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#OpenInPHL: Grande Marshall’s new single “Open”

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Grande Marshall | via twitter.com/GrandeMarshall

Still with us? Allright, awesome – it’s been a solid snow day getting caught up on all the new music in our inbox and Twitter feed. Hat-tip to our buds at The Deli for pointing us to this downbeat new song from Philly rapper Grande Marshall. Back in late 2012, he was picked up by Fool’s Gold Records, and this song is evidently the first single from his next LP My Brother’s Keeper, slated for release this spring. Ride its mellow groove below as the sun starts to set.

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The Best of Philly Music 2013

Photo by Abi Reimold
Photo by Abi Reimold

In September 2010, we started The Key because we wanted to offer the local music scene another platform to reach more audiences. We also started it because starting in the early aughts we noticed something happening here creatively amongst the local music scene that was hadn’t felt in a while – it was growing creatively and the buzz about how good the local scene was becoming more significant.

More new bands were starting than ever before, more music was becoming available for fans and more musicians were looking for ways to connect to fans. To me, the last five years of “the scene” reminds me a lot of the Philly music scene in the mid-Eighties to early Nineties when bands like Electric Love Muffin, Three Times Dope, The Wishniaks, Nixon’s Head, the Goats, the Dead Milkmen, Schoolly D, The Low Road, The Hooters, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, and Tommy Conwell all represented for Philly on both local and international stages. We thought Philly 2012 was a banner year for the local music scene. Guess what? 2013 was even better. Here are some of the best things about the Philly music scene in 2013.

Dr. Dog made their best album yet, B-Room.

Man Man made their best record yet, On Oni Pond.

The Districts signed with Fat Possum. Look for an EP with a couple of old songs and new tunes on January 26th.
Continue reading →

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Get dedicated on the new single from Philly’s Grande Marshall

Grande Marshall

Philly rapper Grande Marshall brings us a new track soon after signing to Fools Gold Records and releasing his full-length album Mugga Man in April. “Dedicated To” doesn’t seem to be dedicated to anyone in particular, but is actually an homage to dedication itself. Smart raps and good vibes – check it out below and download the track from SoundCloud.

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PREMIERE: DRGN King’s official tour mixtape (featuring Dangerous Ponies, Ape School, Grande Marshall and a new DK song)

DRGN King | Photo by Kate Bracaglia
DRGN King | Photo by Kate Bracaglia

Philly’s DRGN King just wrapped up a spring tour, and it left frontman Dominic Angelella sonically inspired. This morning we bring you the premiere of a tour mixtape he compiled, which ranges from folks they shared stages with to hearty van jams. From Dominic:

“Last month, my band Drgn King went on our first tour ever. This isn’t such a momentous occasion for most people but it was very exciting for us. We met some great bands on the way, saw people we knew play mind-blowing music, and listened to a lot of bizarre records in the minivan. This mix focuses on friends of ours we listened to/hung out with/drank with on the trip. hopefully you all enjoy this as much as we do. Hidden somewhere in the mix there’s a Drgn King song that didn’t make Paragraph Nights. It was too quiet.”

Minivan Problems: A Spring Mix by Drgn King

1. “The Sykesville Strawberry Festival” by Boat Water (from Home is a Place To Give)
2. “20 Different Days” by Eros and The Eschaton (from their Bandcamp)
3. “Cocaine and Guns A$AP” by Ape School (from Junior Violence)
4. “Dedicated” by Grande Marshall feat. Saudi Money (from #MUGGAMAN)
5. “Pusher” by Walking Shapes (from Soundcloud)
6. “Sparks” by Dangerous Ponies (from Tenderheart)
7. “Eldersburg Fun Arcade Near The Fashion Bug” by Boat Water (from Home is a Place To Give)
8. “Pretty Lil’ Preacher” by Drgn King (scrapped from Paragraph Nights)
9. “The Iceman” by Norwegian Arms (ripped from Youtube)
10. “Accessory” by Neighbors (from I Love Neighbors)
11. “TLW are Deaf” by Trans Upper Egypt (from North African Bezerk)
12. “Erica Western Teleport” by Emperor X (from Erica Western Teleport)
13. “Sleep It Off” by Asaad feat. Drgn King (from Dirty Middle Class)

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Download “AK47,” an epic collaboration between Philly rappers Asaad and Grande Marshall

This one’s a trip – emerging Philly rapper Asaad (whose creative streak in 2012 impressed me during our Year-in-Review) is gearing up to release his latest project, 006, and its first single is an epic nine-minute meditation on gun violence with two other emerging local hip-hop names in tow. The buzz-making Grande Marshall (who signed to Fool’s Gold Records in the fall) joins along with Wyo for the smooth, mid-tempo, Pulp Fiction-referencing joint that premiered at Complex Magazine today. Listen and download the track below.

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Nikki Volpicelli’s top five local songs that made it easier to move back home

For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, contributing writer Nikki Volpicelli, who lived on the west coast for the past year and some, tells us about five local songs that made it easier to move back home.

I moved back to Philly 140 days ago today and for a while I wasn’t happy about it. I was living in Portland, Oregon for a year and a half. It’s like adult summer camp and it’s a really hard place to leave. Still, it was time to come home, get a job, sign a lease, and ask my parents for money and food. The past six months have been the most challenging and rewarding so far. Here’s a list of special songs that helped me feel really sorry for myself at times and slapped sense into me at other times. These five songs are part of a revolving play list of local music that I can’t get enough of, part of a scene that’s showed me my folly and made it easier to come home from summer camp. Continue reading →

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Newly signed to Fool’s Gold Records, download GrandeMarshall’s mixtape, 800


Philly rapper GrandeMarshall has signed with Fool’s Gold Records, the label founded by DJs A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs. Download Grande’s excellent 800 mixtape here. Over some fantastic trippy samples and stoned out, ethereal beats, Grande’s confident rapping and darkside storytelling plays center stage on 800. Once you’re into the first of the 14 songs on 800, it’s hard to get out; it’s a hypnotic, fascinating and moody musical trip. Below, in the bonus beats department, download Grande’s recent “Girls.”