Japanese Breakfast brings home Soft Sounds to a sold-out First Unitarian Church

Japanese Breakfast at the First Unitarian Church | photo by Scott Troyan | courtesy of the artist

It was a triumphant night for Japanese Breakfast at the First Unitarian Church. Not only was it the band’s homecoming show after an extensive US tour and the long-awaited hometown celebration of the release of Soft Sounds From Another Planet, but JBrekkie sold the dang place out. Bandleader Michelle Zauner expressed disbelief at the size and enthusiasm of the crowd, reminiscing on her days as an R5 Productions intern when she was the one mopping the church basement floor after shows. No mopping was in store for Zauner last night, though — after opening sets by fellow locals The Spirit of the Beehive and Mannequin Pussy, Japanese Breakfast took over the church’s iconic stage for a energy-filled hour-long set of favorites off of 2016’s Psychopomp and 2017’s Soft Sounds. Continue reading →


Listening to a Dementor: Spirit of the Beehive on channeling the emotional spectrum for Pleasure Suck

Spirit of the Beehive | photo courtesy of the artist
Spirit of the Beehive | photo by Emily Burtner | courtesy of the artist

Pat Conaboy, drummer of Spirit of the Beehive, stands his bed, which is just a mattress, up against the wall of his bedroom so that the rest of the band can fit their amps, a synth and other gear for practices. The room is densely filled — stepping on cables strewn about the floor is unavoidable. Upon entering, each member of the band is laughing as if they’re old friends just hanging out, beers already in hand. But not long before that cymbals stopped ringing and the amps are now being turned off as practice is being wrapped up. Continue reading →


Tonight’s (Non-KeyFest) Concert Picks: Heart Harbor at Tin Angel, Rene Marie at Exit 0 Jazz Fest, and Spirit of the Beehive at the First Unitarian Church

Heart Harbor 0 Jessica Kourkounis
Heart Harbor | Photo by Jessica Kourkounis | courtesy of the artist |

So, you might have heard that night two of Key Fest is tonight. If you like punk/indie rock, it’s going to be awesome. If you like good music in general, it’s going to be awesome. But, this is Philly, which means there are always plenty of other concerts going on. Here are three other concerts happening tonight. Heart Harbor is the project of Kerry Hallet. But while Hallet is grounded by a singer-songwriter character, her music is recorded with a full band and is overflowing with catchy pop hooks. Think Aimee Mann but with a more upbeat, carefree sound. Hallet just released her debut EP, Tender Trap, and will be celebrating the occasion with a show at Tin Angel. Read Hallet’s conversation with The Key here, and grab tickets to the show over at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Still need New Year’s Eve plans? Here are eight more concerts to see.

The Lawsuits | Photo by Caitlin McCann
The Lawsuits | Photo by Caitlin McCann

It’s crunch time, procrastinators. New Year’s Eve is tonight, and you need plans. Thankfully, there are a lot of options in the world of live music. Tickets are still available for almost everything on our initial roundup of gigs – only the Nothing show at Boot and Saddle is sold out. And hey, a solid handful of concerts have been announced over the past month too! If you want to make music part of your celebration, but want to dig a little deeper than the cover band / tribute band universe, read on. Continue reading →


Spirit of the Beehive and Amanda X return from tour for a gritty gig with Pile and Big Ups

Pile | Photos by Rachel Del Sordo |
Pile | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo |

Four young and talented post-punk bands brought their peculiar musical stylings to First Unitarian Church on Wednesday. This show marked the first stop of tour for Boston’s Pile and New York’s Big Ups, and served as a solid homecoming for Amanda X and Spirit of the Beehive, who recently returned home from a month-long tour across the US. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Howlish at Boot & Saddle, Spirit of the Beehive and Amanda X at First Unitarian Church, Dengue Fever at Johnny Brenda’s and more…

Howlish | photo by Jackie Papanier

After premiering “Black Ice” with us last week, Howlish bring their new music to Boot & Saddle tonight. The local indie rockers will release ()uter later this fall via Sniffling Indie Kids, following up last year’s Open Bones EP debut with a new collection of atmoshperic songs. Check out “Black Ice” below and pick up tickets for the 21+ with A Valley Son and Owl and Wolf here.

Continue reading →