drummer Billy Cobham debuted Stratus, a record that would serve as the musical blueprint for trip-hop when Massive Attack sampled it in 1991 on their song, “Safe From Harm.” Continue reading →

By

Hello and Goodbye, Sagar Bumsweat: Philly basement show rapper closes up shop with Greater Fool Radio

Sagar Bumsweat | photo courtesy of the artist
Sagar Bumsweat | photo courtesy of the artist

Sagar Vasishtha’s weird and wonderful digital rap tapes first landed on our radar just over a year ago, in a late-2017 edition of the dormant Items Tagged Philadelphia project. Following up on the earlier release PROPERMEDITATION, Vasishtha’s home-recorded hip-hop project Bumsweat released an instrumental EP called BOOGSLOOPS1000, purporting that it was inspired by a legendary series of underground beat tapes that inspired him as a budding producer. Taking in by the mystique and taking him at his word for such, I praised the project’s “totally transportive Theviery Corporation / Faithless / Massive Attack vibrations” while acknowledging the obscure origins of its influence. Turns out the Boog’s Loops tapes were more obscure than I realized: as I learned in this interview, they were Vasishtha’s own projects, released as a teenager learning to navigate the world of DIY production. He’s been at this game for longer than we realized.

So what exactly brings us to this interview? For one thing, Sagar Bumsweat (as the project has gone for its last couple releases) has a new collection of music out today called Greater Fool Radio. It’s another set of dream-like synthesizer tapestries, fierce beats, and matter-of-fact flow that wouldn’t sound out of place alongside Anticon-era Why? or Stones Throw Records luminary Peanut Butter Wolf. But enough with the reference points; the other reason we’re talking to Vasishtha is because after two years and change, he’s closing the book on Sagar Bumsweat as he prepares to leave Philadelphia. Continue reading →

By

One-Two, One-Two, Keep It On: Listen to the January 2019 edition of What’s The Frequency?! on WXPN

Listen to the ish because we kick it ’til dawn

On the second Friday of every month, WXPN’s John Vettese hosts WHAT’S THE FREQUENCY?!?!!, a four-hour, request driven showcase of 90s and 90s-adjacent music. If you can’t tune in live, we’ve got archives of each episode for you here on The Key.

It’s funny how some classics experience a new life. In the January 11 edition of #WTFXPN, we started the show off with a cut from Bay Area hip-hop faves Luniz, “I Got 5 On It,” that is seeing a new life thanks to its inclusion in the trailer for Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us. The day after the trailer dropped, Genius.com reported a huge spike in searches for the song.

On the either side of that, there are the classic-then-classic-now sorts of 90s cuts (Green Day’s “She”) and the firmly-remaining-in-the-underground cuts (“The Boatman” by Brighton anarcho-folk punks Levellers), and we heard the whole gamut on this month’s show, along with a Jon Spencer Blues Explosion jam for the folks headed to see him at Johnny Brenda’s, the amazing Beastie Boys’ fan fave jammer “Get It Together” (featuring incredible bars from Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest), and a small celebration of to the 20th birthday of Britney Spears’ debut album Baby One More Time. Listen back to the show and peruse the playlist below.  Continue reading →

By

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 →