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The Key Studio Sessions: MH the Verb x ArtHouse95

Marcus Harris has bounced around the east coast quite a bit over the past few years, absorbing a tapestry of sounds and ideas. A hip-hop kid from Florida, he got his start mixing live instrumentation with DJ-based rap while going to college in Pittsburgh, performing in the band Beatz ‘n’ Verbz. When that crew split and he moved to Philly, his new persona MH the Verb was in full effect. He dropped a bunch of funky Bandcamp mixtapes and gigged at spots like World Cafe Live while holding down a day job at a boutique record label.

Later, a stint in New York inspired him to stretch the project further into the multimedia realm. The long MTA rides from his place in The Bronx to the gallery and studio community in Brooklyn gave him a lot of time to think and plan. The song “Melly’s Walls,” which he performed in this week’s Key Studio Session, was inspired by arriving at a gallery gig early and watching as the artists hung their work on the walls; lyrics were written on the spot, and the song was recorded the next day and released on 2014’s The Balloon Guide.

These days, MH is back in Philly, and has been doing some great stuff with the production collective ArtHouse95. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Settled Arrows at Bourbon & Branch, Funkadelphia showcase at Silk City, Night Windows at Ortlieb’s

settled arrows
Settled Arrows | image by Michael E. Kelly | courtesy of the artist

Settled Arrows headlines Bourbon & Branch tonight. Leighton, PA native Andrew Mars began recording under the moniker just last year, making his debut with Public Privacy. He’s no stranger to performing live, though; now living in Philadelphia, Mars has appeared on stage with BalletX, Pig Iron Theatre, and sometimes plays piano at Tavern on Camac. His experienced showmanship shines through on the record, while the lyrics could have been ripped straight from a diary. Listen to “Jimmy Desert” below and pick up tickets to the 21+ show here.

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Deathwaltz and Funkadelphia bring new collaborative series to Silk City

Funkadelphia
GangaWhiteNight | photo via Facebook

Funkadelphia, a local publication and consortium of music promoters, has joined forces with local event firm Deathwaltz Media Group for a new music series called Altered States. The series is a six week residency at Silk City that features an eclectic line-up of local and inter / national acts, bridging EDM, hip hop, funk and beats with an electronic angle. Belgium duo GangaWhiteNight kick-off Altered States on September 30th with New Jersey psych / bass producer Ludge and WireTap. Check out some of the bands below, along with the full Altered States schedule. Tickets and information on the full schedule can be found here..

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: P.S. 118 at Silk City, Rosemary Fiki at Dock Street Music Fest, Chris Kasper at Bourbon & Branch and more…

silk city
P.S. 118 | Photo courtesy of the artist

Local duo P.S. 118 celebrate the release of their Vol. 1 EP at Silk City tonight. Jansen Scott and Lucas Hough have been working on their EDM music for awhile, drawing influences from scenes in Chicago and the UK as well as Hough’s jazz background. We premiered their song “Function” last week, which you can listen to below. Get more information about tonight’s release show here.

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PREMIERE: New Philly duo P.S. 118 explores vintage house music in “Function”

P.S. 118 | Photo courtesy of the artist
Jansen Scott, left, and Lucas Hough are P.S. 118 | Photo courtesy of the artist

Jansen Scott and Lucas Hough are not trying to jump on the EDM bandwagon. The duo, known as P.S. 118, have been producing U.K.-inspired house for some time now and are finally releasing an EP titled Vol. 1. Set for release on June 7th, Vol. 1 deviates from the build-and-drop template so many house artists adopt. Instead the EP leaves room for meandering melodies and “infectious grooves”, as Hough describes, making it the ideal soundscape for a either night out or a mellow get-together. Hough says, “We want to make music that’s enjoyable in headphones and on the dancefloor – a journey.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Dice Raw at Silk City, Ode to Omni’s Stevie Wonder Tribute at World Cafe Live, Seinabo Sey at Underground Arts

Dice Raw | via diceraw.net

As a sort of warm-up to this weekend’s Roots Picnic, Roots crew affiliate Dice Raw plays a set tonight at Silk City. If you’ve never seen him live, Dice cuts a charismatic figure and we can expect to hear songs from his records Jimmy’s Back and The Greatest Rapper Never, some of his Roots tracks and other collabs. Tickets and more information on the show can be found here. Continue reading →

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Listen to some serious island vibes from soulful deep-house producer, David Marston

David Marston | Photo via thump.vice.com

David Marston is a producer and DJ from Philly by way of Jamaica, and it’s no surprise that his roots Kingston play a major part in his earthy, deep-house beats.  It’s clubby-sounding, but way too intimate for a club setting.  Cool keyboard interludes, light xylophone tones, island drums and soulful vocals seem to be a consistent recipe for Marston’s smooth tracks.

Marston is signed to electro-world label Soul Clap.  He recently released an EP through Soul Clap titled Jamaicalia, which you can stream here.  On July 9th, he will play a show at Silk City along with A Sol Mechanic, JXL Beats and Maybewise. You can find full event details here.

Listen to “I Don’t Wait” off the Jamaicalia EP, below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Little Big League at Johnny Brenda’s, Asaad at Silk City, Trail of Dead at Underground Arts and more

Via Facebook.com/LittleBigLeague
Via Facebook.com/LittleBigLeague

It was a good 2013 for Philly indie-punk four piece Little Big League. The band released it’s debut full length, toured and garnered attention from national media outlets like Pitchfork. Now they’re playing their first headlining show at Johnny Brenda’s just in time for front woman Michelle Zauner to show off her new strat and the band to hopefully unveil some of the songs they’ve been tracking for album number two. Tickets and info can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Cloud Control at Boot and Saddle, Sad Actor at Silk City, St. Lucia at World Cafe Live

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist
Australian retro alt-rockers Cloud Control will play at Boot and Saddle tonight. The band released its second album Dream Cave last August. With a sound heavily influenced by the Beatles and Motown harmonies, Cloud Control are a fresh take on what you love about pop and early soul music mixed with rock. Watch them play “Dream Cave” below and get tickets here.

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Major Taylor DJing at Silk City’s Workout Party tonight

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Ralph Darden returns to his hometown as Major Taylor tonight, DJing a set at Silk City‘s Workout party.  Now based in Chicago, Darden fronted punk / reggae outfits Franklin and Jai Alai Savant in the nineties and early 2000s, but has since turned his talents towards throwing wild DJ parties like the one tonight.  He’s known for linking together an eclectic rundown of tracks, tossing in everything from reggae to punk to hip hop (he once noted that he wants “to play Tribe Called Quest and Rod Stewart”).  You can check out Major Taylor at Silk City tonight alongside Bo Bliz and Low Beezy.  Below, watch a video of Darden DJing a New Years Eve party in Chicago.