The Key’s Year-End Mania: Rachel Barrish’s Top Five Concert Photographs of 2013

Yeah Yeah Yeahs | Photo by Rachel Barrish |
Yeah Yeah Yeahs | Photo by Rachel Barrish |

Year End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2013 awesome. In this installment, photographer Rachel Barrish shares her favorite shots of the year.

I’ve been photographing concerts for almost two years, and I started out right here at The Key. There is nothing I love more than being able to capture a moment during a concert by a musician I admire, and these are my top 5 photos from various shows I shot this year.

1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs at River Stage at Great Plaza
Being on a Tuesday, you didn’t really know what type of show this was going to be or how many people were going to show up. The place seemed fairly empty for such a large scale when Karen O first came on stage, but it felt like bliss. Seeing a band that big on a large stage with a fairly intimate audience is special and memorable. When the paper “Y” confetti exploded onto the audience I knew that I was lucky to have had the chance to capture this show. Continue reading →


Stream Diplo’s Mad Decent Christmas compilation, A Very Decent Christmas

Diplo-Xmas How about a little twerking underneath the mistletoe this year? Below, listen to A Very Decent Christmas, featuring some pumped up holiday jams by Diplo, DJ Snake, Gent & Jawns, Juyen Sebulba, Astronomar, Kennedy Jones, and more. Our favorites? “Frosty Bounce,” “Turn Up Ye Merry Gentlemen,” and Mitch Murder’s soulful slow jam ballad, “Don’t Let Me Spend Christmas Alone,” featuring Santell.


Diplo announces a new EP, Revolution featuring RiFF RaFF, Action Bronson and Travis Porter

REVOLUTION-ARTWEB Diplo has announced the release of Revolution, a new six song EP, coming out on October 8th on Mad Decent. The followup to Diplo’s Express Yourself EP features a star studded cast including Travis Porter, RiFF RAFF, Action Bronson, Mr. MFN eXquire, Mike Posner and others. Listen to “Biggie Bounce” below.

1. Biggie Bounce (feat. Angger Dimas & Travis Porter)
2. Revolution (feat. Imanos, Faustix & Kai)
3. Crown (feat. Boaz van de Beatz, Mike Posner & RiFF RAFF)
4. Rock Steady (feat. Action Bronson, RiFF RAFF, Mr MFN eXquire & Nicky Da B)
5. Revolution (feat. Imanos, Faustix & Kai) [Boaz van de Beatz Remix]
6. Biggie Bounce (feat. Travis Porter & Angger Dimas) [TWRK Remix]

Purchase the EP here


Recap: Scenes from the Mad Decent Block Party

Photo by Rachel Barrish |
Photo by Rachel Barrish |

The traditional Philadelphia-throned Mad Decent Block Party took place this past weekend at the Great Plaza at Penns Landing. Owner of Mad Decent and DJ, Thomas Wesley Pentz (aka Diplo) began the block party in 2008 when it used to actual take place on an actual block. Now with bigger artists and more of a demand, the parties have expanded across the country (and the world, if you include Toronto). During this Mad Decent tour, headlining act for every party included Major Lazer and rotating acts like Zeds Dead, Flosstradamus, and Riff Raff, among many others on the Mad Decent label.

A sold-out Philadelphia show brought out a variety of people, and when I say variety, I mean that is the most real sense possible. Because the show was all ages, there were people there ranging from probably 15 to 40 years old.

The day was beautiful and the sun was shining as people wearing neon colors of pink and green scattered down onto the waterfront. Girls wearing less to nothing except black duct tape or handmade crop tops; people’s arms and bodies covered in beaded bracelets aka “candy”, and carrying around cartoon backpacks of characters like Lilo & Stitch or Spongebob Squarepants.

This cultural spaceship that landed at Mad Decent has emerged worldwide since the EDM (Electronic Dance music) scene became so prominent. DJ’s, rap, and electronic music that come along with dance moves like twerking and breakdancing.

Who’s to say how long this craze will last among the all of the cultural fads that seem to come and go, but EDM seems to be stepping out into the future as a definitive piece of music culture.


Download a new remix by Major Lazer (playing Mad Decent Block Party 7/27)

Major Lazer

Electronic dancehall party starters Major Lazer just dropped a free remix of “The Fog” by Machel Montano. Spearheaded by Diplo, the EDM group released its new album, Free the Universe, in April and featured a ridiculous variety of artists, from Ezra Koenig to Bruno Mars to dancehall artists like Busy Signal. Major Lazer is embarking on a nationwide tour headlining the Mad Decent Block Parties. The very first Mad Decent Block Party was in Philadelphia (when the label was still based in Philly), and the day-long event returns to Penn’s Landing on July 27th. You can find more information here.


How Baauer’s viral hit “Harlem Shake” has its roots in Philly

Propelling out of the Mad Decent world to become a viral YouTube hit, Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” is a dance-pop earworm with roots in Philly. Or so explains local producer and deck-rocker DJ Apt One in a post on his blog today. He writes:

In 2010, Skinny Friedman and I had just received some demos from Dave Nada and DJ Ayres with some of the first Moombahton tunes. We set about making some edits of our own, and we put out a free EP on the web called Moombahton de Acero Volume 1 (volumes 2 and 3 would follow later). Included on this EP was a bootleg of Gregor Salto, DJ Gregory and Solo’s “Con Alegria.” One of the samples I used on the bootleg ended up on a “beats and loops” breaks and samples record T&A Records put outwith a bunch of early Moombahton luminaries on it.

Baauer, formerly a up-and-coming Philly DJ/producer called Cap’nHarry, is an acquaintance and a good dude. I got to know him when Moombahton first blew up, Harry having opened for Dillon Francis and me at Fluid back in 2011. Harry used the sample in a tune called Harlem Shake, which ended up in my mailbox sometime in early 2012. Everybody who heard it thought it was a great tune, and we all appreciated the local incestuousness of its creation, but nobody expected it to become such a phenomenon.

Below, download “Con Alegria” – the song Apt One originally sampled – and compare it to “Harlem Shake.”


Mad Decent Block Party lineup announced, features Bonde Do Role, POPO, and others

Brace yourselves: the dudes over at Mad Decent are gearing up for their annual Block Party and with the line-up they announced yesterday, things are definitely going to get loud, probably crazy, and certainly awesome. This year, names gracing Penn’s Landing’s Great Plaza include Major Lazer (of course), as well as Bonde Do Role, Riff Raff, DJ Sega, Reptar, POPO, and others. If you’re all about the new-school electronica, hip-hop, and experimental wave, this is the train you don’t want to miss. The Party goes down from noon to 9pm on August 4th. The event is free for all ages, but an RSVP is required (you can RSVP here). For more information — including the full line-up — check out the Facebook event page.

Below, stream Diplo‘s new retooling of his Major Lazer remix for Hot Chip‘s “Look At Where We Are.”


Snoop (Dogg) Lion collaborates with Diplo, Major Lazer on new reggae album

Last Friday, rap/hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg announced his new reggae project, Snoop Lion. Since then Snoop has given folks a taste of two new songs from the forthcoming album produced by Diplo and Major Lazer. Below, taste some of Snoop’s new flavor from his forthcoming album, Reincarnated. Here’s hoping The Lion shows up at the Philly Mad Decent Block Party on August 4th.