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Watch Mark Lanky’s retro rooftop video for “Slowly Fading Away,” see him at his February Ortlieb’s residency

Mark Lanky | still from video

If the name Mark Lanky sparks any kind of association for you, dear Key-reading Philadelphia music scenester, it is probably with the historic North 3rd Street music venue Ortlieb’s, formerly a jazz house, now a home for indie artists of all sorts. Lanky seems to always pop up as an opener on its various bills — and if he’s not opening, he might be checking your ID and taking your cash at the door.

This month, Lanky is wholly embracing his home-away-from-home with a Thursday night residency at Ortlieb’s, beginning tomorrow. All of it circles around the release of Another Night, the album Lanky recorded with Jamie Mahon and Mike Kiker of fellow Northern Liberties stalwarts St. James and the Apostles, at their Green Rock Studio.

To tease the album release, Lanky this week released a stylishly retro video for “Slowly Fading Away,” shot in the autumnal twilight on a NoLibs rooftop by Kurt Fowles and Sirius Cinema. As a suit-clad Lanky sings a 50s-style croon into a vintage ribbon mic and strums an acoustic guitar, the sun dips gradually below the western skyline. (Unless I have my geography all mixed up, in which case it was actually shot in the breathtaking pre-dawn as the sun slowly ascends from the east…but I’m pretty sure we’re looking west.)  Continue reading →

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Going through a breakup? Philly’s Mark Lanky is here to help

Mark Lanky/ courtesy of the artist
Mark Lanky/ courtesy of the artist

Philly singer-songwriter Mark Lanky is the definition of dark and brooding. With a guitar in hand and a deep baritone voice (reminiscent of The National’s Matt Berninger), Lanky embodies a world of melancholy and anguish. It’s the simplicity of his music that is his overall appeal. He doesn’t need much to pull the listener in — a natural talent, if you will. Although the music is simple, Lanky’s lyricism isn’t. His words are deep and complex while capturing the emotional roller coaster of heartbreak and despair, especially in his song, “That Morning Sun.” Written about a breakup, Lanky’s echoey voice and the dreamy melody characterize a life that was as they fade away with the relationship. Continue reading →

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Commonwealth Choir, Pine Barons, Weekender and more to play at BITBY Summer Sounds

commonwealthchoir
Photo by Mike Bucher

Bands in the Backyard is bringing together some of Philly’s best for a one-night-only concert at the Theater of the Living Arts. BITBY will host the concert Summer Sounds on August 15. It’s a killer lineup topped by Bucks County rock band Commonwealth Choir as headliner (fresh off their slot at XPoNential Music Festival this weekend). Continue reading →