Tonight’s Concert Picks: Weekend at Johnny Brenda’s, Suzie Brown at World Cafe Live, and September Call-Up at Ortlieb’s Lounge

weekendLo-fi post-punk outfit Weekend will take the stage at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The band released its second album, Jinx, back in July on Slumberland Records. Their sound brings to mind the darkest parts of Blink-182’s self-titled record mixed with distant, haunting vocals and ’80s-inspired melodies. Listen to “Hazel” below and get tickets here.

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The Week So Far: 11 must-read stories on The Key (incl. Bad Braids, Pattern is Movement, Johnny Marr)

richie havens

Legendary folk musician Richie Havens is remembered for his soulful voice and historic set at Woodstock [link]

Mike Kinsella of Owen previewed new material in this week’s Folkadelphia session [link]

In celebration of Earth Day, The Key took a look back at Philadelphia’s Earth Week in 1970 [link]

Suzie Brown, Cheers Elephant and more to play the 65th Annual Pastorius Park Free Summer Concert Series in Chestnut Hill [link]

Ryan Tennis brings his nine-piece band to XPN for a Key Studio Session [link]

Make Music Philly brings DIY concerts to the streets on June 21st [link]

Johnny Marr gives advice and talks about his new solo album in an interview with Nikki Volpicelli [link]

Get a look inside Pattern is Movement‘s recording process with an “album screening” at PhilaMOCA [link]

Bad Braids‘ upcoming Supreme Parallel is featured in this week’s Unlocked series [link]

Download “I Had Love” from Chicago’s Fort Frances [link]

Kennett Square’s Friday Nights Under the Stars announces their line-up with New Sweden, Ryan Tennis and more [link]


The 65th Annual Pastorius Park Free Summer Concert Series returns to Chestnut Hill

Cheers Elephant at Pastorius Park, 2011
Cheers Elephant at Pastorius Park, 2011

The Chestnut Hill Community Association has released details for their annual free concert series, kicking off on June 19th with Suzie Brown and running through July 31st with John Train.  The shows will happen every Wednesday evenings and will feature top local acts in indie rock, Americana, jazz and more.  The full schedule is listed below; go here for more information.  Check out a photo recap of Cheers Elephant’s appearance at the park in 2011 here and watch Suzie Brown on NBC’s 10! Show below.

June 19 Suzie Brown
June 26 The John Byrne Band
July 03  The Dukes of Destiny
July 10  Aaron & The Spell
July 17  Cheers Elephant
July 24  Phyllis Chapell & SIORA
July 31  John Train

For more information on the Pastorius Park Free Summer Concert go here.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sandy Benefit Showcase at the Tin Angel, The Spring Standards at Arden Guild Hall

It’s still the season of giving and what could be better than giving back with the gift of music? Tonight the Tin Angel is hosting a showcase to benefit the Hurricane Sandy victims of Union Beach. The line-up features a myriad of local performers like Foxhound, The Doublewides, Suzie Brown, Joey Sweeney as well as other surprise acts. Performances tonight kick off at 8; tickets for the 21+ show can be found on our concert calendar here. Below, watch a video of Foxhound performing at Studio 34 recently.

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Just Announced: Busker schedule for Free at Noon from The Porch at 30th Street Station

This week, WXPN’s Free at Noon concert series is going al fresco for its first appearance at The Porch at 30th Street Station. Rocking the crowd will be Canadian four-piece The Sheepdogs, who are warming up for a headlining show at Johnny Brenda’s on September 20. In another twist for this week’s Free at Noon, XPN will be broadcasting live from The Porch from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., with various Philly musicians busking around the station and stopping by the broadcast booth to perform live on the air. Check out a tentative schedule below.

8 a.m. hour – Scot Sax w/ Suzie Brown
9 a.m. hour – Birdie Busch
10 a.m. hour – Frank Cervantes
11 a.m. hour – John Beacher
Noon hour – F@N with The Sheepdogs
1 p.m. hour – Ryan Tennis


Merry Local Philly Christmas! (download our 12 song local music holiday sampler)

 Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from WXPN and The Key! The last several weeks we celebrated the holiday season by offering a twelve original seasonal songs. WXPN’s Helen Leicht asked local bands to write and record original holiday songs for the third year in a row which the bands have offered as free downloads. Thanks to all the bands for these wonderful songs. You can download the entire sampler as a .zip file here.

The 12 Days of XPN Philly Local Christmas Sampler

Find Vienna – “Christmas Is For Our Hearts”
Gillian Grassie – “When the Night Gets Long”
Summer Fiction – “Christmas Eve for Two”
Matt Santry – “The Xmas Song”
Atomic Square – “Christmas Time is here”
Scot Sax and Suzie Brown – “Coming Your Way”
Angel Band – “I Want A Present”
JD Malone & the Experts – “Best Day Of The Year”
Kingsfoil – “The Valley, A Christmas Song”
John Flynn – “Christmas Balls”
Ben Smith – “I Got A New Tattoo For Christmas”
Ali Hoffman – “Evergreen”


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Find Vienna at World Cafe Live, Queen Electric + Suzie Brown at Milkboy Philly

Find Vienna

Tonight features performances by three of the artists in this year’s XPN’s 12 Days Of Local Christmas series: Find Vienna and Scot Sax (of Queen Electric) + Suzie Brown. We originally posted Find Vienna’s track, “Christmas Is In Our Hearts” back on December 8th; Scot Sax and Suzie Brown’s song, “Coming Your Way”, ran on December 15th. You can listen to both below.

Find Vienna performs with Atomic Tom + Lion Of Ido, and Lizbeth Rose at 7:30 p.m.; tickets to the show are $15–$20. Queen Electric performs with Suzie Brown + Van Meter at 9 p.m.; tickets to the 21+ show are $8–$10.


XPN’s 12 Days Of Local Christmas: Scot Sax and Suzie Brown’s “Coming Your Way”

Scot Sax and Suzie Brown met on John Lennon’s birthday, October 9th, in 2010. The two definitely keep busy individually: Scot has a career as singer for Queen Electric (and is a songwriter for various projects) while Suzie—in addition to being a practicing cardiologist— has her own career as a singer-songwriter, with her songs being heard in Starbucks nationwide and having won Philadelphia Magazine‘s Best Of Philly. However, the two managed to find the time to join together for their first written and recorded song, “Coming Your Way.” You can visit Scot’s website here and Suzie’s website here; you can also see them perform on December 22nd at Milkboy in Ardmore, joined by Scot’s band Queen Electric. —Nick Bookbinder


Weekend Picks: Bright Eyes + M Ward, The Postelles, Suzie Brown, The Dodos, Kurt Vile + Pissed Jeans

Bright Eyes

Bright Eyes began in 1998 as a project showcasing then 18-year-old Conor Oberst’s songwriting. Accompanied by a revolving cast of contributors, Oberst wrote mournful songs with narrative and literary flair. With the release of Lifted in 2002, he was embraced by bookish teenagers, emo kids and critics alike. Oberst was called the “new Dylan,” and embarked on a series of musical explorations, delving into Americana and electro-pop on subsequent albums. Along with perennial Bright Eyes members multi-instrumentalist Mike Mogis and pianist Nate Walcott, Oberst returned this February with The People’s Key. It is Bright Eyes’ first offering since 2007’s Cassadega, and Oberst says, it will be its last, remarking that he wants “to lock the door, and say goodbye” to the band that brought him success. Bright Eyes performs with Dawes and M Ward at 7:30 p.m. at The Mann Center; tickets to the all-ages show are $25-$33.50. —Kiley Bense

I have yet to find a write-up of The Postelles without a reference to The Strokes, so I won’t try to dodge it here. It’s a definitive feature of the band—and both its greatest strength and its greatest weakness. The preppy Manhattan kids are certainly more earnest than the apathetic Stokes, but at times their simple retro new wave is indiscernible. Their self-titled debut album came out this week, so it’s too early to tell if they are still searching for their own sound or content to mimic others.  Regardless, drawing comparisons to one of the biggest bands of the last 10 years isn’t the end of the world. So, if you want to hear a Strokes cover band playing Strokes songs you’ve never heard before, check out The Postelles tonight. The Postelles perform with The Dig and Ambassadors at 7:30 p.m. at Kung Fu Necktie; tickets to the 21+ show are $10. —Dave Simpson

Also playing: Suzie Brown + Jake Snider at World Cafe Live (8 p.m., $19-$24); Dangerous Ponies + Hop Along, Ryat, George And Jonathan at First Unitarian Church (7:30 p.m., all ages, $10);

The Dodos + Gauntlet Hair at Theatre Of Living Arts (9 p.m., $15); East Hundred (record release) + Turning Violet Violet, Steve Goldberg And The Arch Enemies at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $10); The Great Unknown + The Spinning Leaves, The End of America at Kung Fu Necktie (7 p.m., 21+, $8); Lenka + Elizabeth And The Catapult, Shannon Corey at North Star Bar ($8, 21+, $14)

Kurt Vile & The Violators + Pissed Jeans, Meg Baird at First Unitarian Church (8 p.m., all ages, $12); Natasha Bedingfield + Kate Voegele, Kevin Hammond at Theatre Of Living Arts (8 p.m., $29)