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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mars Parker at Underground Arts, Muscle Tough at New Liberty Distillery, Kwesi at Boot and Saddle

Mars Parker | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Mars Parker | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Charismatic Philadelphian Mars Parker headlines tonight at Underground Arts, performing alongside frequent collaborators: pop singer-songwriter Aleana and electronic rock duo Camp Candle. Parker caught our eye last fall at Boot and Saddle, spanning the worlds of R&B croonerdom and hip-hop, and this year turned in an exciting performance for The Key Studio Sessions. Watch video of that below, check out the entire session here and get tickets and more information on tonight’s show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Dove and The Wolf at Spruce Street Harbor Park, and more.

The Dove and The Wolf | photo by CJ Harvey | courtesy of the artist
The Dove and The Wolf | photo by CJ Harvey | courtesy of the artist

If Lucius and The War on Drugs got together, the result would be The Dove & the Wolf. The tight harmonies, soulful songwriting, and expansive sound that the duo have created can be heard tonight at Spruce Street Harbor Park‘s free summer concert series, happening every Thursday and featuring some of our favorite Philly artists. The Dove & the Wolf re-released their sophomore record I Don’t Know What to Feel in March, making their label debut with Fat Possum Records. Check out the Philadelphia-via-Paris group’s recent interview and preview of a new track on Dan Drago’s 25 O’Clock Podcast. They will also be performing at the XPoNential Music Fest in July. For more information on tonight’s show, check out the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jens Lekman at Union Transfer, Sheena & Thee Nosebleeds at Kung Fu Necktie, Octave Cat at Johnny Brenda’s, and more…

Jens Lekman | photo by Ellika Henrikson
Jens Lekman | photo by Ellika Henrikson | courtesy of the artist

Swedish songwriter Jens Lekman will bring his idiosyncratic pop stylings to Union Transfer tonight in support of his latest album, Life Will See You Now. It features the infectious lead single “What’s That Perfume That You Wear?”, probably the most romantic song about smells I’ve heard. Stream the video for the track below. Then, head over to XPN’s Concert Calendar for tickets and more info on the show. Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: Members of Lotus and Dopapod team up for new Octave Cat project, share “Fever Subsides” single

octave cat
Octave Cat | photo by Mike Ryan | courtesy of the artist

Octave Cat is an experiment that went right.

The funky new collaboration from Jesse Miller (Lotus), Eli Winderman (Dopapod), and Charlie Patierno, (Kate Faust, Kuf Knotz), was supposed to just be a day spent messing around with some vintage synths. But the tapes were rolling as Miller and Winderman twisted knobs and pressed keys on The Cat, a rare synth made by Octave in the 70s (see what they did there), and on playback the pair heard something more than just experiments. That session turned into a full-fledged project that will release its debut self-titled album this year, and today we have the premiere of new single “Fever Subsides.”

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PREMIERE: MINKA shatters illusions in the surreal “My Room” video

Minka | photo courtesy of the artist
Minka | photo by Matt Kelly | instagram.com/kaiyotephoto | courtesy of the artist

Last year, Philly dance-rock outfit MINKA released the glammed-up pop jam “My Room,” a song we praised at the time for its healthy embrace of all things Bowie. Today, as the band prepares to cap 2016 with a pair of shows, we bring you the immersive video for the song, directed by Ian Ross and Tyler Pakstis and starring Chad Fisher, Caroline Cummings, and Laura Schott. Continue reading →

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Maximize your musical spookiness with our ultimate guide to Halloweekend in Philly

razor boomerang | photo via facebook.com/RazorBoomerang
Razor Boomerang | photo via facebook.com/RazorBoomerang

With All Hallow’s Eve only a few short days away, Philadelphia gears up for its annual “Halloweekend” shows and festivities — where dancing inebriated to your favorite band dressed as a fried egg is completely acceptable, and even encouraged. These shows will make your adult Halloween the best, even if your simple mad-scientist costume will be met with every imaginable Rick and Morty reference.

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Items Tagged Philadelphia: On the proverbial hits, and how they just keep on coming

Child Savage | via childsavage.bandcamp.com

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.

I don’t know what it is, honestly. Is it that I’m becoming less discerning the more music I listen to for this project? It’s possible, but I doubt it — I feel just as psyched about music as I’ve always been, and typically that sort of thing moves in an inverse direction: like the more music you consume, the more you reach burnout levels and the less stuff stands out. Is it that the quality of stuff showing up under the Philadelphia tag on Bandcamp is increasing as this project goes on? Also possible, but the one certainly doesn’t have anything to do with the other.

All’s I know is that in the first installment of Items Tagged Philadelphia, I picked out four standout releases to spotlight with relative ease, and this week — seven weeks in — I had a tough time winnowing it down to ten. Maybe I started the project on a slow week?

Whatever the case, this current batch of recordings has intertwined in positive ways with my vinyl listening over the weekend. Continue reading →

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UNLOCKED: Not-so-casual business: Rising beatmakers CSLSX talk history and new record Ritualize with Lushlife

The band, with Lushlife (Photo by Ebru Yildiz)
The band, with Lushlife (Photo by Ebru Yildiz)

In some ways, the business of CSLSX (that’s “casual sex”)—started just as you’d expect it: casually. “We were all living at Broad and Tasker, and we had a room set up with all these instruments,” says producer/guitarist/vocalist Andrew Alburn, from a high-top table at Vincenzo’s Deli in South Philadelphia. “So people would come over and mess around. Originally CSLSX had no defined members; it was meant to represent music curated by the collective.” Continue reading →