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No Thank You stream album All It Takes To Ruin It All; play Kung Fu Necktie this Friday

No Thank You | photo by Dan Lidon | courtesy of artist

Philly-based trio No Thank You have made their sophomore album All It Takes To Ruin It All available early to stream on Bandcamp. The early stream comes as a treat to fans ahead of the album’s official release date, this Friday, which coincides with band’s record release show at Kung Fu Necktie Friday night. Continue reading →

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No Thank You shares short gem “Cubic Zirconia” ahead of new album, All It Takes To Ruin It All

No Thank You | photo by Dan Lidon | courtesy of artist

Just one year since No Thank You released their first album as a band, Jump Ship, the Philly punk trio is gearing up to release a new one. Titled All It Takes To Ruin It All, this sophomore record is set for an April 6th release date via Lame-O Records, and you can listen to the first single, “Cubic Zirconia,” below. Continue reading →

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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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20 albums you shouldn’t overlook in 2018

Some of our unsung favorite albums of 2018

Fun fact: in a total coincidence of timing, The Key released our best albums of the year list on the same morning that NPR Music, The Guardian, and Paste rolled out their respective lists. Most other major and minor music publications followed suit in the week that followed, social media was aflurry with immense list excitement as much as total list fatigue.

The best hot take I saw in the fray came from Boston journalist Nina Corcoran (a writer for NPR Music, and Pitchfork, among others), who simply Tweeted: “The 50 Best Albums of 2018 That Didn’t Have a PR Machine Churning Behind Them.”

It’s frustrating, but true. It’s daunting when you’re reading about mostly the same albums in a slightly different order, and it begs some consideration. Like I’ve said in the past: while there is power in consensus, how does that consensus get there? Through mass recognition, through large teams of music journalists with widely eclectic tastes finding 15 or 50 or 500 albums (seriously tho, I’d love to see a top 500 list in haiku form) that they can all agree are great. And that happens when artists and their labels have the resources to seriously and steadily push those records to said journalists.

So what’s to become of a release by Philly rapper Ivy Sole, who self-released and self-promoted her outstanding 2018 outing Overgrown? Or one by Columbus psych/folk/punk collective Saintseneca, which did have label support on their beautiful Pillar of Na, easily the best record of their career, but the “campaign” behind it was limited?

My favorite lists, by comparison, are like the one you’re about to read — not driven by consensus, not presented in a ranked order. Not fostering a frustrating sense of competitiveness in an already-frustrating music scene. One that merely collects records that our team is tremendously excited about, and thinks you should make a point to spend some time with. Continue reading →

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Circa Survive wraps the Amulet tour, thanks fans for keeping them grounded

Circa Survive | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Circa Survive came home Saturday night to play their second to last date on the Amulet tour at The Fillmore, and if you weren’t there, you missed what might have been the end of a truly epic era. The tour’s lineup featured local openers Queen of Jeans and La Dispute, and, like Circa Survive, they have both recorded with Conshohocken-based producer Will Yip, who got a special mention between sets as the common ground between all three bands. This will be the last Circa Survive tour for a little while, as the band takes a much needed hiatus from traveling, so take it in while you can. I’ve seen them several times, but I know this show is going to stand out in my mind for a long time, and you’ll see why.

But Philly. Anthony Green says it time and time again – there is nothing like a Philly show, especially if it’s your hometown gig. But why was this one so good? Continue reading →

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Buy Local, Have Fun: 10 flea markets, pop ups, and other DIY spots to do your holiday shopping

Cherry Street Pier will be the site of the R5 Productions Punk Rock Flea Market | via Facebook

Say what you will about the nature of consumerism – especially around this time of year – but giving and getting gifts really is great. And if you’re going to shop, you might as well shop local. To that end, we at The Key felt like it was important to highlight some of the various flea markets, art auctions, pop-up craft shows, and everything else along those lines happening between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

There’s just so much going on in our city that narrowing this down to ten events was the best way to go about things. The list includes everything from a traditional flea market with a punk rock bent to a vegan pop-up store to an art auction and more. This will be presented in chronological order so think of it as your calendar for the next month. Continue reading →