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Stop The Presses: Hop Along and Waxahatchee to headline Connor Barwin’s 3rd annual Make The World Better Benefit at Union Transfer

Hop Along | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo racheldelsordophotography.com
Hop Along | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo racheldelsordophotography.com

Philadelphia Eagle Connor Barwin’s Make The World Better Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to “enriching the lives of Philadelphia’s youth by providing safe and fun places for artistic and athletic development,” just announced the line-up for their 3rd annual fundraiser…and it’s a fantastic Philly double-hitter of Waxahatchee and Hop Along. Continue reading →

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Beyond the Bars: The Districts, Queen of Jeans and more rip it up for a good cause

The Districts | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/
The Districts | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/

I could sit here and regale you with stories and stats about the Prison-Industrial Complex all day, but is that going to do anything? Even for the most #woke among us, it’s hard to know where to start to deal with something as massively unassailable as a for-profit prison system that funnels young lives straight into jails. But—much like music—it’s best to start with stories. Sunday night at World Cafe Live, Philly organization Beyond the Bars hit home with a massive benefit show incorporating both to strike back.

By going into prisons and teaching music to incarcerated youth, Beyond the Bars staff and volunteers are able to bring hope and respite to members of society that most people have already written off as a loss. “Even though they’re in prison, they’re still people, man. Just people,” said Bars staff member Christopher Thornton. Continue reading →

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The Doctor Will See You Now: Dr. Dog take on The Fillmore

Dr. Dog | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo racheldelsordophotography.com
Dr. Dog | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo racheldelsordophotography.com

It’s not often that a band can achieve a certain cult-status in their own lifetime before fading into either cheesiness or obscurity. A road diverged in the woods for Dr. Dog, and instead of falling by the wayside or chalking the whole thing off, they became living Philadelphia legends. Coming up on a decade and a half of jamming hard, the road warriors returned from a long haul and celebrated in style on Thursday night at The Fillmore—one of the few Philly venues they’d left to conquer, by virtue of its youth. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Six Philly Concerts You Can’t Miss for the month of March

eryn allen kane
Eryn Allen Kane | photo by Anthony Trevino | courtesy of the artist

Springtime is right around the corner, and you know what that means: Not having to wear a coat to venues. With a lot of great offerings as the spring concert season ramps up – including our Red Bull Sound Select Gig with Good Old War on March 17th, and Bonnie Raitt at Verizon Hall on March 24th – Here are The Key’s six can’t-miss Philly shows for March, in chronological order. Continue reading →

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Hop Along to reissue Get Disowned, go on tour with Dr. Dog

hop along
Hop Along | photo by Rachel Del Sordo | www.racheldelsordophotography.com/

Hop Along has announced that the vinyl repressing of their 2012 full band debut Get Disowned will be out on March 4th via Saddle Creek (the same folks who released last year’s excellent Painted Shut). We first heard inklings of this reissue back in the summer, when fans were asked to vote on vinyl color (dark blue won) around the same time the local band played the XPoNential Music Festival. The announcement comes in tandem with some live dates on the road with Dr. Dog, including a March 17th show at The Fillmore.

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Bruce Warren’s Best of Philly Music 2015

Queen of Jeans
Queen of Jeans | photo by Kelly Kurteson

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2015 incredible. Today, WXPN program director Bruce Warren shares five musicians she found on Spotify in 2015.

This past Thanksgiving The Key’s John Vettese wrote about the 15 Philly songs we’re thankful for. The songs were just a small snapshot of by Philly’s vibrant music scene, represented by the likes of Hop Along, Jazmine Sullivan, Kurt Vile, Agudos Clef, Hemming, Hezekiah Jones, Lithuania, Lushlife, Jill Scott, and others. What stood out to me in Vettese’s article then, and what’s stood out to all of us at The Key for the last several years is how wonderfully diverse, and prolific, the music scene in Philly continues to be. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year End-Mania: Ten videos not to miss on VuHaus

Kamasi Washington | Photo by John Vettese
Kamasi Washington | Photo by John Vettese

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2015 incredible. Today, XPN Program director Bruce Warren recaps ten favorite WXPN videos from VuHaus.

We’ve put together a playlist of some of the best performances on VuHaus, a new music video website featuring videos from public radio stations around the country. Alongside XPN, contributors include WFUV in New York, KCRW in Los Angeles, KUTX in Austin, Oregon Public Radio, Mountain Stage, World Cafe and others.

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Watch the 5 most popular World Cafe videos of the year

Hop Along | Photo by Kelsey Stanger
Hop Along | Photo by Kelsey Stanger

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2015 incredible. Today, XPN Program director Bruce Warren recaps five standout videos from the World Cafe YouTube channel.

Over two hundred bands were featured on World Cafe this year, many of whom have been featured on the show’s YouTube channel. Dawes, Hop Along, The Milk Carton Kids, Father John Misty and Kamasi Washington were the top five most-viewed performances of the year, with many more including Brandi Carlile, Josh Ritter, Son Little, George Ezra, Joss Stone and Mac DeMarco all delivering incredible performances.

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The Key’s Top 15 Albums of 2015

The albums that moved us in 2015
This is the music that moved us in 2015

It was a year of powerful records. Of loud guitars and brazen beats, of electronic tapestries and vocal abandon. It was a year of personal introspection and rallying cries for social change. It was a year when music felt inextricably tied to the world around us. When it felt more important than it had in a long time. Like we’ve said before, to narrow 12 months of incredible music down to a “top 15 albums of 2015” list is to exclude dozens of other worthy releases. This year, we had 26 writers and photographers cite a collective 82 albums as their favorites – you can view everybody’s top fives here, and I know fully well that had I asked The Key crew to give me top tens, I’d be easily looking at quadruple the titles. But we’ll go deep when our annual Year-End Mania roundup launches tomorrow. Today we take the long view and explore what rose to the surface of consensus in 2015, from the expressive moments of Kamasi Washington, Joanna Newsom and Jamie xx, to the pop permutations of Carly Rae Jepsen and Grimes , rock and/or roll from Courtney Barnett and Alabama Shakes, Philly representation from The Districts, Waxahatchee and of course, Hop Along‘s incredible breakout LP Painted Shut, which alongside the great Kendrick Lamar rose right to the top of our voting. Let’s recap the year. 
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