A Key Studio Sessions-centric preview for The GTVs’ album release party at Ardmore Music Hall July 12th

Photo by Brian Hunt |
Photo by Brian Hunt |

The GTVs release their first album Sh’Bang! next Saturday at the Ardmore Music Hall, with the company of Weird Hot and St. James and the Apostles. (Thanks to the band, you can sign up to win tickets to the show here.) Sh’Bang! was released earlier on Italy’s Teen Sound Records this year and has a catchy mix of garage rock, surf and soul. Many of the songs are entirely instrumental, sounding a bit like a jam session. In an interview with The Key’s Brian Wilensky, guitarist Pat Wescott clarified that unlike a jam band, they “work on arranging every part, making it like a hook and keeping it to the point.” The band uses an unique recording method, keeping with the style of the time period. Last month GTVs stopped by to do a great Key Studio Session. Listen to a live recording of “Organ Donor” from Sh’Bang below.

Another funky band on the bill is Weird Hot. Much like the GTVs, Wierd Hot uses a mix of genres to create memorable earworms. They describe themselves as “funk noir.” In May, the band released their two latest singles “I Was At A Party” and “The Wasp Woman”. The band also did a Key Studio Session last year. Listen to the funk anthem “Ghosts” from the session below.

Last but not least are garage rock trio, St. James & The Apostles, and you guessed it, they recorded with The Key as well. The band is set to release the follow up to 2012’s Baphomet in September. The religious undertones of their music with the rock and roll tone of the band makes for an interesting statement. Listen to the redemptive fervor of “Friend in Jesus” from their Key Session below.

All three bands have a great way of twisting genres into something unexpected and brilliant. Catch them live at Ardmore Theater July 12th. Get more details about the show here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: St. James and the Apostles at Ortlieb’s, Bipolaroid at MilkBoy, and Carolina Chocolate Drops at Sellersville Theater

Photo via
Photo by Samara Talkin | via

Self-proclaimed “acid gospel power trio” St. James and the Apostles continue their residency (which takes place every Wednesday of this month) at Ortlieb’s tonight. The band plans to release the follow-up to 2012’s Baphomet in September. With religious undertones, the band’s garage rock sound takes the listener to church and back. Listen to “Kiss & Tell” below, hear frontman Jamie Mahon’s appearance on the Going to Hell podcast here and come out to see the band for free.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Phil Anselmo at Union Transfer, James Hunter at Sellersville Theater, St. James and the Apostles at Johnny Brenda’s, Thee Idea Men at Milkboy


Phil Anselmo is probably one of the most prolific figures in the world of metal today.  Originally gaining fame as the singer for Pantera, Anselmo has since performed with his own groups Down, Superjoint Ritual, Phil Anselmo & The Illegals and a few others.  Tonight, the famed metal singer will make his way to Union Transfer where he’ll play with his backing band The Illegals.  Anselmo released his second solo album, Walk Through Exists Only, a month ago.  Below, check out a song from his latest release and click here for ticket information for what’s sure to be an ear-melting show.

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The Key Studio Sessions: St. James and the Apostles

Philly garage rock trio St. James and the Apostles have a big sound for just three guys. You can attribute some of that to Mike Kiker on keyboards, who plays Ray Manzerek style, juggling both bass lines and higher-end lead parts. Certainly Jeff Castner’s thundering drums are another component, as well as frontman Jamie Mahon, whose voice bellows and guitar rips. The guys were in our studio this weekend to record a session of tracks from across their discography – traditional closer “St. James Infirmary Blues” can be found on their 2012 LP Baphomet, while “Gimmie Some” and “Siobahn” can be found on some of the band’s early live releases. “Friend In Jesus,” from what I can tell, is a new one, and with its take on redemption and the rock and roll lifestyle, it neatly sums up the Apostles’ perspective. They’re part Doors, part Supergrass, part spiritual. Dig in, listen and download below, and catch the band live at Johnny Brenda‘s this Friday when they open for Adam and Dave’s Bloodline.


The Week So Far: 10 must-read stories on The Key

Left to right: Helen Leicht, John Belushi and Ed Sciaky

Holiday Radio Past: Ed Sciaky sends holiday on WIOQ cheer circa 1984 [link]

Philly rocker Tommy Conwell performs acoustic for The Key Studio Sessions [link]

Digging the deep roots of St. James and the Apostles, who play The Fire tonight [link]

Need a soundtrack to your Thanksgiving dinner table? Try our Spotify playlist [link]

Central Pennsylvania’s music scene mourns the loss of its biggest advocate, Jersey Mike [link]

Watch rare video of Patti Smith on the Mike Douglas Show when it was based in Philly [link]

Is that Denison Witmer playing a spandex-clad workout instructor? [link]

Pissed Jeans rage on with a new track, “Bathroom Laughter” [link]

Ring in the holidays with XPN2‘s Jingle Jams, now through New Year’s! [link]

Yeasayer discovered light, and color. And took it on tour. [link]


St. James and the Apostles kicks off tour tonight at Silk City

Philly acid-rock three-piece St. James and the Apostles is heading out on a short fall tour, and is kicking things off tonight at the Bands in the Backyard No Alternative party at Silk City. They go on at 11 p.m., with opening sets by This Frontier Needs Heroes and Dani Mari; more information on the 21+ show can be found here. Below, check out the Apostles’ recently released BITBY Backstage session, filmed in their basement practice / recording space.


Just Announced: Black Landlord Halloween Extravaganza with St. James and the Apostles (at Kung Fu Necktie on 10/28)

Two things we know about the guys from Black Landlord: they like to dress up, and they like to bring the party. So the Black Landlord Halloween Extravaganza just announced at Kung Fu Necktie is sure to be a mix of spooky seasonal pageantry and funky, danceable good times. (Possibly aided by the fact that some of the Landlord crew bartends at KFN.) Opening the 21+ show are buzzing, skronky locals St. James and the Apostles – who just released the album Baphomet, a title with all kinds of demonological implications. Tickets are $10 and available here. Below, watch Black Landlord’s Key Studio Session video and check out some tunes from St. James and co. Continue reading →


Watch St. James and the Apostles entire album release show on YouTube (playing Gunner’s Run tonight)

Photo by Gavin Thomas Valente

Philadelphia acid-garage-rock trio St. James and the Apostles celebrated the release of its new LP Baphomet with a feisty set at Johnny Brenda’s last night. If you missed it, the entire show has already made its way on to YouTube. The band was scheduled to play the Northern Liberties Music Festival at Liberty Lands park today, but inclement weather caused it to be postponed – meaning St. James is moving its show into the dryer confines of Gunner’s Run. They hit the stage at 9:30 p.m. tonight. Get psyched for the set by watching the album release show below.