Tonight’s Concert Picks: Upholstery at Johnny Brenda’s, Musiq Soulchild at Electric Factory, Joan Osborne at Appell Center

Upholstery | photo courtesy of artist

This month, local experimental rock ensemble Upholstery is celebrating ten years of bringing left-of-center sounds to the Philadelphia stage. Yesterday saw the release A Decade of Decadence — not the Motley Crue box set, but rather an anthology of the Upholstery’s sounds and styles, from its post-Man Man beginnings in 2007 to its more recent oddball outings. Proceeds from the record will benefit Musicopia, and tonight the band headlines an anniversary extravaganza at Johnny Brenda’s. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.
Continue reading →


Download Upholstery’s new album, Clydesdales & Tardigrades, for free prior to this weekend’s record-release show

UpholsteryUpholstery celebrates the official release of its second album, Clydesdales & Tardigrades, with an opening performance during Saturday night’s Busses and Royal Shoals show at Johnny Brenda’s. The new album is currently available for free via digital download on the band’s BandCamp page; you can give the track “Teeth Without Feelings” a listen below.

Upholstery performs with Busses and Royal Shoals at 9 p.m. Saturday, February 19th, at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are $10.


This Weekend’s Picks: Free Energy, Black Thought, Grimace Federation, Busses + Upholstery, Lewis And Clarke

Free Energy

Photo by Rachel Leah Woliansky

Free Energy performs 2/18 at First Unitarian Church

Free Energy + The Postelles, Sweatheart at First Unitarian Church (8 p.m., all ages, $10); Black Thought + Rich Medina at The Blockley (10:30 p.m., 21+, $20-$25); Air Waves + Toddler Kat, Other Colors at The Ox (8 p.m.); Bacon Brothers at Sellersville Theater (6:30 & 9:30 p.m., SOLD OUT); Darwin Deez + Cheers Elephant, The New Connection at Kung Fu Necktie (7:30 p.m., 21+, $10-$12)

There’s an impressive local lineup at The Ox tonight: Grimace Federation, Grandchildren, Power Animal, Ryat, and Circadian Rhythms. Meanwhile, over at Johnny Brenda’s Upholstery celebrates the release of its second album, Clydesdales & Tardigrades, with an opening performance for locals Busses and Royal Shoals (9 p.m., 21+, $10).

Lewis And Clarke headlines the second installment of Fred Knittel’s “Folkadelphia” concert series; if you haven’t read our interview with Knittel yet, you can find it here.

Also playing: Jon Langford And Skull Orchard + Eddie Spaghetti (of The Supersuckers), Whitey Morgan And The 78s, Lydia Loveless at North Star Bar (7 p.m., 21+, $10)


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 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 →


Jazz duo Dreamer Sheen makes an ambitious debut with Prompts

Dreamer Sheen | via

Fans of Philly hip-hop group Hardwork Movement may be in for a shock when they hear trumpeter Marty Gottlieb-Hollis’ new project as one half of the experimental jazz duo Dreamer Sheen. On their debut album Prompts, Gottlieb-Hollis and collaborator Corey Mark (of the band Upholstery) push the jazz-rap compositions of Hardwork Movement far into left-field, drawing influence from free improvisation, noise, drone, and world music to create an ambitious and enthralling collection of spiritual jazz. Showing equal comfort in textural experiments and cacophonous instrumental interplay, the duo (aided by a skilled group of guest musicians) craft dynamic soundscapes that will excite fans of Coltrane and Animal Collective alike. Continue reading →


XPN MusicNotes: Hear Sean Ono Lennon’s Carrie Fisher homage, read about Jack White’s new music plans

Found this old picture of my mother and I taking Carrie out in NY. Just want to mention because I forgot to say earlier that regarding the trials and tribulations of being a son or daughter of celebrities, no one helped or inspired me more than Carrie Fisher. She was a super nova of talent and good character. She made the impossible seem effortless–of course thinking twice as fast as everyone else didn't hurt. One of my favorite things she used to say is, 'Resentment is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die.' Carrie and I even wrote a song or two together. I'm going to find them and put them out if it makes sense. I'm still shattered, can't think clearly. I'll just say please send all your love and light energy to Billie and Debbie, for they are suffering the most. I know what it's like to have your world torn apart by a loved one taken before their time. It never gets easy, although one learns to live through the pain. Please let's just get to 2017 without losing anymore geniuses.

A post shared by Sean Ono Lennon (@sean_ono_lennon) on

Sean Ono Lennon has released a song that he wrote with, and has dedicated to, his very dear friend; the late Carrie Fisher. Continue reading →


Watch the music video for Little Strike’s Supergrass cover, catch her at a slew of upcoming Philly shows

Little Strike | Photo courtesy of the artist
Little Strike | Photo courtesy of the artist

Two summers back, Middle Eastern-born singer and songwriter Tamar Dart, or Little Strike, settled in Philly. Last summer, she released Forever Always Leaving, her first EP laced with electronic dream pop beats which concluded with a cover of Supergrass’ “Alright.”

Now, as spring is kicking in and we’re about to embark on her third summer here with us, she’s released a music video for that cover, a visual/auditory collage with “footage from real as well as dream life.” Continue reading →


Busses To Play Their First Headlining Show At Johnny Brenda’s

We love it when our friends become successful. So, we’re pretty excited to hear the news that Busses are playing their first headlining show in Philly on February 19th at Johnny Brenda’s. Opening are two other cool local bands Royal Shoals and Upholstery and a special DJ appearance by Tips For Teens DJ’s who’ll be spinning throughout the night.

Some of you may recall that Busses were one of the four bands who played The Key’s launch party in September and who released one of our favorite records in 2010. The three piece will be playing some new material and some old favorites. One of our faves is a song you can download below.