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The Week Ahead: Raphael Saadiq, Beach House, The Hold Steady, #XPNFest and more

David Byrne | Photo by Jody Rogac

Well, first and foremost, there’s #XPNFest. I mean, duh. Three days, 32 bands, BB&T Pavilion and Wiggins Park, etc. etc. Highlights including David Byrne and The War on Drugs are shouted out below, full details at XPNFest.org. Know what though? This summer in Philly has been the summer of redonkulous concertgoing options, this week is no different, and we here at The Key would be doing you a disservice if we didn’t let you know everything else that’s going on. Read on for our full roundup of picks: 22 concerts to see in and around Philadelphia for the next seven days. Continue reading →

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Worriers and Beach Slang will open for The Hold Steady next week at Union Transfer

Worriers | photo by Jake Cunningham | courtesy of the artist

Next week, The Hold Steady embarks on their long-awaited two night run at Union Transfer, and we’ve just caught word of who will be opening the shows. Night one on July 26 kicks off with indie favorites Beach Slang, who are making a quick return to town after performing at Underground Arts last week in support of their latest album, Everything Matters But No One Is Listening. The second night on July 27 brings punk outfit Worriers, the project of Philly-based musician Lauren Denitzio, to the stage; they recently toured with The Wonder Years after releasing their sophomore album Survival Pop last fall. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: The Hold Steady will celebrate ten years of Stay Positive at Union Transfer in July

The Hold Steady
The Hold Steady | photo by Daniel J Goodwin | courtesy of the artist

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a decade since The Hold Steady dropped Stay Positive on a newfound sea of rabid fans. After years of toiling in the underground, the New York band, led by songwriter and storyteller and lead screamer Craig Finn, broke out in 2006 with Boys and Girls In America, elevating it from bar band to theater headliners and connecting with a whole new community of listeners in the process. Stay Positive was the first record it released with that bigger audience in mind, and it held no punches, galloping out the gate with the lead anthem “Constructive Summer.”

It’s fitting, then, that the short run of tour dates celebrating the album’s anniversary is dubbed the Constructive Summer Tour, and Finn and the band are making the most of it, swinging through Philadelphia for two nights at Union Transfer to celebrate Stay Positive on Thursday, July 26th and Friday, July 27th. Tickets are on sale Friday, May 11th at noon, and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Rock out to a pair of new tracks from The Hold Steady

The Hold Steady | photo courtesy of the artist

Just this morning, Brooklyn-based 2000’s rock stalwarts The Hold Steady released a pair of new tracks, “Eureka” and “Esther.” Much like the group’s release of “Entitlement Crew” and “A Snake In The Shower” ahead of their 4-night run of shows in Brooklyn last year, these songs are released in preparation for their 3-night sold out stand in London this upcoming weekend.

Available to stream and purchase through Bandcamp, the band will be donating 100% of the sales to the K+L Guardian Foundation. The foundation is set up to benefit the children of “Jersey” Mike Van Jura after he suddenly passed away in November 2012 at only 36 years of age. Jersey Mike is recognized as the unofficial leader of The Unified Scene, a longstanding message board dedicated to the band. Continue reading →

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Join in The Hold Steady’s welcome-back bash with energized tracks, “Entitlement Crew” and “A Snake In The Shower”

Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/

One of XPN’s favorite live-wire rock ‘n’ roll goofballs, The Hold Steady, are back with two new tracks: “Entitlement Crew” and “A Snake In The Shower.” Released through Frenchkiss Records, these songs mark the return from a four year absence since The Hold Steady’s last album, Teeth Dreams, and a decade since longtime keyboard player Franz Nicolay, has been included on the lineup. Now, with Nicolay back, The Hold Steady are ready for further cheeky shenanigans. Continue reading →

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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. The Hold Steady, Cookie Rabinowitz, Sugar Tongue Slim

The Hold Steady
The Hold Steady | Photo by Kelsey Stange for WXPN

XPN members at the Special Producers level got a treat from The Hold Steady recently when they performed and recorded an interview with David Dye live for World Cafe.  You can listen to the full World Cafe appearance here, which includes performances of “Stuck Between Stations,” “Sequestered in Memphis,” and “The Ambassador.”  “I Hope This Whole Thing Doesn’t Frighten You” is available as a free download below. Continue reading →

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Preaching to the Choir: The Hold Steady rock Underground Arts

Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/
Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/

Craig Finn was at a solid 8 out of 10 by the time he hit the stage. If anyone knows a thing or two about Killer Parties, it’s Finn and the rest of The Hold Steady. The atmosphere in the dingy basement bar that is Underground Arts was intense, and many of the loyal fans packed into the space had followed Craig’s lead to join in the Monday-funday. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Hold Steady at Underground Arts, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 at Union Transfer

The Hold Steady photo courtesy of the artist
The Hold Steady | via facebook.com/TheHoldSteady

Following up on their XPoNential Music Festival set this summer, XPN favorites The Hold Steady will headline a 21+ show tonight at Underground Arts. The Brooklyn-based band most recently released its sixth studio album, Teeth Dreams, back in March and will be showcasing the new music –  check out this performance of “I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You” from their appearance on Conan in July – as well as old favorites like “Your Little Hoodrat Friend” and “Stuck Between Stations.” Tonight is sure to be a fantastic show. Tickets are $20 and can be found via the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →