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XPNFest Recap: Guitar jams and artistry from St. Vincent and My Morning Jacket at SBC

St. Vincent & My Morning Jacket | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com
St. Vincent & My Morning Jacket | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com

At first glance, last night’s headlining XPNFest pairing was an unusual one. Theatrical, otherworldly indie rock diety St. Vincent played first, followed by a set from jam-intensive roots / Americana faves My Morning Jacket - how was this going to work?

As it turned out, it worked out phenomenally, and the artists has more in common than meets the eye. Both boast some of the best living guitarists in rock – Annie Clark, the woman behind St. Vincent, as well as Jim James and Carl Broemel, the dueling duo at the front of MMJ. Both have a strong artistic sensibility to what they do – St. Vincent’s cerebral pop songs and clever choreography, MMJ’s expressive and expansive jams. And both have songs that totally slay in concert – St. Vincent’s “Actor Out of Work” and “Digital Witness,” MMJ’s “Lay Low” and “One Big Holiday,” just to name a handful. Continue reading →

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We chatted with Piper, the 11-year-old girl who was the first winner of St. Vincent’s Mixtape Delivery Service

St. Vincent | photo by Rachel Del Sordo
St. Vincent | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Earlier in June, Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) told her fans she would make them personalized mixtapes via her Beats 1 radio show, St. Vincent’s Mixtape Delivery Service. All fans had to do was submit a letter of 50 words or fewer describing how their lives would benefit from a personalized St. Vincent playlist.

On July 1, she hosted her first installment of the show on Apple Music, announcing the first lucky individual: 11-year-old Piper Murray from Newark, Delaware.

Piper loves to sing and dance, and says she has St. Vincent hairbrush karaoke parties in her room at night. She’s into modern, electronic-leaning music like Purity Ring and Chvrches. During the show, Clark talked with Piper about her love of singing and dancing, a musical she performed in, her family, and her hobbies.

The Key was lucky enough to chat with Piper and her dad, Matt, about this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Continue reading →

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Rounding up the best and brightest of Governors Ball 2015

Governors' Ball | Photo by Rachel Barrish
Governors Ball | Photo by Rachel Barrish

The annual Governors Ball festival is held at Randall’s Island in New York, wedged in between Upper Manhattan and Queens. The rain trickled down on Friday but that didn’t stop the ticket holders from trekking through to make it over for their favorite acts, most especially Philly’s The Districts who started off the fest Friday afternoon at 12:15. A bit too early for most, one would think, but they ripped through their set with a medium sized but lively crowd cheering along to the words of “Young Blood.” Continue reading →

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The Key’s Top 15 Albums of 2014

top 15 albums of 2014
This is the music that moved us this year.

Here at The Key, we’ve gone through four year-end best-of seasons since launching in August of 2010 without weighing in on top albums. Why did we change that this year? Simply put: music in 2014 was outstanding. On the local front, on the national front, from pop to rock to experimental and hip-hop, there was a tremendous offering of front-to-back solid records. Annie Clark got mind-bendy on St. Vincent; Tim Showalter got emotional on HEAL; Sylvan Esso caught us by surprise on their self-titled debut; Cayetana blew up in a big way on their debut Nervous Like Me, voted the best record of the year by our staff of contributors. To narrow it down to the top 15 albums of 2014 is to exclude hundreds of other worthy inclusion, so you can read our contributors’ individual top fives here. Then again, there is power in consensus, and these are the albums we collectively agreed were the best. Continue reading →

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MusicNotes from the XPN Morning Show: Paul McCartney’s unreleased recording with John Bonham, St. Vincent to debut 2 new songs on “Record Store Day” and Coldplay to release “Ghost Stories Live” DVD, Album

via consequenceofsound.net
via consequenceofsound.net

Two, classic Wings’ albums will be reissued next month: Venus and Mars and At The Speed Of Sound, and the bonus material will include a song that Paul McCartney recorded with late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. Continue reading →

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Download a live Free At Noon version of “Prince Johnny” by St. Vincent

Photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Singer, songwriter and guitarist Annie Clark, best known as St. Vincent, came through town on Friday, February 28th and performed a radiant, imaginative show at Union Transfer. Clark is currently on tour in support of her stunning new self-titled album. Earlier in the day, she played a sold out Free At Noon and did a World Cafe session with David Dye. You can listen to the entire session here, and below, download a live version of “Prince Johnny,” from her recent album, St. Vincent.

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company