Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ramona Cordova at LAVA Space, The Bul Bey at Johnny Brenda’s, Jonatha Brooke at Bryn Mawr Gazebo

Ramona Cordova | photo by Inma Varandela | courtesy of the artist
Ramona Cordova | photo by Inma Varandela | courtesy of the artist

Ahead of their upcoming release On Paper, indie artist Ramona Cordova will perform at LAVA Space. The venue is the perfect compliment for Ramona’s music and values, both working to create spaces that are inclusive and diverse and respectful through performance. Each of Ramona’s three records thus far have moved in different directions that reflect their growth and transformations over the past ten years: the boy who floated freely tells a story, taking the listener on a journey, quinn to new relationships is more expansive musically and abstract lyrically. Ramona tells The Key in a recent interview that the newest record, set for a July 4th release, is “inspired by the struggle I felt transitioning back to the United States from France: re-arising trauma, feelings of state and social oppression, hopelessness, longing to be back in a place where i just felt free.” Ramona will perform with Pinkwash, Gland, and Jenny Jones World. For more information, visit the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Pinkwash at LAVA Space, Laser Background at Ortlieb’s, Pkew Pkew Pkew at Deep Sea Hideout and more…

Pinkwash |photo by AmyJuneBreesman | courtesy of the artist
Pinkwash |photo by AmyJuneBreesman | courtesy of the artist

After a series of cathartic, aggressive and gripping early releases, Philly power duo Pinkwash stepped up their game even more for their debut LP Collective Sigh, out today on Don Giovanni records. Everything that was awesome about the Your Cure Your Soil EP and the Cancer Money 7″ – the bare-knuckled riffage of Joey Doubek, the propulsive rhythms of Ashley Arwine, the interlocking and sort of proggy complexity – is totally intact. What’s new is a huge embrace of hookiness, making it one of the hardest-hitting indie pop albums you’ll hear this year (or one of the catchiest punk records). Pinkwash headlines West Philly’s LAVA Space tonight before heading on a month-long tour; tickets and more information on the show can be found here. Read the band’s recent interview with our John Morrison and listen to Collective Sigh in its entirety below.
Continue reading →


The Goodbye Party is going on tour, playing a Girls Rock Philly benefit

The Goodbye Party | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman |
The Goodbye Party | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN |

DIY scene faves The Goodbye Party will escape West Philly next month and head out on the road for a short tour. The project of DC-bred singer-guitarist Michael Cantor (also of The Ambulars), the bad released its Silver Blues LP on Salinas Records just over a year ago, and turned heads at Union Transfer last March opening for scene friends Waxahatchee.  Continue reading →


Philly punk party Rockers! returns to showcase diversity in a multisensory weekend festival

Rockers! founder Camae Defstar, left, performs at an event in 2011 | Photo via
Rockers! founder Camae Defstar, left, performs at an event in 2011 | Photo by D1L0 via

Few events can sustain themselves for periods of over 10 years. Few shows offer such diversity in terms of people, genres, and art. That’s what makes Rockers! so unique; it has both.

A long-running music and art showcase that promotes diversity, Rockers! began because of a desire to see more bands of color playing punk shows.

Camae Defstar is one of the founding organizers of Rockers! and books almost all of the shows. Defstar started Rockers! around 2005 with her friend and band member, Rebecca Roe.

Growing up, Defstar didn’t see people of color in punk music. They didn’t receive recognition. She felt like she was the only one into the punk scene. She says Rockers! showcases bands who have something to say and don’t fit the traditional mold of their respective genres.

“We wanted our band, the Mighty Paradocs to play. We didn’t know too much about booking, so we said ‘Hey let’s book an event with bands we like and want to play with.”

Rockers began at the now-defunct venue Aqua Lounge that was located near Front and Girard Streets. The series then moved to Tritone on South Street, where it grew and created a community.

“There [at Tritone] we started to have a community of artists that were trying to play but didn’t have the access or connections to do so. That’s how Rockers started getting steam,” said Defstar.

Tritone was the host location of Rockers until the venue closed in 2012. During that year, Kung Fu Necktie became the frequent site of Rockers.

Joe Jordan, right, performs at a Rockers show at Kung Fu Necktie | photo by D1L0 via

Joe Jordan, former Mighty Paradocs drummer, has been a part of Rockers since its inception. Now, he creates music under the name the Joe Jordan Experiment. He still is a “regular” at the shows as a performer and spectator. He said Rockers gave him a sense of community.

“It’s like a home for a lot of us bands,” Jordan said. “I’d liken it to CBGB’s during its punk heyday. No fighting, just high-energy excitement. Usually people of color. [but] it’s all-inclusive. People of colors… any color…white, black, red. It’s about unity,” he said. Continue reading →