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Sunwatchers share “Silent Boogie,” announce second LP

Sunwatchers | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN
Sunwatchers | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN

Brooklyn punk-inspired jazz quartet Sunwatchers released their debut album in 2015, and now they’re back with the announcement of a forthcoming follow-up — Sunwatchers II will be out February 2 via Trouble in Mind. The first song they’ve shared ahead of the release may be called “Silent Boogie,” but it’s anything but silent. It’s also not wholly unfamiliar — Sunwatchers performed the song when they joined us for a Key Studio Session last year; their Philly-based bassist qualifies them as sort-of locals. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Healing at Johnny Brenda’s, Sunwatchers at Jerry’s On Front, Crash Course in Science at Underground Arts

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

Come by Johnny Brenda’s tonight for a live music & spoken word event titled The Healing. Featuring an abundance of artists, from Chill Moody, Killiam Shakespeare, Jacqueline Constance, and a ton more, it’s going to be a great night of tunes. And it’s for a great cause, as proceeds from the night will benefit families in the Caribbean for hurricane relief aid. Find more info on the show over at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sunwatchers at PhilaMOCA, Agnes Obel at Union Transfer, Jesse Hale Moore at Bourbon and Branch and more

Sunwatchers | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN
Sunwatchers | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN

New York progressive collective Sunwatchers head to PhilaMOCA for the night with opening sets by Skull Practitioners and Writhing Squares. These free jazz and krautrock inspired musicians define their own genre through jams of epic proportions, making anyone squeezed into Philly’s favorite arthouse freaking lucky. The show is all ages, and more information can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar. Also, check out the band’s Studio Sessions when they stopped by last May. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sittin In feat. Ursula Rucker at the Kimmel Center, Doubles at Boot & Saddle, Sunwatchers at Johnny Brenda’s and more…

ursula rucker
Ursula Rucker | Photo by John Vettese

The Kimmel Center‘s monthly Sittin’ In is back, this time featuring Philadelphia based spoken word / recording artist Ursula Rucker. Rucker will lead her “Supa Sista Presents” band through the live jam session, perhaps giving a preview of the record she’s been working on. More information for the free event can be found here; listen to “Supa Sista” below.

Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Sunwatchers

We’re heading a bit beyond our regular geographic region on this week’s Key Studio Session, but that’s okay – Sunwatchers is a band that knows no geographical boundaries.

I was hipped to them a few months back, care of NPR Music’s Lars Gotrich, who featured their song “Herd of Creeps” in his Viking’s Choice column (which you should definitely follow if you’re a fan of unusual and reliably compelling music). It’s a heavy, meditative jam rooted in Southeast Asian folk, krautrock and free jazz, exploding out of the speakers in simultaneous brilliance – and it totally bowled me over. Turns out, the New York-based four-piece features Philadelphian Peter Kerlin on bass, who we also know from Chris Forsyth’s Solar Motel Band. After swapping a few emails, the band was setting up in studio on a Thursday afternoon following a late night gig and a long drive back home.

There was no loss of energy, as Sunwatchers powered through a set of riveting instrumental music. Continue reading →

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Get ready for Chris Forsyth’s PhilaMOCA show with new live EP Rare Dreams

Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band | photo by Liz Waldie for WXPN

Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band are a go big or go home type of band. Everything they do sounds like it was made to fill up a vast open space, and it does. Their intricate and sprawling songs usually span several minutes and are full of wide, sweeping instrumentals, making for quite a dynamic live performance. Continue reading →

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The Skeleton Key: A jam-packed May, from Get Better Fest to Break Free Fest, Tuareg guitar to NYC no-wave, and so much sunshine

design by Erik Ruin | courtesy of the artist

No matter if you spent it out in the streets at the May Day protest or circling a Maypole or just soaking up all that sunshine, I hope you had a wonderful beginning of the month. It’s finally spring, so slap on some shorts, ride that bike you’ve been neglecting all winter, and get your butt to the gig.

You can start tonight. There are not one but two truly excellent shows happening and if you time it correctly you can go to both! Continue reading →

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Download The Key Studio Sessions Volume 17 (featuring Aaron West, Mercury Girls, The Dove and The Wolf and more)

The Key Studio Sessions Volume 17
The Key Studio Sessions Volume 17

The Philly music community is our first love around here at The Key HQ, it’s something we’ll always rep loudly and proudly. But on the latest installment of our Key Studio Sessions compilation series, we allowed ourselves to get a bit more geographically relaxed.

There are still Philly ties across its 19 tracks, make no mistake. But many of the artists on this set are ones who started locally and moved away, or recently arrived on the scene from other places on the map. Or, in some cases, both. Continue reading →