Tonight’s Concert Picks: Little Simz at Union Transfer and KT Tunstall at Sellersville Theater

Little Simz | via

Britain’s Little Simz brings her area rap to the states as she takes over Union Transfer for the night. She’s sort of London’s Donald Glover, as her insane flow and hype beats are only a part of the talent of the television actor and artist. The gig is all ages, and more information/tickets can be found through the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


KT Tunstall’s one-woman show fills Union Transfer with energy and emotion

kt18All photos by Chris Sikich |

On Friday night, singer/songwriter KT Tunstall and her one-woman live band wowed a rare Union Transfer seated audience at the early show. Showcasing her stellar 2013 album Invisible Empire / Crescent Moon, her rich vocals and guitar mastery, as well as cameos made by a piano and kazoo, among others, shined from the opening with “Invisible Empire” to “Made of Glass,” where she did her best whistling impersonation of Andrew Bird, whose pursed-lip prowess is featured on the album version (for the record, Tunstall did wonderfully). Looping in her voice, guitar, and clapping by her and the audience, she filled the hall with the depth and emotion of her work.

Right smack in the middle of the set, her stunning “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” sprung to life with her “woo-hoo’s” echoing through a very happy crowd. That is when the kazoo popped out and she played chords from The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” and then blasted into a cover of that classic. At one point, she paused to ask the audience why they were in attendance when they could be somewhere else. She knew the answer, but the crowd reassured her anyway. And her finale, the masterful “Chimes” from her latest album, saw her put down her guitar after adding it to the loop as she snapped her fingers and let her voice usher the crowd into the night: “Lifting off the lid of all I know/Lifting off the lid/Finding out about a love I’ll grow/Into something big.” The adoration of artist and audience was in synch, as it would be hard to believe that anyone went home unsatisfied.


KT Tunstall releasing new album in August, playing Union Transfer in September

kttunstall Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall returns with a new album, Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon, on August 6 on Blue Note Records. WXPN Welcomes KT to Union Transfer on Friday, September 27. Tunstall recorded the album in Arizona with Howe Gelb (Giant Sand) and was recently on World Cafe with David Dye. Listen to the session here. Go here for tickets and more information on the show.


Listen to Anjuli Josephine’s “Can’t Keep Up” (playing The Fire on 11/2)

Philly-based jazz-pop artist Anjuli Josephine has released a catchy new single, “Can’t  Keep Up” this month alongside its sister track, “Words To Say This.” The soulful Canadian born singer-songwriter, who easily draws comparison to artists like Regina Spektor and KT Tunstall, has been enjoying success playing the local circuit over the last two months and is currently at work on her debut album. Josephine will be playing at The Fire Friday, November 2nd; details for the 21+ show are available here. Check out “Can’t Keep Up” below.


This Weekend’s Concert Picks: Young Prisms, Kurt Vile + Purling Hiss, KT Tunstall, The Hooters

Young Prisms

Young Prisms performs 11/26 at Kung Fu Necktie

The good news: for a holiday weekend, there are a surprising number of great shows going on—all of which provide the perfect opportunity for getting away from your family. The bad news: Just about all of those shows are tonight, which means you’ll need to find a different excuse for leaving the house Saturday and/or Sunday. As for tonight’s best bet, well—we’ve already hyped the KT Tunstall show at The Trocadero earlier this week, we’ve spent a good amount of time praising the new releases by both Kurt Vile and Purling Hiss, and it seems like we can’t go more than a day or so without talking about local mainstays The Hooters. So, we say catch the San Francisco-based shoegaze quintet Young Prisms, which is on tour to promote the upcoming release its debut album, Friends For Now (January 18th on Kanine Records); San Francisco post-punkers Weekend—which released its debut, Sports, earlier this month on Slumberland (and was also the subject of a recent NPR profile)—opens the show. Young Prisms performs with Weekend at 7:30 p.m. at Kung Fu Necktie; tickets to the 21+ show are $5.

Also playing: Kurt Vile And The Violators + Purling Hiss at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $10-$12); KT Tunstall + Hurricane Bells at The Trocadero (9 p.m., all ages, $22); The Hooters + Beru Revue at The Electric Factory (8:30 p.m., $49.70)

Meg And Dia + Joey Ryan, The Spring Standards at The Barbary (5:30 p.m., all ages, $10-$12); Toxic Holocaust + Tombs, Vulcan at Kung Fu Necktie (7 p.m., 21+, $10); Free Energy +Foxy Shazam, Hollerado, Nico’s Gun at Theatre Of Living Arts (9 p.m., $23)

Free Energy + Foxy Shazam, Hollerado, Nico’s Gun at Theatre Of Living Arts (9 p.m., $23)


This Week’s Contest: Win tickets to see KT Tunstall at The Trocadero this Friday night

TK TunstallOver here at The Key, we love giving away free stuff—especially when it involves tapping into the pulsing vein of the Internet and getting our weekly fix of social networking. This week, we’ve got a handful of tickets to give away for Friday night’s performance by KT Tunstall at The Trocadero. For a chance to win a pair of tickets, all you have to do is become a fan of The Key on Facebook and leave a comment on our KT Tunstall Contest post by 5 p.m. Tuesday, November 23rd. We’ll select the winners at random that evening and notify them via Facebook message; tickets can be picked up any time before 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 24th or Friday, November 26th at the WXPN office. (The building will be locked up Thursday for the holidays.)