They’re the kind of band you can’t quite categorize. Philly’s own Elegant Animals has a bit of every genre rolled into a singular style. Just a few weeks ago, they showcased that unconventional sound during their Key Studio Session. Check them out tonight with Kate Faust and Minka at MilkBoy. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and the $8 tickets can be purchased here.
If you want a clear depiction of what modern hip-hop sounds like, take one listen to Curly Castro‘s EP Brody.
Castro’s got an incredible talent of espousing socially-conscious ideas while spitting out rhymes with impeccable energy. Throughout the EP, guitar samples and movie dialogue overlap powerful lyrics, making it irresistible to listen to all six head-bobbing songs.
You can catch Castro with his producer (and fellow MC in the Wrecking Crew) collective, Zilla Rocca, Saturday April 19 at The Fire. The show starts at 9 p.m. and the $10 tickets to the 21+ can be purchased here. If you want more of Castro, check out his The Key Studio Session this past September, at or his solo show a bit away on June 14 (also at The Fire).
Today we bring you our latest Key Studio Sessions compilation, pulling together the best of what we’ve recorded in the final four months of 2013. I’m always psyched about these comps, but The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 9 in particular presents a tremendous variety of musicians from around the Philadelphia region that I’m excited to showcase for you. Bucks County has a healthy showing, from the acoustic alt-punk swagger of Balance and Composure and the retro-grunge of Daylight to the booming Americana of Levee Drivers and the flower child folk stylings of Lily Mae. We trip away into a spacious, 12-minute jam by Chris Forsyth and his Solar Motel Band, rock out to Amanda X and get chillingly meditative with ambient musician and filmmaker Michael James Murray. A Christmas selection from Jersey’s The Classic Brown makes the cut, sultry new jammers from Delaware’s Mean Lady and Central Pa.’s Kate Faust, a fierce bass-backed rap by Curly Castro, an Afro-Cuban jazz rocker from Toy Soldiers, and more. Special thanks to guest engineers Steve Poponi and Mike Kennedy, to Tom Volpicelli at Mastering House for his post-production help, and to production assistants Dan Hutton and Dan Malloy as well as photographers Rachel Del Sordo, Megan Kelly, Laura Lynn, Caitlin McCann, Ally Newbold, Kellie O’Heron, Tony Oppenheim, Matthew Shaver, Mike Trutt and Tiffany Yoon, and videographers Bands in the Backyard and Bob Sweeney for sharing their work this fall. Listen to the 17-song set and get a free download below.
Want more? Get a roundup of our previous free-downloadable Key Studio Sessions compilations after the jump. Continue reading →
This week’s Key Studio Session brought local MC Curly Castro into the studio. The exceptionally expansive session of six tracks and six banter breaks bridges the duality of modern day hip hop: Castro has the rare ability to be both hype man and activist, alternating between the two. He was joined by fellow Philly producer Zilla Rocca, who Castro worked with on last year’s Wu Tang Pulp tribute project. Stream and download “West Indian Rum” below and check out the full session here.
Following his debut single “Away,” new Philly rapper JustXSudan has shared another new track called “A Couple Wishes.” Where “Away” served to introduce himself to his new audience, “A Couple Wishes” takes JustXSudan’s listeners into the reality of his everyday environment. Stream and download the song below and keep an ear out for Sudan’s debut record.
We’ve long been fans of Philadelphia MC Curly Castro, and with good reason. He’s got the rabble-rousing fire of an activist and a strong social consciousness, but he also boasts a hype man’s energy and willingness to bring the party. He’s both Chuck D and Flavor Flav in one human being. And his tracks have range – dancefloor bangers (“West Indian Rum”), fierce Wu Tang-esque cut-ups (“Now they Call Me Castro”), satirical jingles (“Colored Water Fountain”). Earlier this year, Castro dropped his second full-length, Fidel, and many of the tracks performed in the Key Session come from it, but he skips all around his catalog – even to the heralded Wu Tang Pulp project of last year for set closer “Monty Hall Expo.” Joining him in the studio are sidekick Zilla Rocca – and the banter between these two dudes was so hysterical and priceless that it’s all available as downloads below as well – bassist Rah “The Sun God” Sungee and DJ Shane Six-Ten. Listen, download, and get a taste of what’s in store when this crew takes the stage at The Legendary Dobb’s this Sunday, September 22nd.
Today, we’ve got a very interesting release from none60 records. As The Deli reported earlier, UK duo Silent Dust worked Atlanta with experimental rock group Cloudeater to produce this chilled-out electronic track. The song features vocals from Cloudeater as well as back-and-forth rapping from Philly MCs Zilla Rocca and Curly Castro. This patchwork group makes for some dark electronic tones full of ancient historic references in this good-girl-gone-bad track. How this crew came together is a mystery, but here’s hoping they do more collaborations in the future. Check out the single “Machina” below.
Locals Tin Bird Choir bring their soulful folk sound to Steel City Coffeehouse in Phoenixville tonight. It’s a CD release show for the self-proclaimed “barn rock” outfit, whose new record is titled Homesteady. Check them out performing at 30th Street Station a few weeks ago for XPN’s Lunchtime Buskers series. You can find tickets and information here.