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Aarah and the Ferns headline Maasai Rising benefit at MilkBoy tomorrow

Arrah And The Ferns
Countrified Philly rockers Arrah and the Ferns are headlining a benefit show at MilkBoy tomorrow night to support Maasai Rising. The Philadelphia-based organization was founded in 2010 to educate and empower the women of the Maasai tribe in Kenya and Tanzinia. Also on the bill are indie poppers Sunset Recorder and a solo set from Kate Foust from Lady. Tickets and information about the 21+ show are available here. Below, get a free download of Sunset Recorder’s song “Sweet Dreams.”

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Listen to the new single from Philly songwriter Daniel Ryan Belski (playing PhilaMOCA on June 29)

If you’ve been following our Key Studio Sessions, you’ve seen and heard Daniel Ryan Belski in action already. He was the charismatic redbearded lead guitarist in our video session with Arrah and the Ferns, and he also was a counterpoint player when Lady recorded their session last year. But Belski was a songwriter in his own right before getting involved with either of those bands, recording and performing first under the name The Divine Lorraine, and later under his own name. Now, the collection of songs he’s been toiling over for the past two-plus years is about to see the light of day in the forthcoming release They Always Haunt at Night, and we couldn’t be more excited for him. Below you can check out the EP’s first single, “Seems To Last Forever” – it begins as a folk-pop song with a slick bass groove, but adds sophisticated symphonic flourishes as the song progresses, ending up with a snappy three-and-a-half minute piece that’s tonally rich and has us itching for more. Thankfully we won’t have to wait long – Belski is throwing an EP release party at PhilaMOCA on Friday, June 29, with Key favorites Adam and Dave’s Bloodline and Lion Versus.

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Hear tracks from the Key Sessions archives by Swift Technique and Lady (playing Johnny Brenda’s on Saturday)

Photos by John Vettese

You’ll hear two musical forces of nature from the Philly scene take to the stage at Johnny Brenda’s tomorrow night: the jam-funk maelstrom of Swift Technique, who are getting pumped for their first full-length release later on this year, and the rainy-day torch song comfort of Lady, still riding high off their Ropeadope Records release You & Me from last fall. Both bands have spent some time at WXPN studios, and you can download two tracks that each recorded for The Key below. Listen to Lady’s entire Key Session here, look for Swift Technique’s later on this summer. Lady and Swift Technique play Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., on Sat. May 5. Tickets to the 21+ show are $10.

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Philly Local Philes: Swift Technique’s “Newsies”

Photo by John Vettese

Earlier this week, Philadelphia funk-jam sextetSwift Technique took their punchy horns and racing rhythms to the XPN2 airwaves for a live broadcast with Tuesday night host Adam G. The occasion? Swift’s first Philadelphia show of 2012, which happens tonight at Kungfu Necktie. Opening the show are Key faves Lady, and out-of-towners Dr. Ruckus. Look for the entire performance to be released as a Key Studio Session later this year – probably around the time Swift gets ready to drop their full-length debut album – but in the meantime, today’s Philly Local Phile provides a taste to whet your appetite: an ode to South Philadelphia (and a certain Christian Bale musical) called “Newsies.”

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Watch Lady perform “How Did You Know” at HotBox Studios

Lady, Kate Foust’s new musical project, released its debut album, You And Meyesterday. The album was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Phil Nicolo at Studio 4. The official release show for the album is tomorrow, Thursday, October 20th, at PhillyMOCA with Toy Soldiers and Josiah Wise GodBodi; tickets to the show are $10. Lady also performs at the World Cafe 20th Anniversary Concert with Ani DiFranco and Zee Avi at 8 p.m., Friday, October 21st, at the Chameleon Club; tickets to the 21+ show are $20–$75. Below, watch Lady perform “How Did You Know” at HotBox Studios.

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Listen to Lady’s new album, You And Me, via Bandcamp

The members of Philadelphia’s Lady have just released their latest album, You And Me, via streaming audio at Bandcamp.  You can listen to the audio below, or hand over to the Bandcamp page to purchase the album. (The band stopped by the WXPN studios last spring to record a Key Studio Session—featuring earlier versions of “How Did You Know,” “Ecstasy In Your Outline,” and “Give Me”—which we ran back in April.) The official release show for the album is this Thursday, October 20th, at PhillyMOCA with Toy Soldiers and Josiah Wise GodBodi; tickets to the show are $10. Lady also performs at the World Cafe 20th Anniversary Concert with Ani DiFranco and Zee Avi at 8 p.m., Friday, October 21st, at the Chameleon Club; tickets to the 21+ show are $20–$75.

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Download Lady’s “How Did You Know” from The Key Studio Sessions Compilation, Volume 1

Last week we released The Key Studio Sessions Volume 1, a digital compilation of 17 songs recorded by local bands who have done our weekly Key Studio Sessions. You can download the entire collection of 17 songs here. Today we highlight the song “How Did You Know” recorded by Lady, featuring lead singer Kate Foust. As John Vettese noted about the song back in mid-April when we first posted the session, “The members of Philadelphia’s Lady are music students, but you didn’t need me to tell you that. You can hear it in the band’s stylistic mixup (torch-song jazz to big-band swing), or its tricky time signature juxtapositions.” Go here to hear the entire session.

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Download the new Key Studio Sessions Compilation Volume One for free

The Key Studio Sessions Compilation Volume OneThe Key Studio Sessions Compilation Volume One—which you can download for free here—features one exclusive track recorded at the WXPN studios by 17 local acts, including Cheers Elephant, Grimace Federation, Summer Fiction, Moon Women, Prowler, Attia Taylor, 5 O’Clock Shadowboxers, Res, Purling Hiss, The Shackeltons, Soars, Johnny Miles And The Waywards, Creepoid, By Surprise, Lady, Slutever, and American Babies.

Want to hear more? Click here to listen to the full sessions by all 17 local acts. You can also download The Key Studio Sessions Compilation, Volume One in its entirety as a .zip file.

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The Key Studio Sessions: The academics of Philadelphia’s Lady

Lady

The members of Philadelphia’s Lady are music students, but you didn’t need me to tell you that. You can hear it in the band’s stylistic mixup (torch-song jazz to big-band swing), or its tricky time signature juxtapositions (see “How Did You Know”). It’s there in the tasteful arrangements of “Give Me,” where all the players are given room to breathe (and space to shine). With their higher-ed careers collectively wrapping up, this week is a rare opportunity to catch Lady in an academic setting. Singer Kate Foust and bassist Jim Scanlan give their senior recitals at University Of The Arts on Friday, and they promise their performances will be “even more eclectic than a Lady show.” Scanlan’s recital delivers an overview of his composition work, including a string quartet where his bandmate Liz Zook plays first violin. Meanwhile, Lady as a whole backs up Foust’s recital, which includes a Mozart aria, a rendition of Etta James’ “At Last,” some French chansons, and two Lady originals. “We get to play shows all the time,” says Foust. “I wanted to do things that showcase what I’ve learned in the past four years, where I am as a musician, and things that I would never really get to perform at any other time.”

When Lady visited our studio last week, we got a taste of that in their head-spinning rendition of Gilberto Gil and Gal Costa’s Tropicalia number “Sebastiana,” as well as a moving “La Vie En Rose,” and a set of new Lady songs from the album they’re recording with Phil Nicolo (due out this fall). Help yourself to the originals below, listen to the Philly Local Second Shift on Y-Rock on XPN tomorrow night at 10 p.m. to hear the entire performance and my interview with the band. And for the curious, Scanlan and Foust’s recitals are free and open to the public this Friday, April 15, at 7 p.m. at the Caplan Center For The Performing Arts (211 S. Broad Street, 11th Floor).