New band Exmaid shares “Devoted” from forthcoming album Fair Sex

Exmaid | photo courtesy of the artist

You may be familiar with Philly post-punk staples Psychic Teens and their signature brooding and atmospheric sound. If so, you may recognize some of the members of the new band Exmaid — but their sound may surprise you. Gone are the deep and haunting vocals and dark and stormy, fuzzed-out melodies — “Devoted,” the first single from Exmaid’s forthcoming LP, is positively sunny.

That’s all thanks to the influence of songwriter and vocalist Miranda Taylor (formerly of New Jersey bands Hunchback, Black Wine, and Full of Fancy). Taylor approached Psychic Teens with a batch of songs she’d written, looking for inspiration to help make her vision a reality. The result is Exmaid, and their debut album Fair Sex will be released April 6 via Don Giovanni and SRA Records. Continue reading →


Photos: Modern Baseball preview Holy Ghost at Long in the Tooth

modern baseball
Modern Baseball In-store Concert | photo by John Vettese

The day before they released Holy Ghost, Modern Baseball played an in-store set at Long in the Tooth for people who pre-ordered the new LP. The set consisted of most of the new record, plus older songs like “Your Graduation” and “Fine, Great.” The Key’s John Vettese was on hand to capture the event on film, snapping shots of the band setting up for the session, fans browsing for records, MoBo frontman Brendan Lukens taking selfies and signing autographs, and of course people singing along. Modern Baseball headline The Fillmore‘s main stage on June 26th; tickets and information can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hound at Long in the Tooth, Method Man / Redman at The TLA, Philly Sings Philly with DRGN King at The Fire

Hound | via
Hound | via
West Philly thrash trio Hound celebrate the vinyl release of their LP Out of Time with a free show tonight at Long in the Tooth. The power trio features singer-guitarist Perry Shall (also a visual artist and show promoter, formerly of surf-punks Dry Feet), drummer Chris Wilson (of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists) and Colin McGinniss on bass; the record is out now and you can rock out to “Mortality Jam” below. Information on the free show can be found here. Continue reading →


The Key’s guide to your Record Store Day shopping spree

Siren Records | photo by Liora Arianna | via

It’s the time of year to trade in all those hard earned dollars for some new vinyl – as if you didn’t do that all year long already.

And if you don’t, Record Store Day – this Saturday, April 19th – is a good a day as any to start. While the debate continues as to whether or not the “holiday” has outgrown its original goal of celebrating independent record stores across the country, and turned more towards larger labels reissuing classics to cash in, that’s not to say you shouldn’t take advantage of what’s been released and take advantage of any potential deals.

When heading out this Saturday, be ready for something unavoidable – crowds. Blair Elliot, owner of Doylestown’s Siren Records, says that RSD has blown up a little more every year to the point of bringing more people through his shop’s doors than the Christmas shopping season. His store will have most of the RSD-exclusive releases. And if you check the RSD website; that’s quite a formidable list; must be a big investment for an independent store.

“We hope it’s big this year because it’s costing us a lot,” Elliot says laughing. “I don’t think it’s a risk, but you just need to make sure you sell enough of what you get.”

Our Griffins will play an instore set at Siren Records in Doylestown

Siren Records will also be hosting Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band and Our Griffins for an in-store performance starting at 6 p.m. Forsyth and company will be releasing, Solar Live 11.15.13, a recording of the band’s November show at the Rotunda.

The show happening at Siren is just one of many in-store shows this year. Northern Liberties’ Creep Records is treating RSD as a “grand re-opening” as they expand into a neighboring store in the Piazza at Schmidt’s (shoppers will be able to enter from a new door on the inside of the Piazza). They plan to mark their stock down ten percent and expect to have all the RSD-exclusive releases. Goddamnit, Ex Friends, Good Graces and Families will be playing their in-store show starting around 4 p.m. Continue reading →


Unlocked: Take a trip record shopping with Psychic Teens

Photo by John Berry
Photo by John Berry

Tonight, Psychic Teens celebrate the release of their new LP, COME, by performing at Center City record store Long in the Tooth. We thought a record shopping trip with the band would be a good way to warm up for the show.

It’s 1 p.m. on a bright August afternoon in South Philly. Larry Ragone, guitarist and singer of raw post-punk annihilators Psychic Teens, is sifting through the “new arrivals” bin of vinyl records at Beautiful World Syndicate. He’s arrived before his bandmates. And that’s a good thing.

“Sometimes when we shop together we fight over who gets what records if there’s only one in the store,” Ragone says. “I’m glad I got here first.”

The vinyl record collecting boom isn’t a new craze, but audiophiles are especially embracing the LP’s resurrection. The format is a bit glorified by its enthusiasts, but the praise is warranted because of vinyl’s superior sound quality, enlarged artwork and pursuit of owning different versions and packages that many bands offer with their albums.

The sound advantage lies within each record’s grooves, which capture the entire sound wave of the music within by replicating the wave’s shape. That replication is what sets vinyl apart from other formats. CDs are much more inclined to lose certain tones of the music as it’s converted from its analog form to digital. And think about it, if vinyl is projecting the sound of vibrations from the shapes and indentations in its grooves, it’s actually natural sound. As opposed to digital downloads and CDs which is a laser reading of what laypersons may call, “computer language,” (read: 001011000011101, etc.). But the appeal of owning the physical copy of an album, may be an even bigger part of the vinyl collectors’ culture. Continue reading →


Psychic Teens: New album, new music video, record release show 8/9

psychic teens COME

Local goth punks Psychic Teens are releasing their second full-length album, COME, on August 13th. It’s all currently streaming on Bandcamp but you can pre-order physical copies through SRA Records. The band’s (free, all-ages) record release show will be at Long in the Tooth on August 9th at 9 p.m. Meanwhile, check out the new music video for “BUG” – it’s full of heavy-hitting noisy punk and hilariously ridiculous bug costumes.


The Key’s Year-End Mania: Eric Slick’s five favorite things about Philly in 2012

For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, drummer Eric Slick of Dr. Dog, Norwegian Arms, Ape School and more shares his five favorite things about Philly in 2012. Continue reading →