Stream a new track from Free Energy (playing North Star Bar on 5/4)

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese
Local feel-good dance rockers Free Energy have premiered a new track called “Wild Life” on their Soundcloud.  The hooky, guitar and piano driven song comes as a b-side to Love Sign single “Girls Want Rock“; 500 copies will be released on vinyl for Record Store Day (Saturday, April 20th).  XPN welcomes Free Energy to North Star Bar with Deap Vally on May 4th.  Tickets and information for the 21+ show can be found here.  Free Energy will also take part in WXPN’s Non-COMMvention at World Cafe Live the following week.  Stream “Wild Life” below and get more information about Record Store Day here.

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The Week So Far: 13 must-read stories on The Key (incl. PIFA, Kurt Vile and Kate Nash)

freeenergyFree Energy will play the North Star Bar on May 4th with Deap Vally [link]

Local rapper Mic Stewart releasing PEACEWORLD on April 23rd, shares his new video for “I’m Not From Brooklyn” [link]

Moon Palace takes part in this week’s Folkadelphia Session, recording a selection of songs with a full band [link]

Dar Williams, Steve Forbert, Stephen Kellogg and more have been scheduled for this summer’s Bryn Mawr Twilight Concert series [link]

Wilkes Barre, PA’s Cherokee Red and their song “Vaya Con Dios” were Monday’s My Morning Download [link]

Sensual soul duo Rhye and their beautiful track “Open” were featured on this week’s XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week [link]

Download a free remix EP from Mock Suns, a local alt-psych trio that opened for Hey Marseilles at Johnny Brenda’s Wednesday night [link]

Weathervane Music shared this month’s Shaking Through episode with Night Panther; get a free download of “Fire” and watch the session video [link]

Anjuli Jospehine stopped by for a Key Studio Session and plays The Tin Angel this Saturday [link]

A student-produced documentary takes a look at the basement and DIY show scene in Philadelphia [link]

The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts kicks-off tonight and will run through April 27th with performances, lectures and exhibitions looking back at historic events in time [link]

Kurt Vile is throwing a parade this Saturday and wants you to be there [link]

Check out photos and a review of Kate Nash‘s appearance at Johnny Brenda’s [link]

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Just Announced: Free Energy playing the North Star Bar in May

Free Energy | Photo by John Vettese
Free Energy | Photo by John Vettese

Philly pop-rock good ol’ boys Free Energy are wrapping up their winter tour in support of the new Love Sign LP, and just announced a new local show – Saturday, May 4th, playing the North Star Bar with L.A.’s Deep Vally. Tickets for the 21+ show are $12 and on sale now. Free Energy will also be playing WXPN’s NonCOMMvention the following week at World Cafe Live. Below, watch the color-splattered video for “Electric Fever” from Love Sign.

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Go H.A.M. or Go Light? Philly favorites take different approaches at SXSW (incl. Grandchildren, Lantern, Free Energy and more)

Free Energy | Photo by John Vettese
Free Energy | Photo by John Vettese

The SXSW PHL showcase wasn’t the only place to see musicians from the Delaware Valley last week. A wide variety of musicians from the region made the trek, with a wide variety of approaches. For instance, Wilmington’s New Sweden took the barn-burning powerhouse approach, not only playing a packed tour on the way down, but jamming in an impressive (and as yet unquantified) number of SXSW showcases into its itinerary between Monday and Saturday. Other artists took it light, by comparison.

Vacationer | Photo by John Vettese
Vacationer | Photo by John Vettese

We caught Kenny Vasoli’s Vacationer in their last show of South By Southwest on Saturday night at the infamous Hype Hotel venue, sponsored by The Hype Machine. It was the breezy electronic pop band’s second of two shows, and the relaxed pace left Vasoli in the most exuberant of exuberant moods during their set.

“This has been the best experience I’ve ever had at South by Southwest,” he reminded the crowd at uber-frequent intervals. Like, seriously, in between every song of their 30-minute set. “It’s been such a great few days, and I’ve got all of you to thank for that.” Back in his old pop-punk band The Starting Line, Vasoli probably got swept awat in the hammering gauntlet that the industry festival can be – hence the easygoing approach this time. He’s not alone. Continue reading →

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Introducing: The Hot Philly 15

Photo of Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee by Rachel Del Sordo
Photo of Kate Crutchfield of Waxahatchee by Rachel Del Sordo

The Hot Philly 15 is a completely subjective list of Philly-made and Philly Local music happenings we love this week. It’s somewhat informed by what we’re playing on the radio, what we’re blogging about and what you’re talking about.

1 – Waxahatchee: With an excellent new album, Cerulean Salt, a fantastic Key Studio Session, a high profile upcoming gig at SXSW with NPR Music, and Best New Music on Pitchfork, we’re in love. You should be too.

2 – The Delfonics – Who would have thought 45 years after the release of “La La Means I Love You,” William Hart would still be kickin’ it? Listen to Adrian Younge Presents The Delfonics here. Download the new song, “Enemies” here.

3 – Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel: Philly Bands heading to SXSW include: DRGN KNG, Blayer Pointdujour and The Rockers Galore, Creepoid, Lantern, Bleeding Rainbow, Norwegian Arms, A Life Once Lost, Dangerous Ponies, The Fleeting Ends, Lushlife, The Kalob Griffin Band, Katie Frank & The Pheromones, Nothing, Cold Fronts, Free Energy, Thee Idea Men. If we forgot you, sorry. We never got your press release.

4 – Chill Moody: We want him to be the mtvU Freshmen Video of the Week. Vote for him here.

The Lawsuits | Photos by Matthew Smith | Montage by Bryan Schreck

5 – The Lawsuits Key Studio Session – listen to it here.

6 – Heavy Rotation: The Fleeting Ends release their poptastical new album, Our Eyes Are Peeled, on March 22nd. It’s getting lots of advance play in the office here.

7 – The Hotbox Studio (video) Sessions recently kicked back into action with Cheers Elephant and Grandchildren

8 – Tayyib Ali dropped his new mixtape, Keystone State Of Mind 2. Download it here.

9 – Tara Murtha’s Philly Weekly cover story on the closing of Fluid. Read it here.

10 – Stereogum premiered a new jam from our friends Free Energy. Download it here.

11 – Questlove and D’Angelo get down at the Brooklyn Bowl here. Okay, so the Brooklyn Bowl isn’t Philly. Neither is D’Angelo. But Quest is.

12 – Mike Slo-Mo Brenner gets all world music on our asses with a new collection of Indian slide guitar music he recorded in Calcutta.

WD13 – Duet of the moment: Juston Stens and Jessica Lea Mayfield, “Strange Love.” Download it here.

14 – Entertainment Weekly debuted the new Purling Hiss video for the song “Mercury Retrograde” here. It’s psychedelic, baby.

15 – Work Drugs: The Philly smooth-fi music machine drops yet another new single, “Sunset On High Street.” Download it here and don’t miss them tomorrow night with Night Panther at Kung Fu Necktie.

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Download a new Free Energy song, read a book review by singer Paul Sprangers

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese
Life-affirming Philly popsters Free Energy contributed a new song to the soundtrack of Crap Kingdom, a new young adult novel by comedian DC Pierson. The book tells the story of a teenager who, per the Crap Kingdom website, “learns he’s the Chosen One in a magical kingdom, and then learns that the magical kingdom he’s the Chosen One in… SUCKS.” Free Energy singer Paul Sprangers wrote a review of the book for Stereogum, and he says that not only is it a lively read, it’s a covert slam on consumerism in 21st century America.

This story is wonderfully entertaining and written at a level appropriate for young readers, however there is a darkness in the content that will the sting the hearts of older, more cynical readers who might realize that they’ve inadvertently sacrificed their personal dreams and fantasies for the crude, fleeting satisfactions of the material world.

Read Sprangers’ entire book review, and download the song “Get Ready” at Stereogum.