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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sigur Ros at Mann Center, Elvis Costello at The Tower Theater, Harmony Woods at Space 1026

Sigur Ros | photo via artist’s Facebook page

Icelandic rock royalty Sigur Ros are gracing us with their presence at the Mann Center tonight. Get swept away in their myriad of hits — whether in Icelandic or the band-created musical language of Hopelandic (like c’mon, how cool is that)– for an atmospheric, open-air performance of dynamic, otherworldly soundscapes. Find more info on tickets at the XPN Concert Calendar, and listen to “Festival,” a.k.a. one of the most beautiful songs to ever exist, below. Continue reading →

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Watch Harmony Woods perform Nothing Special tracks at WTSR Underground Live Session

Harmony Woods | photo by Emily Dubin | thedubyscoop.com | via harmonywoods.bandcamp.com

We’ve been pretty fairly hyped about Harmony Woods recently released debut album, Nothing Special, over here at The Key. We profiled the band early this week and we’ll be there at their album release party at JJ’s Diner. So it’s no surprise we’re also pretty fairly hyped about the band’s recent stop at WTSR Studios. Continue reading →

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Who is Harmony Woods? Getting to know the most exciting new artist in Philly DIY

Harmony Woods | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Harmony Woods | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

If you ask Sofia Verbilla, she’ll tell you she’s no good at onstage banter.

It gives her a not super comfortable feeling, a sentiment shared by just about any honest musician you’ll talk to. Her nerves are already frazzled enough getting up there with her guitar and performing; add in expectations for public speaking that’s witty, chill and conversational but also profesh enough to keep the show moving and remind you that, oh by the way, there’s merch in the back…it’s just daunting. Awkward. Verbilla is not the sort to toss around the word “hate,” so let’s just say the closest form of active dislike you can get.

I would argue that the frontwoman of Philadelphia basement scene favorites Harmony Woods is fantastic at banter, and here’s an illustration. It’s March, her band is playing Underground Arts for an International Women’s Day benefit; a tuning break is needed, and the slight silence that descended during the last song lingers. (Verbilla has that effect on crowds.) As bartenders dump ice buckets in the wings, she asks, “So, does anybody have any jokes?” A pause. “I know one. THE PATRIARCHY.” She blows a raspberry into the mic and gives a thumbs-down; the audience gathered round the stage laughs, and the band launches into another song.

Really, everything about it was perfect. The right thing to say for this crowd, at this event. (Or, let’s face it, in general.) The timing was spot-on. It was funny. And it got the gig from point A to point B. When it comes to banter, as with most things music-related, Verbilla is a natural. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Pick: Harmony Woods at The Pharmacy

Harmony Woods | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Harmony Woods | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Things have changed a lot for Sofia Verbilla of Harmony Woods over the past six months. For starters, hair has gone from sky blue to bright red — though in either case, she’s relatively easy to spot in the crowd at a show. More important than the visual changes, however, are the sonics. Verbilla started the project last as a place to collect her contemplative acoustic songwriting — a mix of spacious guitar leads and her captivating vocals, which shake with equal parts emotion and confidence. Her early gigs were played in this unadorned fashion, either solo acoustic or solo electric, but as she performed more, she began to assemble a live band, which totally shined last month when it played the Punk Talks benefit gig at Everybody Hits.  Continue reading →

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Local bands team up for holiday benefit show at Everybody Hits

grayling
Grayling | photo by Kim Woodcock | courtesy of the artist

This holiday season will bring together several local musicians for a good cause. The Holiday Benefit Show at Everybody Hits, which features emo/pop artist Grayling, fun punk duo Coping Skills, folk/punk songwriter Curtis Cooper (with a full band), and Zoe Allaire of DIY darlings Kississippi on the bill, will take place at Girard Avenue space on Wednesday, December 28th with proceeds going to Punk Talks.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: New Sound Brass at Johnny Brenda’s, Harmony Woods at Milkboy, Atmosphere at TLA and more

New Sound Brass | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN
New Sound Brass | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN

Johnny Brenda’s is getting a taste of Bourbon Street tonight with headliners New Sound Brass. Expect ample doses of funk and soul with a touch of rock if they happen to perform one of their renowned covers of tracks by powerhouses like Black Sabbath and Bon Jovi to name a few. The Key was able to get up close and personal with these Philly musicians at a studio session at the end of September. Country/rock outfit Jim Mitchell and the Repeat Offenders are also scheduled to play tonight at Johnny Brenda’s. Check out the WXPN Concert Calendar for more information on this 21+ show, and listen to the audio from their session at The Key below. Continue reading →