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Open Sound Concert Series brings Radiator Hospital, The Goodbye Party, Strawberry Runners and more to Lansdowne

Strawberry Runners | photo by Scott McCormick | courtesy of the artist

Just six miles west of Center City lies the small borough of Lansdowne, PA, and with its proximity to city things minus the steep city rent prices, the town is turning into a small hub for art and music. That trend will continue this summer with the Open Sound Concert Series — a free bi-weekly outdoor concert series at the Lansdowne Landing park and community space featuring some of the area’s best artists. Continue reading →

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Ruby the Hatchet, Radiator Hospital and more will play Spruce Street Harbor Park’s Waterfront Sessions in July

Radiator Hospital | screenshot from video

The June shows haven’t even begun yet, but Spruce Street Harbor Park has already announced its Waterfront Sessions lineup through July. Earlier this month, SSHP shared the June lineup of all-local musicians, which kicks off next Thursday, but now they’ve added openers and DJ sets to those shows and announced who will be playing the following four weeks, too. Continue reading →

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The Radiator Hospital gang escape “Lonely Road” on a fun coaster escapade

Radiator Hospital | screenshot from video

Contrasting high energy excitement with more somber lyrical content is Radiator Hospital’s cup ‘o tea. Their Play the Songs You Like track “Lonely Road” is testament to this, and its new video goes a step further by bringing the band’s sonic dichotomy to a visual level: coaster style.

Following the gaggle of pals at Hershey Park, everyone’s having a hoot of a time — well, almost everyone. I didn’t quite notice so clearly until the end, but it becomes very apparent that someone’s having a pretty glum day — even when packed together with friends and fun.

On this, Sam Cook-Parrot says “Lonely Road,” is a “song about how you may feel like life is just one long lonely road that you walk alone, when really all your loved ones are there wishing you could break from that cloud.” He adds, “It’s a special song to me so I’m glad we have a special video to accompany it.” Continue reading →

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The Key Presents: Radiator Hospital

Sam from Radiator Hospital | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

Radiator Hospital is a band with a lot of moving parts. Both physically and metaphorically, putting the band in one place is an intricate operation, to say the least. With songs that range from adorably tender to shout-along tearjerker ballads, the same thing can be said about the music. But it all revolves around one well of gravity: Songwriter and front-person  Sam Cook-Parrot.

In some sense, an easy way to put Radiator Hospital in one room is to just go ahead and put Sam in the room. So we did exactly that. Before the record release show for this year’s new album Play the Songs You Like happened in the basement of the First Unitarian Church, we got Sam to play a few of the new songs in a different light — in the tiny Side Chapel upstairs, the stars aligned and the pieces fell into place in a way that likely won’t happen again. This is The Key Presents: Radiator Hospital. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Vita and the Woolf at Johnny Brenda’s, Radiator Hospital at the First Unitarian Church, HOUND at Space 1026, and more

Vita and the Woolf | photo by Ebru Yildiz | courtesy of the artist
Vita and the Woolf | photo by Ebru Yildiz | courtesy of the artist

Philly’s own Vita and the Woolf return to town for the final show of their fall tour tonight. The Johnny Brenda’s gig also includes fellow locals Ellen Siberian Tiger and Baltimore’s Soul Cannon. Vita and the Woolf released their excellent debut LP TUNNELS back in June, and they’ve followed it up with a series of stunning music videos — watch the haunting video for “Sun Drop” below. Find tickets and more information on tonight’s show over at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Radiator Hospital

Five years ago, Sam Cook-Parrot moved from Grand Rapids, Michigan to West Philadelphia with some guitars, some songs and a healthy Bandcamp back-catalog. His project, Radiator Hospital, pretty much became an instant hit around the scene, whether he was performing solo in the basement of Nacho House (where I first encountered him, opening for Ted Leo) or turning it up full-band style at Golden Tea.

Having trusted friends for collaborators helped. Sam knew drummer Jeff Bolt from back home, and the two relocated to Philly around the same time. They joke that they picked up Cleveland bassist Jon Rybicki along the way, while New Yorker Cynthia Schemmer joined on lead guitar after meeting Sam amid her own move to Philly. The chemistry was undeniable, the enthusiasm was contagious and the appeal was clear: this band had rip-roaring punk rock energy, classic pop songwriting motifs and themes — their honest, vulnerable songs tend to dissect love and yearning over hooky melodies — and a totally earnest, engaging delivery. Or, as their very on-point Facebook bio distills it: “We are a rock band of rockers who love to rock. We also can be just one person who is much quieter but still loves to rock.” Right on.
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Keep close on Radiator Hospital’s “Pastoral Radio Hit”

Radiator Hospital | photo by Catherine Elicson | courtesy of the artist

It’s there first proper album in three years, so Radiator Hospital wastes zero time. Five minuets in, you’re already on track three, and following the punk blasts of the opening “Long Distance Dedication” and “Out Of Mind,” it’s a downright slow jammer. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Radiator Hospital at Random Tea Room, Alex G at Union Transfer & more

Radiator Hospital | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Tonight in Northern Liberties’ Random Tea Room, Philly-based Radiator Hospital will play a solo set along with Strawberry Runners and Veev. Radiator Hospital is the project of Sam Cook Parrott, a sometimes solo, sometimes four-piece punk rock band that brings high energy sets from beginning to end. Although the band hasn’t released new music since 2014’s LP Torch Song, they have remained active performing in local venues and benefits and beginning a number of other projects. For more information, click here. Continue reading →