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The Week So Far: 12 must-read stories on The Key

Birdie Busch‘s latest LP, Birdie Busch and The Greatest Night, gets profiled in Unlocked [link]

World Cafe‘s Sense of Place series explores the musical heritage of Memphis [link]

Philly synth-poppers Vacationer announce a monthly music showcase at Underground Arts [link]

Gracie releases a free download and EP details [link]

Emo four-piece Everyone Everywhere records a Key Studio Session [link]

My Morning Jacket’s Jim James announces a solo appearance at Johnny Brenda’s [link]

Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic gives Bleeding Rainbow a shoutout via Twitter [link]

Catnaps premier a playful new music video for “Cherry Lips” [link]

Shorty Boy-Boy also premiers a video for the ultra-catchy “Closer” [link]

Download a song from Kurt Vile‘s reissued Hunchback EP [link]

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds release a lyric video for “Jubilee Street” [link]

Brooklyn singer-songwriter Jason Myles Gross appears in a Folkadelphia session [link]

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Unlocked: Aaron Brown of Aaron and the Spell shares his video playlist of influences

Listening to Aaron and the Spell‘s new full-length Sing, you can tell that songwriter Aaron Brown pulls from a large pool of influences. The primary sound is soul, for sure, but there’s a lot more going on than just that. We asked Aaron put together a video playlist of artists that have shaped him as a songwriter. Here are his picks.

Wilco “Side With the Seeds”

“I am a huge fan of Wilco and was so excited to see them at the XPoNential Music Festival. They definitely seep into my music (especially this song).”

Nina Simone “I Love You Porgy”

“Maybe my favorite musician ever. This is the tune that first broke Nina to a wider audience and it happened in Philadelphia! I believe she used to live in West Philly for a time. I’m always walking Philadelphia hoping to bump into one of her relatives still living here.” Continue reading →

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Listen to a Spotify playlist from Strand of Oaks’ Tim Showalter (playing Union Transfer tonight)

On the heels of releasing his latest full-length record, Dark Shores, Strand of Oaks plays Philadelphia tonight, opening up for recent Free at Noon highlight The Tallest Man on Earth. Knowing Oaks’ main man Tim Showalter to be a fellow with broad-ranging and exquisite taste in music, we asked him to make us a Spotify playlist to provide a snapshot of where he was while working on his new record. Interestingly, he talked about how focused on his craft he becomes in the album-writing zone that finding new music becomes secondary to making new music. From Showalter:

My approach to music listening is pretty boring. Especially when I started making records, my appetite for discovery really subsided. My manager Ryan sends me new records that I always love and my friend Morgan is huge source for tunes. It really feels like I’m some recluse that people are sending little bits of the outside world too. If you ask my wife what I listen to it would be probably be youtube demo videos of synthesizers and guitar pedals. With that said I will try and combine a list that feels somewhat relevant to where my life has been in the past year or so. Some of these songs influenced what became Dark Shores. Actually, the two songs (Active Child, Future Islands) we’re big influences in me NOT making a Dark Shores a synth album. They made such beautiful albums that I really didn’t want to compete. I was also considering making a pure Pumpkins list but spotify seems pretty weak on deep cuts…

You can listen to Showalter’s mix in the player below. Strand of Oaks plays with The Tallest Man on Earth at Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden Street, tonight at 8 p.m. The all-ages show is sold out.