Excursions in Light brings The Morelings, The Silence Kit and more together for a PhilaMOCA show

The Morelings | photo courtesy of the artist

The Morelings are a fixture of the Philly dream pop scene, and this weekend they’ll play a show that matches them in dreaminess. Excursions in Light is the name of the event happening this Saturday, Dec. 9, at PhilaMOCA, and it sounds like just about the most serene show ever, billing itself as “a night of noise, bliss, projections and beauty.”

In addition to The Morelings, fellow Philly acts The Silence Kit and Hidden Lights will also play, along with New York’s Dead Leaf Echo. Excursions in Light will also feature film from local videographer Bob Sweeney and artwork from graphic designer Timothy O’Donnell. The Morelings recently released their debut LP Same Century — listen here. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Laser Background at Johnny Brenda’s, The Silence Kit at The Pharmacy, Patty Larkin at Steel City Coffeehouse and more

Laser Background | Photo via
Laser Background | Photo via

Laser Background is a psych-pop band from right here in Philly that sound like they belong back in the ’90s toiling away in Athens, Georgia with the Elephant 6 crew (Apples In Stereo, Neutral Milk Hotel, ect.). The band fuses ’60s inspired psych-pop with some truly strange arrangements to make something all together fascinating. You can check them out tonight at Johnny Brenda’s in support of TEEN and Ava Luna. For more details on the show click here. Continue reading →


The Silence Kit share new track “I Could Be” off of Watershed

The Silence Kit | photo courtesy of the artist
The Silence Kit | photo courtesy of the artist

Local post-punk quartet The Silence Kit have dropped a new song called “I Could Be” off of their forthcoming LP Watershed, set for release next month.  With slightly affected vocals, a dark and ominous bass line and distorted guitars, the song hits the classic notes of post-punk before blending in a brass section that draws the song into brighter waters, if only for short bursts at a time.  There’s nothing to suggest that The Silence Kit was not a cult favorite in the 80s, their sound is so steeped in the moody, inverted psychedelia tones of Echo and the Bunnymen and The Cure.  Take a listen to “I Could Be” below.  The Silence Kit will celebrate the release of Watershed at Bourbon and Branch on April 5th; tickets and information can be found here.


Watch a new Bands in the Backyard video of The Silence Kit (playing North Star Bar tonight)

Local post-punk band The Silence Kit play shoe-gaze influenced, moody, lo-fi alt-rock. The band started in 2002 as a solo recording project for singer/guitarist Patrick McCay, but has since evolved into a full band playing live shows. The band recently let Bands in the Backyard join them in their New Jersey studio to film a studio session of “Eight Years.” Check out the video in the player below.

The band is playing a 21+ show at North Star Bar tonight featuring E. Joseph and the Phantom Heart, Kill the Broadcast, The Kiera Plan and Preston Hull. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are available here for $10.


Moody post-punk quartet The Silence Kit shows its sunny side in “The Magician”

The Silence KitDespite sharing its name with the first track on Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain and a fondness for melodious fuzz-guitar riffs, The Silence Kit actually has very little in common with Pavement. Led by singer/guitarist Patrick McCay, the local quartet is much more in sync with the broody, don’t-call-it-goth ’80s tones of Echo And The Bunnymen, Psychedelic Furs, and The Cure. (Which is fine with us.) Back in February, the band released its latest record, Dislocations; below you can listen to “The Magician,” one of the album’s poppier moments. The Silence Kit performs with Bleed Radio Bleed, Alright Junior, and The Last Barbarians at 9 p.m. Friday, October 8, at North Star Bar; tickets to the 21+ show are $8.

Every Monday and Thursday at 2 p.m., Y-Rock On XPN’s John Vettese spotlights the best musicians from the Delaware Valley in the Philly Local Philes. You can listen to Y-Rock On XPN’s live online stream here.


Items Tagged Philadelphia: The music of chance and the sounds of silence

Erica Corbo | via

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.

In a room on the second floor of my house in the East Mt. Airy section of Philly, there’s an air purifier, and it’s always running. The humming oscillations of the motor, the gentle thwack of the belt, and the static rush of air passing through a polymer filter create a background static that dulls the constant sounds of close proximity and rowhome living. It becomes like the proverbial buzzing of the fridge, per Radiohead, or those cars on the interstate passing in the night that my friends in the river wards no longer even notice.

When the air purifier switches off, for whatever reason — it needs maintenance, the power went out, my wife and I can’t hear the record on the turntable — the sensation is almost like waking up, or stepping out of a fog. There’s a sudden clarity, hearing becomes more acute, sounds become more nuanced, details are picked up upon and auditory space is abundant. It’s at once freeing and kind of frightening. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: JoyCut at Johnny Brenda’s, Flying Lotus at The Tower Theater, Citizen Cope at The TLA

JoyCut | photo by Eleonora Birardi

Italy’s JoyCut are bringing a world tour to Johnny Brenda’s tonight in support of its latest LP PiecesOfUsWereLeftOnTheGround.  The Bologna-based electronic trio was introduced to wider audiences through tours with Arcade Fire and Modest Mouse, winning over crowds with their optimistically upbeat dark-wave compositions.  Pieces was released on Italian label IRMA Records in 2013.  Watch JoyCut perform “Wireless” and “Domino” live below.  Tickets and information for the 21+ show with Bells and The Silence Kit can be found here. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Human BBQ at Pi Lam, Amy Ray at World Cafe Live, No Other at Kung Fu Necktie and more

Photo courtesy of the event's Facebook page
Photo courtesy of the event’s Facebook page

University of Pennsylvania’s punk rock frat, Pi Lam, is ringing in spring the right way: by way of 18 local acts paired with a “face-melting” BBQ (with vegan-friendly items) they call “Human BBQ XXXIV.” On the bill, we’ve got bands like Roof Doctor, Mumblr, Cold Fronts, Secret Plot to Destroy the Universe and Slingshot Dakota with plenty, plenty more. The event costs $15 (that’s not even a buck per band!) and starts at noon and is scheduled to go until midnight at the frat.

Continue reading →