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Philly Music 101: What’s the best way to release your music?

Illustration by Sarah Hughes
Illustration by Sarah Hughes

Philly Music 101 is our regular series guiding you through the wonderful world of the Philadelphia music scene: all of its passionate, loving participants, from artists to venues to studios and more.

There comes an important time in every music artist’s life when they must address a big question: how will I get my music to the people? The process can be an overwhelming one. Is it worth the investment for physical, tangible music goods, i.e. vinyl, CDs and cassettes? What are the options for digital releases? Which of these options is the best way to reach an audience?

In order to address some of these big questions, The Key is exploring options for releasing in this segment of Philly Music 101. We’ll present your choices and share some input from fellow local musicians who have had to make the same decisions. So, digital or physical? There are perks and pitfalls for both and the two aren’t (and shouldn’t be) mutually exclusive. Read on to find out why. Continue reading →

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Philly Music 101: The wild world of Philly’s modern rock scene

A few of the talented artists that make up Philadelphia's alternative rock scene
A few of the talented artists that make up Philadelphia’s alternative rock scene (Clockwise from top left: Hop Along, Cruisr, DRGN KING, Tutlie, and Vita and the Woolf)

Philly Music 101 is our regular series guiding you through the wonderful world of the Philadelphia music scene: all of its passionate, loving participants, from artists to venues to studios and more.

The complex web of artist that make up Philadelphia’s amazing music scene can be difficult to categorize. Ask any musician, and they probably won’t want to be pigeonholed as purveyors of any single type of music, but sometimes genre communities are an easy step towards understanding and digging deeper into the well-rounded scene that we have today. With that in mind, Philly Music 101 is going to occasionally bring you genre spotlights – with the understanding that labels are of course limiting, and most of our fave musicians work outside the box.

The first segment of our genre spotlight will focus on Philly’s flourishing modern and alternative rock scene that has seen musicians advance their way from rock bar stages to major venues to the pages of Rolling Stone. Continue reading →

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Philly Music 101: How to book a show at a Philly venue

Photo by John Vettese
The Bul Bey rocking the house in West Philly | Photo by John Vettese

Philly Music 101 is our regular series guiding you through the wonderful world of the Philadelphia music scene: all of its passionate, loving participants, from artists to venues to studios and more.

Life as an independent artist in Philadelphia can be rough, especially when it comes to booking shows. When you approach a venue, what exactly are they looking for? Will your music appeal to them or turn them off? Where does social media presence lie on the spectrum? What will get your band a coveted spot on their calendar? Where is the damn instruction manual for booking a show?

We hear it from Philly artists all the time – they want to play out more often, but they haven’t had any luck getting promoters’ attention. Well, The Key is here for you! In an effort to provide some transparency in the live music world, we decided to hit up talent buyers for a handful of venues throughout Philadelphia to get an idea of what they expect, why they expect it, what will wow them and some general pointers on how to book a show. Continue reading →

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Philly Music 101: The basics everyone needs to know about the Philadelphia scene right now

Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com
The Districts | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com

Philadelphia is a city of many wonders: a buzzing food scene, an established craft beer culture, and a parade of historical landmarks. But one aspect of our city that we are particularly passionate about is our magnificent local music community and all that is has to offer. Here at The Key, we often focus on the particulars of our scene – where artists will be playing each night, brand new local releases, etc. – so much so that we can forget how overwhelming it can be for newcomers to get their bearings.

So for those of you having trouble finding where to start, we are introducing this new Philly Music 101 series as your guide through the wonderful world of the Philadelphia music scene: all of its passionate, loving members, from artists to venues to studios and more. It’s meant to help new fans navigate the scene as much as emerging musicians looking to break in and behind-the-scenes folks trying to get their start. We hope it will illuminate just what makes it so damn exciting for music lovers to live here. To kick it off, here is a by-no-means-complete overview of the different pieces of the Philadelphia music scene that have come together to make up its sturdy foundation. Continue reading →