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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Julie Miller’s Top 5 ICYMI Philly records

Abi Reimold
Abi Reimold | photo via www.facebook.com/AbiReimold

Year-End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2014 awesome. In this installment, The Key’s editorial assistant Julie Miller shares five local records you might have missed the first time around.

Philadelphia dominated music this year. The War on Drugs and Strand of Oaks grew exponentially with records that topped almost every year-end list published so far; Modern Baseball led a crew of Philly bands down to Florida for a FEST takeover; and Cayetana’s Nervous Like Me debut sits at the top of our own best-of list, beating out national acts St. Vincent, Ryan Adams and the previously mentioned Drugs and Oaks (among others).

But sitting behind this list of ever-growing big names from Philadelphia is a vibrant and dense scene of musicians, bands, artists, performers…. pretty much every style of music you can think of has strong representation here in Philly. So to celebrate just a small portion of what the rest of Philly did this year, I’ve compiled five records by local musicians you might have missed in the glow of the big names. Go ahead and give these albums a second (or first!) listen.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: HR at Kung Fu Necktie, Nalani & Sarina at World Cafe Live, I IM EYE MY at Bourbon and Branch

HR of Bad Brains | via kungfunecktie.com
HR of Bad Brains | via kungfunecktie.com

“You have to experience HR,” says rapper Mos Def. “You don’t talk about him, you experience him.” The pioneering punk rocker and lead singer of Bad Brains, HR (short for Human Rights, birth name Paul D. Hudson) performs tonight at Kung Fu Necktie. By fusing dub, reggae and hardcore thrash in the late 70s, HR and Bad Brains charted new territories; he in particular built a rep as a dynamic, compelling frontman. Over the years, his sound has steered more towards the reggae end of his musical palette, which is the show he and his band bring to Kung Fu Necktie tonight. Tickets are $8 at the door, more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Spacin’ and Bleeding Rainbow side project I IM EYE MY share new track “Streetcat Bonfire”

Premiered on Decoder Magazine, I IM EYE MY‘s new track “Streetcat Bonfire” is a sonic exploration through an urban jungle from Al Creedon (Bleeding Rainbow) and Sean Hamilton (Spacin’).  The name alone calls to mind people gathered on the street around a scrap fire set in a metal trashcan, and that image is carried on through the opening percussive bars.  As the song continues it feels almost out of place in this current time, fitting more closely with the aesthetics and expressions surrounding avant garde jazz, though it gets there via a modern, droney route.  Imagine Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew and GHQ’s Crystal Healing were meshed together – “Streetcat Bonfire” is what you would hear.  The song will be included on an upcoming tape called 7 Transmissions, which will be released on Not Not Fun.  Take a listen to “Streetcat Bonfire” below.