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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Pile at Johnny Brenda’s, The English Beat at World Cafe Live

Pile | photo via consequenceofsound.net

Hard-hitting Boston punks Pile take the stage at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The band has been kicking around for eight years, and dropped its latest – the abrasive and aggressive You’re Better than This – back in March. Tickets and information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Listen to a summery new song from Work Drugs, “Minor Flaws”

Work Drugs | Photo by Kate Bracaglia
Work Drugs | Photo by Kate Bracaglia

Summertime synth poppers Work Drugs have been tossing out catchy tracks for their upcoming album, Louisa, like it’s nothing. Their latest, “Minor Flaw” opens with an 80s pop sound that is immediately captivating. The well-worked combination of sunny riffs and just the right amount of reverb come together perfectly alongside lyrics like “like a prayer that I used to remember or just a reason to keep me hanging on.” You can catch Work Drugs playing at Johnny Brenda’s tonight with Tutlie, and The Chairman Dances. Tickets are still available, more information at the XPN Concert Calendar; you can check out ”Minor Flaws” below. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Donn T at Johnny Brenda’s, Dark Blue at Boot and Saddle

Donn T | via Donn T's Facebook
Donn T | via Donn T’s Facebook

Dynamic Philly soul singer Donn T is celebrating the release of her second album, Flight of The Donn T, tonight at Johnny Brenda’s. A collaborator of Marsha Ambrosius, Zap Mama and John Legend – and, yes, sister to a drummer named Ahmir Thompson, but let’s not make too big a deal out of that – she made a splash in 2010 with her album Kaleidoscopic, and last year founded her own D Tone Victorious label to release Flight. The album is vibrant and engaging, at turns recalling Erykah Badu and Sade, and tonight she celebrates it at the latest Re-Set party, curated by local fave Res and also featuring Kate Faust. Tickets and information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Protomartyr at Johnny Brenda’s, Monophonics at World Cafe Live, Mohican at Boot & Saddle and more…

Protomartyr
Protomartyr | photo via Facebook

Detroit’s Protomartyr perform at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The band released its sophomore record Under Color of Official Right last year, a dark blend of post-punk and shoegaze with bright guitar tones. They team up with previous Philly show friends Amanda X for the 21+ show tonight. Pick up tickets here and watch Protomartyr perform “Maidenhead” for KEXP in Seattle below.

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Mellow out with Circadian Rhythms’s new EP, A Passing Thought

Circadian Rhythms
Circadian Rhythms | photo via Facebook

This weekend, Philly indie pop artists Circadian Rhythms have unveiled a new EP called A Passing Thought, a five song flurry of Chicago-meets-The-Shins awesomeness. The EP opens up with “In the Flowers,” a song decorated with horns, shuffling drums and time changes, making you want to dance. “Nice to Be” continues the pop vibe and, the band keeps it up all the way through the EP’s last song, “Lady of the Water.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Public Service Broadcasting at World Cafe Live, Young Fathers at Boot & Saddle, Divers at Johnny Brenda’s and more…

Public Service Broadcasting
Public Service Broadcasting | photo via Facebook

London-based duo Public Service Broadcasting perform upstairs at World Cafe Live tonight. Musician J. Willgoose, Esq. and percussionist Wrigglesworth started the band with a very specific aesthetic in mind: they pair audio samples from archival recordings, propaganda and PSAs with atmospheric instrumentations to “teach the lessons of the past through the music of the future.” Their latest release, this year’s The Race for Space, was a collaborative effort with the British Film Institute to recount the competition between the U.S. and Russia to land a man on the moon. Watch the video for “Go!” below and pick up tickets for tonight’s performance here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sufjan Stevens at The Academy of Music, SHLOHMO at Johnny Brenda’s, Delta Rae at The TLA and more

Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens | photo via www.sufjan.com

Celebrated indie-folk singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens makes a long awaited return to form on his current album and tour. Rather than being a zany holiday collection or an abstract electronic freakout, Carrie & Lowell is a return to Stevens’ contemplative acoustic roots, very much in the vein of 2004′s Seven Swans, and over the course of 11 songs it is an aching meditation on his mother who died in 2012. Tonight he returns to Philly to headline the Academy of Music and kick off his U.S. tour; tickets and information can be found at the XPN Concert CalendarContinue reading →

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Nothing covers Nirvana’s “Something In The Way” for tribute comp

Photo by Shawn Brackbill
Photo by Shawn Brackbill

April 5th was the 21st anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s tragic death. Since then, we’ve had The Weaks release Bad Year - with two tracks that put a spin on the Seattle band’s song titles – and now we have Nothing’s cover of “Something In The Way.”

The Philadelphia shoegazers premiered the somber song through Noisey and the track will be featured on label Robotic Empire’s second Nirvana tribute album, Whatever Nevermind. The compilation, which includes covers off Nirvana’s 1991 album, Nevermind, features another Philly-based band’s, Circa Survive, take on “Drain You.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Diarrhea Planet at Underground Arts, Kississippi at Kung Fu Necktie, Cyberbully Mom Club at Johnny Brenda’s and more

Diarrhea Planet | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Diarrhea Planet | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Ridiculous band name, awesome band. Diarrhea Planet headlines Underground Arts tonight with their Philly-based tourmates Left & Right in tow. The blistering rock n’ roll six-piece dishes fierce fuzzy riffs and high energy not unlike their Nashville brethren JEFF the Brotherhood; 2013′s I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams is highly recommended listening. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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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 →