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 Heartcloser “Dirt and Water” well past sundown as cars fly by.
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 →
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.
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.
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.
Local musician Shannen Moser leads tonight’s bill at The Pharmacy down in Point Breeze. Moser brought her latestOh, 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.
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. Continue reading →
Philadelphia’s Shannen Moser has been making a name for herself playing breathtaking sets in local basements over the past few years, but her latest project seems poised to bring her above ground.
The new Oh, My Heart LP is available on Bandcamp as of today, and it finds Moser expanding the scope of both her songs and her sound. It moves beyond the sketchbook vibe of 2015’s you shouldn’t be doing that, where drum loops, lo-fi tones and minute-long songs positively recalled K Records fave Mirah. That record got our attention, but felt very introverted and incomplete at the same time, quietly screaming for more.
Oh, My Heart is indeed the “more” that seemed to be waiting, delivering on the promise of Moser’s talent while maintaining the sincerity of her early work. Continue reading →
Local singer-songwriter Ben Kessler performs at Tin Angel tonight. Though he’s still in high school, Kessler has already released a handful of EPs, sold out a show in Chicago and won the Philadelphia Songwriters Project competition last year. He’ll be performing some new, unreleased songs tonight in addition to fan favorites from last year’s So It Goes. Listen to “These Days” below and pick up tickets to the show here.
Take a bunch of talented woman playing punk music in Philadelphia, put them on a record and you have Girls To The Stage. On April 29, the First Unitarian Church will host the release party for the new compilation and all of the proceeds will benefit Girls Rock Philly, a non-profit mentoring organization that seeks to empower Philly’s young women through music education and activities. Continue reading →