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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Tove Lo at Electric Factory, Ben Kessler at World Cafe Live, Kool A.D. at Chameleon Club and more

Tove Lo | via windishagency.com

Pop princess Tove Lo is taking over the Electric Factory for an electric performance (heh, get it?) with Phoebe Ryan. She basically owned the Top 40 charts in 2016 with her collabs with Flum, Nick Jonas, and Coldplay, while even charting with her own sexually-charged single “Talking Body”. The Queen of the Clouds’ gig will be all ages, and more information/tickets can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Listen to the #XPNAtoZ Leftovers Weekend


Last December, XPN spent a few weeks in alphabet city, playing songs from the XPN musical universe from A to Z. Not played were the songs that started with numbers and parentheses, holding them off for the future. The future comes this weekend, starting Friday, April 7th at 7pm with an A to Z Leftovers Weekend. Continue reading →

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Tumors and disco balls: Jens Lekman on growing older, feeling starstruck, “emotional autobiography” and why he wants the Phillies to lose

Jens Lekman | photo by Ellika Henrikson | courtesy of the artist
Jens Lekman | photo by Ellika Henrikson | courtesy of the artist

Jens Lekman, one of our most beloved and singularly charming songwriters, returned last month with his triumphant fourth full-length, Life Will See You Now. It might be the Swede’s most immediately gratifying collection yet, juxtaposing his typically tender and perceptive wit with some of his most exuberant (and danceable) music to date. It’s his first album since 2012’s relatively more subdued and reflective breakup-album-of-sorts, I Know What Love Isn’t, although he hasn’t exactly remained silent during the interim. In 2015 he wrote, recorded and released a new “Postcard” song every week – an effort to shake off writer’s block that paid some handsome dividends – and launched “Ghostwriting,” a project wherein he wrote songs based on other people’s stories. He’s also taken on a sideline as a wedding singer, performing at the nuptials of fans worldwide as way to help keep himself afloat while fulfilling the unwittingly prophetic promise of his 2004 ballad “If You Ever Need a Stranger (to Sing at Your Wedding).”

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16 albums you shouldn’t overlook in 2016

DONTOVERLOOK2016The thing about year-end lists, though. Stuff gets left out. Incredible records are forgotten, or simply don’t make the cut when ranking around consensus. Sure, consensus can be a powerful tool in uncovering the things that your trusted sources can agree upon, framing these things as, definitively, “the best.”

But the idea of hierarchy is in itself exclusionary. “Best” does not equal “only.” We brought you our 15 best albums of the year earlier today, but by no means are these the sole albums that are impressive or important or worthy of your ears in 2016. They’re more of a starting point.

In a lot of ways, I’m more excited about this list: 16 albums that you should not overlook in 2016. These are releases that didn’t appear on more than a single list turned in by The Key’s contributing staff – most of them aren’t ranking on year-end lists elsewhere – but they were obviously striking enough to that person that they made their personal cut. So we asked them why.

These are all excellent records. Many of them are very important records, in the same way that Chance and Solange and Tribe and Beyonce are important. And they’re not getting talked about enough, by any stretch. Start listening, start talking. – John Vettese
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Blowdryer cover Devo on new label compilation

This is what it looked like when we played last night! Thanks @pokefan6669

A photo posted by Blowdryer (@blowdryer4u) on

Local power pop / punk trio Blowdryer are featured on a new comp curated by Deli Cat Records with a cover of DEVO’s “The Day My Baby Gave Me a Surprize.” It’s a retro, fuzzy interpretation of the song that trades the original’s geometric arrangement for distortion and poppy vocals. The Winter Paws collection of “scraps, demos and final cuts,” also features a contribution by Havertown native Emily Yacina (listen to that here).

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Potty Mouth at Everybody Hits, Liz Longley at Burlap & Bean, Patty Griffin at The Grand Opera House and more…

potty mouth
Potty Mouth | Photo by Megan Kelly

Northampton, MA trio Potty Mouth play Everybody Hits tonight with Stove, Mannequin Pussy and Blowdryer. Their self-titled EP was released last August, putting forth a collection of indie pop / seventies punk influenced songs like “Cherry Picking” below. Tickets and information for the all-ages show can be found here.

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In light of Golden Tea House closing, First Unitarian Church shows are (sort of) making a comeback

FIDLAR at First Unitarian Church
FIDLAR at First Unitarian Church

In its nearly three-year existence, the West Philly DIY venue Golden Tea House was able to transform the scene by packing in names, small and big, each week. As someone who just moved to Philly this year for school, the GTH was one of my first house show experiences and allowed me in to their all-ages space with open arms.

The announcement of the GTH closing was something to be expected, yet at the same time caught off-guard due to the number of shows they already had booked. And as a close-knit music scene, we’ve seen in the past week many of Philly’s DIY venues jump into action to pick up the former GTH shows. One of the more unexpected venues to come out of the woodwork is the First Unitarian Church, which is mostly booked by R5 Productions. Continue reading →

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Download Erica Gibson’s new eclectropop single “Out of My Mind” for free

Erica Gibson via Facebook.com/ericagibsonmusic
Erica Gibson via facebook.com/ericagibsonmusic

Energetic Philly singer-songwriter Erica Gibson has released her new single “Out of My Mind,” a track steeped in an eclectic hybrid of electronic and pop, or what Gibson likes to call “eclectopop.” The track mixes hyper beats and vocals, but Gibson said it wasn’t always so upbeat. Continue reading →

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company