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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Bryant Eugene Vazquez at The Fire, Mohican at Kung Fu Necktie

BEV by Sara Stickley 2
Bryant Eugene Vazquez | Photo by Sara Stickley

The Fire’s annual Sundrop Music Festival concludes tonight and singer-songwriter-rock-n-roller Bryant Eugene Vazquez is one of the artists on the bill. Vazquez just released his latest LP, All Damn Day / The Greatest Hits, and it packs a variety of sounds – jagged soul to sunshine pop – centered by classic sounding production. You can listen to the record below and read our interview with Vazquez here, and get more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Download The Gallerist’s “lost” Key Studio Session, see them tomorrow at Kung Fu Necktie

The Gallerist in the studio at WXPN | Photo by John Vettese
The Gallerist in the studio at WXPN | Photo by John Vettese

A couple years back, a new band called The Gallerist jumped out from the Philadelphia singer-songwriter scene and grabbed our attention with their plaintive, emotion-laden debut A Falling Waltz. The songwriting vehicle of Mike Collins was rounded out as a solid three-piece with John Holback on drums and Kai Carter on bass.

We caught a couple impressive live sets from them: at a SoFAR Philly show in 2012, opening for Laura Marling in 2013. And when the band released its follow-up EP, Twine, last year, we knew we had to get the band in the studio for a Key Session. Except, unfortunately, the timing was not quite right. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Family Vacation

Philly indie-pop four-piece Family Vacation will catch your ear with jangley guitars, drifting vocals and a positive psychedelic sound. They were still getting their foothold in the scene when we first met them in 2012; their usual haunts at that time were basement shows and Temple rehearsal rooms. But there was very clearly something there; Luke Harsel’s contemplative lyrics, the nimble guitar licks he swaps with bandmate Cody Bluett, the band’s slightly left-of-center poppiness. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Icky Blossoms at Milkboy, Joe Pug at Boot & Saddle, A Day Without Love at Kung Fu Necktie

Icky Blossoms
Icky Blossoms | photo via Facebook

Icky Blossoms play Milkboy tonight. The Nebraska-based band released its debut self-titled record in 2012, which will be followed by Mask next month through Saddle Creek. Single “In Folds” captures the band’s dance-focused songs that echo both club vibes of the eighties and contemporary electro-pop outfits like Friendly Fires. Listen to the track below and pick up tickets for the 21+ show here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Tess Emma, Cheerleader and more at Tri-State Indie Music Awards, Koji at The Fire, Davon at Kung Fu Necktie

Tri-State Indie
Tess Emma | photo via Facebook

The 4th Annual Tri-State Indie Music Awards take over World Cafe Live tonight. Performances by local musicians like Tess Emma, Cheerleader, Satellite Hearts and more will accompany the award presentations. Check out a full list of nominated acts here and listen to Tess Emma’s latest EP below. Tickets and information for the event can be found here.

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Listen to Trails And Ways’ new “Skeleton,” catch them at Kung Fu Necktie in June

Photo via facebook.com/TRAILSANDWAYS
Photo via facebook.com/TRAILSANDWAYS

California dream poppers Trails And Ways recently released their latest single, “Skeletons,” an upbeat track with a quintessential club dance groove that support a good cause. The band is encouraging fans who like this track to donate to the Our Power Campaign, a project to bolster sustainable energy and create eco-friendly jobs. 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 →

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The Jawn calls on extra hands for an in-studio video of “Hollywood”

The Jawn | Photo by Reji B. Photography | rejibphotography.com
The Jawn | Photo by Reji B. Photography | rejibphotography.com

There isn’t yet a single word best suited to describe the music Philly band The Jawn makes. In a song you’ll hear hip-hop, blues, pop, soul, funk and more, all blended together. They burst on the scene in 2013 with a fun-loving sound, so much so they won a contest to open a Disco Biscuits New Years Eve after-party in Times Square. Fast forward two years through lineup changes and a hectic recording process, and The Jawn are ready to show the scene just what made them so special in the first place. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Pick: Legendary Divorce at Kung Fu Necktie

photo via facebook.com/legendarydivorce
photo via facebook.com/legendarydivorce

If their band name didn’t tip you off, Philly’s Legendary Divorce got together in the first place over a shared love of Nirvana. They actually were a Nirvana tribute band at a 2012 Halloween party, but had such a fun time at it that they started writing their own songs together. Brian Schmutz of The Starting Line is their bassist and Itarya Leo makes a compelling frontwoman. Their EP Make Me came out in August and they headline Kung Fu Necktie tonight. Tickets and information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →