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The Week So Far: 12 must-read stories on The Key (incl. Bleeding Rainbow, Kurt Vile, Attia Taylor and Pissed Jeans)

Photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Happy Valentine’s Day from Helen Leicht – get free downloads of Philly Local love songs [link]

Philly punks Pissed Jeans ravage the Key Studio Sessions [link]

Indiepop five-piece Catnaps releases a prom-themed music video for “Novelty” [link]

WXPN will broadcast Sunday’s Mumford & Sons concert from the SBC in Camden [link]

Bleeding Rainbow‘s new LP Yeah Right is the subject of the Unlocked showcase [link]

Philly’s Abi Reimold is spotlighted in a Folkadelphia session [link]

See photos from Toro y Moi‘s appearance at Union Transfer [link]

Five Things That Inspired Mary Lattimore’s Debut Album, The Withdrawing Room [link]

Watch local actors, fashion designers and musicians Khari Mateen and Elegant Animals collaborate in a video called The Living [link]

Explore Philadelphia with Dave Hartley of Nightlands and BlackBook Magazine [link]

Kurt Vile announces a headlining Union Transfer show, shares a free download [link]

Philly space-rocker Brendan Codey shares a new track called “Twin Chimney” [link]

UK experimental trio Beak> plays Underground Arts on a snowy night [link]

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A cheeky Beak> electrified Underground Arts (photos, review)

Experimental electronic fans got a beat-heavy workout (and a bit of ribbing) when Beak> made its Philadelphia debut at Underground Arts this weekend. Comprised of drummer Geoff Barrow (the multi-instrumentalist in Portishead), Billy Fuller of Fuzz Against Junk and Matt Williams of Team Brick, the band took the stage to a couple hundred fans who ventured out during the snow on Friday night. Barrow make cheeky remarks between songs about the crowd’s size and its chattiness – and to his point, some segments of folks in the room were kind of overly conversational – but when the trio launched into songs from their self-titled debut, it was focused and electrifying.

“Yatton” had a sinewy pulse, all nerves and wires and tension akin to krautrock forefathers Neu!. “Eggdog” was more of a midtempo mood piece, swelling and phasing in warm ambient synthesizer tones and mumbled echo-delay, while “Liar” had a 90s arty-eletro feel to it, akin to the way Orbital blended poppy synth patches with tonal dissonence. “Elevator” brought the psych-kraut vibes back up to the level of a Can-style freakout, at which point one dude watching from stage right was quite literally freaking out, jumping up and down, dancing and waving his arms at Williams. Maybe the crowd seemed small compared to whatever concert halls Beak> is used to playing back home in Bristol, but hopefully it was clear by night’s end how appreciative the bunch was. Check out scenes from the show in the photo gallery above.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Beak> at Underground Arts, The Music of John Denver at Keswick, Former Belle at MilkBoy, Aesop Rock at Union Transfer, Willy Mason at World Cafe Live

BEAK>’s sound isn’t far from that of its British contemporaries Hot Chip. Dark melodies and lyrics are delivered with electronic flourishes. The band’s first two albums could be described as dance-ably sad. Fortunately, the reverse (being sadly danceable) isn’t true. Their success is due in part to BEAK> being something of a super group. The trio is comprised of Geoff Barrow (producer of Portishead), Billy Fuller (of Fuzz Against Junk) and Matt Williams (of Team Brick). The group came together officially in 2009 and has released two albums and an EP to date. BEAK> has also had a chance to sharpen its (…beak?) live show with recent international tours. They’re currently on the road again and playing our own Underground Arts tonight with Instamatic. Tickets and information for the 21+ show are available here. Below, stream BEAK>’s track “Mono.”

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