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Slomo Sapiens to Skull Eclipses, Shannen Moser to Strand of Oaks: Scenes from the inaugural Philly Music Fest

Ceramic Animal | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

This past weekend, the inaugural Philly Music Fest touched down at World Cafe Live, filling the venue’s upstairs and downstairs stages with two nights of performances by local artists. Highlights included dazzling late-night performances by headliners Cayetana and Strand of Oaks, packed-floor upstairs sets by Harmony Woods and Ivy Sole, the live debut of Skull Eclipses — the experimental hiphop project of Lushlife and Botany — and much more.

In the mix were foodies, artists and crafters, musicians in the audience watching the musicians onstage, and a couple top-secret stripped down performances for VIP ticket holders. 26 artists performed in total, money was raised for LiveConnections, and you can take a look at scenes from the weekend care of ace Key photographer Rachel Del Sordo.To see more of her work, check out her website, and give her Instagram a follow.  Continue reading →

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Strand of Oaks will be joined by Shannen Moser, Hemming and more at this year’s Boot & Saddle Winter Classic

Strand of Oaks | photo by Tom Beck for WXPN

Local favorites Strand of Oaks blew us away at Philly Music Fest this weekend, but if you missed the show or just couldn’t get enough, we have some good news. Tim Showalter just announced this year’s Winter Classic, an annual year-end event that’s become a tradition for the band and fans alike. It’s all happening over three nights this December at Boot & Saddle, and Oaks have enlisted a terrific roster of locals to open the stripped-down shows. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Shannen Moser at PhilaMOCA, Aldous Harding at Johnny Brenda’s

Shannen Moser | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com
Shannen Moser | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Since releasing the excellent Oh, My Heart record this winter, Philly’s Shannen Moser has been playing a lot of gigs regionally and nationally — including a tour with Sorority Noise — and filming a lot of videos. Rather than go the traditional music video promo route, Moser teamed up with Good Boy Audiovisual to shoot site-specific performances of several of the album’s songs all around Philly, from Penn’s Landing to Grey’s Philly, parks to post-industrial asphalt. Tonight, Moser can be found in the cozy enclosure of PhilaMOCA, opening the show for Clique and Peaer. Tickets for the all-ages show are available now, more information can be found at the show’s Facebook event page.
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PREMIERE: Shannen Moser closes video series with “Dirt and Water” at City Hall

Shannen Moser | photo by John Vettese

The concrete median just south of City Hall is a popular spot for photos. Wedding, tourist, selfies – they all look great with the ornate building standing behind and the lights glowing up Broad St. It’s also the spot Shannen Moser chose for the final installment of a live video series she’s been doing this summer, filming Oh, My Heart closer “Dirt and Water” well past sundown as cars fly by.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Kominas at Johnny Brenda’s, Shannen Moser at Union Transfer, Brackish at Kung Fu Necktie and more…

The Kominas
The Kominas | Photo by Eddie Austin

Philly / Boston punk outfit The Kominas are charged-up social critics wrapped in catchy hooks and high energy. Their most recent full length, 2015’s Stereotype, is essential listening; in the years since, they’ve released a string of thought provoking and funny music videos tackling institutional racism and xenophobia. Tonight, they headline Johnny Brenda’s in Fishtown; watch the “See Something Say Something” video below and get tickets and more info at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Shannen Moser unveils new live video series with “Yr Undertaker” and the SS United States

shannen moser
Shannen Moser | photo by Bob Sweeney | via artist’s Facebook

Standing in front of the looming and historic SS United States down at Columbus and Oregon, Shannen Moser gives a solitary performance of “Yr Undertaker” from this year’s Oh, My Heart LP in the video below. The clip is the first in a series that Moser will be sharing over the next month, leading up to the vinyl release of the debut album via Lame-O Records on June 16th.

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Download The Key Studio Sessions Volume 19 (featuring Creepoid, ILL DOOTS, PINKWASH, Shannen Moser and more)

The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 19 | cover photo by Cameron Pollack

On the first 2017 collection of standout performances from The Key Studio Sessions, Philly artists stretch out.

Three Man Cannon explores measured avenues and alleys of indie rock groove for six minutes on “Pushing People.” Mars Parker runs a five minute sprint to the trancey hip-hop / R&B tones of “Little Red Corvette.” Long-running Philly / Brooklyn experimental pop outfit Cuddle Magic delivers a vibrant epic in “The First Hippie on the Moon, Parts 1 & 2.” And far-reaching instrumentals are rocked by raw power metal trio Stinking Lizaveta and forward-thing jazz ensemble Vince Tampio Quintet.

That’s not to say The Key Studio Sessions Volume 19, available for streaming and free downloading today, consists solely of slow burners. You’ll hear spirited retro rock by Louie Louie, hooky punk from Eight and swift electropop care of Camp Candle. Long running Philly faves Creepoid check in with a searing new heavy psych jam, PINKWASH rages for three minutes of cathartic thrash and Shannen Moser closes the set with a elegant and direct folk song.

And, as usual, that’s just scratching the surface. Continue reading →

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Watch Shannen Moser perform “Alex (282)” for Folkadelphia and The Key; preorder her vinyl reissue via Lame-O

Shannen Moser | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

After a few years making a name for herself in the Philly house show scene, singer-songwriter Shannen Moser released the very impressive Oh, My Heart tape this winter, and it was an arrival. Building on the promise of her low-fi 2015 debut, you shouldn’t be doing that, the LP showcased haunting, heartrending songs embracing Moser’s roots in folk and country music with stunning arrangements made in collaboration with guitarist Eric Muth.

Folk has always been in Moser’s blood; she grew up in Berks County, she remembers hearing her dad play Townes Van Zandt’s “Be Here In the Morning” in his truck, and to this day sacred harp singing is one of her favorite forms of music. She says it makes her feel most at peace, and Oh, My Heart opens with a 28-second sample of “I’m Going Home” from a Sacred Harp concert at UCLA’s Royce Hall.

This confluence of factors is certainly why I gravitated to it, and my enthusiasm was shared by the team at Folkadelphia radio. This winter, we teamed up for a collaboration between Folkadelphia and The Key Studio Sessions to record Moser and her band. Today, we’re excited to bring you a video from that session, as well as some news — Moser’s Oh, My Heart will receive a vinyl reissue via Lame-O Records this spring. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Shannen Moser at The Pharmacy, Taxes at Ortlieb’s, Screaming Females at The Chameleon Club and more…

Shannen Moser | photo courtesy of the artist
Shannen Moser | photo courtesy of the artist

Local musician Shannen Moser leads tonight’s bill at The Pharmacy down in Point Breeze. Moser brought her latest Oh, My Heart release to the WXPN studios recently, sharing three of her beautifully, emotionally intimate songs in a joint Folkadelphia / Key Studio Session. Stream the session below and get more info for the all-ages show, also featuring Harmony Woods, here.

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Folkadelphia Session: Shannen Moser


Word of mouth is still the best way to find out about music, so I am entirely and constantly indebted to John Vettese of WXPN and The Key for cluing me (and many blog readers and radio listeners) in to amazing artistic endeavors, especially when it comes from our hometown of Philadelphia, like this week’s in-studio session featuring Shannen Moser and our first collaboration with The Key. In the past, music sometimes did not make it to listeners because of gatekeepers; if you weren’t signed to a label, weren’t played on a radio station, weren’t part of the music biz mechanism, you might not be heard. Nowadays the problem is an excess of content, as the Internet people would say. Try to take in all of the art, music, writing, videos online and you quickly become an oversoaked sponge. That’s why people like John Vettese are so crucial. So I’ll repeat, I am entirely and constantly indebted to John Vettese for pointing us to Shannen Moser.
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