Just Announced: Swearin’ at the First Unitarian Church

Swearin’ | photo by Ali Donahue | courtesy of the artist

One of the best Philly bands there ever was will return home to the basement of the First Unitarian Church this fall. Local punk/DIY scene favorites Swearin’ rose to acclaim before breaking up in 2015, and for a while it seemed like the band was done for good. But last fall, news broke of their unexpected reunion, and they opened a few shows on Superchunk’s recent tour, including a stop at Union Transfer in April. As vocalist/guitarist Kyle Gilbride wrote in a press release, “Sometimes a band takes on a life of its own, and it seems this one came back to us when it was ready, and in its new form, to stay for the foreseeable future.” Continue reading →


Just Announced: Big Thief will play First Unitarian Church in this fall

Big Thief | Photo: Shervin Lainez
Big Thief | photo by Shervin Lainez | courtesy of the artist

Brooklyn-based indie rock band Big Thief announced their fall tour and are set to appear at Philly’s First Unitarian Church in October. The tour announcement comes on the heels of Big Thief’s recently-released experimental EP, Wide Winged Bird. The EP was made while on tour from summer 2015 to spring 2017, and contains ambient background sounds, field recordings, poems, and songs intertwined through out the 30-minute experience. Continue reading →


Join Roger Harvey & Family for an intimate side chapel gig

Roger Harvey | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

The basement of the First Unitarian Church has been home to members of the Philly punk scene for longer than anyone can remember. But occasionally, when a show calls for a quieter, more intimate sound, musicians emerge from the basement hall and into the chapel itself — the church-y part of the Church, if you will.

That’s just what Roger Harvey plans to do next month — in fact, he’s reserved the Church’s smallest performance space, the side chapel, for a solo show with a stacked opening lineup of local musicians. The show, happening April 20, comes as the latest installment of the Roger Harvey & Family tour, which has previously made stops in Pittsburgh and Chicago with different “family” members joining for each lineup. Continue reading →


Damon & Naomi and more will honor the late Tom Rapp of Pearls Before Swine this Saturday at the First Unitarian Church

Tom Rapp | photo by Naomi Yang

To fans of eclectic underground 1960’s / 70’s band Pearls Before Swine, Tom Rapp‘s voice is a familiar one. The musician, who passed away last month at the age of 70, formed the band in 1966 and went on to release nine albums, both under the band name and his own, before leaving music to pursue law in 1973. Continue reading →


The Week Ahead: Kelela, Matt Cappy, Combo Chimbita, Diet Cig and more

combo chimbita
Combo Chimbita | photo by Itzel Alejandra Martinez | courtesy of the artist

Even on a slow week, you’ve still got fourteen amazing concerts to choose from — that’s how you know you’re living in a great music city. From Kelela at the TLA tonight to Greg Sover at the Sellersville on Sunday, here’s what’s going on in and around Philly over the next seven days. Continue reading →


Just Announced: Albert Hammond Jr. of The Strokes will play the First Unitarian Church

Albert Hammond Jr. | Photo by Jason McDonald |

The Strokes’ guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. just made a bunch of announcements — first, he has a new solo album coming out in March called Francis Trouble. Second, he’s shared the first song from the album, “Muted Beatings.” Third, and most importantly, if you ask us, he’s heading out on an extensive tour that includes a stop right here in Philly. Hammond will appear at the First Unitarian Church on March 30. Continue reading →


Listen to Girlpool’s new track “Picturesong” ahead of next weekend’s Church show

Girlpool | photo by Koof Ibi Umoren for WXPN

Our favorite former Philadelphians Girlpool return to town for a show at the First Unitarian Church next weekend, and if that wasn’t enough good news, they’ve also released a brand-new track. “Picturesong” comes as a collaboration with Blood Orange‘s Dev Hynes, who lent not only backing vocals, but keyboard, guitars and mixing to the song. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Shamir at the First Unitarian Church, Work Drugs at Boot & Saddle, Leif Vollebekk at World Cafe Live, and many, many more

Shamir | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Recent Philly-via-Vegas transplant Shamir closes out a busy year of touring with a hometown show at the Church tonight, following the release of their new album Revelations last month. Shamir’s vibrant and introspective pop songs touch on everything from queer identity to being a millennial, all with a blunt and witty honesty. Read The Key’s interview with Shamir here, watch the video for “90’s Kids” below and find more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Just Announced: Balance and Composure to play 10th anniversary show at the Church in January

Balance & Composure | Photo by Sydney Schaefer

Somehow, it’s already time to start planning what shows to attend in 2018. Local favorites Balance and Composure make it easy, with the announcement that they’ll be kicking off the new year with a tour celebrating their 10th anniversary. The Doylestown alt-rockers formed in 2007 and have released three full-lengths, including last year’s Light We Made. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: mewithoutYou at TLA; Slaughter Beach, Dog at the First Unitarian Church

mewithoutYou | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN |

In recent years, Upper Darby art punk favorites mewithoutYou have toured in celebration of every milestone they’ve hit — this time it’s the 15th anniversary of [A–>B] Life, and they’ve hit the road to play the album in its entirety. Tonight’s stop at the TLA also includes a performance from Pianos Become The Teeth. Last time mewithoutYou played a show in town was for the 15th anniversary of Brother, Sister — read The Key’s review here. Find tickets and more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →