Beyond The Bars is a program that benefits music education for incarcerated youth in Philadelphia. Their programs consist of providing instruments and music lessons to “empower young men and women as they navigate the criminal justice system.” Beyond The Bars was founded by Matthew Kerr, Eric Ammon, Brian Thomas, and Christopher Thornton. The organization has been gaining momentum and was recently featured on WHYY. Continue reading →
WXPN’s XPoNential Music Festival is happening July 22nd, 23rd, and 24th at the Camden Waterfront with shows at Wiggins Park and the BB&T Pavilion.
Tickets go on sale Friday at Noon, however you can reserve tickets by becoming a new or renewing WXPN member at $25 a month. You will receive a pair of 3-Day Go Everywhere Passes that includes LAWN ADMISSION to Ryan Adams/Kurt Vile on Friday, July 22, Alabama Shakes/Gary Clark Jr on Saturday, July 23, and Brandi Carlile/Old Crow Medicine Show on Sunday, July 24. Continue reading →
It’s a special occasion the first time a Philly artist headlines the cavernous Callowhill venue The Electric Factory. We’ve seen it with Dr. Dog, we’ve seen it with The Wonder Years.
When you step out on that stage, and you know in your head that it’s the same room you crowded into so you could watch your favorite bands as a teenage kid – maybe you took the subway downtown from your neighborhood, perhaps you drove in from the surrounding burbs and grabbed sketchy street parking, nervously hoping that your car would be there when you return, or you waited on Spring Garden Street for your parents to pick you up at the end of the night. It’s that place, only now you’ve got this view you never had before, not of the stage but from it, looking out at an enormous room. And it’s packed. And it occurs to you that these people are there to see you…
I’ve heard it described as humbling. I’ve heard it described as exhilarating. You can call it some serious circle of life stuff. And it’s something that Philadelphia by-way-of Lititz rockers The Districts experienced back in November as they wrapped a year of heavy international touring in support of their acclaimed debut LP A Flourish and a Spoil with their biggest headlining hometown show, and one of their biggest shows ever. Continue reading →
Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2015 incredible. Today, XPN Program director Bruce Warren recaps ten favorite WXPN videos from VuHaus.
We’ve put together a playlist of some of the best performances on VuHaus, a new music video website featuring videos from public radio stations around the country. Alongside XPN, contributors include WFUV in New York, KCRW in Los Angeles, KUTX in Austin, Oregon Public Radio, Mountain Stage, World Cafe and others.
Over the years many of our favorite Philly local musicians have covered holiday classics or have written their own seasonal songs. We’ve compiled some of our favorites from the last few years that we’ve posted on The Key, including some highlights from WXPN’s Home For the Holidays, the annual broadcast hosted by WXPN’s Helen Leicht, featuring songs by Amos Lee, The Districts, Good Old War, Ginger Coyle, Hemming, and more. Continue reading →
It was a year of powerful records. Of loud guitars and brazen beats, of electronic tapestries and vocal abandon. It was a year of personal introspection and rallying cries for social change. It was a year when music felt inextricably tied to the world around us. When it felt more important than it had in a long time. Like we’ve said before, to narrow 12 months of incredible music down to a “top 15 albums of 2015” list is to exclude dozens of other worthy releases. This year, we had 26 writers and photographers cite a collective 82 albums as their favorites – you can view everybody’s top fives here, and I know fully well that had I asked The Key crew to give me top tens, I’d be easily looking at quadruple the titles. But we’ll go deep when our annual Year-End Mania roundup launches tomorrow. Today we take the long view and explore what rose to the surface of consensus in 2015, from the expressive moments of Kamasi Washington, Joanna Newsom and Jamie xx, to the pop permutations of Carly Rae Jepsen and Grimes , rock and/or roll from Courtney Barnett and Alabama Shakes, Philly representation from The Districts, Waxahatchee and of course, Hop Along‘s incredible breakout LP Painted Shut, which alongside the great Kendrick Lamar rose right to the top of our voting. Let’s recap the year. Continue reading →
This week’s Key Studio Sessions featured the clever indie rock songs of The Rentiers and the “conceptual, twenty-minute megamix” of Fishtown’s Worldtown Soundsystem. Listen The Rentiers’ “Jessica and Dan and a Cat Named Bolt Thrower” below and download both sessions here.
We have been big fans of Philly indie rockers The Districts for some time now. Since their formation in 2009 the band has quickly ascended the ranks of Philly indie rock, rapidly becoming the unequivocal “band to watch”. Recently we here The Key got a chance to talk to the band about this journey, which continues with what is arguably their biggest Philly show to date tonight at the Electric Factory with Lady Lamb and fellow Philadelphians Purples. You can click here to get more information on tonight’s show. Continue reading →