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The Key’s Year-End Mania: 2017’s ten best Philly artist portraits

Cayetana | photos by Mary Ferrigno | courtesy of the artist

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, Sarah Hojsak takes a look at some of the best artist portraits of 2017.

During last year’s end-of-the-year rush, The Key took a brief step away from music itself and instead started digging through the images surrounding it. The result was 2016’s ten best Philly artist portraits — a collection of some of the most visually stunning, ridiculously outlandish or otherwise eye-catching promotional photos from our beloved local musicians.

As you well know, we have no shortage of great music happening here in Philly, and lucky for us so, so many of our favorite artists released new music this year. With those new tunes came a whole new batch of images to take in — they range from the standard artsy but professional press photo to the quirky personality pic and everything in between, and they come from some of music’s best photographers. The best ones, regardless of the forms they take or the themes they use, caught our attention and didn’t let go. Here’s a far from thorough but nonetheless delightful selection of some of 2017’s standouts. Continue reading →

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Madalean Gauze, Queen of Jeans, Louie Louie and Empath team up for Valley Youth House benefit gig

Madalean Gauze | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN

If you’re looking to kick off the new year with a gig that also benefits a good cause, look no further than this Boot & Saddle show. A stacked lineup of locals are coming together January 5 for a benefit show to support Valley Youth House’s Pride program, which provides services for LGBTQ youth in Philadelphia. The show will also be an EP release celebration for headliner Madalean Gauze; the Philly singer-songwriter’s new effort FUNeral will be released that day and is the follow-up to last EP Cool and Fun. The bill is rounded out by dream pop outfit Queen of Jeans, retro rockers Louie Louie and West Philly DIY regulars Empath. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Louie Louie at Beautiful World Syndicate, Sea Offs at Kung Fu Necktie, Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers at Sellersville Theater, and more

Louie Louie | Firefly Music Festival 2017 | Photo by John Vettese

There’s nothing better than a Philly band playing a Philly record store — especially when it’s an act we haven’t seen around town in awhile. Louie Louie‘s last hometown appearance was at Spruce Street Harbor Park when the weather was still warm, and after a short break the band is back with a new lineup and new songs — they’re playing Beautiful World Syndicate tonight; Myrrias will also perform. Louie Louie released their debut LP Friend of a Stranger in January, and it’s full of the band’s otherworldly retro pop sound that makes them standouts in the scene. Watch “After Me” from the band’s Key Studio Session below and find more information on the event here. Continue reading →

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Firefly on the Fly, Day Two: Weezer, Judah & The Lion, Sofi Tukker, Flume, Twenty One Pilots, and more

Weezer | Firefly Music Festival 2017 | Photo by John Vettese

Here’s a quick rundown of day two of the Firefly Music Festival. While there were over thirty bands on the schdedule on Friday, the big hits of the day were Twenty One Pilots — whose fans are the hypest people at the festival by far — and Judah & The Lion, who opened the main stage in the afternoon. Judah & The Lion joined Twenty One Pilots during their set to cover “Tubthumping” by Chumbawumba and “Jump Around” by House of Pain and the world exploded.

Sofi Tukker was the best set I saw today. The Brooklyn based duo – Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern – played very interactive dance rock with touches of South American percussion. Maggie Rogers came onstage to join in on a song with them. Banks was stunning; and her haunting performance was marked with beautiful sound, choreography, and a lot of awesome weirdness. Franz Ferdinand DJ’d Euro pop on the Treehouse Stage after their main stage set; and Louie Louie performed on the Campground Stage. Continue reading →

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Watch Louie Louie’s trippy new music video for “Will to Find”

Louie Louie | photo courtesy of the artist
Louie Louie | photo courtesy of the artist

It’s Louie Louie’s solar system, and we’re just lost in it. In their new music video “Will to Find,” the four-piece band transforms themselves into aliens on a mission, complete with tinfoil hats and a fondness for 60s hair and makeup.

Premiered on June 2nd by Impose Magazine, the new video from the Philadelphia-based four-piece is not your traditional pairing of a track with coordinating, supporting visuals. Instead, this video for the retro rockers’ “Will to Find” is just that: a video first, made complete by a soundtrack of sounds sampled and spliced from the group’s LP recordings to create a bizarre yet compelling story. The all black and white video clocks in at just over three minutes, and in that time they manage to squeeze in a whole lot of trippiness. Watch it here, via Impose Mag. Continue reading →

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Check out Louie Louie’s minimalistic and mysterious visual for “I Want to Dance With You”

louie louie
Louie Louie | photo courtesy of the artist

We already know that Louie Louie are the queens of throwback jams on this side of the Mississippi, and they proved it yet again with their video for “I Want to Dance With You.” This time, the band wanted to play around how the visual complimented their tunes, telling Ladygunn “It would be false to retroactively assign a concept to the video. Rather than a plot line, the story is told through textures – dark and light, solid and void.”

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Underground Arts to host International Women’s Day benefit, featuring Louie Louie, Ivy Sole, Queen of Jeans, Harmony Woods and more…

Ivy Sole | photo courtesy of the artist
Ivy Sole | photo courtesy of the artist

This International Women’s Day — Wednesday, March 8th — Underground Arts will host a benefit concert featuring Louie Louie, Queen of Jeans, Ivy Sole, Grayling, and many more. The event will benefit the new Crossroads Women’s Center, a community based self-help space. You can find a full lineup of the fifteen, possibly sixteen (wink, wink)  bill below. Then, head over to XPN’s Concert Calendar for tickets and more information. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Louie Louie

How does one sing pop songs in times of despair? Let Philly’s Louie Louie be your guide. It was a rainy Wednesday in November the day the band rolled in to record its Key Studio Session. Not just any rainy Wednesday in November; it was the day after the 2016 presidential election, and there was an unsettled, uncertain stillness in the air.

To be perfectly honest, it was such a weird day that I wasn’t 100% sure that the retro rock four-piece was even going to show up as I arranged microphone stands and headphone amps around the studio. Ultimately, a knock at the door came, and upon answering, frontwoman Emily Robb seemed just as grateful to see me as I was to see the band; as she told me, they weren’t 100% sure that I would even be there. Continue reading →

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Louie Louie return with “Do It (In Your Mind)” single from next month’s Friend of a Stranger

louie louie
Louie Louie | photo courtesy of the artist

Mod-wop quartet Louie Louie are gearing up to release their Friend of a Stranger LP next month, their debut effort with the Philly-based Born Losers label of Mike Cammarata (Residuels, Suburban Living) and Chris Radwanski (Night Panther, Suburban Living). “Do It In Your Mind” is the second track we’re hearing from the record and with it comes another punch of sugar-coated rawness.

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Just Announced: Sheer Mag, Tigers Jaw and more come to Boot and Saddle for charity “Peace and Noise” series in January

Boot and Saddle can always be counted on to host killer shows and bring together good people for good causes whenever the chance comes their way.

This January is no different: the South Philly music venue just announced a three- series in January called “Peace and Noise.” Each show will benefit a charity of the headliners choice. Tom May and Greg Barnett of The Menzingers open it up on January 11th, Sheer Mag continues on the 18th and an acoustic set by Tigers Jaw on the 25th. Continue reading →