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Listen to Aphra’s introverted new single “Rooms”

aphra
Aphra | photo by Megan Matuzak | courtesy of the artist

The “About” section on Aphra’s Bandcamp page contains a deceptively complex message. “Moving beyond catharsis,” it reads.

This short phrase might be the unifying theme behind all of Aphra’s music. It doesn’t seek to simply express painful emotions. It actually seeks to heal.

“Rooms,” the second single from Aphra’s forthcoming EP Sadness Is a Gesture, fits this mold perfectly. The song is about vocalist Rebecca Way’s suffering following the end of a toxic relationship. “When people fall in love they tend to put each other on such a high pedestal at first (turning another into a Christ figure of sorts),” Way wrote to the Key. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Literature at Kung Fu Necktie, Satellite Hearts at Ortlieb’s, Greensky Bluegrass at Union Transfer

literature
Literature | Photo by Eric Schuman

This isn’t something we get to say very often: Literature play Kung Fu Necktie tonight before heading out on tour in Japan. The local indie pop outfit released its second full-length record Chorus in 2014, though Japanese label Waterslide Records picked it up for a physical release last year (along with the band’s debut LP Arab Spring). Get your Literature fix while you can; tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show can be found here. Check out “The Girl, The Gold Watch and Everything” below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Queen of Jeans at The Foundry, Erik Petersen at Kung Fu Necktie, The Chelsea Kills at The Pharmacy and more…

Queen of Jeans
Queen of Jeans | photo by Kelly Kurteson | courtesy of the artist

This week’s Key Studio Session artists Queen of Jeans hit The Foundry tonight for the Red Bull Sound Select showcase presented by JUMP Philly. The group will be releasing its debut self-titled LP on Friday through UK label Super Fan 99 (on vinyl!) so tonight’s show with Vacationer and Weekender could be considered a sort of record release show. Tickets and information can be found here; watch their video for “Dance (Get Off Your Ass)” below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Julien Baker at Boot & Saddle, Madalean Gauze at Kung Fu Necktie, Torres at Johnny Brenda’s and more…

julien baker
Julien Baker | photo by Jake Cunningham | courtesy of the artist

Memphis native Julien Baker brings her debut solo LP to Boot & Saddle tonight. K. Ross Hoffman explored Sprained Ankle for a Key profile last week, noting that that the songs are “harrowing stuff; an impressionistic but unflinching annal of addiction, self-loathing and spiritual crisis…” set up against “unadorned but graceful melodies and simple, minimal acoustic guitar and piano arrangements.” Listen to “Something” below and pick up tickets to the 21+ show with Abi Reimold here.

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Hard work pays off, Hardwork Movement packs it in at KFN

Hardwork Movement | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Hardwork Movement | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

“I do not think Kung Fu Necktie knew what they were getting into when they agreed to have us play here,” Jeremy Keys told a packed house at the Fishtown venue on January 7th.

When I say packed, I don’t exaggerate. From the moment you got to the top of the stairs at Hardwork Movement‘s release party, it was wall-to-wall people filling up the bar, into the secondary room (what the heck do we call that…the dance floor? the chillout room? the place with couches?) and on the way to the stage tucked away in the far room. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Maceo Parker at Ardmore Music Hall, Thief, Steal Me a Peach at Kung Fu Necktie, Xiu Xiu at First Unitarian Church and more

 

Maceo Parker | photo by Philip Ducap | courtesy of the artist
Maceo Parker | photo by Philip Ducap | courtesy of the artist

Maceo Parker is a one-of-a-kind performer, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t willing to borrow from the best. Playing saxophone in bands with both George Clinton and James Brown provided a pretty solid basis for how to get a crowd going and Parker has used this experience, as well as his own long solo career, to put together one of the most energized and exciting live performances going. Parker will be at Ardmore Music Hall tonight alongside Philly-natives Rugby Road; click here for more info. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Gathering at The Rotunda, Hardwork Movement at Kung Fu Necktie, Lithuania at Boot & Saddle and more…

The Gathering | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | koalafoto.com
The Gathering | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller | koalafoto.com

The year’s first Gathering of All-Styles competition happens at The Rotunda tonight. Round one will feature a one-on-one battle for all styles of dancers, while round two will be one-on-one emcee challenge. More information can be found on the Facebook event page here. Check out judge Dinita “Princess Di” Clark freestyling in Rittenhouse Square below.

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Watch Andorra recap a successful year in the video for “Still Got Me”

 

Andorra | Photo by Matthew Trycieckyj | courtesy of the artist
Andorra | Photo by Matthew Trycieckyj | courtesy of the artist

Andorra had quite a run in 2015, and their new video for “Still Got Me” shows us just how much of a whirlwind it was for the burgeoning alt-rockers.

The Philly four-piece kicked off the year with a bang by releasing their debut LP Etc, Etc, Etc…  and have since gigged around Philly from Festival Pier to World Cafe Live. All of these important band events are captured in the “Year In Review” video, which you can check out below. The band also gives a glimpse into what goes on off stage, as the video intersperses shots of the guys simply hanging out, eating hot dogs, practicing in living rooms and getting ice cream from Mister Softee. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Liz de Lise at Kung Fu Necktie, Archer Spade at The Rotunda

Liz De Lise | Photo by Adam Krevchuck | courtesy of the artist
Liz De Lise | Photo by Adam Krevchuck | courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia’s Liz de Lise recalls the jazz-tinged singer-songwriter era of the 1970s – Laura Nyro, Carole King, and of course Joni Mitchell – filtered through production and perspectives into something wholly contemporary. Last year she released the short A songs collection and embarked on a video-a-month project; tonight she headlines Kung Fu Necktie in Fishtown. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →