The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Cheerleader, The Last Bison, Mumblr

Cheerleader | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo |

Local indie rockers Cheerleader stopped by for this week’s Key Studio Session.  By now we’re familiar with the band’s blend of hazy pop and bright twee, a combination that made them a no-brainer for stand-out summer band status.  In this session, Cheerleader performed a new song called “On Your Side” – check it out below and get the full set here. Continue reading →


Download a new song by The Last Bison, “Bad Country”

The Last Bison | Photo courtesy of the artist
The Last Bison | Photo courtesy of the artist

Indie-folk rockers The Last Bison release their new album VA, on September 30th. Fronted by Ben Hardesty, the band made a splash with their album Quill when it was independently released in September, 2011. The band released a remixed version of some of the songs from Quill, along with several new songs on their 2013 album, Inheritance. Continue reading →

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Red Baraat at The Blockley, Minor Alps at World Cafe Live, Mazzy Star at Union Transfer

Red Baraat | Photo by Eric Ashleigh |

Brooklyn’s Red Baraat will bring its jazz and brass funk-fused Indian rhythms to The Blockley stage tonight. The eight-piece ensemble released their Shruggy Ji LP earlier this year via Sinj Records. Back in 2011, the band’s performance at globalFest made Bob Boilen of NPR’s list of favorite shows of the year. Watch their dynamic performance of “Shruggy Ji” below, listen to their XPN Fest set here and get tickets here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ali Wadsworth at Ruba Club, The Deli’s 5th Anniversary Bash at PhilaMOCA, River City Festival at Penn Treaty Park and more

Screen shot 2013-08-20 at 9.30.04 PMAli Wadsworth is not a new voice in Philly by any means, but she’ll be releasing her debut solo LP at Ruba Club tonight.  The celebration will be an incredible one: a cocktail hour, sets by Auctioneer, Thom McCarthy and Divers and a “super top secret party band” will surround the centerpiece performance by Wadsworth and her band. Before striking out on her own, Wadsworth was a member of Unlikely Cowboy with Good Old War’s Dan Schwartz, Goldiebox with her sister Claire and Philly super-group Fantasy Square Garden.  The new album, recorded by Bill Moriarty (Dr. Dog, Man Man), features songs written for Wadsworth by her friends and fellow musicians.  Tickets and information for the all-night party can be found on the Facebook event page.  Watch Wadsworth perform “Still Not Over You” at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Avett Brothers at Mann Center, Chromatics at Making Time, Kate Faust at MilkBoy, The Last Bison / David Wax Museum at World Cafe Live, Kat Edmonson at Prince Music Theater

avettbros File under: Great Double Bill, Part 1: The Avett Brothers are bringing their incessant banjo harmonies and pick-me-up beats to the Mann Center tonight. Still feeding off of the energy from 2012 release The Carpenter, the raw roots outfit will be celebrating another full-length release of  Magpie and the Dandelion in October. Opening the show is the always energetic Trombone Shorty. Find more information and tickets for tonight’s performance here. Watch the lyric video of new single “Another Is Waiting” below.

FIle under: Great Double Bill, Part 2: Cutting deep with breathless vocals and futuristic downbeats, Chromatics are headlining the 14th installment of Making Time tonight at Voyeur in the Gayborhood. Joining the stage will be fellow Portland freestyle outfit Glass Candy. Check out more information and tickets for tonight’s show here.

File under: Great Double Bill, Part 3: The Last Bison will share the stage tonight with David Wax Museum at World Cafe Live. With their overtone Americana roots and crossbreed of aesthetics each band is on the quick rise with their captivating sound. Find tickets and details for tonight’s show here. Download The Last Bison’s cover of M83′s “Midnight City” below.

Recent Key Studio guest Kate Faust is at the MilkBoy Philly tonight. Stylistically reinventing herself several times over the years, Faust has seamlessly broken into her own signature project with the emotive and playful Crucial Companion EP. Check out and download her Key Studio Session tracks here. Find more information and tickets for tonight’s show here.

Charming singer/songwriter Kat Edmonson is taking the stage tonight at Prince Music Theater. Bound to continue her dazzling performance from this year’s XPonential Festival, this is one show that will soothe your woes after a long day of life. Find tickets and details for tonight’s show here.

Also Tonight:

The Dead Milkmen come to The Note - 8 p.m., all ages show, tickets and info here.

WXPN welcomes Poco to the Carlisle Theater – 7:30 p.m., all ages show, tickets and info here.

North Mississippi Allstars play at Union Transfer – 10:30 p.m., all ages, tickets and info here.



XPoNential Fest: The Last Bison takes the Marina Stage crowd back in time with stomping-good folk

Photo by Michelle Montgomery
Photo by Michelle Montgomery

Dressed in colonial attire and playing an array of antique-looking instruments, The Last Bison just played to a packed crowd that wound around to the back of the platform of Wiggins Park’s Marina Stage at the XPoNential Music Festival.  The Non-COMM 2013 artists were exquisitely intense as they performed songs from their latest LP Inheritance, an album that was released this past March and includes songs from the Inheritance EP as well as re-recorded tracks from their debut album Quill.  The seven-piece translated the recordings into tumultuously vibrant live songs aided by ritualistic percussion and sweetly accented by a string duo.  There was audible excitement as the crowd recognized the opening notes of hit single “Switzerland” and again when a bowed xylophone opening turned into a cover of M83′s “Midnight City.”  The set ended with the crowd participatory “Distance” and a standing ovation.  See photos of the performance in the gallery below, read the setlist after the jump, and listen to the set in its entirety here (via the WXPN media player).

Continue reading →


The Week So Far: 10 must-read stories on The Key (incl. David Wax Museum, Pill Friends, At Fest)


This week’s show announcements include The Last Bison and David Wax Museum at World Cafe Live, Hop Along and The Sidekicks at The First Unitarian Church, Man Man at Union Transfer [linklink and link]

Stream and download Laura Stevenson‘s Folkadelphia Session [link]

You gotta hear “Find a Way” by Elastic Bond this week [link]

Get a free download of Wild Ones‘ bubbly “Curse Over Me” from their debut LP [link]

Local dream-poppers Lockets share b-side “Girl” from their upcoming single release [link]

Steady Hands release new video, free download for “I Swear Like a Sailor” [link]

Get inside the studio with Jesse Baker Band in the video for “We’re Gonna Make It” [link]

Stream two new tracks from Pill Friends‘ new LP Blessed Suffering [link]

The Trocadero will screen the world premiere of Philadelphia Folk Festival documentary At Fest on 8/7 [link]

Explore Alex Savoth’s new direction with The New Black [link]


Just Announced: The Last Bison and David Wax Museum return to World Cafe Live in September

TheLastBisonTwo artists who packed the upstairs stage at World Cafe Live during the Non-COMMvention back in May will be co-headlining downstairs in September, the venue announced today. At the top of the bill is The Last Bison, who we’re excited to see at the XPoNential Music Festival next week. Equally exciting (possibly moreso) is David Wax Museum, who stole the show at NonCOMM back in May with a unique, lively and crowd-participatory performance. Tickets for the September 14th show go on sale this Friday, July 19th at noon via the World Cafe Live website. Listen to The Last Bison’s Non-COMM set here, listen to David Wax Musuem’s Non-COMM set here, and watch a video of David Wax Museum playing “The Rumors Are True” below.


Watch The Last Bison cover M83 in the pouring rain at Firefly (playing XPoNential Music Festival)

Photo via The Last Bison’s Instagram

Hailing from the heart of Virginia, The Last Bison are a family folk group like no other, bringing traditional American folk into the mainstream with incredible energy usually reserved for rock bands.  At Firefly last weekend, they blew the crowd away as they performed through the pouring rain.  If you missed them or want to see them again, the group is playing The XPoNential Music Festival at the end of July.  Below, you can catch a video of the group performing a cover of M83′s “Midnight City.”