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mewithoutYou announces summer tour, takes Auctioneer along for the ride (ends at The Depot in York on 7/6)

mwYUpper Darby-bred art rock five-piece mewithoutYou announced a run of summer tour dates, and they’re bringing like-minded Philly outfit Auctioneer along for the ride. The former is continuing to tour behind their excellent 2012 LP Ten Stories, while the latter is prepping their debut LP for release this summer sometime (and if their recent show at PhilaMOCA is an indicator, it’s going to blow some minds).

The tour wraps up at The Depot in York, PA, on the 6th of July with Rocky Votolato also performing; information on the show can be found here.  For the full tour dates, click here. Below, watch mewithoutYou’s video for “February, 1878″ and Auctioneer’s recent session for Weathervane Music’s Shaking Through series.

Shaking Through: Auctioneer from Weathervane Music on Vimeo.

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Ten stories from The Key that got you excited in 2012

The Menzingers (Photo by Madeleine Lesperance)

The amount of news that surfaces in a 24 hour period is astronomical anymore; multiplied by 365, that’s an onslaught of information we present you with during the calendar year. But some items always rise above the fold and prove to be something bigger. Here are the ten stories from The Key that drew your collective attention (and eyeballs) in 2012. Continue reading →

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Does cover art make the album? (plus 10 great album covers from the Philly scene in 2012)

Hideaway
Hideaway Music in Chestnut Hill uses album art as wall art

We can all agree (I hope) that the old “can’t judge a book by its cover” adage applies just as easily to albums. From Magical Mystery Tour to Rumours, The Talking Heads to The Smashing Pumpkins, and even this year’s standout Cat Power LP Sun, there’s a rich history of great music hiding behind heinous artwork. So does album art matter?

I think no and yes. “No” in that it’s about the music, not the packaging. In a world of digital listening, we interact with the songs themselves more immediately than ever before – there’s not that barrier of a bizarro / ugly sleeve to “get over,” in the event you find the sleeve bizarro and / or ugly. But also, “yes” in that cover art is still a way an musician represents themselves and their work. It may no longer be a first impression, but it is an impression, and you can almost look at it as an indicator of how much care they put into their overall project. And even on a more practical end, sure, physical releases no longer drive sales, but they are prized by collectors – the 180 gram vinyl editions and so forth are the sort of thing where people use the download card, then frame the LP cover and hang it on their wall. Would you really want to have Grimes’ frantic scribbled acid freakout hanging in your living room? (Okay, maybe you do.)

This week, UK music and culture blog The 405 listed their worst and best album covers of the year – lively reads, always – and it got me thinking about the role album art plays in 2012. Do you ignore it? Do you (like me) get antsy when your iTunes doesn’t have artwork for all its mp3s? What was the worst decade for album covers? (Hint: the 90s.) Which album covers blew you away this year? Which made you wretch? Discuss in the comments section, and check out some standout Philadelphia album covers from 2012 after the jump. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Young Statues, Bill Mallonee, Juston Stens & The Get Real Gang, Lockets, and mewithoutYou

Young Statues are a five-piece band from Philly who makes acoustic sounding beats that sound like early pop punk rounded off with a softer, gentler side. Their self-titled debut album came out in late 2011, hefty with sweet rock vibes honing in their truthful and simplistic lyrics. They venture to The Barbary tonight for an all ages performance along with Turnover and PJ Bond. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here. The night starts out early at 6:30 p.m. Below you can listen to an acoustic EP they released in February.

Starting out as the frontman for the  alt-country rock band Vigilantes of Love, and continuing as a solo artist after their disbandment, Bill Mallonee has always enjoyed writing and singing. The band has since reconvened but Bill still continues to write and record his own music. He will be playing the early show tonight at 7:30 at the Tin Angel. The 21+ show is $12, snag your tickets here.

The non-profit art and culture space, Little Berlin hosts a music series entitled ‘Dream Oven’ and the series continues tonight with a performs from Juston Stens & The get Real Gang. Juston, former drummer of Dr. Dog, always had a head full of songs, and he was finally able to extract them with the creation of his band The Get Real Gang. Their debut album Trash or Treasure was released in March of this year, an eclectic combination of rock genre similar to dreamy 60′s rock bands like Zeppelin or Jefferson Airplane. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. and there is a $5-7 donation.

The dream pop duo, Lockets will be performing a 21+ show this evening at Kung Fu Necktie. Although Lockets is a duo they do live performances as a full band featuring drums, bass, synthesizer, and guitar. You can catch them along with Attia Dancers and Language Problems at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are only $10.

Last but not least, XPN welcomes the Philadelphia-based ensemble mewithoutYou back home for the last stop on their tour at the TLA. They released their fifth studio album, Ten Stories this past May. They have been touring along with Kevin Devine and Buried Beds, you can buy tickets to the 7:30 p.m. show here.

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Listen to mewithoutYou’s new album, Ten Stories, on Spotify

Photo by the Ely Brothers

The members of mewithoutYou have made their upcoming album, Ten Stories, available in its entirety on Spotify. The preview comes a week before the album’s official release date of May 15th (on the band’s own label, Pine Street). You can listen to the stream here. From the band:

This premiere comes on the heels of the album pre-order launch which caused such a frenzy that additional pressings of the deluxe edition had to be added after fans quickly burned through the initial allotment. Pre-orders for the digital download, CD, 150-gram colored vinyl LP and the Collector’s Box Set, is still underway – please visit www.mewithoutYou.com for details. Every pre-sale order will come with an automatic free download of album track “Fox’s Dream of the Log Flume,” to which Paramore’s Haley Williams contributed backing vocals.

The band has also announced the second leg of their North American tour, beginning July 13th in Cleveland and wrapping August 19th in the band’s hometown of Philadelphia. Kevin Devine and Buried Beds will open. The first leg of the tour kicks off in Washington, DC on May 17th, with Buried Beds and Imaginary Cities opening on all dates.

You can get more information from mewithoutYou’s website. Full tour dates below. And, in case you missed it, check out our Key Studio VIDEO Session with the band here.

Continue reading →

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Listen to “The Neighboring Sea,” the latest single from Geology

You might recognize the above Star Wars-reading fellow as Greg Jehenian, the convivial bassist we met in two of our Key Studio VIDEO Sessions: mewithoutYou‘s and Buried Beds‘. When he’s not busy with either of those acts, Jehenian also makes thoughtful, home-spun indie rock under the name Geology, and just last week released his latest EP, The Neighboring Sea. You can stream the percussive title track below, download the entire thing at Bandcamp, and keep tabs on Geology’s Facebook page for news of one of Jehenian’s irregularly scheduled live appearances.

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mewithoutYou announces tour dates in support of its new album, Ten Stories (due May 15th)

Photo by the Ely Brothers

The members of mewithoutYou–who are set to release the band’s fifth full length album, Ten Stories, on May 15th (via their own Pine Street label)–have just announced a month-long U.S. tour in support of the upcoming album. The tour will kick off in Washington, DC, on May 17th and wrap up in Asbury Park, NJ, on June 16th. (The tour does not include a show in Philadelphia.) Philly’s own Buried Beds and Winnipeg’s Imaginary Cities are the opening acts on the tour.

From the band:

With 10 years as a band under their belt, it is only fitting that mewithoutYou has managed to make their most expansive and dynamic album to date. Ten Stories marks the return of their signature raucous vocals and hard-hitting instrumentation while the band’s more recent ventures into folk and lush orchestration are also present. Paramore’s Hayley Williams contributes backing vocals to two songs on the album, including “Fox’s Dream of the Log Flume” and “All Circles.” Ten Stories toys with the band’s favorite themes of romantic disaster and quasi-mystical speculation, offering up a collection of allegorical songs about a circus train crash in 19th century Montana. Through the fable-like interactions of fictitious animals, the songs offer up deep ponderings about human character flaws and the circle of life. It is these ruminations on life, love, loss and spirituality for which mewithoutYou has become so well-loved. Ten Stories is yet another gem for their catalogue.

You can get more information from mewithoutYou’s website. Full tour dates below. And, in case you missed it, check out our Key Studio VIDEO Session with the band here.

5/17 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat
5/18 – Charlotte, NC @ Amos’ Southend
5/19 – Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern
5/21 – Birmingham, AL @ WorkPlay Theatre
5/22 – Nashville, TN @ Rocketown
5/24 – Oklahoma City, OK @ ACM@UCO
5/25 – San Antonio, TX @ White Rabbit
5/26 – Dallas, TX @ The Door
5/28 – Little Rock, AR @ Downtown Music Hall
5/29 – Springfield, MO @ Outland Ballroom
5/30 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room
6/1 – Columbia, MO @ Blue Note
6/2 – Iowa City, IA @ Blue Moose Tap House
6/4 – Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock
6/5 – Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall Ballroom
6/6 – Indianapolis, IN @ Deluxe at Old National Centre
6/7 – Cincinnati, OH @ 20th Century Theatre
6/8 – Lansing, MI @ The Loft at Harem Urban Lounge
6/9 – Toronto, ON @ The Mod Club
6/11 – Rochester, NY @ Water Street Music Hall
6/12 – So. Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
6/13 – Northampton, MA @ Pearl Street
6/14 – Pawtucket, RI @ The Met
6/15 – Hoboken, NJ @ Maxwell’s
6/16 – Asbury Park, NJ @ The Stone Pony

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Check out a video for “Blood,” the new song from Philly’s Cold Fronts

Swaggery Philly rock fivesome Cold Fronts is having a good winter. The band is about to go out on tour with Key Video Sessions stars mewithoutYou, and on Friday, its brand new video for the song “Blood” was highlighted on Spinner.com. The video was shot on location in and around West Philadelphia, culminating with a giant house-party concert at their Drexel campus homebase, The Rathaus, and you can watch it below. Cold Fronts’ next Philadelphia date is April 13 at MilkBoy.