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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Gary Numan at Union Transfer, Secret Nudist Friends at Boot & Saddle

Gary Numan | Photo by John Vettese

80s New Wave icon Gary Numan headlines Union Transfer tonight in support of his new album Savage: Songs From A Broken World, released in September. It’s been over three years since the electro and industrial music pioneer’s last album and stop in Philly. Garage pop duo Me Not You opens the show. Find tickets and more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Chill Moody at Spruce Street Harbor Park, Mt. Joy at Johnny Brenda’s, Secret Nudist Friends at Bourbon and Branch

Chill Moody | photo by Reji B. | courtesy of the artist | www.rejibphotography.com
Chill Moody | photo by Reji B. | courtesy of the artist | www.rejibphotography.com

Penn’s Landing is the place to be on Thursday nights – Spruce Street Harbor Park presents local artists for a free summer concert series in its awesome waterfront space, and tonight is one not to miss. Hip hop sensation Chill Moody will perform with The Bul Bey, and it is sure to be an evening of chill and breezy summer vibes. For more information, click here. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Square Peg Round Hole at Boot & Saddle, Marsha Ambrosius and Eric Benet at The Keswick Theater, and Secret Nudist Friends at MilkBoy

Square Peg Round Hole | Photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com

Tonight, Boot & Saddle hosts a gig headed up by Square Peg Round Hole. The percussion-based group is an oddity on its own, choosing slow-building ambiance over everything. The gig is 21+, and more information can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Verite at Union Transfer, Pine Barons at Kung Fu Necktie, Secret Nudist Friends at The Barbary

Verite | photo by Eric Ryan Anderson | via the artist’s Facebook page

Brooklyn-based singer, Kelsey Byrne, makes dark, indie electro-pop under the moniker, VERITE. She’s been releasing a slew of infectious singles and EP’s since 2014, with her debut album, Somewhere In Between, due out on June 23rd. Before then, you can experience VERITE’s expansive sound fill Union Transfer tonight when she opens for Betty Who. Find more info on tickets here and watch the tour video of VERITE’s awesome cover of The 1975’s, “Somebody Else,” below. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Hardwork Movement, Ivy Sole, YallaPunk, Made In America and more

Hardwork Movement | photo by Dylan Eddinger for WXPN | dylaneddingerphoto.squarespace.com

We’re in the last week of summer, people. Even though the season officially continues for another three weeks, with school starting this week and Labor Day on the horizon, this is pretty much it — so let’s make it count. Here are 12 concerts you can see in and around Philadelphia this week, starting out tonight at Johnny Brenda’s with rapper Kuf Knotz’s classically-oriented new project, and wrapping up with the giant party on the Parkway that is Made In America.
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The Week Ahead: Queen of Jeans, The Diplomats, Drive-By Truckers, Lorde and more

Queen of Jeans | photo by Jessica Lim | courtesy of the artist
Queen of Jeans | photo by Jessica Lim | courtesy of the artist

Your choices are many; your excuses are few. Here are 25 concerts you could see in Philadelphia this week; enough for you to catch one per day, or for the more enterprising of you Key readers, several per day. Starting with folksinger Sam Amidon, and going up to arena pop rocker Lorde, here are our picks for the week ahead. Continue reading →

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Slingshot Dakota, Mal Devisa, Ill Fated Natives, Orion Sun, Old Maybe, Deer Scout and a gabillion more will play Pi Lam’s 40th BBQ

Slingshot Dakota
Slingshot Dakota | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

The annual Pi Lam BBQ turns the big 4-0 this year, which is kind of bonkers to think about. It’s been around longer than SXSW, longer than Lollapalooza. Independent minded folks have been bringing a daylong live music extravaganza to Spruce Street’s legendary “punk rock frat” since before most artists on this year’s lineup were born, and the show continues to get wilder and more expansive every year. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Deer Tick, Gospel Roots, Skull Eclipses, Beth Ditto and more

Beth Ditto | photo by Mary McCartney | courtesy of the artist

In like a lion, right? But the Philly concert calendar is like that all the time anyway — though, with another nor’easter poised to hit our region tomorrow, a handful shows in our weekly roundup are question marks. So here are 17 and maybe even 20 concerts you can see locally in the next seven days, from the kickoff of XPN’s Gospel Roots of Rock and Roll series to a set from legendary jazz drummer Jimmy Cobb at South, and beginning tonight with the farewell show from Philly indie rockers Callowhill. Continue reading →

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Items Tagged Philadelphia: Light and shadow, low and high

Chiaroscuro | via therealchiaroscuro.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.

Pet peeve: the word “beachy” as a description of music. I’m sure we’ve used it a fair share of times in these pages, and I apologize. It’s typically a catch-all for carefree breezy pop, particularly of the mindless electro-tinged indie dudebro variety. And I don’t know about you, but I — like Philly’s Dead Milkmen — am not the biggest fan of the beach, or “the shore” in the parlance of our region. It’s a tremendously sad place on any number of levels: desolation and decay, ennui and loneliness, the desperation of clinging to some societal myth about youth and conventional beauty while the tide of time literally washes it further and further away.

Not that there isn’t worthwhile art to be made in those surroundings, of course. Last night I watched The Promise, a doc on the making of Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town, the brooding and quote-unquote difficult followup to his blockbuster 1975 LP Born to Run. Bruce wrote the album’s songs (along with, like, a gazillion others) while living on a farm in Homdel, just north of his Asbury Park stomping grounds. These new digs came in the wake of Born to Run‘s massive success, but rather than following the 70s rock cliche of songs bemoaning success — and before diving into the nostalgia-laden body of work that became The River — Springsteen used Darkness to focus even harder on the lives of those who he grew up around, the hard-working regular people looking for a break.

The doc included a short live set filmed inside the empty carousel house on Asbury’s Casino Pier, and the chipped and cracked grandeur of the building at sundown provided a perfect setting for these songs about the endurance of faded glory. It’s worth Netflixing — possibly a double feature with The Wrestler — whether you’re a fan of The Boss, or you’re just interested in seeing a different take on that place where the ocean meets the sky.  Continue reading →