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The Key’s Year-End Mania: 2017’s ten best Philly artist portraits

Cayetana | photos by Mary Ferrigno | courtesy of the artist

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, we look at some of the best artist portraits of 2017.

During last year’s end-of-the-year rush, The Key took a brief step away from music itself and instead started digging through the images surrounding it. The result was 2016’s ten best Philly artist portraits — a collection of some of the most visually stunning, ridiculously outlandish or otherwise eye-catching promotional photos from our beloved local musicians.

As you well know, we have no shortage of great music happening here in Philly, and lucky for us so, so many of our favorite artists released new music this year. With those new tunes came a whole new batch of images to take in — they range from the standard artsy but professional press photo to the quirky personality pic and everything in between, and they come from some of music’s best photographers. The best ones, regardless of the forms they take or the themes they use, caught our attention and didn’t let go. Here’s a far from thorough but nonetheless delightful selection of some of 2017’s standouts. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Boot & Saddle’s 2018 Peace & Noise benefit shows to feature Cayetana, The Wonder Years, and more

Cayetana | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

Last January, Philly’s favorite music venue Boot & Saddle staged a three-part series of benefit shows featuring some of Philly’s favorite music acts. Good news: it appears that this series, called Peace & Noise, is becoming an annual event, and this time will feature an even more ambitious lineup of local bands. Happening over three Wednesdays in January, the upcoming shows will benefit local charities The Attic Youth Center, Project HOME and Rock to the Future. Continue reading →

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Cayetana, Ivy Sole and more to play a free fall gig at Villanova’s WXVU

Cayetana | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

There’s a gig happening at Villanova later this month that’s well worth a Thursday night trek out to the suburbs. The folks at the university’s radio station, WXVU, along with the Campus Activities Team, have put together a college show cooler than most college shows with a super-stacked lineup of Philly favorites.

The free gig features a real variety of Philly artists, from DIY four-piece Soft Idiot to psych-blues power trio Ill Fated Natives, singer / songwriter-meets-electropop outfit Aphra to rapper Ivy Sole. Stepping into the headlining slot are punk faves Cayetana, who self-released their incredible sophomore album New Kind of Normal earlier this year and recently tore up the stage at Philly Music Fest. Continue reading →

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Watch Cayetana play live on the Chris Gethard Show

Cayetana | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

It’s been a Philly DIY scene takeover lately on the Manhattan-based sketch comedy program The Chris Gethard Show. Coming up this week: Worriers — who, true, recently moved to Philly from NYC, but still. Last week, it was Mannequin Pussy. And a couple weeks back, South Philly faves Cayetana, preceded at the beginning of the month by aughties synthpunk fave Atom and His PackageContinue reading →

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Listen to Maxwell Stern’s subdued, lo-fi cover Cayetana’s “Mountain Kids” on new EP

Maxwell Stern | photo via maxwellstern.bandcamp.com

Cleveland-turned-Philly artist Maxwell Stern made his move known back in March with his self-released solo debut, There’s A Time For Everything. Now, he’s released a two track EP which includes an original titled “Light Later Lately” and a cover of Cayetana’s “Mountain Kids.” Continue reading →

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After the storm, Waxahatchee debuts Out Of The Storm at Union Transfer

Waxahatchee | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

On Friday night, after an immense storm descended upon Philadelphia, a tour for the ages opened up on Spring Garden street.

Waxahatchee sent their fourth album, Out In The Storm, out into the world, and, both live and on the record, itʼs very simply Katie Crutchfield at her best. Earlier in the day, she played a short set at XPN’s Free at Noon concert, and both performances were raw, and emotive, pulling us deep into her own experiences and machinations, ones that many of us can relate amply to.

Songs like “Recite Remorse,” the live setʼs opener, and “Sparks Fly,” a deeper cut on the record, beg to be sang angrily in the car with the windows down, and before too long, theyʼll be sung back at Crutchfield at live shows too. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mitski at Union Transfer, Cayetana at Skid Row Garage & more

Mitski | photo by Ebru Yildiz | courtesy of the artist
Mitski | photo by Ebru Yildiz | courtesy of the artist

Indie rock goddess Mitski returns to Philadelphia tonight in another round of touring to support her latest album Puberty 2The singer-songwriter has made her way through several local venues from our own World Cafe to First Unitarian Church to PhilaMOCA and more, and this time around she has graduated to headlining Union Transfer. Mitski’s cutting lyrics and powerful voice driven by electric guitar makes for an intimate live performance in both the quiet moments and in the loud no matter the size of the venue. The night will also be a hometown show for Philly-based opener Half Waif who will be on the road with Mitski for the duration of the tour. For more information on the sold out show, click here. Continue reading →

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Scenes from Cayetana’s New Kind of Normal album release celebration

Cayetana | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | <a href="http://racheldelsordophotography.com" target="_blank">racheldelsordophotography.com</a>
Cayetana | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Philadelphia DIY trio Cayetana released their second LP, New Kind of Normalthe XPN Concert Calendar, and celebrated it earlier this month with a big release day throwdown in the basement of the First Unitarian Church. On the bill was Katie Ellen, the new four-piece fronted by Anika Pyle (formerly of Chumped), as well as Shannen Moser (who just joined the roster of Lame-O Records) and Aster More. With flowers and banners decked around the room and everybody on the bill bringing their A-game, it was a wonderful night of music, friendship and community. Check out scenes from the show below, care of our photographer Rachel Del Sordo; Cayetana’s next area dates are at Chameleon Club’s Lizard Lounge on July 8th with Camp Cope and Union Transfer with Waxahatchee on July 14th. More information on both shows can be found at . Continue reading →