Kensington Picnic returns for a second year with a great lineup featuring Spacin’, Mary Lattimore and more

Mary Lattimore | photo by John Vettese
Mary Lattimore | photo by John Vettese

Kensington Picnic will return this August for its second round. Though the lineup is not finalized yet, it looks like an even split between folk and experimental rock. Performers include the Strapping Fieldhands, Laura Baird, and Spacin’. Repeat performers include Birds of Maya and Mary Lattimore.

On the rock front, there’s the Strapping Fieldhands, an indie rock band from the 1990s that returned last year with their first release in 10 years. Birds of Maya played a great set at PhilaMOCA this year, as well as an awesome benefit show at Circle of Hope to support the Shalefield Organizing Community. Last but not least, there’s Spacin’, formed in 2012 by Birds of Maya’s Jason Killinger. Last year, Spacin’ performed their debut Deep Thuds LP at Hopscotch Music Festival and recently released the B-side to their Megatations tape via Telephone Explosion Records.

On the folk side of things, there’s the charismatic Laura Baird. The other half of the amazing Baird Sisters, Laura did a great interview with the Key’s Maura Filoromo. Over the years, Baird has played a range of instruments from trombone to flute and banjo. She incorporates elements of these into her performances. Harpist Mary Lattimore will also perform. Over the years, she has performed with artists ranging from Kurt Vile and Thurston Moore to Sharon Van Etten and Meg Baird. Last year, she played on a cover of Kitty Wells’ country tune “Christmas Ain’t Like Christmas Anymore” and a brilliant session with Folkadelphia. In September, she will release her latest album, Slant of Light as a collaboration with Jeff Zeigler (from Arc in Round). 

The picnic is set to take place on Frankford Ave, between Susquehanna and Dauphin, near Liberty Vintage Motorcycles. Get more information on the free event here.  Check out music from the artists below.

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Spacin’ and Bleeding Rainbow side project I IM EYE MY share new track “Streetcat Bonfire”

Premiered on Decoder Magazine, I IM EYE MY‘s new track “Streetcat Bonfire” is a sonic exploration through an urban jungle from Al Creedon (Bleeding Rainbow) and Sean Hamilton (Spacin’).  The name alone calls to mind people gathered on the street around a scrap fire set in a metal trashcan, and that image is carried on through the opening percussive bars.  As the song continues it feels almost out of place in this current time, fitting more closely with the aesthetics and expressions surrounding avant garde jazz, though it gets there via a modern, droney route.  Imagine Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew and GHQ’s Crystal Healing were meshed together – “Streetcat Bonfire” is what you would hear.  The song will be included on an upcoming tape called 7 Transmissions, which will be released on Not Not Fun.  Take a listen to “Streetcat Bonfire” below.


Catching Up With Creepoid: Listen to their all-vinyl guest DJ set on WXPN, see photos of their album release party, hear their new “Wet Bread”

Photo by Pat Troxell
PeteJoe Urban of Creepoid and Key editor John Vettese in the WXPN studio with vinyl selections | Photo by Pat Troxell

Philly dark psychedelic four-piece Creepoid are having a pretty sweet spring. After releasing their new self-titled LP on No Idea Records on March 4th, the band toured to SXSW and back – evidently impressing Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! somewhere along the way – and are gearing up for their latest record, a Record Store Day 10″ via Graveface Records.

Before all this got underway, I had the Creepoid crew on the air on WXPN for a special all-vinyl, mostly-local guest DJ set featuring the likes of Puerto Rico Flowers, Bardo Pond, Asteroid No. 4, Jack Rose and more. Listen to their DJ set below.

The band also played a sold-out, starkly-lit, drumkit-toppling album-release party with Far-Out Fangtooth at Johnny Brenda’s on the 27th of February; check out a gallery of photos from the performance below.

That Record Store Day 10″ we were telling you about? The a-side “Wet Bread” premiered on Impose Magazine today. Check it out below.


The Key’s Year-End Mania: Brian Wilensky’s Top 5 Shows I Wish I Saw in 2013

purlinghissYear End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2013 awesome. In this installment, contributing writer Brian Wilensky talks about great shows he didn’t see.

Those of you that work in the service industry, like me, know what it’s like to work nights and weekends; missing the shows, parties and nights out with your friends that work business hours. I raise my glass to you, as we share the same suffering because the rent isn’t free. Here are my Top 5 Shows I Wish I Saw in 2013.

1. Clinic / Grooms / The Cobbs at Johnny Brenda’s, 9/17/2013
Liverpool’s art-psych surgical mask-wearing weird guys, Clinic, don’t tour often, let alone cross the pond. Last year’s Free Reign held true to their stagnant drone formula and seeing them convert it to a live setting is something that still spikes my curiosity. Continue reading →


Download a live set by Spacin’ from the Hopscotch Music Festival via NYCTaper

photo by acidjack

Psych-y garage rock band Spacin’ trekked down to North Carolina a few weeks ago for the Hopscotch Music Festival, an eclectic three-day event in the Raleigh that has been incredibly welcoming to Philadelphia bands in recent years. The now-firmly established quartet of Spacin’ (formed by Birds of Maya’s Jason Killinger in 2012) played two shows at the festival, including a Paradise of Bachelors showcase on September 7th that featured sets by fellow Philly-associated acts like Daniel Bachman / Pelt, Steve Gunn and Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band.

The seemingly ubiquitous audio archivists at NYCTaper were on hand to record the show, which means Spacin’s full set is now available to download for free. The band filled their tight 20 minute day-time set with tracks from their debut Deep Thuds LP alongside a couple of unreleased songs. Listen to the recording of “Gary in the Universe” below and download the show via NYCTaper here.


Spacin’ playing CD release party / welcome home show this Thursday 8/1 at Ortliebs

533658_415184435256551_1577637346_nPhilly lo-fi favorites Spacin’ will be back in town from their European tour for a combination CD release party/welcome home show this Thursday, August 2nd, at Ortileb’s Lounge. Tickets for the 21+ show are a mere 5 dollars at the door. Doors open at 9, and fellow locals Watery Love will open the show up at 10. Find more info at the event’s Facebook page here, and check out “Empty Mind”, off Spacin’s excellent 2012 debut, Deep Thuds, below.


What’s going on in this new Spacin’ video?

Screen shot 2013-07-11 at 10.36.26 AMPhilly psych rock outfit Spacin’ are getting ready to release a new CDR called MEGATATIONS (no.1), which will be available on their European tour that kicks off today. Described by the band as “35 minutes of swirling jams,” this preview video posted this morning gives an alluring look (and listen) to the new music. It wanders through fuzzy corridors and a hypnotic interplay of guitar bass. There’s some sort of breathy burst keeping time, but I’m not sure what’s creating it – processed vocals? Distantly mic’d drums?

Moreover, what the heck is going on in this video? We see scenes of a snow-covered suburban parking lot that quickly dissolve and swirl out into fuzziness, back into focus and away again. It kind of looks like a camera was set up beneath a pane of glass that had water shot at it from various directions. Or maybe it’s something more digital and after-effectsy. In any case, woah; it’s video art as much as it’s a music video. Check it out below.


Download live Purling Hiss and Spacin’ shows from Brooklyn’s 285 Kent via NYC Taper

Photo by PSquared Photography
Photo by PSquared Photography
Jason Killinger’s psychedelic garage rock band Spacin’ performed on April 4th at Brooklyn’s 285 Kent with their pals Purling Hiss (led by Mike Polizze). NYC Taper has both sets that you can download for free. Download the Spacin’ set here and the set from Purling Hiss here. Below, stream a cover of the MC5′s “American Ruse” by Spacin,’ and “Don’t Even Try It” by Purling Hiss.