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No Thank You puts the past in its place on “Old News”

No Thank You | photo by Peter Murray | via the artist's Facebook page
No Thank You | photo by Peter Murray | via the artist’s Facebook page

In a few weeks, Philly newcomers No Thank You will release their full length debut via Lame-O Records. They’ve already shared two of its songs, “Juicy J” and “The Unbearable Purposelessness Of Being”, and now, they’re back with a third. It’s called “Old News”, and it’s their most dynamic offering yet. Before I get into it, though, I know what you’re thinking:

“Great Scott. This sounds like one hot track. Pray tell, where can I stream it?”

Why, you can stream it below, Imaginary Victorian Gentleman. That’s always the way these things happen. Continue reading →

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No Thank You sign to Lame-O records, debut new (old) single “Juicy J”

No Thank You | photo by Peter Murray | courtesy of the artist
No Thank You | photo by Peter Murray | courtesy of the artist

Kaytee Della-Monica, who records as No Thank You,  only released her debut demo a few months ago, but she’s already signed to Lame-O Records with a full length on the way. In anticipation, she’s shared its lead single, “Juicy J”. The song previously appeared on A Nü Start, as a scratchy acoustic strummer, but now, it’s been given new life with a higher fidelity recording and fleshed-out arrangement. Stream the track, with its Della-Monica designed album cover, below. Continue reading →

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Get to know No Thank You with her debut EP A Nü Start

No Thank You
No Thank You | via nothankyouband.bandcamp.com

Raw acoustics, dreamy vocals, and stunning lyrics are a just a few of the things you can expect from new Philly artist No Thank You.

The project of singer and songwriter Kate Della Monica, No Thank You recently posted a three-track demo on Bandcamp called A Nü Start. The tracks were recorded on her iPhone in Della Monica’s house in South Philly.

The straightforward approach to recording gives these songs a reverberant vibe similar to Bon Iver’s massive hit For Emma, Forever Ago. We hear Della Monica playing acoustic guitar accompanied by breezy vocals; the intro track “Juicy J” juxtaposes a persisting guitar riff with idyllic lyrics: “Colors that are complementing spectral spiral never ending / I feel so astoundingly pretty around you.” It carries a poetic sense of innocence. Continue reading →

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A thank you note to City and Colour on the occasion of their wonderful Electric Factory performance

City and Colour | Photo by Mattew Shaver | www.mattshaverphoto.comAll photos by Matthew Shaver | www.mattshaverphoto.com

After seeing City and Colour at the Electric Factory, or C&C at the music factory, a thank you note is in order.

Thank you City And Colour for a wonderful evening. Thanks for playing a bunch of songs off of Little Hell (personal favorite). Thanks for singing with purpose and playing with heart.

Thank you Dallas for being interactive. Thanks for asking the crowd to put down their phones and cameras, if just for one song, so that we could all be in the moment together. Thanks for acknowledging the antiquated encore ritual that artists insist on going through, and for being honest enough to admit that you exploited it for a bathroom break.

Thank you crowd for being awesome. Thanks for singing along, cheering hard, and being quiet when necessary.

Thank you Electric Factory for friendly staff and a great venue.

Thanks to everyone who was there, especially the friends I was with for making my first City and Colour show absolutely amazing.

Continue reading →

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Experimental harpist Brandee Younger will kick off Ars Nova’s 2018 season at Johnny Brenda’s

Brandee Younger | photo by Jatiphoto | via brandee.bandcamp.com

Opening for local experimental jazz / rock band Desertion Trio (on their album release party night, nonetheless), New York’s Brandee Younger is certain to deliver a cordial opening set to kick off the celebration this February. Having performed with modern legends ranging from Lauryn Hill to Common, The Roots to Ravi Coltrane, and more recently appearing on NPR’s Tiny Desk series with Moses Sumney, it is clear that Younger has established herself as one of the best harpists in the modern Jazz and R&B scenes – but this wasn’t always her scene. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Vacationer headlines Peace + Noise at Boot & Saddle on 1/24 (the latest in the venue’s month of benefit gigs)

vacationer
Vacationer | photo by Matt Schwartz

After ringing in 2018 at Fishtown’s Frankford Hall with local buddies Commonwealth Choir, Philly’s Vacationer — the electronic pop project of bassist and songwriter Kenny Vasoli — just announced that they will headline Boot & Saddle’s Peace and Noise benefit series on Wednesday, January 24th. They’ll join opening acts Palmas and Younger me on a show that will raise money for Project H.O.M.E., an outreach and advocacy nonprofit that helps Philadelphia’s homeless. Tickets for the 21+ show are $15 and on sale now; more information can be found here. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Helen Leicht’s Free At Noon highlights of 2017

Jidenna at WXPN’s Free At Noon Concert on 7/7/17 | photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, WXPN midday host Helen Leicht recaps her favorite #FreeAtNoon moments from 2017.

Every week I look forward to hosting the Free at Noon concerts. The most exciting shows are the artists that are surprises for our listeners. Plus I look forward to watching the artists’ response to YOU in the audience.

Here’s how the day begins – load in of instruments, sound check, then the bands sit in the backstage green room waiting for Noon. Some of the bands have driven all night to get here by 9:30 a.m. Some look wide awake and ready and others need a nap. I like to make sure they all know most of the people in the audience
are members and music lovers. That seems to get many of them ready for noon.

If the band has not done a Free at Noon they are cautiously optimistic. I understand. They just drove here for a midday concert. To a band, night time is the right time. Midday is for sleep. I’d say most bands ask me if there will be an audience. I assure them that our members put Free at Noon on their weekly to-do calendar, and we have been presenting them since 2005. That’s why I do the Free at Noon warm up before the band takes the stage — so they hear your cheering before noon. Then they know there is actually a large group of people waiting to hear their music. Continue reading →

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20 albums you shouldn’t overlook in 2017

20 albums you shouldn’t overlook in 2017

The more of your life you spend consuming music, the more you realize an essential truth: the records deemed “the best” in any sort of ranking system — whether it be year-end lists or the Grammys — are not necessarily the ones you should be listening to.

Or not the only ones, rather. An as I said last year, the stuff everyone agrees on is a mere starting point. So while we brought you The Key’s top 15 albums of 2017 earlier this month, today we encourage you to dig deeper and further explore the spectrum of compelling music that was released this year. For this list, we highlight critics’ favorites from The Key’s staff of contributors; albums that topped individual lists but did not crack our overall top 15.

From the life-affirming punk rock of Amanda X to the eviscerating metal of Converge, the defiant electro rock of Fever Ray to the compellingly personal rap of Ruby Ibarra, our writers and photographers make their case for those albums: why they moved them, why they impressed them, why they loved them and why they’re important for you to listen to in 2017. Read (and listen) on for The Key’s roundup of 20 albums you should not overlook in 2017. –John Vettese
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Lame-O Records announces third annual Rock Residency featuring Cherry, Harmony Woods, Slaughter Beach, Dog and lots more

Cherry | photo by Liz Waldie for WXPN

Lame-O Records‘ annual Rock Residency benefit series at Boot & Saddle returns for its third year next month, and WOW would you look at that lineup. A Lame-O event never disappoints, but this year they’ve put together an exceptionally stacked roster of labelmates and friends to take over Boot & Saddle every Thursday in January. And it’s all for a good cause — the proceeds from each show will benefit several local charity organizations. Continue reading →