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Philadelphia is a city of many wonders: a buzzing food scene, an established craft beer culture, and a parade of historical landmarks. But one aspect of our city that we are particularly passionate about is our magnificent local music community and all that is has to offer. Here at The Key, we often focus on the particulars of our scene – where artists will be playing each night, brand new local releases, etc. - so much so that we can forget how overwhelming it can be for newcomers to get their bearings.
So for those of you having trouble finding where to start, we are introducing this new Philly Music 101 series as your guide through the wonderful world of the Philadelphia music scene: all of its passionate, loving members, from artists to venues to studios and more. It’s meant to help new fans navigate the scene as much as emerging musicians looking to break in and behind-the-scenes folks trying to get their start. We hope it will illuminate just what makes it so damn exciting for music lovers to live here. To kick it off, here is a by-no-means-complete overview of the different pieces of the Philadelphia music scene that have come together to make up its sturdy foundation. Continue reading →
Philly (via Atlanta) rapper S.T.S., or Sugar Tongue Slim, used a recently-released beat from acclaimed producer Just Blaze to create a hip hop track laced with hyper verses and a notable accompaniment by Jordan Brown.
Just Blaze posted the beat to Soundcloud yesterday with a bit of explanation. Continue reading →
Year-End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2014 awesome. In this installment, Key contributor Maureen Walsh shares her favorite EPs of the year.
Within the past few years, artists have gotten more creative with how they release their music. One trend that is resurging is the EP. The EP used to be an extra set of songs that was released between albums. Lately, however, EPs are a way for artists to put out material and not be constricted to having an entire album’s worth of songs. This frees them to create short experiments and release material more frequently. Continue reading →
Today Philadelphia’s Sugar Tongue Slim his new “Letters From Lugano,” featuring DjJBearOne. He uses the lyric to meditate on his growth and adventures in the industry, but what may be more interesting is the beat, which goes through different transitions throughout the song. It’s as if DJ BearOne is in the back scratching and fading to the next song and the next to entertain the crowd, while Slim is still in the lyrical zone of the first. That being said, “Letters From Lugano” actually becomes time capsule of S.T.S.’s European tour, and was written on break in Lugano, Switzerland. Check the track out below. Continue reading →
Philly newcomers Son Little have a fantastic debut EP called Things I Forgot coming out on Anti- Records next month, and they headline a free outdoor show this evening at Dilworth Park at City Hall. Founded by Aaron Livingston, a local singer-songwriter-guitarist who has worked with The Roots and collaborated with RJD2 on the Icebird project, Son Little pushes his creative boundaries even further, dabbling in soul, hard rock, and Radiohead-esque minimal electronica. The band recorded a knockout Key Studio Session this week; download the song “Joy” below and get more information on the show here. Continue reading →
XPN members at the Special Producers level got a treat from The Hold Steady recently when they performed and recorded an interview with David Dye live for World Cafe. You can listen to the full World Cafe appearance here, which includes performances of “Stuck Between Stations,” “Sequestered in Memphis,” and “The Ambassador.” ”I Hope This Whole Thing Doesn’t Frighten You” is available as a free download below. Continue reading →
DJ and electronic dance artist RJD2 headlines the Jump Philly-curated Sound Select show tonight at Underground Arts with Sugar Tongue Slim and Marian Hill. After gaining popularity for his song “Ghostwriter” from 2002′s Deadringer, RJD2 has continued to catch people’s attention with his jazzy, throwback mixes. Many might know his song “A Beautiful Mine,” which was featured as the theme song for AMC’s hit show Mad Men. Infused with samples from big band music and jazz standards, his songs takes from the old and mixes it in a fresh, current style. The artist has most recently been working with rappers on his latest album, More Is than Isn’t, including Philly’s Sugar Tongue Slim, who will be sharing the stage tonight. STS has become one of the top hip hop artists in Philadelphia and continues to maintain his presence in the music scene here. For more information on tonight’s show, check out the XPN Concert Calendar and watch RJD2′s music video for “1976″ below. Continue reading →
The Red Bull Sound Select is an live music series sponsored by the wing-dispensing energy drink company it’s named for, in an effort to promote new music and artists in emerging genres and styles. The concert series happens all over the United States and presents lineups consisting of up-and-coming artists alongside national names. This Saturday, September 27th, the Sound Select series, curated for this show by Jump Magazine, brings a varied group of artists, each known for their own unique “spin” on hip-hop, to Underground Arts. The lineup consists of instrumental hip-hop producing and djing icon RJD2, slick-lipped Philly boy and “GOLD”-affiliated rapper Sugar Tongue Slim, and the Philly minimal electro-funk/soul/jazz/hip-hop/so-many-other-things duo known as Marian Hall. Continue reading →