We at The Key have been excited at the prospect of a new album by the talented Lushlife for a couple years now. But as even more details surface about his upcoming Ritualize, the word excited but not be enough to describe our collective enthusiasm.
Raj Haldar, the man behind the moniker, recently released the tracklist for his album due out in February ,and let’s just say that it was not without it’s share of enticing details. Rap albums track lists are more exciting than that of a typical album because of one thing above all else: features. In the case of Ritualize, the dizzying variety and overall quality of its nine different featured artists is what sets apart. Continue reading →
Jazz-tinged Philly four-piece Liz and the Lost Boys headlines Kung Fu Necktie tonight. Fronted by singer, songwriter and harpist Liz Ciavolino, the band just released a digital single for the songs “February” and “The Forest and the Farmer,” and the new compositions are their most expansive to date. Moving far from the folk-pop of their earliest EP, both new songs are steeped in metaphor and mythology, and harness complex structures for an almost prog vibe. Listen below, and get tickets and more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar.
Dave Hartley, AKA Nightlands, has shared a new video for “So Far So Long,” from his recent album Oak Island. Hartley, bassist in War On Drugs, has been keeping his schedule full these days, playing on the new Buried Beds album and wrapping up a run of Lindsey Buckingham Appreciation SocietyTusk tribute shows. He starts a month long tour in November. For the video, director David Kessler recorded footage this past February on the northern coast of Iceland in Skagaströnd. The video is visually stunning and incorporates close up, slow motion shots of horses, all set to the dreamy soundscape of the song.
This Saturday night, September 21st, The Lindsey Buckingham Appreciation Society – crew of musicians and Fleetwood Mac’s enthusiasts from Philly and New York – will will reunite to perform the classic Tusk in its entirety at Johnny Brenda’s. They’ll also play some other Mac classics. The current TLBS lineup includes co-founders of the band Charlie Hall (vocalist and multi-instrumentalist with Jens Lekman and The War on Drugs, and leader of the Philadelphia-based male choral ensemble The Silver Ages) and Patrick Berkery (who has played drums with The War on Drugs, Pernice Brothers and more) along with Tony Goddess, Birdie Busch, Dave Hartley (The War on Drugs, Nightlands, and writer of The Key’s Top of The Key basketball column), and Eliza Hardy Jones of Buried Beds. We asked Charlie Hall (CB) and Patrick Berkery (PB) to put a handful of their favorite Fleetwood Mac songs and to reflect on their greatness. Here’s five of their favorites.
“Sentimental Lady” from Bare Trees (1972)
PB: From the Bob Welch-era. Quite possibly ground zero for “yacht rock.” (Can I just tell you how much I despise that term?) It’s surprising they didn’t have a major hit with this – such a beautiful song. Bob DID have a hit with it on his 1977 solo album “French Kiss,” an album the uninitiated are strongly urged to check out. It also has “Ebony Eyes,” an EPIC moment in soft rock history.
CH: An absolutely gorgeous lyric. I love Mick’s drumming on this one, and how the pre-chorus really starts to chug-a-lug into that exquisite chorus. I do think Bob improved upon it on the ‘French Kiss’ version five years later, featuring not only Mick and Christine again but also Lindsey helping shape it with guitars and production. There’s complete sweetness wrapped up with a tinge of sadness, which pretty much encapsulate Bob Welch. I, too, cannot stand the term “yacht rock” and I wish it would go away, along with those stupid videos.
“Life is too short”…a line that many have used to validate being a bit carefree in the midst of pending deadlines, continuous updates, and living constantly on the go.
Dave Hartley, frontman of Nightlands (and bass guitarist of The War On Drugs), seems to use it as a way of life. Experimenting with sounds, vocals, and vibes, Hartley admits, “I kind of have a fear of being normal…life is too short to be boring.”
The day after kicking off a U.S. tour at the Mercury Lounge, the soft-spoken, humble, yet confident artist spoke over the phone while on his way to Washington D.C. about his creative process and the changes he needed to make in order to bring his sound to the stage.
Refusing to place limits on himself while in the studio recording his new Oak Island, Hartley thinks outside the room to recreate that sound in a live setting. To do so, he has called in some backup, and rearranged the songs to make performing more feasible on stage. “I wouldn’t want to see a band that sounds exactly like the album.”
In the past, Hartley told The Key that he has a very “autocratic” approach when recording music. But when bringing it to the stage, he says the approach is just the opposite. “I choose people that I like to be around because life is too short to be around people that you don’t.” He goes on to say that he hand picks members that he trusts to aid in creating an organic performance. “Recording is like science,” Hartley says. He compares a studio to a lab, where one can record parts over and over, fixing all the elements to create the perfect sound. But performing, he says, “is like sex, or a relationship. You’re very much in the moment.”
Tonight at Johnny Brenda’s, Hartley will be joined by his three-piece band: Anthony LaMarca on the trap kit, Jesse Moore on synth (he also plays in Auctioneer and Our Griffins), and Eliza Hardy Jones on the Wurlitzer (lead singer of Buried Beds and a singer on Nightlands’ Oak Island).
In addition, tonight’s Nightlands will feature a 5-member chorus, including April Harkanson (who sang on Nightlands’ new single “To The Moon”), Rebecca Marie Miller, Todd Starlin (member of Silver Ages), Brandon Beaver (member of Silver Ages, Buried Beds and a contributor to Nightlands’ first album Forget the Mantra), and Charlie Hall (coach of Silver Ages); all of which are friends from around the area who Hartley respects as vocalists and musicians. The choir joins Nightlands exclusively for the New York and Philly shows to create layered melodies and varied voices. Continue reading →
Nightlands play a hometown show at Johnny Brenda’s tonight, backed by a choir and supported by local bands Ape School and Our Griffins. Dave Hartley’s “dream science” solo project released its latest LP Oak Island earlier this year after he closed out a multi-year tour with his main band The War on Drugs. For tonight’s show, he’ll be performing with choral group The Sighborg Singers, who were featured on Oak Island as well. Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show can be found here. Below, watch Nightlands’ new video for “Born to Love.”
So, you haven’t been paying attention to pro hoops this season? Fear not, I have. Here’s what you need to know:
Lebron James is really good at basketball. If you stopped caring after Michael Jordan retired, here is your reentry point.
Lebron is currently enjoying a level of sustained dominance we’ve only seen from Michael Jordan (if you don’t believe me, check out the advanced metrics), but in a totally different way. His preposterous speed, power and finishing ability gets lots of deserved ink and SportsCenter real estate, but it’s the little things he does that set him apart from his contemporaries like Durant and Carmelo. Check out this pass:
It’s not flashy, but it is deadly. Incredible velocity, impossible to defend. There are maybe a handful of players in the league who can make a pass like that, and none of them have anything close to Lebron’s athleticism and skill set. It’s unfair.
Here’s another one:
Other things that make The Heat fascinating:
- Ray Allen: He ditched the Celtics because of a feud with Rajon Rondo, took less money to join the Heatles, is 59 years old and now the all-time leading three point shooter in both regular season and playoff history.
- Chris “Birdman” Anderson: Dennis Rodman-lite, Anderson has the craziest tattoos of any pro athlete and seems to change the vibe of the game the moment he checks in.
- Chris “VelociRaptor” Bosh: One of the homeliest players since Sam Cassell, Bosh is on the short list of legit power forwards who can change a game from beyond the arc along with Durant, Kevin Love and Dirk, and is a perfect superstar-as-role-player.
- Juwan Howard: 63 years old, somehow still getting paid to play basketball, impossibly well groomed.
- Mike Miller: He played with a destroyed lower back in last year’s finals, he’s capable of spurts of incredible play, super gutty. Check this shit out
- “Positionless Basketball” – The Heat are pioneering what they call “positionless basketball”: surrounding Lebron and/or Dwayne with a squad deadly long distance shooters. It spreads the defense wide open and creates a nightmare of mismatches. it’s a Moneyball-esque paradigm shift.
- Shane Battier: He’s hilarious and erudite off the court, as clutch as it gets on the court; the second coming of Robert Horry.
None of this means Miami is going to sleepwalk their way to a second consecutive title. They have vulnerabilities and, like every other team, are an injury or two away from elimination on their best day. But if you love greatness, or love to root against it, here is your muse.
The New York Knicks are relevant for the first time since Patrick Ewing was in short pants. Continue reading →
If you’ve seen the album art for Nightlands‘ new LP Oak Island (or any of its attendant promo photos), you’ll know it involved a shirtless, silver-paint-covered Dave Hartley looking like a homesick extraterrestrial navigating new surroundings. Which may be a metaphor for Hartley the ubiquitous bassist venturing out on his own in an increasingly ambitious solo venture. Or maybe it’s just that the silver paint goes well with his complexion. In any case, we imagine he must have spent a lot of time getting painted – and he’s making it worth his while. In the new video for Nightlands’ “Born to Love,” we see the process of Hartley getting his new skin applied by a makeup artist while flashes of psychedelic light burst in and out over three minutes and change. Cosmic stuff – check it out below, and get more information about Nightlands newly-announced show at Johnny Brenda’s on the XPN Concert Calendar.
Philly’s DRGN King are celebrating the release of Paragraph Nights tonight at PhilaMOCA. The full-length debut from the psychedelic power pop outfit was released through Bar / None Records on January 22nd and runs the gamut of infectiously good songwriting from the slick “Holy Ghost” to the party-ready “Wild Night.” More information for the all-ages show with Dangerous Ponies, Walking Shapes and Idle Idols can be found here. Stream Paragraph Nights here and watch DRGN King’s Dominic Angelella perform a solo, stripped-down version of “Holy Ghost” at Sofar Sounds from last weekend below.