Nels Cline may be known as Wilco’s guitarist, but on his own he’s somewhat of an experimental jazz icon. Cline will bring his jazz skills to Ardmore Music Hall tonight, performing in trio form along with drummer Gerald Cleaver and saxophonist Larry Ochs. The three musicians draw inspiration from everything from free jazz to structured improvisation to noise punk. Find tickets and more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
The night before Thanksgiving can be a quiet time for concerts, but Philly didn’t disappoint this year. First up is Erica Corbo — she was an Items Tagged Philadelphia find earlier this year and her release I, America is a theatrical pop gem with a unique steampunk aesthetic. Corbo is the featured artist at open mic night at Connie’s Ric Rac, which should provide perfect solace from the holiday rush. Get there early for happy hour and open mic signups; find more information here. Continue reading →
Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ani DiFranco makes a stop at the Keswick Theatre tonight following the release of her recent 20th studio album, Binary. After spending much of 2016 encouraging audiences to vote on her “Vote Dammit!” tour, DiFranco continues her political message with Binary — “As an artist, I like to be out in the world, and what initially compelled me was to try to push society to a better place,” DiFranco says of the album. Spoken word artist and poet Andrea Gibson will also perform. Watch DiFranco’s video for “Binary” below, and find tickets and more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
I have a feeling that Brooklyn indie popster Verite is going to blow up very soon. She’s got the voice, electro beats that aren’t just homogenized recyclables, and an edgy weirdness that’s sorely lacking in mainstream pop today. And tonight she’s playing at Boot and Saddle. Don’t miss your chance to see Verite at a smaller scale space before her rise inevitably skyrockets. Tickets and info are available here; watch the video for “When You’re Gone” below. Continue reading →
If Lucius and The War on Drugs got together, the result would be The Dove & the Wolf. The tight harmonies, soulful songwriting, and expansive sound that the duo have created can be heard tonight at Spruce Street Harbor Park‘s free summer concert series, happening every Thursday and featuring some of our favorite Philly artists. The Dove & the Wolf re-released their sophomore record I Don’t Know What to Feel in March, making their label debut with Fat Possum Records. Check out the Philadelphia-via-Paris group’s recent interview and preview of a new track on Dan Drago’s 25 O’Clock Podcast. They will also be performing at the XPoNential Music Fest in July. For more information on tonight’s show, check out the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic played a sold out show on Thursday, June 8th at the Ardmore Music Hall, a venue that’s becoming a regular tour stop for the legendary funk outfit. Though Clinton’s last record was 2008’s George Clinton and His Gangsters of Love, news has been swirling that a new album will drop sometime this year. The live show is still the true P-Funk experience though – At 75 years old, Clinton is as charming and engaging as ever, backed by a band that includes his granddaughters / music duo Kandy Apple Redd on vocals. The Key’s Koof Ibi Umoren was on hand to photograph the performance – check out his gallery of Clinton and opening act Kung Fu below.
Jaguar Wright & Gerald Veasley perform the music of Nina Simone tonight at the Ardmore Music Hall. Wrapping up the Philadelphia Jazz Festival, this Unscripted Jazz Series show unites two renowned soul artists to celebrate the life and legacy of Ms. Simone. The show is 21+, and more information/tickets can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
This week’s Key Studio Session featured Mars Parker, a local artist who blends soulful jazz textures with the realism of hip hop. Tonight he brings his recent Mars Museum 3 release to Underground Arts, opening for Chill Moody and Voss. Check out a Key Session performance of “Selfworth” below and pick up tickets for the 21+ show here.
Philadelphia funk rock enthusiast Nik Greeley and his band The Operators have been exploring and refining a modern take on roots-tinged funk revivalism since his old band Black Stars ended their run a couple years back. Greeley also holds down a day job as Social Media Manager for the Ardmore Music Hall, meaning he gets to rub elbows with — and sometimes open for — some of funk’s greats. This Friday, December 30th, Greeley and the Operators will rock out at The James Brown Dance Party, headlined by Brown’s longtime drummer Clyde Stubblefield. With the gig on the near horizon, Greeley revived his Funk 101 column to reflect on the concept of The Funky Drummer, tracing the influence of beats through funk, into hip-hop and beyond. Tickets and more information on the JB Dance Party can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.
Welcome back for another edition of Funk 101, everyone! Hope you’re all having a very funky holiday season. Last time we spoke, The Operators & I were gearing up to perform with George Clinton & P-Funk at The Ardmore Music Hall, and we went over the essential Funk tracks for your listening pleasure. We also discussed The Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown & his killer band, The JB’s, and how they gave birth to Funk music with their hit “Cold Sweat”. Which brings us to our next segment of Funk 101, and how James Brown would also help give birth to another powerful musical genre we all know and love, with the help of a drum groove that would make the world dance & nod their heads for years to come. Continue reading →
EDITOR’S NOTE: Philly rapper Voss has grabbed our attention here at The Key for his onstage charisma and lyrical wit, so when he hit us up pitching some musician’s-eye stories for the site, we were all ears. His first piece, a behind-the-scenes account of his gig opening for Cam’ron in Ardmore, is below.
Cam’ron is unquestionably one of the most beloved figures in hip-hop. He’s worshipped by 30 and 40 somethings who came up in the Dipset era, still wearing leather Pelle Pelle jackets and oversized fitteds with pride; but he’s also fully embraced by the younger hipsters who love his music for its tongue-in-cheek wit. The man has hits upon hits, and even at age 40, still has some of the best crowd control in the game. While I won’t say Killa Cam has been a direct influence on my personal musical style, he’s certainly one of my favorite rappers to listen to. Therefore, it was a no brainer for me to accept when I was offered an opening slot on the PA stop of his “Killa Season 2” tour. Continue reading →