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Philly Music 101: The basics everyone needs to know about the Philadelphia scene right now

Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com
The Districts | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com

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 →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: DRGN King at Johnny Brenda’s, Seoul Delhi at Bourbon & Branch, Kindred The Family Soul at World Cafe Live and more…

DRGN King
DRGN King | photo by Caitlin McCann | http://caitlinmccannphoto.com/

Local indie rockers DRGN King kick-off a nearly two-month long, cross-country tour at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. They also helped to kick-off the 2015 season of Free at Noons, “skipping their day jobs” to rile up the crowd at World Cafe Live back in January. They performed songs from their recent Baltimore Crush LP (which you can learn more about here), as well as tracks taken from their 2013 debut Paragraph Nights. Listen back to the concert here and check out a live-session video for “Undertow” below. Tickets and information for tonight’s show with Field Mouse and Teen Men can be found here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Seoul Delhi at The Fire, The Danger O’s at Ortlieb’s, Preservation Hall Jazz Band at American Music Theatre

Seoul Delhi
Seoul Delhi | photo via Facebook

Seoul Delhi leads a line-up of locals at The Fire for the final night of the Northern Liberties Music Festival. The band is only a couple of years old but has already released its debut LP Everything Must Go and is working on a follow up right now. They blend elements of classic rock and pop song writing, citing Steely Dan, Amy Winehouse and John Mayer as influences. Listen to “Am I Free?” from Everything Must Go below and get more information for tonight’s show with Legs Like Tree Trunks, Sexoffice and Kingfisher here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Northern Arms at Johnny Brenda’s, Halfro at The Fire, Deb Callahan Band at Steel City Coffeehouse

Northern Arms
Northern Arms | photo via facebook.com/thenorthernarms

Northern Arms join their friends in BUSSES at Johnny Brenda’s for the latter’s record release show tonight. The former is currently working on a follow-up to last year’s self-titled debut at Miner Street Recording. The local ten-piece have mastered the art of darkly cinematic songs, taking the best bits of Arcade Fire’s dramatism and pairing it with Angelo Badalementi’s suspense. Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ with Tinmouth can be found here. Watch “What You’ve Got On” below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: JJL at Boot & Saddle, Marilyn Manson at the Electric Factory, Cee Knowledge at The Fire and more…

JJL
JJL | photo via Facebook

Local veterans JJL hit the Boot & Saddle stage tonight. The band has been making a ferocious comeback after a fire destroyed their rehearsal space and gear last February, coming together to record a six-track EP called The Tiger. It’s an amped up, hard-hitting collection of power-rock songs that are rooted in a sentimental and music-loving place. Tickets and information for the 21+ show can be found here. Listen to “The Tiger” below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Dylan Jane at Bourbon & Branch, Girlpool at West Philly Retirement Home, QQQ at The Fire and more…

Dylan Jane
Dylan Jane | Photo by John Vettese

Recent Key Studio Session artist Dylan Jane performs at Bourbon & Branch tonight. The Northeastern PA native released From An Island last October, a collection of original songs that showcase an organic roots sound that both honest and fun. Though she often performs solo live, Jane recorded the LP with a cavalcade of friends, lending to the album a late-night-round-the-fire-pit jam session vibe. Listen to “Land and Sea” below and pick up tickets for the show with Katie Frank & The Pheromones, Matt Romagna and Younger Me here. Listen back to her Key Session here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jacqueline Constance at The Fire, Readership at Bourbon and Branch, Goat Mumbles at Golden Tea House

Jacqueline Constance | photo via twitter.com/JacqConMusic
Jacqueline Constance | photo via twitter.com/JacqConMusic

Emerging Philly soul queen Jacqueline Constance headlines The Fire tonight with the arty and adventurous Brielle. Last year, the South Philly singer and songwriter released The Jacqueline Show, an imaginative album that blended positive melodies, slice-of-life storytelling and Constance’s voice (which reminds us of a young Jill Scott). Check out the video for “Good Life” (featuring Antwan Davis) below, and get tickets and more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: RFA at MilkBoy, McRad at The Fire

Photo by Hannah Pautler
Photo by Hannah Pautler
Philly garage rock dudes RFA open the show for The Once Was tonight at MilkBoy. The four-piece has a Strokes-y sense of swagger and reverence for catchy, vintage rock and roll. Last summer, they placed second in World Cafe Live’s Beta Hi-Fi competition and will be recording a new EP with their winnings this January. Below, check out their Up Late in the Evening EP and get tickets and info on tonight’s show here. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Wallace Brothers Band at Bob and Barbara’s, Ill Fated Natives at The Fire, Matisyahu at The TLA

The Wallace Brothers Band | via reverbnation.com/thewallacebrothersband
The Wallace Brothers Band | via reverbnation.com/thewallacebrothersband

South Philly’s Wallace Brothers Band headline a free show at Bob and Barbara’s tonight, bringing lively countrypolitan vibes to Broad and South. The band has been around for since 2007, and has had solid showings at the past two Philadelphia Folk Festivals – one year on the campground’s Front Porch Stage and one year on the main stage. Their music blends witty storytelling with sharp playing; check it out below a performance of “Jail” recorded live at the 2013 Philly Folk Fest, and get more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →