Stream Yankee Bluff’s new Slovenian Daisy EP, watch video for “Simple Pleasures”

yankee bluff
Yankee Bluff | photo by Scott Troyan | via bandcamp

Did you catch wind of Yankee Bluff last summer when they dropped a debut EP called I? If not, take a minute to check it out here. If so, you’re ready to move on to EP #2 Slovenian Daisy, out this week on Bandcamp. The lofi duo of Peter Helmis (Algernon Cadwallader) and Nate Dionne (Snowing) teamed up around the time their other joint effort Dogs On Acid (with Joe Reinhart of Algernon and Hop Along) called it quits, producing wonderfully jangly, homespun rock songs that are as fun to listen to on your headphones as they are live.

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Listen to the Dogs On Acid dudes go lo-fi on a new project, Yankee Bluff

Yankee Bluff | photo by Scott Troyan | via bandcamp

It didn’t take long for Dogs On Acid to catch on in the local scene. Consisting of Peter Helmis of Algernon Cadwallader, Joe Reinhart of Hop Along, and Nate Dionne of Snowing, the band quickly gathered a following for the catchy indie punk sound its self-titled EP so strongly delivered. But unfortunately their rapid rise to prominence was followed by a demise just as swift — besides a September tour comping up in Japan, they’ve made it clear they aren’t really a band anymore.

Alas, there is hope for the Dogs On Acid fans that already miss their band. Helmis and Dionne teamed up this summer to release a lo-fi EP, I, under the moniker Yankee Bluff, and while it’s not the same as their previous project, it’s still pretty darn sweet. Continue reading →


Open Sound returns to Lansdowne with The Afterglows, Strawberry Runners, Big Nothing and more

Strawberry Runners perform at Open Sound Lansdowne

Open Sound Lansdowne is back, and bigger than ever. The summer concert series began last year in the up-and-coming suburb just west of the city. This year, the series has expanded to six weeks — every other Thursday from late June to early September — and each show will feature a lineup of three local bands, many of which are familiar faces in the Philly scene.

The triple bill of The Afterglows, Ther, and F Woods will kick off the series next Thursday, June 27. A few acts, like The Diaphone and Strawberry Runners, played Open Sound last year, but the rest are venturing out to Lansdowne for the first time. Noise rock band Tact, singer-songwriter Anika Pyle, and indie rockers Big Nothing are just a few of the performers you won’t want to miss. Continue reading →


Listen to two unreleased Algernon Cadwallader cuts from their vinyl reissue series

Algernon Cadwallader | circa 2014 | via

You thought emo was over, didn’t you? Think again. In honor of the ten-year anniversary of their debut album, Algernon Cadwallader recently announced the reissue of almost their entire discography. The band broke up in 2012, the members going on to contribute to other projects like Hop Along and Yankee Bluff. Continue reading →


Algernon Cadwallader is reissuing pretty much their entire discography via Lauren Records and Asian Man Records

Algernon Cadwalader at Pi Lam, circa 2012 | photo by John Vettese

It’s been six years since beloved Philly emo trio Algernon Cadwallader announced that they were calling it a day, and ten years since they released their LP Some Kind of Cadwallader. The devoted fan base they riled up in those four years in between is quite a feat for a band named in part for a short crooked street that runs through the west side of Fishtown. To mark the anniversary of their debut, the bulk of Algernon Cadwallader’s recorded output is being reissued on December 14th as a duel release via Cali labels Lauren Records and Asian Man records. Continue reading →


The Skeleton Key: October is haunted with thrift store discos, horror flicks in cemeteries, and gigs from Swearin’ to Sun Ra Arkestra

Sun Ra Arkestra | photo by Koof Ibi Umoren for WXPN

“This year Halloween fell on a weekend and me and the Geto Boys were …” Wait a minute! Halloween isn’t on a weekend this year! But even when it falls on a Wednesday I’m still more excited for Halloween than just about any other day out of the year. It’s not just the special, yearly concerts – Dead Milkmen, Sun Ra Arkestra, all the cover shows happening around town – though that’s a huge part of it. Halloween is this huge celebration of the weird and the wonderful, an excuse to dress up and have fun and get real obsessed with ghosts. And there’s really no better city for Halloween than Philadelphia, which embraces the holiday the second the clock turns midnight on October 1st.

Welcome to the Skeleton Key, your monthly DIY calendar and column here in The Key. Let’s get spooky! Continue reading →


The Skeleton Key: Pilam is dead, long live Pilam

A flyer for Pi Lam’s notorious Human BBQ, circa 1987

Starting off August’s edition of the Skeleton Key with some breaking news, which for the record is a strange thing when it comes to a column that comes out once a month. Pilam, the venerated “freak frat” at the University of Pennsylvania, is closed, at least temporarily. After more than four decades of being a space for DIY music in Philadelphia, the organization has lost its home. Details are still emerging as to what’s going on but for the time being I’d much rather just focus on the positive. Which, to repeat what I just said, is more than four decades of serving as a home for music in our city. That’s just incredible.

If you were to compile a list of every band that ever played Pilam we’d be here for a very long time. Hell, just looking at the listings of who performed at Human BBQ, the annual all-day concert at the house, is wildly impressive in both quality and quantity. This past year was the 40th BBQ with bands including Old Maybe, Norwegian Arms, Slingshot Dakota, and EDO. Screaming Females and Sadie from Speedy Ortiz played last year, along with a ton of other great bands. Two years ago it was Moor Mother, HIRS, and Japanese Breakfast. We could seriously go on like this forever.

The first time I specifically remember being at the festival was way back in 2001 to see An Albatross, Stinking Lizaveta, and … EDO. Some things never change. Also, I somehow missed Wesley Willis. Maybe I was getting pizza? Continue reading →


Listen to Hurry cover Wreckless Eric’s “Whole Wide World” for The Alternative

Hurry | photo by Scott Troyan | courtesy of the artist |

Local favorites Hurry are a Philly band through and through — but recently, they took a trip out of the city to record a 7-track live session. This release follows their recent album Every Little Thought, released in February.

The session was recorded earlier this month at the New Brunswick studio AGL Sounds in collaboration with North Jersey-based music blog The Alternative for the latest installment in the AGL Presents series. It features a few songs off Every Little Thought, including that album’s title track, plus a few from 2016’s Guided Meditation, including “Nothing to Say” and “When I’m With You.”

Hurry also took the session as an opportunity to finally record their cover of Wreckless Eric’s “Whole Wide World,” a staple of their live sets for at least a few years. The cover fits in seamlessly with the Hurry Original SongsTM and shows just how versatile the band is, as their own catchy tunes quickly become as familiar as the older hit. Listen below via Bandcamp. Continue reading →


The Week Ahead: Miguel, Gepe, Deb Callahan, CRUISR, Palm and more

Miguel | Photo by Rachel Barrish for WXPN

As I type this, people around me are fretting about snowfall predictions and travel routes home; kind of unusual for a spring equinox. At the same time, we’ve got the first weekend of the new season ahead of us, and a whopping six concerts to choose from this Friday to kick it off, so things are looking up. From a couple shows from country icon k.d. lang to expansive experimental sounds from Philly’s Palm, punk rock from Yankee Bluff and hip-hop from Tiani Victoria, here are 18 concerts you can’t miss this week. Continue reading →