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The Week So Far: 14 must-read stories on The Key

Download B.C. Camplight‘s BBC Radio 6 session featuring two new songs [link]

Juston Stens and the Get Real Gang bring rock and soul to their Key Session [link]

Listen to Free Energy‘s new album Love Sign at Consequence of Sound [link]

Thrash out with a new Surgeon track; they play Kung Fu Necktie next month [link]

The collaboration between Ground Up and The Lawsuits continues in a HotBox session [link]

David Bowie releases a new single for his birthday [link]

Chill Moody releases his latest album, RFM [link]

Get psyched for Zilla Rocca‘s Tuesday Tune-Out with his new Wrecking Crew video [link]

Download The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 6, our new 17-song compilation [link]

Stream the new album from The Lone Bellow, a Georgia-bred close harmony trio [link]

Stream a new EP from Philly’s Acres of Diamonds, who play PhilaMOCA next week [link]

Plow United announces the details of their all-ages album-release show at The Barbary [link]

Download Anais Mitchell‘s Folkadelphia session [link]

The WXPN Philly Local Show expands to three hours [link]

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Plow United’s record release show coming to The Barbary on March 30

Here’s one we’ve been waiting to tell you about since December – reunited Philly-area punk rockers Plow United will be releasing their first LP in almost 15 years, Marching Band, on Jump Start Records this April. The all-ages release show they put together at The Barbary packs a wallop – The Holy Mess, NONA and Ma Jolie are also on the bill – and tickets go on sale this Friday January 11. We hear rumblings of a very cool 21+ afterparty that we’ll fill you in on in due time. In the meantime, check out “Human 2000,” the first single from Marching Band.

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Joel Tannenbaum’s top music news headlines of 2012

For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, Plow United bassist, Ex-Friends singer-guitarist and occasional Key contributor Joel Tannenbaum shares his top music news headlines* of 2012.

5. Julio Iglesias releases Saludos desde Asbury Park, NJ, a song-by-song rebuttal to Bruce Springsteen’s Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ. 

4. Joey Sweeney releases digital-only retrospective spanning his 80+ year career.
Early vaudeville material largely ignored.

3. The Spin Doctors’ “Two Princes” certified top-selling mini-disc single of 2012.

2. Ben Nichols of Lucero cast as Eddie in Ang Lee’s Eddie and the Cruisers remake.
Other members of Lucero not cast as Cruisers.

1. Chris Christie realizes lifelong dream of meeting Glenn Danzig.
Meeting facilitated by President Obama during Hurricane Sandy aftermath.

*entirely fabricated

Thanks to Justin Agnew and Tom Kretchmar.

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It’s the return of Plow United: Stream “Human 2000″ from the new record

Plow United turned in their punk rock digs for conventional life in 1998, taking up normal jobs and watching their records go out of print.  But after filling a slot at the 2011 Riot Fest East in Philadelphia, the Wilmington-born trio seemingly picked up right where they left off.  Ok, maybe not right where they left off – a considerable following built around the enigma of the band after its break-up, elevating Plow United to a popularity they hadn’t experienced since their heyday in the mid-Atlantic punk scene of the nineties.

About a year ago, Plow United stopped by the XPN studios for a Key Studio Session where bassist Joel Tannenbaum (an occasional contributor to The Key) and guitarist Brian McGee talked about working on a new album.  That new album has now been titled Marching Band will be released in April 2013 on vinyl, CD and digitally through Jump Start Records, fifteen years after the band’s last offering.  Stream the first single, “Human 2000,” below and check out a full track-listing on Jump Start Records’ Bandcamp page.

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Guest VJs Kyle Costill and Dave Kain preview Bands In The Backyard’s Tuesday Tune-out Lineup (kicks off at PhilaMOCA tonight)

It’s the last month of 2012, meaning one final round of Tuesday Tune-Out showcases at PhilaMOCA. This month’s curators are the venerable Bands In The Backyard crew, who bring some adventurous pairings of music and film for the next three Tuesdays.

I knew that I dug what these guys were up to as soon as I saw their video of Ages playing in the back of Johnny Brenda’s. In the year and a half since then, they’ve faithfully documented the Philly scene in videos that range from lo-fi immediacy to multi-camera productions, showcasing the town’s up-and-coming acts as well as buzzing national bands that make their way through. I’m happy to welcome them to this space to talk about what they have in store for the December Tune-Out. All events are at PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th Street), start at 7:30 p.m. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The English Beat at World Cafe Live, The Temper Trap at Union Transfer, Ex Friends at North Star Bar, Former Belle at The Balcony


British ska revival group The English Beat will be performing this evening with The Paul Collins Beat at World Café Live. The English Beat, spearheaded by Dave Wakeling, recorded three albums together between 1980 and 1982. The all-ages show tonight will start at 8; more ticket information can be found here. Below, watch The English Beat perform “Save It For Later” from their 1982 record, Special Beat Service.

Continue reading →

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Get pumped for Plow United’s New Year’s Eve show with its first demos in 13 years

Who would have guessed twelve months ago that Plow United would be back together and ringing in 2012 at West Chester’s The Note? The reunion of the cult favorite power trio from the late-’90s Delaware Valley punk scene was one of the most unanticipated headlines in Philly music news this year. To watch the guys pull it off with such gusto after 13 years, from their introspective Key Studio Sessions set to an explosive performance at Riot Fest East, has been all the more of a treat.

When they appeared on XPN2 back in September, guitarist Brian McGee and bassist Joel Tannenbaum announced their reunion would continue with more shows (an appearance last night at The Bouncing Souls’ Home for the Holidays show, and tonight’s gig at The Note), as well as a new album for 2012. Yesterday, the band shared its first two demos for that album. True to Plow form, each clocks in at well under two minutes, moving at pointed breakneck pace:

The World is a Slum by plowunited

The War is Over and Our Side Won by plowunited

After posting the demos, Tannenbaum tweeted:

If anybody cares, “The War is Over and Our Side Won” contains shout-outs to Anonymous, outlaw biker gangs, the Arab Spring…

…and whoever in West Philly made those TOFU HOAGIES MAKE ME GAY bumper stickers.

Keep an eye on the band’s Soundcloud page for more. In the meantime, tickets are still available for New Year’s Eve at The Note with The Crash, Third Year Freshmen and Jake and The Stiffs, and Plow United.