Tonight’s Concert Picks: Brian Wilson at the Mann Center, Sondre Lerche at Boot and Saddle

Brian Wilson | Photo by Cameron Pollack |
Brian Wilson | Photo by Cameron Pollack |

Legendary Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson performs tonight at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. With a 2014 album called No Pier Pressure and a recent biopic called Love & Mercy, the 73-year-old Wilson hit the road with a stellar backing band to perform new songs as well as classics from all across his career. His set at NonCOMM back in May was an incredible trip down memory lane and it was only a half-hour long Free at Noon; expect tonight’s show at the Mann to be much bigger and filled with feeling. Rodriguez opens the show; get tickets and more information at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Sondre Lerche playing Underground Arts in September

Photo by | Marius Hauge |
Photo by | Marius Hauge |

Sondre Lerche has announced a tour and the release of new album, Please, on September 23rd. He plays Underground Arts on Thursday, September 28th. The Norwegian singer and songwriter’s new song, “Bad Law,” has a dancey, upbeat groove to it that sounds like a distant cousin to “It’s Never Been Like That” by Phoenix. Lerche has been keeping busy since the release of his 2011 self-titled LP and his 2012 live album, Bootlegs. In addition to touring internationally and releasing his 2013 Scott Walker-cover “The Plague” and a collaboration with Jim Eno from Spoon on the “Public Hi-Fi Sessions”, Lerche created the score for his then-wife’s (Mona Fastvold) directorial debut and Sundance hit “The Sleepwalker”.

Listen to “Bad Law” below.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Amanda Palmer at the TLA, Bob Weir at The Tower, Sondre Lerche at World Cafe Live, Vintage Kicks at Kung Fu Necktie

Photo by Ashleigh Haddad
On the eve of her latest album’s release date, Amanda Palmer and her touring band The Grand Theft Orchestra bring their road show to The TLA on South Street tonight. Tickets to the all-ages show are $23, and are available here. Theatre Is Evil is released tomorrow on Palmer’s own label, 8 Ft. Records. Below, watch a performance of the album track “The Bed Song,” filmed for The Boston Herald. Continue reading →


Download Digest: This week’s best free music incl. King Britt, Crash Course in Science, Big K.R.I.T.

Philadelphia's King Britt and his many LPs.


Here at The Key, we toss a fair heaping of free downloads your way, so it’s completely understandable if you miss a few. Here are our top five bits of digital music from the past week:

Iconic Philadelphia DJ King Britt curated the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage’s Noise from the 18th Floor broadcast series. Get a taste with his own composition, “Beyond the Sun,” here.

Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T. announced a Sept. 21 appearance at The Blockley. Download a remix of his single “Don’t Miss This Jet” below.

Philly Folk scenesters Dani Mari and Rev. T.J. McGlinchey are curating a concert series at FDR Park. They sat down with The Key’s Lauren Thomas, told her about the event and played her a couple acoustic duets. Download McGlinchey’s “If You See Her” below.

Reunited Philadelphia post-punk / new wave band Crash Course in Science performed at the Vox Populi gallery on Friday night. In advance of the show, they recorded a Key Studio Session that we released on Wednesday; check out the snappy “It Costs to Be Austere” below.

Norwegian songwriter Sondre Lerche announced a tour that brings him to World Cafe Live in September, and the reissue of his first four albums in deluxe editions with unreleased material. Download “Boxing Day,” an outtake from his album Phantom Punch, below:


Listen to “Boxing Day,” an outtake from Sondre Lerche (playing World Cafe Live in September)

Norwegian indie pop impresario Sondre Lerche is set to take stock of his career-so-far this September, when he reissues his first four albums on vinyl (complete with outtakes and alternate versions); releases his first-ever live album (cleverly titled Bootleg); and heads out on tour. His string of fall dates brings him to World Cafe Live on Sept. 10, with Fancy Colors opening. Tickets are available now at the venue’s website. Below, you can listen to “Boxing Day,” a swinging, bossa nova-ish outtake featured on the Phantom Punch reissue, which premiered earlier today on


Weekend Picks: Sondre Lerche, Death Cab For Cutie, The Roots Picnic, Appel Farm Festival, Wildbirds And Peacedrums

Sondre Lerche

Norwegian singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche is equally at home playing jazz, ’80s pop, and Brazilian folk. Lerche is the product of a diverse musical education—growing up, he practiced everything from bossa nova to the Beach Boys. And he’s also something of a wunderkind: He began learning guitar at age 8, and wrote his first song when he was 14; he was discovered a few short years later. Lerche has released five full-length albums (despite being only 28), with the sixth set to come out this month. His style is varied and interesting, but it’s not inaccessible by any means; he has an ability to repackage the complexities of the many genres he’s familiar with into a unified, catchy result. Sondre Lerche performs with Nightlands and Kishi Bashi at 8 p.m. at World Cafe Live; tickets are $22-$32. —Kiley Bense

Also playing: Okkervil River + Titus Andronicus, Future Islands at The Trocadero (9 p.m., all ages, $19); Sun Airway + Dustin Wong at First Unitarian Church (8 p.m., all ages, $12)

Death Cab For Cutie has come a long way since releasing its debut album in 1998. Ben Gibbard and Co. signed to Atlantic, appeared at the Grammys, and lent their music to The O.C., Wedding Crashers, and Twilight—which came amid controversy both external (they were accused of selling out) and self-perpetuated (they publicly protested the music industry’s over-reliance on Auto-tune). Despite claims that the recently released Codes And Keys represents a new direction reflective of the band’s move to L.A. from gloomy Seattle and (relative) happiness, it’s really more of the same. Gibbard coos melodramatic lyrics over an easy, pleasant pop groove; lead single “You Are A Tourist” sounds a little like a Stone Roses song, if you replace imagination with sentimentality. For fans of Death Cab’s previous six albums, this is a seventh entry that can be counted on. Death Cab For Cutie performs with The Lonely Forest at 8 p.m. at The Trocadero; tickets to the all-ages show are SOLD OUT. —Kiley Bense

Also playing: The Roots Picnic featuring The Roots + Wiz Khalifa, Nas, Esperanza Spalding, Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, The Dismemberment Plan, and Little Dragon at Festival Pier (noon, $79.75); Appel Farm Arts And Music Festival featuring Josh Ritter, Gogol Bordello (acoustic set), Ani DiFranco, Good Old War, Nicole Atkins, John Francis, more at Appel Farm (10:30 a.m., all ages, $45-$50); Penrose + Conversations With Enemies, Toy Soldiers at Danger Danger Gallery (9 p.m., all ages, $5-$10); SAT Black Landlord + Kuf Knotz, DJ Sean Smoove at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $10); The So So Glos + The Fleeting Ends, Sunny Ali & the Kid at Kung Fu Necktie (7 p.m., 21+, $10)

Wildbirds And Peacedrums is like an inside joke between Mariam Wallentin and Andreas Werliin, the couple that comprises the band. Their music is not a joke, of course, with the wild, Nina Simon-esque vocals from Wallentin and solidifying drums played by Werliin. But it seems like they’re playing to each other. They dropped out of music school together and formed the band a year later. They worked obsessively on the song “The Window”, which appeared on their first album, Heartcore. They make clear in interviews that the song is important to the couple—but, despite, mysterious lyrics such as “I could beat all, I’m not solely a lonely girl or a wild bird,” they refuse to let the public in on the specific meanings.  When they play live, Wallentin wonders off with creative melodies, often facing her husband, who keeps her centered with complex but traditional drum beats. Wildbirds and Peacedrums performs with Yellow Ostrich at 9 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are $10. —Dave Simpson

Also playing: Rock To The Future benefit featuring Grandchildren + Creeping Weeds, Grand Nationals at World Cafe Live (5 p.m., $13); Drexel Music Industry Showcase featuring Hezekiah Jones + Slo-mo, Money Fame And Love, Kuf Knotz at TLA (3 p.m., $10.50)


Nightlands offers a two song “Covers” release for free

Bassist and multi-instrumentalist Dave Hartley, AKA Nightlands has released two new cover songs that you can download below for free. On Covers Hartley recorded the Lindsey Buckingham ( of Fleetwood Mac) song “Trouble,” and Scott Walker’s “Big Louise.” Walker was a member of The Walker Brothers. Hartley is currently on tour with Nightlands which makes a stop in Philly on Friday, June 3rd at World Cafe Live opening for Sondre Lerche.