Experience the Key Studio Sessions live tonight at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. The free event will showcase three of the Philadelphia area’s top acts: folk-rockers and two-time Tri-State Indie Award winners New Sweden, vocal powerhouse and in-demand collaborator Ali Wadsworth and local man-about-town Joey Sweeney with his new band The Long Hair Arkestra. Admission for the show is free but space is limited; RSVP on the XPN website and get more information here. Below, watch New Sweden perform “Mama” and download their Key Studio Session from March 2012 here.
The Balcony at the Trocadero
Things that come to mind while listening to Williamsport’s Maitland: skipping stones, fishing in creeks, running barefoot, rolling down hills. The guitar / drum duo’s 2012 recording (from a cabin in the woods) packs all of the nostalgia and rosy-colored memories of “friendship, youthful journeys and passion” into five simultaneously pin-pointed and expansive tracks that recall the rustic simplicity of early Bon Iver. Now based in Philadelphia, Maitland will play the balcony of The Trocadero this Friday, April 5th; more information can be found here. Watch a recording of the pair performing “Embers” from their EP for Scranton’s Weekender Sessions below and get a download of (from a cabin in the woods)‘ centerpiece “Drop Down” via Deftune.
West Philly quartet HighKick are bringing their rockabilly sound to World Cafe Live tonight in preparation for the release of their new demo. The band’s honest lyrics and steady Americana rhythms make their 2010 album, Paints a House, a must-hear for any fan of DIY roots music, and can be streamed here. Tickets for tonight’s all-ages show are available on our concert calendar here; doors open at 7 p.m. Below, watch a video profile on HighKick from 6ABC.
Brooklyn rockabilly group The Sweetback Sisters are performing tonight at the PSALM Salon. The group’s 2011 album Looking For A Fight has a classic throwback sound to country legends like Carl Perkins with retro harmonies and lively melodies. Tickets for their all-ages show tonight can be found here. Below, watch the video for their single “Be Back Home Tonight.”
British ska revival group The English Beat will be performing this evening with The Paul Collins Beat at World Café Live. The English Beat, spearheaded by Dave Wakeling, recorded three albums together between 1980 and 1982. The all-ages show tonight will start at 8; more ticket information can be found here. Below, watch The English Beat perform “Save It For Later” from their 1982 record, Special Beat Service.
Philly rapper Reef the Lost Cauze is having a productive fall. Last month, he was spotlighted in our collaborative Key Sessions video series produced with Philadelphia Music Magazine – if you haven’t seen that video, his performance is incredible, and you can watch / download it here. Tonight, Reef headlines a show at the Balcony Bar at The Trocadero, and this morning he dropped a brand new single called “B. Dawk.” Produced by South Philly guru Dumhi, the track begins with an intense film sample and launches into an urgent, cinematic bounce where Reef reflects on his role as what some might call an “elder statesman” in the city’s fast-moving rap scene. But what does that mean, anyway – ten years of recording, seven LPs, numerous collaborations, and suddenly you’re an “elder”? Forget that I even mentioned it, since I only brought it up to make a point – Reef’s motivations are different from somebody looking for instant commercial stardom, and in this track he delves into what keeps him going. Rap isn’t a game, it’s life. Download the single below, and catch Reef at The Balcony tonight.
Swedish pop singer/songwriter Jens Lekman is playing at Union Transfer tonight. His third full-length album I Know What Love Isn’t, which dropped in September, surprised fans by taking a huge step away from the characteristically romantic Lekman on older records. I Know What Love Isn’t may just define the term “break-up album,” Lekman’s sad but smooth voice reminiscing over a former love. The all ages performance tonight begins at 9; more details can be found here. Watch the video for “Erica America” from I Know What Love Isn’t below.