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Breaking Down the Boys’ Club: Why PhilaMOCA’s She Shreds showcase is so necessary

Marisa Dabice of Mannequin Pussy performs at Hazzard Hall | Photo by John Vettese
Marisa Dabice of Mannequin Pussy performs at Hazzard Hall | Photo by John Vettese

There’s a musical revolution going on in Philadelphia, hidden away in the corners of makeshift venues peppered throughout the city. It’s a revolution unbeknownst to many but a revolution that is, to borrow a phrase, hidden in plain sight. It’s a revolution against your parents’ rock music, a revolution against the historically prevailing notion of rock and roll as a boys club, a revolution against the idea that rock and roll should look and behave a certain way.

On April 4 at PhilaMOCA, this revolution will be on stage in full force, as Portland, Oregon’s She Shreds magazine hosts a celebration of musical women in Philadelphia. On the bill are rock stalwarts Swearin’ and Amanda X, punk heavies Mannequin Pussy, and power poppers Anomie (a solo project of Field Mouse’s Rachel Browne), along with DJ sounds by DJ SAD 13 (Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz).  [Girls Rock Philly band Jane Doe was scheduled but unfortunately had to drop out.]

It’s an event that will highlight a Philadelphia scene that excels in its acceptance, support, and diversity, one that can be held up as a model for the musical landscape at large. Continue reading →

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A scorching double-bill from The Vaselines and Amanda X at Johnny Brenda’s

The Vaselines | Photo by Chris Sikich | <a href=http://countfeed.tumblr.com target="_blank">countfeed.tumblr.com</a>
The Vaselines | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

Last Thursday Scottish punk masters The Vaselines captivated a sold out Johnny Brenda’s. Scorching through a 22-song set, they were a brilliant act to behold. And with Philly-based Amanda X opening, it was a perfect night of rock, both old and new.

Led by the charming duo of Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee, The Vaselines were entertaining in both song and banter. Their works immortalized by Nirvana — “Son of a Gun,” “Molly’s Lips” and “Jesus Doesn’t Want Me for a Sunbeam” — were riveting, with “Jesus” having a seeming air of nuanced poignancy. (And despite a seemingly out-of-place request by the audience of a Nirvana cover, they even played a brief riff from “Come as You Are.”)  Continue reading →

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Watch Amanda X’s Space Jam Session, see them tonight at Johnny Brenda’s

Amanda X | via Space Jam Sessions
Amanda X | via Space Jam Sessions

Philly power trio Amanda X just kicked off a sweet U.S. tour opening for Scottish indie pop legends The Vaselines, and the show comes to Johnny Brenda’s tonight. Which is perfect timing for the release of the band’s Space Jam Session. The two cats of the band – Cat Park, she of the pink hair and electric guitar, and Kat bean, she of the grey skully and bass – took a seat on the big ol’ red couch to rock out a plugged-in, stripped-down rendition of “Nothing Wild” from their 2014 debut Amnesia. On the one hand, it does feel airy and intimate in this context – on the other, it’s still got a lot of bite, even with drummer Tiff Yoon sitting this session out. Check it out below, and get tickets and more information on tonight’s show at JBs at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Vaselines with Amanda X at Johnny Brenda’s, Mic Stew and Reef the Lost Cauze at Underground Arts, Arc Iris at Tin Angel and more…

The-Vaselines-1

Scottish outfit The Vaselines visit Johnny Brenda’s with Amanda X tonight. The indie pop veterans first released material in 1987 on an EP called Son of a Gun. Seven more efforts followed, culminating in last year’s V for Vaselines LP which was partially a nod by The Vaselines to the sound of the Ramones. Tourmates Amanda X kept busy last year with shows near and far while recording a new 7″. Tickets and information for the 21+ show can be found here; watch The Vaselines’ video for “High Tide Low Tide” below.

Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Bruce Warren’s Best of Philly Music 2014

Amanda X: Tiff Yoon, Cat Park, Kat Bean | Photo by Peter Murray | petermurrayphotography.com
Amanda X: Tiff Yoon, Cat Park, Kat Bean | Photo by Peter Murray | petermurrayphotography.com

Year-End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2014 awesome. In this installment, XPN Program Director Bruce Warren weighs in on the 2014 Philly music scene.

We thought 2013 was a fantastic year for the Philly music scene, however 2014 proved to be even better. Continue reading →

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Listen to Amanda X’s set at the NYCTaper CMJ Cake Shop show

Photo by Pete Murray | http://petermurrayphotography.com/
Amanda X | Photo by Pete Murray | http://petermurrayphotography.com/

Our friends at NYCTaper recently threw a party at the CMJ music conference in New York City. Their unofficial showcase was at the Cake Shop and featured one of Philly’s best bands, Amanda X. This year saw the release of Amanda X’s Amnesia on Siltbreeze Records. The record was recorded by Jeff Zeigler at his studio Uniform Recordings and is a confident rock and roll record from start to finish. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: OK Fest with Cayetana, Amanda X, Radiator Hospital and more at Golden Teahouse, Juston Stens at Boot and Saddle, Langhorne Slim at Tellus 360

Amanda X: Tiff Yoon, Cat Park, Kat Bean (Photo by Peter Murray)
Amanda X: Tiff Yoon, Cat Park, Kat Bean (Photo by Peter Murray)

West Philly’s super cool OK Fest kicks off tonight at the Golden Tea House. The incredible lineup includes Cayetana; the emo-tinged trio played a Space Jam Session this month featuring a live version of “Dirty Laundry,” and were also featured on Stereogum recently. They will be joined by Radiator Hospital, who will release their brilliant second album Torch Song soon, as well as Amanda X, who did a great interview with The Key’s Kate Bracaglia. Rounding out the night are The Ambulars and Brooklyn punk group Worriers. The all-ages show starts at 8:00 pm. Tickets are between $8 to $12. Listen to Cayetana’s “Serious Things are Stupid” below. Get more details at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Listen to the polished version of Amanda X’s “Dream House”

Amanda X: Tiff Yoon, Cat Park, Kat Bean (Photo by Peter Murray)
Photo by Peter Murray

Philly post-punk trio Amanda X just released another song, “Dream House” off of their highly anticipated debut Amnesia, out July 28th on Siltbreeze Records. Their music is both a tribute to 90s indie and a really poignant new spin on punk. Unlike the raw power of the previously released track, “Gautemala”, “Dream House” is a slower, existential track. It also showcases the amazing vocal abilities of singer-bassist Kat Bean, going from fragile to powerful in a matter of seconds. Continue reading →