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Home for the Holidays: mewithoutYou throw a winter warmer at Johnny Brenda’s

photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com
photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com

We’ve got a lot of good ways to be festive here in Philly, during the holiday season. Some people prefer Christmas Village or ice-skating at Penn’s Landing, but I humbug those in favor of something a little different. This year and last, I’ve been participating in a new tradition: grabbing a few dear friends and heading over to Johnny Brenda’s, to see local legends mewithoutYou play an annual, intimate holiday show. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Sameer Rao’s Top 5 Musical Gut-Punches of 2014 (Philly edition)

Brielle | Photo via twitter.com/aprilfoolchild

Year-End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2014 awesome. In this installment, contributing writer Sameer Rao talks about songs that make you feel.

In case you didn’t read and feel what I wrote and felt last year, let it be known far and wide that 2014 was yet another hell of a year for nerve-poking chords, chill-inducing croons, and all manner of music that brought on heavy cases of the feels. And since this was a banner year for local artists of all stripes, we’re making this one Philly-exclusive. Get your tissues out for this list. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Pattern is Movement at Spruce Street Harbor, Drake at Susquehanna Bank Center, Family Vacation at RUBA

Pattern Is Movement
Pattern Is Movement | photo by Mark Schaffer

Spruce Street Harbor Park‘s free summer concert series ends tonight with Pattern is Movement.  The duo of Chris Ward and Andrew Thiboldeaux got home from touring with Wye Oak just a couple of weeks ago, supporting their own new self-titled record out on the road.  The album took years to complete and was introduced slowly to fans by way of a listening party mash-up at PhilaMOCA last year, where it was paired with an edited screening of There Will Be Blood.  The electronic / R&B duo will perform alongside Moon Bounce tonight.  More information can be found here.

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Watch Pattern is Movement’s evocative “Suckling” video

Pattern is Movement | photo by Mark Schaffer
Pattern is Movement | photo by Mark Schaffer

Philly experimental pop duo Pattern is Movement recently released a video for “Suckling”. The group has been making headlines lately, with features on both NPR’s World Cafe and on the Key’s Unlocked series. This year, the duo released their self-titled fifth album. It is a baroque, yet vibrant collection of electronic pop, with elements of R&B.  Interestingly enough, the inspiration to use R&B came from a surprising source. As Andrew Thiboldeaux explained, the  parallels between his religious background and R&B, “But the feelings I had in those church meetings were TRUE. My brain was registering it, I was high as a kite. There’s something about R&B and hip-hop that resonates with me as a result.” In his album review, the Key’s Sameer Rao states that “ every string-and-horn ensemble buildup in the beautiful service of capturing something as ephemeral as it is universal.” Continue reading →

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Download two songs from Pattern is Movement in the new World Cafe: Next podcast

Pattern is Movement | photo by Mark Schaffer
Pattern is Movement | photo by Mark Schaffer

On the heels of the release of their sweet new self-titled outing via Hometapes Records, Philly experimental pop duo Pattern is Movement was featured on this week’s World Cafe: Next podcast. Host David Dye writes “there are beautiful, almost baroque aspects of this largely electronic and percussive music;” download “River” and “Suckling” here via NPR Music.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: M.I.A. at Tower Theater, Gliss at Kung Fu Necktie, Woods at Boot and Saddle, and more

Photo via facebook.com/miauk
Photo via facebook.com/miauk

Tonight, M.I.A. graces the Tower Theater stage and fans (old and new) should, as always, expect a little bit of everything from the singer-songwriter’s genre-bending music. On her latest album Matangi, it’s clear that her sound is still a hybrid of electronic, pop, hip-hop and world music. Best known for her 2007 platinum hit “Paper Planes”, M.I.A. isn’t a traditional singer or rapper; she’s crafted a style that’s somewhere in between and it’s infectious. Watch “Y.A.L.A.” below and get tickets here

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Night Panther reveal secret guest for final night of residency at Bourbon & Branch on 4/25

Pattern is Movement | photo by Mark Schaffer
Pattern is Movement | photo by Mark Schaffer

Night Panther has announced that Pattern is Movement will join the line-up for the former’s final residency at Bourbon & Branch on April 25th.  Already on the stacked bill are Grandchildren and Commonwealth Choir, together closing out a solid month of showcases that featured sets by Cruiser, Nicos Gun, Purples and White Birds.  Tickets and information for the 21+ show can be found here.

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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Tutlie, Pattern is Movement, Hurray for the Riff Raff

Tutlie | Photo by John Vettese
Tutlie | Photo by John Vettese

Tutlie brought their imaginative new record to life for this week’s Key Studio Session.  Among the tracks taken from Young Cries, released a few weeks ago, is an even newer song called “Kaito” planned for a forthcoming record.  Stream and download the track below and get the full set here.

Pattern is Movement was the subject of this week’s Unlocked series.  The local duo finally released their self-titled effort, years in the making and as complex as it is accessible.  Stream and download “Suckling” from Pattern is Movement below and check out the rest of the feature here.

Yesterday’s Free at Noon performers Hurray for the Riff Raff released their label debut Small Town Heroes in February on ATO.  Monday’s My Morning Download, “I Know It’s Wrong (But That’s Alright)” was taken from that effort and can be downloaded for free below.

Thievery Corporation have released “Depth of My Soul” as a free download through Soundcloud.  The song is taken from the DC duo’s new LP Saudade, and WXPN will welcome them to the Tower Theater on May 19th with Policia.

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Unlocked: Check out an album of photos from Pattern is Movement’s self-titled record release show at Boot & Saddle

Pattern is Movement | Photo by Mark Schaffer
Pattern is Movement | Photo by Mark Schaffer

Our week closes with a triumphant homecoming for Pattern is Movement. Supported by their fellow Philadelphians Busses and Brooklyn-based Hometapes label mates Yellow Ostrich (featuring ex-We are Scientists drummer Michael Tapper), Pattern is Movement played the penultimate show on their first support tour for Pattern is Movement to a rapturous audience. Tearing through songs from the new record with an ideal balance of hit-by-hit perfection and erratic fluidity (mainly thanks to Chris Ward’s J. Dilla-inspired breaks and Andrew Thiboldeaux’s acrobatic live vocal runs), the band have proven that the gambles they took with their new record are starting to pay off.

Significant praise also goes to Busses and Yellow Ostrich, both of whose idiosyncratic takes on psych rock set an appropriate atmosphere for Pattern is Movement’s ecstatic return. Check out this gallery of photos from local musician and photographer Mark Schaffer.

Pattern is Movement has been the featured album on this week’s edition of Unlocked. Download the song “Suckling in Monday’s post, read Tuesday’s album review, learn about their videos for “Untitled and “Little by Little in Wednesday’s post, read yesterday’s interview, and stay up to date for future editions of Unlocked.