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Watch mewithoutYou’s new clay-mation video for “All Circles” (playing The Depot on 7/6)

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The new video from Upper Darby’s mewithoutYou is a trippy 2001: A Space Odyssey meets Planet of the Apes tale of evolution, competition and self-destruction.  “All Circles” comes from the art-rock band’s latest LP Ten Stories and features Hayley Williams of Paramore on back-up vocals. With an initial homage to the tool-discovering apes of Kubrick’s film and an ending that could have someone yelling a line similar to that of Charlton Heston’s parting words in Schaffners’, the video is a cautionary critique of human tendencies.  mewithoutYou play The Depot in York, PA on July 6th with Auctioneer and Rocky Votolato; tickets and information can be found here. Watch the clay-mation video for “All Circles” below.

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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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Photo Recap: mewithoutYou, Kevin Devine and Buried Beds at The TLA

Last night, mewithoutYou wrapped up its summer tour with a homecoming show at The TLA featuring openers Kevin Devine and Buried Beds. Check out a photo gallery of the night above.

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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 →