Tonight’s Concert Picks: Steve Gunn at Johnny Brenda’s, The Felice Brothers at Mauch Chunk Opera House, Cough Cool at Kung Fu Necktie

Steve Gunn

Indie singer-songwriter/guitar virtuoso Steve Gunn is playing a record release show at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The New York musician and his band are releasing Time Off on June 25th, not long after finishing up a tour with Kurt Vile. Gunn has a classic, old-soul sound to his music, along with a lot of solo acoustic jamming out – all of which you can hear in his recent studio session with The Key. Below, check out Gunn performing in Philly earlier this year. Tonight’s show will also include performances by Endless Boogie and Psalmships. Tickets and information can be found here.

Americana/Folk-rock outfit The Felice Brothers will be performing at the Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe. Their last album, God Bless You Amigo, is available only online. It is an effort to raise some money after the band’s home and equipment were almost destroyed in a hurricane, among other unfortunate events you can read about on the album page. Below, you can listen to a song off of the new album called “Lincoln Continental.” Tickets and information can be found here.

Another album release party – local poppy fuzz rock outfit Cough Cool is dropping their album 29 this weekend and is celebrating with a show at the Kung Fu Necktie! The album is already streaming on soundcloud, which you can check out below. Tickets are to be purchased at the door, but you can find some more information here.


Cough Cool’s 29 is now streaming on Bandcamp (playing Kung Fu Necktie 6/22)

you can stream ‘29’ in full. also read some words at the fader.<br /><br />

We cover Cough Cool a lot on The Key and it’s not just because it’s a local band.  The group’s fuzzy brand of pop-rock is incredibly catchy, combining electronic sounds with distorted guitars and hazy vocals. Today, Dan Svizney (the man behind Cough Cool) is streaming his new album, 29, in its entirety on Soundcloud.  After hearing the album, it’s incredible to see how Cough Cool manages to create such diverse songs with such a unified ambiance.  Check and the full stream below and be sure to catch Cough Cool’s record release show next week at Kung Fu Necktie on June 22nd.


New Music: Cough Cool’s “Misfits 4×4” via Impose Magazine (playing Kung Fu Necktie on 6/22)

cough-cool.30Things you should know about Philly / Jersey noise-pop outfit Cough Cool. It’s the brainchild of Dan Svizney, who you see at right in the photo above. He’s a snarky and oft-hysterical twitterer. He likes filtering pop/rock tendancies through electronic drumbeats and reverby ambiance. He’s got a new LP coming out on Bathetic Records called 29, and the songs that we’ve heard from it are good stuff. And he took his band name from an old Misfits song. As the folks at Impose Magazine pointed out when premiering his newest track today, his namesake gets a shoutout in “Misfits 4×4.” It begins as a pitter-pattering, distant romp and gradually ramps up the energy – in a Suicide by-way-of Crystal Stilts way. Give it a listen below, and check out Cough Cool’s album release show for 29 at Kung Fu Necktie on June 22nd.


Listen to “Cross,” a song from Cough Cool’s new LP 29

Maybe it’s the flowers on the album art, maybe it’s the holiday today, but Dan Svizney sounds positively romantic on “Cross,” a song from Cough Cool‘s upcoming release on Bathetic Records. “You hold your heart, I’ll hold your hand,” he warmly sings. A surprising turn of events! But not too much of a turn, since this song still chugs along to the fuzzy guitar tones and pumping industrial beat we’ve come to expect and dig from Svizney. The album will be called 29, it’s due out in May, and we expect it will be markedly different from Ryan Adams’ 29. Listen to “Cross” below.


Cough Cool, Brendan Codey and more appear on experimental music holiday comp

If you like Christmas but don’t necessarily get into the more cheesy / campy / sentimental elements of Christmas music, this might just be the compilation for you. Put together by Vancouver musician Crystal Dorval, who performs as White Poppy, Whiteout is a chilling, windswept set of lo-fi experimental rock – including two of Philadelphia’s own tape-hiss heads. Listen to Cough Cool‘s “Joy to the World” and Brendan Codey‘s “I’ll be Home for Christmas” below, and stream / download the entire set here.


Does cover art make the album? (plus 10 great album covers from the Philly scene in 2012)

Hideaway Music in Chestnut Hill uses album art as wall art

We can all agree (I hope) that the old “can’t judge a book by its cover” adage applies just as easily to albums. From Magical Mystery Tour to Rumours, The Talking Heads to The Smashing Pumpkins, and even this year’s standout Cat Power LP Sun, there’s a rich history of great music hiding behind heinous artwork. So does album art matter?

I think no and yes. “No” in that it’s about the music, not the packaging. In a world of digital listening, we interact with the songs themselves more immediately than ever before – there’s not that barrier of a bizarro / ugly sleeve to “get over,” in the event you find the sleeve bizarro and / or ugly. But also, “yes” in that cover art is still a way an musician represents themselves and their work. It may no longer be a first impression, but it is an impression, and you can almost look at it as an indicator of how much care they put into their overall project. And even on a more practical end, sure, physical releases no longer drive sales, but they are prized by collectors – the 180 gram vinyl editions and so forth are the sort of thing where people use the download card, then frame the LP cover and hang it on their wall. Would you really want to have Grimes’ frantic scribbled acid freakout hanging in your living room? (Okay, maybe you do.)

This week, UK music and culture blog The 405 listed their worst and best album covers of the year – lively reads, always – and it got me thinking about the role album art plays in 2012. Do you ignore it? Do you (like me) get antsy when your iTunes doesn’t have artwork for all its mp3s? What was the worst decade for album covers? (Hint: the 90s.) Which album covers blew you away this year? Which made you wretch? Discuss in the comments section, and check out some standout Philadelphia album covers from 2012 after the jump. Continue reading →


Get a taste of Cough Cool’s upcoming record 29 with “Cross”

Resident Philly fuzz-popper Dan Svizeny, who had gone dub when we last heard from him, just posted a new track to Soundcloud under his Cough Cool moniker, and its a return to the chug-a-lug pop tones of Lately, the excellent LP he released earlier this year on Bathetic Records. This track, however, comes from 29, his forthcoming release on Bathetic. No due date has been announced, but you can probably just listen to this song on repeat until then and it’ll be just fine.


Listen to Cough Cool’s Dan Svizeny go dub on “King Three”

Whether he goes by Cough Cool or his given name Dan Svizeny, the one sure thing about this Philly experimental music dude is there’s never a sure thing. He has extensive, eclectic musical tastes, and over the past few years has dabbled in noise-rock shredders, fuzzy pop songs, electrobeat soundscapes and weird ambient excursions. When he played at the First Unitarian Chapel last year, he debuted the working stages of a quirky new lo-fi dub sound, something that we see in full effect in the new track released today through the No Kings tape label. The groovin’ “King Three” is the second track on Svizney’s new Zero, released under his own name. Here’s what the label had to say:

What sounds like a big stack of old scratched 45s the gets glitch + EQ treatment, with the delay feedback cranked, part collage, part remix, in service of the listener. Your favorite parts from unknown songs, efficiently edited and repeated plus Dan’s own grey matter shredded on top. Purchase comes with my personal guarantee that, with one listen, you will have some combination of at least three of these tracks permanently burned into your thoughts.

Check out “King Three” below; the cassette is available for mailorder here. For more, give a listen to Cough Cool’s excellent LP Lately from earlier this year.


Tonight: Philly space-rock allstars take over Kungfu Necktie

Hippy Johnny, clockwise from upper right: Brendan Codey, Bennett Daniels, Dan Svizeny and Yohsuke Araki

If you’re a fan of jangley guitars, 60s psych-pop songwriting, and generous helpings of reverb, Kungfu Necktie is the place to be tonight. The Fishtown venue is hosting a solid lineup of local space-rock, beginning with the live debut of The Interest Group, the latest project from Philly’s Yohsuke Araki; the band received a spot of Pitchfork love this spring for its recent single “The Boys and The Girls.” Also on the bill is JRG, the acronymonious stage name of Julien Rossow-Greenberg, formerly of the band Arches; his label Treetop Sorbet has been a big proponent of breezy, cloudy pop tones. Rounding out the bill is Hippy Johnny, an allstar roster featuring Araki on guitar, Dan Svizeny of Cough Cool on drums, Brendan Codey on guitar and vocals and Bennett Daniels from Codey’s band on bass. Stream some music from each act below – a song from The Interest group, an EP from JRG and some teasers from Hippy Johnny – and as KFN’s calendar advises, “remember to scrape your melted face up off the floor at the end of the show.” Hippy Johnny, JRG and The Interest Group play Kungfu Necktie, 1250 North Front St., tonight at 7:30 p.m. Admission to the all-ages show is $5.