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Tonight’s Concert Picks: OK Fest with Cayetana, Amanda X, Radiator Hospital and more at Golden Teahouse, Juston Stens at Boot and Saddle, Langhorne Slim at Tellus 360

Amanda X: Tiff Yoon, Cat Park, Kat Bean (Photo by Peter Murray)
Amanda X: Tiff Yoon, Cat Park, Kat Bean (Photo by Peter Murray)

West Philly’s super cool OK Fest kicks off tonight at the Golden Tea House. The incredible lineup includes Cayetana; the emo-tinged trio played a Space Jam Session this month featuring a live version of “Dirty Laundry,” and were also featured on Stereogum recently. They will be joined by Radiator Hospital, who will release their brilliant second album Torch Song soon, as well as Amanda X, who did a great interview with The Key’s Kate Bracaglia. Rounding out the night are The Ambulars and Brooklyn punk group Worriers. The all-ages show starts at 8:00 pm. Tickets are between $8 to $12. Listen to Cayetana’s “Serious Things are Stupid” below. Get more details at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tales of the Open Road: Get Real Gang leader Juston Stens on riding his ’72 Triumph cross-country to write and record Share the Road

Juston Stens | Photo by Ellie Tremple | courtesy of the artist
Juston Stens | Photo by Ellie Tremple | courtesy of the artist

About 45 minutes before I’m supposed to meet Philly pop rebel Juston Stens for a poolside cocktail at North Shore Beach Club, I get a text: “Kate, I’m so sorry. My van broke down in South Philly. Should we reschedule?”

I’m headed back to South Philly myself, and his van just so happens to be near my neighborhood. So I tell him no worries, we can do the interview as he waits for a tow. It’s about 90 degrees out and by the time I reach him, he’s already been waiting 4 hours. “They sent a guy out already, but the trailer bed wasn’t big enough,” he quips, gesturing towards his monolith of a vehicle.

Considering how long he’s been waiting, he’s in a surprisingly good mood. He apologizes profusely for ruining our pool plans, then eagerly starts describing his new record. When the tow truck arrives, he chats with the driver, then helps push the van into a parking spot post-tow. “I work as a mover, part-time,” he tells me, unphased by its enormity. “This is nothing.” Continue reading →

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The Key’s Week of Folk: Ursula Rucker, and four other artists you didn’t realize are playing #PFF2013

RuckerThe Key’s Week of Folk is our series of interviews, reviews, artist spotlights, playlistings and general ephemera to get you ready for the 52nd Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival, happening August 16th to August 18th at Old Pool Farm in Schwenksville. This installment highlights a handful of artists we didn’t even were realize were playing – so it’s possible you didn’t know either.

On Monday we talked about what a daunting task navigating a festival lineup can be. Between sheer volume of names, late lineup additions and lag time between initial announcements and the actual show, I find myself at festivals – any festival – saying at least once “oh, woah, they’re playing!” (Confession: it even happens at our own XPoNential Music Festival.)

For this installment of The Key’s Week of Folk, we’ll highlight a handful of don’t-miss you-almost-missed-thems, beginning with the one and only Ursula Rucker. Her’s is a name that Roots aficionados should know well; the Philadelphia poet first came to prominence closing the group’s first several albums with spoken word pieces (and appearing throughout the mix on 2003′s Phrenology). Sometimes tender, sometimes shocking, but always marked by beauty and eloquence, Rucker’s collaborations with The Roots – as well as with Bahamadia and King Britt – ultimately paved the way for a solo career that notably includes 2001′s Super Sista, 2006′s Ma’at Mama and most recently, 2011′s She Said. Along with writing, Rucker is an educator and activist, and recently has been combining her words with the stylish guitar of fellow Philadelphian Tim Motzer. The two will perform together at the Cultural Tent on August 16th at 7 p.m. Below, watch a video of Rucker and Motzer on the 1k Sessions, and listen to Rucker’s contribution to The Roots’ Things Fall Apart, “Return to Innocence Lost.”

Tim Motzer & Ursula Rucker – 1k Sessions, Episode 11 Preview from Dejha Ti on Vimeo.

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Sweating it out at MilkBoy with Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside (photos, review)

Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

A sweaty crowd at Milkboy on Wednesday melted in the rich vocals of Sallie Ford and the rockin’ beats of her band The Sound Outside. Sticking with mostly tracks from their top-notch 2013 record Untamed Beast, Ford and company had the crowd swooning and soaring to the topics of lust and desire. Even though aural pleasures were abound, Milkboy was a heat trap, especially for the performers. And even after drenching her head with a bottle of water, Sallie Ford decided they were going to cut the night short due to the stage’s high heat. So after a rousing cover of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” they invited concertgoers onto the stage for the finale: a sweltering rock and roll dance party. Check out photos of Ford and openers Juston Stens and the Get Real Gang below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Slingshot Dakota at The Barbary, Sallie Ford/Katie Frank at MilkBoy, Mischief Brew at Morgan’s Pier

bio_slingshot_dakotaA duo from Bethlehem, Slingshot Dakota was founded on the vocals of Carly Comando and Tom Patterson. With Comando on the keys and Patterson on the drums, these two artists are able to create emotional and heart-felt indie punk out of a simple set-up. Joined by a handful of artists such as Real Friends and Candy Hearts, Slingshot Dakota will perform at The Barbary tonight, so check out the video of the duo’s Nervous Energies session for “Until The Day I Die.” Information and tickets can be found here.

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Recap: Juston Stens and the Get Real Gang at The Fire on Saturday

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Photo by Abi Reimold | abireimoldphoto.com

The Fire’s stage bounced under the feet of Juston Stens and The Get Real Gang as they finished out Sundrop Music Festival on Saturday night. Despite sparse attendance, both the band and the audience seemed to enjoy the set with dancing and smiles. Stens’ songs featured beautiful four-part harmonies at times; check out a gallery from their set below.

 

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sundrop Music Festival at The Fire, The Thermals at Union Transfer

JustonStence

Back for its third year, the Sundrop Music and Arts Festival is happening at The Fire this weekend.  Juston Stens & The Get Real Gang, Andrew Lipke, Up the Chain and Satellite Hearts are among the bands billed for the two day event, which continues tomorrow.  In addition to the ticketed, 21+ shows inside The Fire there will be free all-ages concerts on an outdoor stage on Liethgow Street with craft booths and food.  Tickets and information can be found here.  Below, download a Key Studio track from Juston Stens & The Get Real Gang.

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Sundrop Music Festival announces its 2013 installment and initial lineup (Memorial Day weekend at The Fire)

anjuliAnjuli Josephine and her band, Andrew Lipke and Juston Stens and the Get Real Gang are among the initial artists announced for the 2013 edition of the Sundrop Music Festival at The Fire. Returning for its third year, the festival features two days of music on two stages – a free and all-ages outdoor stage on Liethgow Street in Northern Liberties and a ticketed run of 21+ shows at The Fire’s indoor stage.  For more information, check out the festival’s Facebook Page. Below, download Key Studio Sessions performance tracks from Josephine, Stens and Lipke.

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Download The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 7 (feat. Waxahatchee, Pissed Jeans, Ruby the Hatchet + more)

kss vol 7

The latest edition of our Key Studio Sessions compilations is out today – now streamable and downloadable from Soundcloud!  Check out this year’s in-studio appearances with The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 7, including the down-tempo folk stylings of Waxahatchee, the thrashing punk of Pissed Jeans and the all-out rock jams of Ruby the Hatchet.  Thanks to production assistants Fred Knittel, Madeleine Lesperance, and Dan Malloy as well as photographers Rachel Del Sordo and Kate McCann, and videographers The Angry Mountain, HotBox Studios and Out of Town Films for sharing their work.