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Download The Key Studio Sessions Volume 13 (featuring Bardo Pond, Girlpool, Moosh & Twist and more)

The Key Studio Sessions Volume 13
Photo by Ola Baldych | facebook.com/ola.baldych

I don’t want to gush. But I’d be lying if I said that this latest collection of performances from The Key Studio Sessions wasn’t special to me.

In the past four months, I’ve recorded one of my favorite Philadelphia bands of the past 20 years – shamanistic psychedelic rock masters Bardo Pond, whose performance was a thrill – as well as one of my favorite new Philadelphia bands – the brilliant duo Girlpool, transported locally from LA this winter with a unique sound and an incredible collection of songs in tow. I also recorded a local guitar icon whose work I’ve admired since I first began covering the scene for City Paper 15 years ago, Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner, doing a set of his raga-influenced compositions on the 22-stringed chaturangui. (Brenner also sat in on lap steel with folk outfit Kicking Down Doors.)

And that’s only the beginning. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Family Vacation

Philly indie-pop four-piece Family Vacation will catch your ear with jangley guitars, drifting vocals and a positive psychedelic sound. They were still getting their foothold in the scene when we first met them in 2012; their usual haunts at that time were basement shows and Temple rehearsal rooms. But there was very clearly something there; Luke Harsel’s contemplative lyrics, the nimble guitar licks he swaps with bandmate Cody Bluett, the band’s slightly left-of-center poppiness. Continue reading →

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Testing out new tuneage with Madalean Gauze and Family Vacation at Ortlieb’s

Family Vacation | Photo by John Vettese
Family Vacation | Photo by John Vettese

It was a quiet pre-Labor Day Thursday night and Ortlieb’s wasn’t exactly packed, but that didn’t daunt singer-songwriter Madalean Gauze or indie rock four-piece Family Vacation. The two Philly artists used their time and the warmly receptive group of folks listening to test out new tunes from their respective projects in progress. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Pattern is Movement at Spruce Street Harbor, Drake at Susquehanna Bank Center, Family Vacation at RUBA

Pattern Is Movement
Pattern Is Movement | photo by Mark Schaffer

Spruce Street Harbor Park‘s free summer concert series ends tonight with Pattern is Movement.  The duo of Chris Ward and Andrew Thiboldeaux got home from touring with Wye Oak just a couple of weeks ago, supporting their own new self-titled record out on the road.  The album took years to complete and was introduced slowly to fans by way of a listening party mash-up at PhilaMOCA last year, where it was paired with an edited screening of There Will Be Blood.  The electronic / R&B duo will perform alongside Moon Bounce tonight.  More information can be found here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Juana Molina at Boot and Saddle, Family Vacation at World Cafe Live and Carolina Chocolate Drops @ Strand Capitol PAC

molina
Photo via facebook.com/juanamolina

Tonight, singer-songwriter Juana Molina will play at Boot and Saddle. The Argentina native released her moody sixth album Wed 21 late last year and is known her songs’ complex arrangements and undeniable sincerity. Watch “Eras” below and get tickets here.

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DRGN King, Family Vacation, Big Tusk, Ghost Gum and more scheduled to play show on Record Store Day at Vinyl Revival Records

Photo courtesy of Dan King
Photo courtesy of Dan King

If you were already having a hard time planning out how you were going to celebrate Record Store Day on April 19, things just got a little more complicated.

Vinyl Revival Records in Lansdowne will be kicking off the day not only with limited edition and first releases, but a near all-day free concert event featuring some of the finest in Philly’s underground/punk/indie scene. On the bill, we’ve got Family Vacation, Big Tusk, Ghost Gum, Wild Rompit and DRGN King, who is warming up for a Sunday show opening for New Madrid at Boot and Saddle.

Listen to DRGN King’s most recent single “Solo Harp” below, get a sampling of the other artists on the bill after the jump and check out the full lineup here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Pine Barons / Family Vacation and many more at Northern Liberties Winter Music Fest at The Fire and Dead Meadow at Underground Arts

Courtesy of the artist
Courtesy of the artist

Tonight at The Fire, day two of Northern Liberties Winter Music Festival is in full swing with slated performances by a bunch of local acts including Pine Barons, Family Vacation, Rosu Lup, Keepers, Chelsea Mitchell (of Dirty Dollhouse). Hailing from New Jersey, experimental indie-rockers Pine Barons released their self-titled debut album last year. Last month, the four-piece joined us for a Key Studio Session where their signature harmonies stole the show. Listen to “Smile America” below. North Philly’s Family Vacation released their indie pop album Trails last year. Watch “Mountain Dreams” below and get more details on the event here.

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Northern Liberties Winter Music Festival happening next month at The Fire

Rosu Lup | photo by Doug Seymour Music Photography
Rosu Lup | photo by Doug Seymour Music Photography

The Northern Liberties Winter Music Festival returns to The Fire on February 11th to the 16th.  With six straight days of local music showcases, the annual event will feature over 20 acts covering every genre from hip hop, folk, indie pop and more.  The event kicks off with Grizful Dead on the 11th, a tribute to the Grateful Dead from Griz and friends.  Other bands participating this year include Family Vacation, Rosu Lup, Cee Knowledge, Adrien Reju and Up the Chain.  Tickets and information will be available here.  Check out some of the bands below.

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Watch the Family Vacation auditions in the band’s new “Mountain Dreams” video

FV1Philly indie rock four-piece Family Vacation last night released its first music video, “unveiling the origins of FV” – a rooftop audition with an awkward panel of contenders singing Destiny’s Child and doing the Lindy Hop. That is, of course, until bassist Cody Bluett shows up and blows his future bandmates’ minds to the tune of “Mountain Dreams” from their 2013 album Trails. Watch the video below, and see the band play The Poop Deck on Friday.