9 live collaborations we hope will happen at Made in America


Ahh, music festivals. There are so many reasons to <3 live festivals, from the constant performances all around you, to stumbling upon your new favorite groups, to the energy and vibes of everybody else, excited to be outside, watching their favorite bands.

Yet music festivals aren’t just great places to catch sets—they’re also unique breeding grounds that allow myriad artists, who might not necessarily perform together otherwise, to come together, spurring new or unique collaborations. From Bob Dylan joining Joan Baez at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival—to Bon Iver joining Kanye more recently at Coachella—we love being surprised by artists not afraid to try something new. In honor of the Made in America festival hitting town this weekend—here are 9 dream collaborations we’ve love to see live—and a rough guess at the probability of each. Continue reading →


The Key’s Year-End Mania: Beth Ann Downey’s top five rock collaborations from Philly-area natives

For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, contributing writer Beth Ann Downey ranks her top collaborations from regional artists.

We music lovers read, browse, skim, agree with, disagree with and soon forget so many of these lists this time of year. But if you’re a rock/punk/alternative lover from in or around Philadelphia, hopefully you’ll remember this one.

Collaborations amongst hard-working artists are undoubtedly how the best music is made. And in a time when folk, hip-hop and electronic music seem to top most of these other lists this year, I wanted to highlight the local singers, instrumentalists and producers who work together to do what they love despite what’s popular.

Collaborations are also where we see scene veterans training or complimenting emerging talent, and vice versa. Whether it’s bringing them out on tour or asking them to provide guest vocals on a new track, it’s great to see bands helping each other, or big-time producers working diligently on what they think should become the next big thing.

Here are five examples, in no particular order, of just how much love and talent the city of Brotherly Love has to go around. Continue reading →


Photo Recap: The Gaslight Anthem with The Menzingers at The Electric Factory

This week Jersey punk heroes The Gaslight Anthem played a rousing set at the Electric Factory; local four-piece The Menzingers, who has been on tour with the band, opened the show. Check out a photo recap of both sets in the gallery above.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Menzingers opening for The Gaslight Anthem at The Electric Factory, The National Rifle at PhilaMOCA, Shelby Lynne at World Cafe Live, Twin Sister at Union Transfer, Modern Inventors at The Note

Philly punk rockers The Menzingers released their major label debut On the Impossible Past in February after wowing Bad Religion guitarist and Epitaph Records founder Brett Gurewitz.  Tonight, the Scranton-born outfit opens for New Jersey’s The Gaslight Anthem at The Electric Factory.  Tickets and more information can be found here.  Watch The Menzingers’ video for “Nice Things” below.

Continue reading →


Listen to The Gaslight Anthem cover Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” (playing The Electric Factory on 11/27)

Jersey rock heroes The Gaslight Anthem are bringing the fall leg of their Handwritten tour to The Electric Factory on November 27. With them comes a new single for their song “Here Comes Your Man,” which features a cover of the popular Bon Iver tune “Skinny Love.” Listen to it below, and get tickets and information on the show here.


Just Announced: The Gaslight Anthem playing The Electric Factory Nov. 27

The rock ‘n roll quartet from up the Jersey Turnpike in New Brunswick,  The Gaslight Anthem released their fourth studio album Handwritten only a few short weeks ago. They also recently announced new upcoming tour dates, including a stop in Philadelphia on November 27th at the Electric Factory, ticket sales are TBA. Earlier this summer they were featured on the David Letterman show; watch them perform “Here Comes My Man” below.


XPoNential Fest Photo Recap: Wilco, The Avett Brothers, Dr. Dog and more at Susquehanna Bank Center

Day number two of the 2012 XPoNential Music Festival wrapped up with a high-energy lineup at the Susquehanna Bank Center. On the main stage was the much-anticipated triple bill of Wilco, The Avett Brothers and Dr. Dog, and on The Key’s side stage were Dave Hause (joined on guitar by Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem) and The Bailey Hounds. Check out a full photo recap of the night in the gallery above.


This Just In: Dave Hause’s XPo-Fest guitarist is Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem

Photo by Mike Drzal

This just in from Dave Hause‘s tour van, heading our way from points west: joining him on guitar for his XPoNential Music Festival appearance on Saturday evening will be one of his current tourmates: Brian Fallon of New Brunswick, NJ rockers The Gaslight Anthem. Hause hinted at this yesterday, tweeting “Getting fired up to play @wxpnfm festival on Saturday. Gonna be full band, but im gonna need to find a guitar player….”, following up with “Guitar players. Guitar players. Well, I am riding on the bus with a few of them after all….” Today, he was more direct:

To me, the pairing couldn’t be more perfect. Both artists have roots in DIY punk rock, both broadened their sound over time with excursions into Americana tones and ambitious pop-rock arrangements, and both have a natural knack for hooky songwriting and singalong anthems. The only thing that could make this more of an insanely satisfying collaboration is if some of The Menzingers somehow hopped onboard, but that might be too much awesome for me to take. As it is, I’m calling it: Hause’s set on Saturday is sure to be a sleeper hit of XPoNential Festival. Below, you can see Hause starring in The Gaslight Anthem’s video for “Bring It On,” and download an exclusive acoustic version of “C’Mon Kid” that he recorded for The Key last year. Dave Hause, backed by Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem, plays The Key Stage of the Susquehanna Bank Center at 9:20 p.m. on Saturday, July 21.