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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Lauren Rosier’s top five Central Pennsylvania shows

The Peterson Brothers | photo by Lauren Rosier for WXPN
The Peterson Brothers | photo by Lauren Rosier for WXPN

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, Key contributing writer Lauren Rosier shares her favorite live music moments from Central PA.

Once again, we’ve reached the end of another year, and the love/hate relationship I have with year-end lists! Regardless, it was a tumultuous year, to say the least, and as like many American citizens, music was my outlet.

Living in Central Pennsylvania doesn’t have the same level of a music scene that Philly does, but many people from different areas of the music industry are trying to change that. Some of my top 5 live shows in Central Pennsylvania are because of that. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Matthew Shaver’s best food and tune pairings in Philadelphia

The Tasty | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com
The Tasty | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, Key photographer Matthew Shaver ponders unlikely combinations of eats and sounds.

Eating out is meant to be a social event, a gathering of friends and family where someone else does the hard work, leaving you to drink and be merry. Time and circumstances align every so often that I eat out alone, my only company are my headphones and an iPod full of hopes and dreams. Like fine friends or fine wine, fine music can be associated with a great restaurant, or a great plate. I’ve listed some of my favorite pairings below (Note: I am a vegetarian, and the choices all reflect that.) Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: John Morrison’s five haikus for the homies

Naeemah Maddox | photo by Kev Steele | courtesy of the artist
Naeemah Maddox | photo by Kev Steele | courtesy of the artist

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, Key contributing writer John Morrison shares five haiku reviews of releases by his Philly friends.

2017 was a fantastic year for music in Philadelphia. As a lifelong resident of this city, I’ve been blessed to build relationships with many brilliant DJs, MCs, producers and musicians. To honor those relationships and to celebrate this incredible year of music, I’ve compiled a list of my Top 5 favorite local releases, and written a short Haiku to capture the spirit of each.

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Brendan Menapace’s artists that should just move to Philly already

Pup | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, Key contributing writer Brendan Menapace beckons a handful of bands to move to the 215.

Philadelphia is awesome. We know this. From huge rooms with expensive sound systems and multiple bars to batting cages, we have some of the best places to check out live music in the country. We’ve cultivated the growth of artists that are now world-renowned, and we’ve played adoptive home to artists who have moved here. I think it’s great that bands and artists want to move to Philly, especially coming from places that used to be the hubs of culture, like New York or LA. Given how huge Philly is (and thanks to the condos that are popping up everywhere, we guess?) we have plenty of room for more people. So, here are a few bands that I think should just move to Philadelphia already, rather than prolonging the inevitable. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Yoni Kroll’s favorites from the Philly DIY scene

S-21 | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, Key contributing writer Yoni Kroll highlights the best of the Philly DIY underground.

You know what really grinds my gears? Those people who go on and on about how, “There’s no good music being made anymore.” You know who they are: all they want to do is tell you about how music ended in the 60s or the 70s or the 80s or … well, I can’t imagine anyone would say that about the 90s. But it’s a possibility. Anyway, they’re wrong. They’re quite wrong. And you know how I know that? Cause here’s a list of some of the best DIY music to come out in Philadelphia alone just in 2017.

So read it, check out all the bands listed, and the next time somebody tells you that there’s no good music anymore, show them this list and laugh in their face. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Lissa Alicia’s top five moody jams of 2017

Kelea
Kelela | photo courtesy of the artist

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, Key contributing writer Lissa Alicia shares her favorite introspective music of the year.

We all love a feel-good tune, but for me there is nothing better than wallowing in self-doubt and pity while listening to someone who totally gets your soul. Maybe this sentiment stems from my angsty early childhood obsessions with Linkin Park and the entire Fueled By Ramen record label circa 2007. Ten years later, I have been able to resonate with a few deep (debatable) tunes that don’t fall under the pop punk / emo banner. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Eric Schuman’s ‘Year of Missing Out’

Eric Schuman, doing something other than attending a concert | Photo by Sam Spott

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, Indie Rock Hit Parade host Eric Schuman reflects on concerts he could have gone to but didn’t.

As you’ve no doubt seen by reading The Key (or perhaps by being a live music fan yourself), 2017 boasted no shortage of incredible concerts to attend. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I didn’t see any shows this year, the ratio of concert attendance to not-concert attendance was heavily skewed towards the latter. I’m in the music industry, after all; every now and again you have to take a break. I also tend to be on the radio late at night, which doesn’t exactly lend itself to seeing a ton of shows across town. None of this will stop me, however, from sharing my reflections on five of the year’s biggest live music events, regardless of whether or not I was in attendance.

Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Kristen Kurtis’ Most Memorable Music Moments of 2017

Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, XPN Morning Show host Kristen Kurtis shares her most memorable musical moments of 2017.

5. DREAMCAR @ TLA, May 22

No Doubt has been my favorite band since I first heard “Just a Girl” in 1995. As inspiring as Gwen Stefani was to my 10-year-old self, my fandom also runs deep for guitarist Tom Dumont, bass player Tony Kanal, and drummer Adrian Young, who cowrote the discography that is core to the soundtrack of my life. It’s a bummer that they’re on a bit of a hiatus while she focuses on her solo career, so I was thrilled when the guys announced their side project, DREAMCAR, fronted by AFI’s Davey Havoc. After seeing No Doubt a dozen times in stadium & arena settings, it was a treat to experience this supergroup in a much smaller space. It did my heart good to see them having fun with each other and the new wave sound at the heart of what they do. Bonus points for the “Moonage Daydream” Bowie cover. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: The Django Pages – A.D. Amorosi’s greyhound rates the hits, disses the misses of the year gone by

Django Amorosi | photo by Reese Amorosi | courtesy of the artist

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, Key contributor A.D. Amorosi turns to his trusty greyhound Django for some musical feedback.

Your best friend does not always like the music that you like. That’s what friends are for. At least this is the case of Django, our greyhound, with whom my wife and I share a loving bond and living/listening space on a daily basis. It’s his house, he just lets us live there.

If I am reviewing a Migos single with Pharrell Williams, he is reviewing it too.  Same with a Johnny Cash box set, a Sheer Mag download, an Archie Shepp YouTube moment, or what-have-you.  If I am laughing at Love & Hip Hop: New York and watching the dilemma between Remy Ma and her husband/manager Papoose, chances are Django is observing this behavior – and my reaction – with his ears pricked high. Does he enjoy everything on Love & Hip Hop? No. Can I tell the difference? Yes. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Ben Wong’s favorite artist portraits of 2017

You Do You | photo by Ben Wong | brotherlylost.com

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, Key photographer Ben Wong revisits some of his favorite artist portraits from the past 12 months.

The artist portrait is an interesting process for both the photographer and the musician(s). It’s one of the few times that there are literally no rules. In many cases the more imperfect the better. It requires trust and creativity for both parties to conceive a vision and tell a story by showing. Philadelphia especially, while rich with talented musicians, is also home to some of the most talented visual artists. We help contribute to the artist’ brand as much as they help build ours. This year I was fortunate enough to work with a variety of different artists and explore my love for portraiture with musicians from all corners of the Philadelphia scene. Continue reading →