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Watch a mystical music video for Philly art rock group Upholstery’s new song “INGA”

Upholstery | Kate Raines | courtesy of the artist

Upholstery have shared the moody and ethereal video for their new single, “INGA”, which serves as the first single off their new album. The album, also titled INGA, is the Philly band’s fourth full-length release and their first on Exotic Fever Records. Produced by Johann Sebastian, the album sees the arty group exploring darker grooves. Members of Hardwork Movement, Trap Rabbit, Settled Arrows, Pattern is Movement, and West Philadelphia Orchestra all contributed to the record, making it an impressive testament to Philly’s vibrant music scene. Continue reading →

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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.
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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.

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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

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18
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)

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 19
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).

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 20
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)

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The Week Ahead: Josh Ritter, Tash Sultana, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Jim James and more

Tash Sultana | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Yes, we get it — it’s a crazy busy musical week here in Philly, between NonCOMM kicking off at World Cafe Live tomorrow and a certain mega-sold-out Saturday night show that will be packing in the crowds on South Street.

But don’t let that stop you from getting out and seeing music; if you’re not grooving to Lizzo’s “Juice,” might we suggest Juice WRLD? Or how about the dazzling guitar stylings of Tash Sultana, or Rodrigo Y Gabriela? There’s a modern rock benefit on Sunday, two killer jazz events, singer-songwriters galore…here are 16 concerts to see in the next 7 days, all around Philly.
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The Skeleton Key: From Amanda X, Break Free Fest, and Eugene Chadbourne to Nina Simone, Sun Ra, The Trocadero, and Yarrow, we’ve got you covered this May

Break Free Fest | flyer by @goodestboylili

A friend of mine who has been playing in bands for more than two decades recently asked me, only half-joking, where I find the energy to go to as many shows as I do. While I wanted to protest or at the very least get humorously defensive — “I don’t go to that many shows! Whatever!” — I realized it was a good question because, well, I do end up at a lot of shows every month. I mean, duh, I was asked to do this column for a reason.

Truth be told, I didn’t have a great answer for her. I found a home in music when I was 18 and moved to Philadelphia after spending five long, boring, and lonely years in South Florida. My first proper show was a couple weeks after getting here in September of 1997 — Helmet, The Melvins, Today Is The Day, and Hovercraft at The Trocadero — and I haven’t looked back since. It’s just what I do, for better or worse.

But while I didn’t have a good or even clever response to her question, I did have the realization that part of the reason I spend so much time watching live music is because there’s so much going on. Jazz, punk, hip hop, klezmer, chamber music. Eastern European choral bands. Indian classical. Harsh noise, catchy indie rock, techno DJs spinning all night long. If you wanted to, you could see a different type of music just about every night in our city and I think that’s amazing. Continue reading →

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19 Philly concerts we’re looking forward to in spring of 2019

Natalie Prass | photo by Natalie Piserchio for WXPN / The National | photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN / Jamila Woods | photo by Koof Ibi Umoren for WXPN

Sunnier days and warmer temperatures have arrived, and we are collectively at the point of the year where Philly concertgoers have more options than we’ve seen in months. Gone are the days of getting to the gigs to keep the doldrums at bay; now we’re out and about because it’s one of the best things you can do with your time in the 215. From DIY punk gigs to jazz festivals, to some of the biggest pop stars in the world, here are 19 concerts we can’t wait to see in spring of 2019. Continue reading →

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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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Jazz duo Dreamer Sheen makes an ambitious debut with Prompts

Dreamer Sheen | via dreamersheen.bandcamp.com

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 →