Girls Just Wanna: Philly singer-songwriter Andrea Nardello shares her Brandi Carlile adventure with XPN’s Helen Leicht

Andrea Nardello | photo by Gabriela Barbieri for WXPN

Just before she took home three statues at this year’s Grammys, Brandi Carlile decided to beat the Seattle winter doldrums by throwing a getaway festival in Rivera Maya, Mexico. The inaugural Girls Just Wanna Weekend also included a treat for superfans: a little thing called Brandioke, a social media contest where finalists would get to cover a song from Carlile’s catalog with Brandi herself, as well as longtime collaborators the Hanseroth twins and the rest of her band.

One of the winners was Andrea Nardello, a singer-songwriter from the Philadelphia region who has been active on the local scene for the past eight years, and this week she appeared on the XPN Local Show with Helen Leicht to tell the story of her adventure. Continue reading →


New Year’s Eve is a month away. What concert are you going to?

Kurt Vile at #XPNFest | photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN

We’re drawing to the close of 2016, and as always, we here at The Key recommend you give 2016 the boot with live music. Spending that special moment that brings us into our annual chance for a new start at a concert with hundreds or even thousands of people who are all on the same page as you — for those few hours, the feeling is exhilarating and even a little magical. Compare this to the cycle of looking at your phone, standing in circles trying to connect with people that you know primarily through Facebook and most times drinking way too much in your quest to achieve that perfect New Year’s Eve moment that movies like When Harry Met Sally have elevated just out of reality’s reach.

Given, I’ve been going the latter route for the majority of my adult life and some of my fondest memories are searching for lost phones or helping my friend figure out the name of the cute guy with the green hat the morning after. BUT I knew that after happening upon a house show on New Year’s Eve a few years back, no party could ever fill me with the same ecstasy as the music and all the people in that basement did in 2013. So, if you’re looking to try something new, check out your Philly-area options for musical New Year’s celebrations. Continue reading →


FDR Park Music Jam brings Ginger Coyle, Ryan Tennis and more to South Philly this weekend

fdr park music jam
Ginger Coyle | photo by J. Polenta

If the mainstream-leaning Made In America festival isn’t really your speed, maybe you’ll find something to dig down at the FDR Park Music Jam. Presented by Parks on Tap and Philadelphia Songwriters Project, the last-minute Labor Day Weekend festival will bring some of the city’s best musicians together for a free event in South Philly. Ease out of summer by sipping a beer and relaxing on a hammock while a slew of local favorites (including Ryan Tennis, Ginger Coyle, Ross Bellenoit and Andrea Nardello) perform during the two-day, all-ages festival.

Continue reading →


Ginger Coyle brings Third S.H.I.F.T. Showcase to Underground Arts

Ginger Coyle | via
Ginger Coyle | via

The third annual S.H.I.F.T. Showcase is headed for Underground Arts on April 4. Started by local musician Ginger Coyle in 2013, S.H.I.F.T., which stands for “Super Human Indie Female Troubadours,” celebrates female musicians and artists while giving back to Girls Rock Philly, an organization that empowers young women through music. Continue reading →


Philadelphia is blowing up NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Contest and it’s amazing

Levee Drivers' Tiny Desk submission | photo by Bob Sweeney
Levee Drivers’ Tiny Desk submission | photo by Bob Sweeney

For those of you who don’t know about NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, you may want to head over to their site and root through their enormous and equally impressive archive. Their 15-minute videos feature live performances from artists of all genres held in the quaint offices of NPR at All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen’s desk.

Ranging from big names like Adele and Alt-J to up-and-coming artists such as Angel Olsen and Rubblebucket, viewers are able to watch the artists perform in the intimate setting, giving the performances a stripped-down, no B.S. vibe. While these videos are ultra fun to watch (perhaps continuously, one after another…), NPR kept things interesting this winter by kicking off a contest to feature a new artist in their series.

Based entirely off of video submissions from all over the United States, an artist will be chosen to perform a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR headquarters in Washington D.C. as well as snag a slot in the big Lagunitas Couchtrippin’ showcase in Austin, Texas. Philadelphia, brimming with the amazing musical talent that it is, seems to have jumped at this opportunity. Continue reading →