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Philly Music 101: The basics everyone needs to know about the Philadelphia scene right now

Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com
The Districts | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com

Philadelphia is a city of many wonders: a buzzing food scene, an established craft beer culture, and a parade of historical landmarks. But one aspect of our city that we are particularly passionate about is our magnificent local music community and all that is has to offer. Here at The Key, we often focus on the particulars of our scene – where artists will be playing each night, brand new local releases, etc. – so much so that we can forget how overwhelming it can be for newcomers to get their bearings.

So for those of you having trouble finding where to start, we are introducing this new Philly Music 101 series as your guide through the wonderful world of the Philadelphia music scene: all of its passionate, loving members, from artists to venues to studios and more. It’s meant to help new fans navigate the scene as much as emerging musicians looking to break in and behind-the-scenes folks trying to get their start. We hope it will illuminate just what makes it so damn exciting for music lovers to live here. To kick it off, here is a by-no-means-complete overview of the different pieces of the Philadelphia music scene that have come together to make up its sturdy foundation. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Hop Along and Ohio’s The Sidekicks playing The First Unitarian Church on 9/3

Pretty awesome news from the Guild Shows crew: Philly’s Hop Along and Columbus four-piece The Sidekicks – who toured Europe together this spring – will reconvene here in Philly to headline the basement of the First Unitarian Church on September 3rd. Tickets for the all-ages show are $10 in advance, $12 at the door and go on sale this Friday the 19th at noon via R5 Productions, and more information can be found at the show’s Facebook event page. Below, listen to tracks from each of the bands and watch an interview with Hop Along frontwoman Frances Quinlan filmed on the European tour.

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Just Announced: Little Big League’s album release show at The Fire on 7/25

little big league This just in from the good folks at Guild Shows: Philly indie four-piece Little Big League is celebrating the release of its debut full-length, These Are Good People, by headlining a 21+ show at The Fire on Thursday, July 25th. Also on the bill are Cruiser, Slow Animal and Gunk. More information at the show’s Facebook event page. The album is out on Tiny Engines Records on August 6th, but if you pre-order the LP, you get an immediate download; so do that here, and below listen to a few tracks from the record.

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Instagram Recap: Who is #GUITARCULES and why do they rule so hard?

Instagram by @philamoca

Last night the gang at Guild Shows kicked off their month curating the Tuesday Tune-Out series at PhilaMOCA with a performance like few have ever seen. Not much was known about GUITARCULES going into it – we couldn’t find any videos of this monster riff-centric supergroup on YouTube or Vimeo – and the images that exploded across my Instagram feed last night gave but a few other clues.

One of the players was clearly Greg Labold, of BandName and other musical pursuits. The band wears brightly colored masks that fall somewhere between The Residents and Slipknot. They released an album to Bandcamp yesterday afternoon. And, well, it looks and sounds like totally ridiculous mayhem and the performance clearly ruled hard.

My curiosity piqued, I was able to contact the drummer of the group – who preferred to remain anonymous – and they described the show over email as “pretty fucking outrageous” – which, I’d expect no less of a group who’s lineup consists of 4 guitarists, 2 bass players, 1 drummer and guest percussion. “We played way too long,” the drummer writes. “Eric [Bresler, programming director at PhilaMOCA] was very patient with us though. haha. We had 20 minutes of music and our set was an hour including a 25 minute guitar solo competition.” Day-em. Crank the album below, check out a selection of Instagram photos after the jump, and look for more from GUITARCULES at their Facebook page.

Continue reading →

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Guest VJ Nick Fanelli previews Guild Shows’ Tuesday Tune-Out (kicks off tonight at PhilaMOCA)

AVA House, immortalized in a Menzingers song
AVA House, immortalized in a Menzingers song, and stomping grounds for the Guild Shows crew

This month marks the one-year anniversary of PhilaMOCA‘s Tuesday Tune-Out film-and-music showcase, and taking the curator’s reins are current heavy hitters in Philly’s DIY promotions scene. Guild Shows have developed quite the roster of ass-kicking concerts in spaces as far-flung as West Philly’s Golden Tea House (site of March’s Waxahatchee album release party), The Barbary (the Frankford Avenue punk refuge) and The Fire (when they host all-ages shows). Their musical tastes are as broad as their locations, though definitely rooted to some degree in in DIY punk rock. We asked Guild’s Nick Vanelli to weigh in on this month’s Tune-Out via our regular Guest VJ spotlight. All shows happen at 8 p.m., are $5 at the door and are all ages.

From Nick:
We strived to create a series that was full of unique shows- bands or concepts you’ll rarely see- that also provided a true taste of what The Guild does. All four shows feature musicians who regularly play on our shows performing in non-traditional formats, and we are really excited for all of our super talented friends to shine in new ways. Continue reading →