Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Tough Shits at Kung Fu Necktie, Philly ReggaE Band at The Barbary

The Tough Shits
The Tough Shits | Photo by Nikki Volpicelli

Lo-fi garage dwellers The Tough Shits are a part of a fantastic Kung Fu Necktie gig featuring Greg Cartwright and Tom Lax. Their fun west coast punk sound is refreshing and welcomed here on the east coast and a perfect soundtrack for the proverbial sunset for the end of a weekend. The gig is 21+ and tickets/more information can be found here. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Pick: Lily Mae at World Cafe Live

Lily Mae | photo via

Philadelphia singer-songwriter Lily Mae is bringing her acoustic stylings to World Cafe Live tonight opening for Yael Naim. She released her sophomore record, Closer, on November 11th and its acoustic ballads you fall in love with this folk-pop all over again. If you’re a frequent reader of The Key you’ll know where to go for tickets and show info, but if you’re not just click here. You can also check out the title track for her new LP below. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sheer Mag at PhilaMOCA, Kamasi Washington at Musikfest Cafe, Emmett Drueding at Kung Fu Necktie, and more…

Sheer Mag | Photo by John Vettese
Sheer Mag | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philly punk powerhouses Sheer Mag just released their kickass EP III last month, and they will be performing tonight at PhilaMOCA for the Philadelphia Student Union Fundraiser. Also playing will be Bad Canoes and Dark Thoughts. For tickets and more information, check out the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: J. Dilla Tribute ft Slum Village at Johnny Brenda’s, Liz De Lise at Kung Fu Necktie, Ben O’Neill at Boot and Saddle

The Kings Court Tour comes to Johnny Brenda’s tonight to pay tribute to the late J Dilla. Slum Village, Guilty Simpson, Phat Kat, and Black Milk will be performing music to honor the memory of “one of the music industry’s most influential hip-hop artists.” For tickets and more information, check out the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Dreamy psych-rockers Weekender are playing a wad of summer shows

Weekender | photo courtesy of the artist

Philly psych-pop band Weekender prove there ain’t no rest for the wicked. After headlining Kung Fu Necktie last night, the fuzzy dreampop  outfit is playing a slew of shows in Philly this summer, including local stops at Bourbon and Branch May 31, KFN June 11, the Firefly Festival in Delaware June 22, and then closing out at The Fire June 27.  With pop beats, cutting riffs and droning guitars, Weekender is an ideal summer soundtrack.The band has promised a follow-up album to 2013’s EP Spanish Peaks this summer, but no word yet on a date. In the mean time, check out their very psychedelic Off the Avenue live session in Savannah, Georgia below.




By Surprise takes over Kung Fu Necktie tonight for an evening of classic 90’s indie rock jams

BySurprise_SBTSWEmo rockers By Surprise take over Kung Fu Necktie tonight for an evening of non-stop classic indie rock jams at the monthly Strangled by the Stereowire party. It’s their first live show since December, as well as a 90’s indie / alt showcase night where DJs Johnny and Mike spin everything from Pavement to Dinosaur Jr. to Blur and Superchunk and more. People attending can tweet their 90’s indie-alterna song requests to @SBTSW or #SBTSW. Get ready to ride the emotional rollercoaster down memory lane. Did we mention the best part? It’s free.

By Surprise is currently working on their follow up to 2011’s Mountain Smashers, so you can expect some new material tonight from the Jersey natives. You may even catch them doing a cover of Archers of Loaf, too (though not the song that the DJ night takes its name from). The show starts at 10:30 and goes ’til 2am. Free admission, 21+ to get in.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jessica Lea Mayfield at Johnny Brenda’s, Cayetana at The Fire, Chalk and the Beige Americans at Kung Fu Necktie

Jessica Lea Mayfield | via

Singer / songwriter and guitarist Jessica Lea Mayfield brings her ethereal vocals and creeping, crunching guitar riffs to Johnny Brenda’s tonight in support of her recent album release Make My Head Sing…. Sometimes touching on psychedlic shoegazey rock, other times inserting her bluegrass roots (she was in a bluegrass band with her family as a young girl), Mayfield’s sound is unique and all her own. Get tickets and info on the 9:15pm show here.

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Weekend Picks: Scars On 45 at Tin Angel, Turning Violet Violet at Kung Fu Necktie, Sundrop Music and Arts Festival at The Fire

British rockers Scars On 45 recently released the band’s self-titled debut album, which is filled with one melodic rock song after another. From the first song to the last, the band’s debut is a collection of classic, timeless British pop and rock with some strong songwriting and powerful vocals from Danny Bemrose, as well as lush harmonies between Bemrose and Aimee Driver. Scars On 45 perform at 10:30 p.m. at Tin Angel; tickets to the 21+ show are $10. —Bruce Warren

Also Playing: Sundrop Music And Arts Festival featuring Andrew Lipke + Joe Duffey’s Underwater Window Garden, Sisters 3, Johnny Miles Band, Hunter’s Cannon at The Fire (8 p.m., 21+, $10); Black Dice + Far-Out Fangtooth, NAH at Underground Arts (8:30 p.m., all ages, $10); JJL + Belgrade, The Peace Creeps at Johnny Brenda’s (9:15 p.m., 21+, $10); The Polyphonic Spree + Sweet Lee Morrow, New Fumes, Attia Taylor at Theatre Of Living Arts (7 p.m., all ages, $18).

Fishtown indie/chamber fivesome Turning Violet Violet has been a steady presence on the city’s music scene these past few years, plugging away at the club circuit and growing its sound to the point where the new Double Cure positively blows the gates off. The album’s thundering percussion and thrilling crescendos create a immediate sense of urgency, heightened by lyrics that long for simpler times in the face of an uncertain future. Meanwhile, the playing and arrangements sound like exactly what they are: the work of five skilled and studied musicians who are just as epic performing live as they are on record. You can listen to their recent Key Studio Session here. Turning Violet Violet performs with Field Mouse at 8 p.m. at Kung Fu Necktie; tickets to the 21+ show are $8. —John Vettese

Also Playing: Sundrop Music And Arts Festival featuring The Shakes + Venice Sunlight, Fast Car, Night Panther, Sunset Recorder, The Really Cooks, Conversations With Enemies, Tutlie, The Plastic Traps at The Fire Outside (1 p.m. all ages, free); Sundrop Music And Arts Festival featuring Illinois + Juston Stens And The Get Real Gang, City Rain, Former Belle, DRGN KING, Kill3r Whale With Ang Bocca at The Fire (8 p.m., 21+, $10);Ruder Than You + The Pinstripes, The Pressure, The Snails, King Tony Of The Drastics at World Cafe Live (8 p.m., all ages, $9)

Sundrop Music And Arts Festival featuring Kuf Knotz + Sisters 3, Up the Chain, Mason Porter, Ross Bellenoit, Rev TJ McGlinchey, A Fistful of Sugar, Your Gentleman, On the Water, Lauryn Peacock at The Fire (1 p.m., all ages, free); Sundrop Music And Arts Festival featuring Kuf Knotz + Tsunami Rising, Abstract Verses, Chalk And The Beige Americans, DJ Bearbait at The Fire (8 p.m., 21+, $10)