King Britt, Dave P and Cosmo Baker are DJ’ing KAWS at PAFA event this Friday, October 11th


A new exhibition is opening at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts this Friday, October 12th, featuring the work of KAWS – an artist and designer Philadelphians will recognize from his Companion (Passing Through) installation in 30th Street Station this spring.

KAWS @ PAFA features both indoor and outdoor works including a new 9-foot sculpture outside and over 60 paintings and sculptures installed in the galleries of the PAFA. The opening reception and preview party is this Friday. October 11th at 8 p.m. at Lenfest Plaza at PAFA. Providing the soundtrack for the event are King Britt, Dave P. of Making Time and Cosmo Baker. Go here for tickets and more information. Below, sample a taste of Cosmo Baker’s Top Ten mix.


30 Days of Philly Arts: Jennifer Bartlett retrospective at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

jennifer-bartlett-pafa-2Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts is the oldest art museum and art school in the country and has been housed at its present location in a Frank Furness/George Hewitt designed building since 1876. The building is a National Historic Landmark and its chronologically and thematically installed collection explores American art from the 1760s through today.

bartlett02_body[1]Jennifer Bartlett: History of the Universe —Works 1970-2011 is a traveling exhibition here through  October 13th that traces the career of one of the leading American artists of her time and one of the first female painters of her generation to be both commercially successful and critically acclaimed.

Bartlett received her MFA from Yale in 1965. She rose to prominence in the art world in 1976 with  with Rhapsody, regarded as “a tour­de­force postmodern pastiche of the history of modern art.” Rhapsody is composed of 987 12” screened steel plates, using the gallery space as part of the art by spanning walls.

Throughout her career, Jennifer Bartlett has been known for juxtaposing the representational with the abstract.  She also makes use of recurring images, particularly that of a house.  Though the basic form is simple, the incarnations are  varied, forcing the audience to consider the interplay between style and content. More recently, Bartlett has incorporated written word into her visual art by adding snippets of text and stories to paintings.

Museum hours and ticket information are here and while you’re there you can also see other exhibitions.

Jennifer Bartlett discusses her work.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Key Studio Sessions Live at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Morning River Band at Kung Fu Necktie, Ecomog at The Trocadero Balcony, Acid Mothers Temple at Johnny Brenda’s

SwedenExperience the Key Studio Sessions live tonight at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.  The free event will showcase three of the Philadelphia area’s top acts: folk-rockers and two-time Tri-State Indie Award winners New Sweden, vocal powerhouse and in-demand collaborator Ali Wadsworth and local man-about-town Joey Sweeney with his new band The Long Hair Arkestra.  Admission for the show is free but space is limited; RSVP on the XPN website and get more information here.  Below, watch New Sweden perform “Mama” and download their Key Studio Session from March 2012 here.

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RSVP for The Key Studio Sessions Live ft. New Sweden, Ali Wadsworth and Joey Sweeney & the Long Hair Arkestra (at PAFA on 4/18)

NewSwedenIt’s been a little while since we brought you some free live local music here at The Key, so we’re pretty psyched to announce our latest installments of The Key Studio Sessions Live, happening at Lenfest Plaza at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts on Thursday, April 18th.

On hand we’ve got Wilmington folk-rock powerhouse New Sweden (pictured), alums of the Key Studio Sessions (download their appearance here) and two-time winners of Tri-State Indie’s Delaware Indie Band of the Year award. I caught their recently revamped lineup at South by Southwest last month, and their live set is smokin’ as ever. Expect some new material, a modest amount of fiddle and ample hooting and hollering from these folks.

Also on the bill is vocal force of nature Ali Wadsworth. You’ve seen her collaborate with many players in the roots scene – her old band Unlikely Cowboy, Toy Soldiers, Good Old War, Fantasy Square Garden, Aaron & the Spell and the list goes on – but her forthcoming solo debut is something just about all of those folks are anticipating. It is being recorded with prominent Philly producer Bill Moriarty, features Wadsworth singing music written by many of her friends in the scene, and is sure to be great.

Last but certainly not least is Joey Sweeney and the Long Hair Arkestra. Aside from his day gig running the city news and culture blog Philebrity, Sweeney has made a formidable return to the stage this year – he first performed as a teenager in the 90s, and went on to front The Trouble With Sweeney and others until about 2006. After a hiatus of about a half-dozen years, he began to make moves with his rock outfit Arctic Splash (including a Christmas Key Session), threw a 40th birthday celebration that reunited all of his old bands, and now is gearing up to release Long Hair, a long-in-the-works solo album exploring the more introspective side of his songwriting. For this show, Sweeney will perform with The Long Hair Arkestra, a band about whom we don’t know a ton, but we’re psyched to hear them play all the same.

The concert takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Lenfest Plaza at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 118 North Broad Street. Admission is free, but space is limited, so RSVP now at the XPN website.

Below, watch an acoustic performance of New Sweden’s “Mama,” watch Ali Wadsworth covering Beck’s “Eyes that Say I Love You” at the Song Reader show, and watch a trailer for Sweeney’s “Long Hair”

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