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The Best of Philly Music 2013

Photo by Abi Reimold
Photo by Abi Reimold

In September 2010, we started The Key because we wanted to offer the local music scene another platform to reach more audiences. We also started it because starting in the early aughts we noticed something happening here creatively amongst the local music scene that was hadn’t felt in a while – it was growing creatively and the buzz about how good the local scene was becoming more significant.

More new bands were starting than ever before, more music was becoming available for fans and more musicians were looking for ways to connect to fans. To me, the last five years of “the scene” reminds me a lot of the Philly music scene in the mid-Eighties to early Nineties when bands like Electric Love Muffin, Three Times Dope, The Wishniaks, Nixon’s Head, the Goats, the Dead Milkmen, Schoolly D, The Low Road, The Hooters, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, and Tommy Conwell all represented for Philly on both local and international stages. We thought Philly 2012 was a banner year for the local music scene. Guess what? 2013 was even better. Here are some of the best things about the Philly music scene in 2013.

Dr. Dog made their best album yet, B-Room.

Man Man made their best record yet, On Oni Pond.

The Districts signed with Fat Possum. Look for an EP with a couple of old songs and new tunes on January 26th.
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Man Man at Underground Arts, Cold Fronts at Hard Rock Cafe, Everyone Orchestra at the Blockley and more

man man
Photo via facebook.com/wearemanman

Experimental rock outfit Man Man will take the stage at Underground Arts tonight. The band released its most recent album On Oni Pond back in September, mixing quirky yet intelligent lyricism with huge hooks and a wide range of instrumentation. Find tickets and more information on tonight’s show here. Watch the video for “Born Tight” below.

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Just Announced: Man Man bringing it back home for pre-New Year’s gig at Underground Arts

Man Man | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Man Man | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

After its two-night stand at Union Transfer this Halloween, Philadelphia’s Man Man announced today that it would return home at year’s end for a headlining gig at Underground Arts on the 29th of December. Tickets for the 21+ show go on sale tomorrow at noon via Ticketfly. Below, watch a video of the band playing “End Boss” last time they were in town.

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What was he thinking? Driving through the city, Honus Honus of Man Man performs “Hold On” in the back of a flatbed truck

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 1.00.02 PM We’ve seen performance videos of musicians in cabs, hotel rooms, stairways, empty swimming pools, bowling alleys, tanning beds, and various rooftops, but we’ve rarely seen songs performed on flatbed trucks as they’re driving through the city streets. We honestly don’t know how Honus Honus from Man Man kept his composure for the making of this video. Below, watch him perform “Hold On” on the back of a flatbed truck for Soul Pancake.

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Photos from night one of Man Man’s double-header at Union Transfer

Man Man | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com All photos by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Philadelphia’s Man Man kicked off their two-night stand at Union Transfer last night, and even though it was technically not yet Halloween, the guys were costumed-out in skull shirts and alien masks. ‘Cause when you’re Man Man, every day is Halloween. Check out photos of their nicely illuminated performance and its various costume changes in the gallery below, along with some shots of opener Grandchildren. The party continues tonight at Union Transfer with a sold-out bill of Man Man, King Kahn and the Shrines, Melt Banana and Hell Shovel. See you there?

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: TJ Kong at Underground Arts, Mercury Radio Theater at Johnny Brendas and more

Screen shot 2013-10-31 at 10.14.00 AMThe fourth annual TJ Kong and The Atomic Bomb Halloween Spectacular will be raging at Underground Arts tonight. Referred to as a “Costume Ball Rock n’ Roll Murdershow” on the Facebook event page, this is sure to be an interesting event. With TJ Kong’s folk garage rock as the headliner, its going to get raucous and fun. They will be joined by Philadelphia up and comers Cold Fronts, so get there early!

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Tonight’s concert picks: Spirit Family Reunion at Johnny Brenda’s, Just Blaze at Soundgarden Hall, Man Man at Union Transfer and more

spirit family reunion
Photo by Abi Reimold | www.abireimoldphoto.com

Self-proclaimed “open-door gospel” and Americana band Spirit Family Reunion will bring their strings and spirit to Johnny Brenda’s tonight. Although the Brooklyn-born band rejects the label of “blue-grass”, the heavy fiddle and banjo presence makes for some good ol’ boot stompin’ dancin’ music. Tickets for the show are available here.

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