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Norwegian Arms and Dominic team up for joint record release show next month

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Dom Angelella and Brendan Mulvihill | Photo by Joe Del Tufo

It makes a lot of sense that the new records from Norwegian Arms and Dominic would arrive at nearly the same time. The former’s Brendan Mullvihill and the latter’s Dom Angelella have become quite the BFFs over the years, collaborating on each other’s projects in both live and studio settings. In recognition of this friendship (and also because this just makes for a total party of a billing) they’ll celebrate the releases of Girard Freeloader and Goodnight, Doggies respectively at Johnny Brenda’s on February 3rd.

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A Decade of Johnny Brenda’s: Reflections and portraits

https://www.instagram.com/p/BKUjEV6ADcn/

Ten years ago this fall, Johnny Brenda’s opened the door to their new upstairs show space, and it celebrated the anniversary back in September with a couple nights of all-local shows. During that run, several of the staff and performers were kind enough to sit down for portraits and offer their thoughts on what Johnny Brenda’s means to them and the community. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Caveman at Johnny Brenda’s, Julia Hudak at Bourbon & Branch

caveman
Caveman | photo via Facebook

NYC outfit Caveman have hit the road for a quick east coast tour, making a stop at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. It’s their final show of 2016 in support of this year’s expansive, cinematic record Otero War, the band’s third LP that fans of The War on Drugs or Dawes would easily love. Watch “Never Going Back” below and pick up tickets for the 21+ show here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Koji at Voltage Lounge, The Stray Birds at World Cafe Live, Marah at Underground Arts and more

Koji | photo by Mitchell Wojcik | via facebook.com/kojimusic

Central PA acoustic punk fave Koji is coming out east for a gig at the Voltage Lounge, bringing along The Homeless Gospel Choir, Steve Layman, and Space Cadets to open the show. His most recent release is this year’s Keeping Count 7″. The gig is all ages, and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Kristin Hersh at Tin Angel, Jesse Hale Moore at Johnny Brenda’s, Square Peg Round Hole at Crane Arts and more

Kristin Hersh | via facebook.com/strangeangels

Alternative era favorite Kristin Hersh takes over the Tin Angel in support of her massive 2016 record Wyatt at the Coyote Place, a double LP bringing her left-of-center songwriting into tight focus for an engrossing set. The gig is 21+ and more information can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Give yourself to the introspection in Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s new “Fireproof”

Alec Ounsworth of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah | photo by Michael Regan | via NPR Music

Philly band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is back with “Fireproof,” the first single released off their forthcoming record The Tourist. This plucky synth-heavy track details the dangers of being “fireproof,” or overly confident. The song features numerous bass and vocal driven buildups that trail off into instrumental interludes, giving way to introspection on the end of both listeners and singer Alec Ounsworth. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Pick: You Won’t at Johnny Brenda’s

You Won't | photo via https://www.facebook.com/youwontmusic/
You Won’t | photo via https://www.facebook.com/youwontmusic/

Massachusetts indie-folk duo You Won’t is rolling through Philly tonight for a show at Johnny Brenda’s. Opening the show will be Philly psych-pop duo Carol Cleveland Sings and The Suitcase Junket. The latter has been touring with them since the April 2016 release of their record Revolutionaries. Get tickets and more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar and check out the video for “Ya Ya Ya” off their latest LP below. Continue reading →

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Seize a rare opportunity to experience African Rumba music live at Johnny Brenda’s on Jan. 6th

photo via afrisa.international

It’s rare for Orchestra Afrisa International and M’Bilia Bel to venture to this neck of the woods. In fact, it’s Bel’s first time performing in Philadelphia and her last U.S. performance was in 1990. Mosey on over to Fishtown on the 6th of January, though, and you’ll be treated to a night of soukouss music — also known as African Rumba — from the very people who pioneered the genre. Continue reading →

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New Year’s Eve is a month away. What concert are you going to?

Kurt Vile at #XPNFest | photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN

We’re drawing to the close of 2016, and as always, we here at The Key recommend you give 2016 the boot with live music. Spending that special moment that brings us into our annual chance for a new start at a concert with hundreds or even thousands of people who are all on the same page as you — for those few hours, the feeling is exhilarating and even a little magical. Compare this to the cycle of looking at your phone, standing in circles trying to connect with people that you know primarily through Facebook and most times drinking way too much in your quest to achieve that perfect New Year’s Eve moment that movies like When Harry Met Sally have elevated just out of reality’s reach.

Given, I’ve been going the latter route for the majority of my adult life and some of my fondest memories are searching for lost phones or helping my friend figure out the name of the cute guy with the green hat the morning after. BUT I knew that after happening upon a house show on New Year’s Eve a few years back, no party could ever fill me with the same ecstasy as the music and all the people in that basement did in 2013. So, if you’re looking to try something new, check out your Philly-area options for musical New Year’s celebrations. Continue reading →

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The Dudes Abide: The Districts shine at Johnny Brenda’s residency

The Districts | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com
The Districts | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

Well, well, well. If the gosh darn boys aren’t back in town. After what felt like almost whole year, our hometown heroes The Districts returned to a Philadelphia stage for three proper headlining shows at Johnny Brenda’s. And while 2016 wasn’t necessarily a quiet year for them — touring with both Modest Mouse and Dr. Dog is nothing to sneeze at — it definitely felt like a bit of a building year for a band that otherwise seems to have unlimited amounts of energy. It makes sense, with hints of LP3 trickling out at shows, and word coming that the band spent almost a month in LA over the summer, demoing and recording new material. But as summer faded, and the memories of The Districts’ slamming XPNFest set weren’t keeping my heart as warm as they once had, this three-night stand at JB’s came just in the nick of time. Continue reading →