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The Key Studio Sessions: Church Girls

Church Girls jumps out from the bustling crop of new indie rock bands emerging on the Philly scene this year, and there are a few reasons why. One, there’s no artifice about them – they play hooky rock songs with memorable melodies and solid playing. No fuss, no muss, no bullshit. There’s also singer and songwriter Mariel Beaumont’s voice, which is just effortlessly awesome, and it blends well with her songwriting style – as I described it in the past, “personal, honest and direct…a bit singer-songwriter but with a cutting punk edge.”  Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Radiator Hospital and more at L.O.T.S. Festival, Hop Along at Union Transfer, Nik Greeley at MilkBoy and more

Radiator Hospital | Photo by John Hanson | via Radiator Hospital’s Facebook
Okay, yes, obviously with our week full of coverage of Hop Along’s new album Painted Shut, we think you should go to the Hop Along show tonight. But you know what? The first Love on the Streets Festival to benefit the Paine’s Skate Park Funk is a daytime concert, and the music is just as great, making it the perfect pre-party. West Philly folky punk faves Radiator Hospital headline, along with pop anthem machine W.C. Lindsay, buzzing emo four-piece Clique (who open for Hop Along later tonight) and the hard-hitting Dogs On Acid (featuring Joe Reinhart of Hop Along). Earlier in the day there are performances by EDM-leaning artists Moon Bounce, Jack Deezl and Mister Sampson, plus skate and circus arts demos. It’s gonna be a great time; more information here. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Peter Matthew Bauer at Milkboy, Cherokee Red at Ortlieb’s, Laser Background at Boot & Saddle and more…

Peter Matthew Bauer
Peter Matthew Bauer | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com

Peter Matthew Bauer headlines the Communion Philly line-up at Milkboy tonight. It’s barely necessary to even mention Bauer’s former affiliation with The Walkmen as the Philadelphia musician created such a great solo presence with his debut Liberation! last year. He brought the record to XPN for a Free at Noon concert in March, which you can listen to here. Watch the video for “Philadelphia Raga” below and pick up tickets for the 21+ show here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mason Porter & Chris Kasper’s Grateful Dead Tribute at the Ardmore Music Hall, Tei Shi at Milkboy, Toro y Moi at Union Transfer

Mason Porter
Mason Porter | photo by Lisa Schaffer

After a stellar midday tribute to the Grateful Dead a few weeks ago, Mason Porter and Chris Kasper bring the show to the Ardmore Music Hall tonight. Kasper and his band will perform American Beauty, the 1970 record that included “Sugar Magnolia,” “Truckin’” and “Box of Rain.” For Mason Porter’s set, he’ll do versions of “Uncle John’s Band,” “Casey Jones” and others from Workingman’s Blues. Tickets and information for the 21+ tribute show can be found here. Watch Mason Porter perform “Cumberland Blues” at the Free at Noon below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Icky Blossoms at Milkboy, Joe Pug at Boot & Saddle, A Day Without Love at Kung Fu Necktie

Icky Blossoms
Icky Blossoms | photo via Facebook

Icky Blossoms play Milkboy tonight. The Nebraska-based band released its debut self-titled record in 2012, which will be followed by Mask next month through Saddle Creek. Single “In Folds” captures the band’s dance-focused songs that echo both club vibes of the eighties and contemporary electro-pop outfits like Friendly Fires. Listen to the track below and pick up tickets for the 21+ show here.

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Watch the music video for Little Strike’s Supergrass cover, catch her at a slew of upcoming Philly shows

Little Strike | Photo courtesy of the artist
Little Strike | Photo courtesy of the artist

Two summers back, Middle Eastern-born singer and songwriter Tamar Dart, or Little Strike, settled in Philly. Last summer, she released Forever Always Leaving, her first EP laced with electronic dream pop beats which concluded with a cover of Supergrass’ “Alright.”

Now, as spring is kicking in and we’re about to embark on her third summer here with us, she’s released a music video for that cover, a visual/auditory collage with “footage from real as well as dream life.” Continue reading →

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Key Fest At-A-Glance: A set of simmering Philly hip-hop and R&B with Brielle, The Bul Bey, Jacqueline Constance and Tiani Victoria

Brielle
Brielle | Photo by Reji B. | rejibphotography.com

I kind of see our first-ever Key Fest as a tour of the Philly scene, from the basements to the coffeehouses and ending up in thenightclubs. Since the concluding night of the series happens to be on a Saturday, we had to make it a party by getting together some of our favorite voices in Philly hip-hop and R&B and bringing them to the MilkBoy stage. Here’s a look at what’s in store. Continue reading →

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Key Fest At-A-Glance, Part Two: A folk / rock ramble with The Lawsuits, Rosu Lup and Dylan Jane

The Lawsuits | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
The Lawsuits | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

While Thursday night starts out Key Fest with a indie / punk bang, Friday opens it up into something more spacious with a night of expansive, Americana-tinged folk / roots / rock and roll. Continuing our series of preview rundowns for this first-ever Key-curated celebration of local music, today we’ll take a closer look at the three artists joining us for the second night at MilkBoy. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Fresh Cut Orchestra

Two and a half years ago, the three leaders of Philly’s Fresh Cut Orchestra - Josh Lawrence on trumpet, Jason Fraticelli on bass and Anwar Marshall on drums – had never so much as jammed together. They were just three players from the local jazz scene who had reputations as versatile collaborators (we first saw Lawrence sitting in with Hennessey Bonfire at a World Cafe Live gig a few years back) when they were recruited by Lenny Seidman at The Painted Bride to work together on a night of music for the Old City arts venue’s 40th anniversary.

Shaun Brady told their story in City Paper earlier this year: as much as their beginnings were the result of essentially being thrown together, the trio’s chemistry clicked, and earlier this year the FCO (now a robust ten-piece) released their excellent debut LP, From the Vine, via local imprint Ropeadope Records.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: RFA at MilkBoy, Hurray for the Riff Raff at World Cafe Live, Abi Reimold at Ortlieb’s

RFA | photo via rfaband1.bandcamp.com
RFA | photo via rfaband1.bandcamp.com

Local boys RFA just finished their freshman year of college and are still riding high on their Freaking Out EP, released back in January. The band plays snappy and hooky rock and roll a la The Strokes and The Stones, and tonight opens for Pine Barons and Clear Plastic Masks at MilkBoy. Tickets and more information can be found here. Continue reading →