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Mondo Cozmo finds its calling at Union Transfer

Mondo Cozmo | photo by Tom Beck for WXPN

After bouncing around in a few bands earlier in life, including Laguardia and Eastern Conference Champions, Bucks County native Josh Ostrander finally found his calling with Mondo Cozmo in 2015 where he and his band began to pick up steam with the first single, “Shine.” Eventually, one great song would eventually turn into ten when the band released its debut album, Plastic Soul, early last month while the band was on tour playing Lollapalooza in Chicago.

All of the songs off this album were performed last night at a homecoming show at Union Transfer with a few extra covers to boot: The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mondo Cozmo at Union Transfer, Jake Clemons at World Cafe Live

Mondo Cozmo | photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

Mondo Cozmo have been one of our new favorite bands for quite some time now, and after memorable performances at NonCOMM and Firefly in recent months, we’re happy to welcome them back for a headlining gig at Union Transfer. The project of Joshua Ostrander, the LA-via-Philly rockers are sure to bring a heavy dose of their signature energy. Mondo Cozmo is touring in support of debut album Plastic Soul, released in August. Opening acts Flagship and Illinois are worth arriving early to catch. Watch Mondo Cozmo’s video for “Automatic.” Continue reading →

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Firefly on the Fly, Day Three: Chance the Rapper, Bob Dylan, Mondo Cozmo, Kesha, Bishop Briggs, DJ Jazzy Jeff and more

Chance The Rapper | Firefly Music Festival 2017 | Photos by John Vettese

Day Three of the Firefly Music Festival brought out superstar performances from Bob Dylan, Chance The Rapper, and The Weeknd, but it also brought out some of Philly’s finest including Mondo Cozmo, Chill Moody, Hardwork Movement, Vita and the Woolf, and a DJ set from the legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff. Some great sets by Bishop Briggs, Sunflower Bean, and Kesha. Continue reading →

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NonCOMM Recap: Mondo Cozmo shine with hits and tributes

Mondo Cozmo | photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

At last year’s NonCOMM Music Meeting, Songline’s Sean Coakley played a new track that turned out to be “Hold On To Me” by Mondo Cozmo — the west coast band of Bucks County native Josh Ostrander. It was well received by the usually critical crowd, with XPN Morning Show host Kristen Kurtis declaring Cozmo one of her favorite bands. A year and many radio plays later, Ostrander and his five bandmates filled the downstairs stage at World Cafe Live with an intoxicating string of rock songs.

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25 Random Points from this year’s XPoNential Music Festival

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

There are a lot of die-hards every year at XPoNential, but this year, one face in the crowd definitely stood out to those of us working backstage. Reuben Frank, who many of you might know from his reporting on the Philadelphia Eagles for Comcast SportsNet and WIP, as well as occasionally writing about music in Magnet Magacine. One of his claims to fame is his 25 Random Points column on CSN Philly, and we asked him to reprise that here on The Key, collecting things he heard and saw and thought about during #XPNFest. Continue reading →

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Firefly on Film: Reflections of a weekend in the Woodlands on 35mm

Firefly 2017 | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Important thing to remember this festival season: a fifty percent chance of rain is also a fifty percent chance of no rain. It could be a fifty percent chance of scorching sun and dry heat. Reality might not line up with your anticipations, and the best approach is to be prepared for anything and expect the unexpected.

This is something that came up at several intervals last weekend at Delaware’s Firefly Music Festival; I went in expecting to get soaked and instead I got sunburnt, I’d read media murmurs about diminished attendance but found it positively jumpin on Saturday; I thought (from experience at XPNFest a few years back) that Bob Dylan was going to to be insufferable and sad, and he was actually mostly very good — the best thing we can hope for with a Dylan set in 2017, honestly — closing his nearly 90-minute performance with a ripping “Ballad of a Thin Man.” Continue reading →

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Firefly Guide 2017: 20 artists to discover in the Woodlands this week

Firefly 2016 | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Firefly 2016 | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

As any committed concert-goer will tell you, the best music you’ll find at summer festivals is often the stuff you come across far from the maddening crowd. Sets stumbled upon by chance when you’re looking for a spot to stretch out in the shade; artists you’ve never heard of who bowl you over as you’re waiting to catch one of the headliners; a DJ playing on a campground stage in the middle of the night or a band in the same spot come early afternoon.

Delaware’s annual Firefly Music Festival kicks off this Thursday afternoon; as we have said in the past, it is one of the most positive festivalgoing experiences of its scale. The headliners are massive, but quality; the crowds are packed, but comfortable; you’re essentially holed up in a ginormous camp-out for the weekend, but it doesn’t feel like you’re being gouged for cash. It’s a fan-friendly experience, and that extends to the fans who are down for discovering new music, seeing new performers for the first time.

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Wowzers! Check out the 2017 NON-COMMvention performance lineup

Photo by John Vettese

WXPN’s NON-COMMvention, the station’s annual music-industry centered conference, announced their nightly performance roster for their 17th iteration. Apart from becoming a hub for the industries’ best, the conference always brings some damn good performers. Brace yourselves: This three-day event is jam-packed with performances from The Pixies, Blondie, Real Estate, Hurray For The Riff Raff, The Districts, and a whole lot more.

NON-COMM 2017 takes place May 17th through May 19th; check out the full day-by-day lineup below. Tickets to these performances are only open to XPN Members, so head over to the pledge page to become a member and get access to this incredible show — and get acquainted with the artists in the playlist below.

Non-Comm performances will be broadcast live on WXPN with video webcasts on VuHaus.

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Helen Leicht’s favorite local music of 2016

Lily Mae | via facebook.com/lilymaemusic

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2016 incredible. Today, XPN Local’s Helen Leicht shares her favorites to emerge from the scene in 2016.

Here we are, at the end of another year of music, and it’s time to share some of my favorite songs from our amazing local artists.  Remember these are just a few songs, because there are too many to name them all. Continue reading →