Don’t miss the 1st Annual Philadelphia Country Music festival at Bob & Barbara’s Lounge in August

Hurricane Hoss and her pals, Alec Meltzer, Kyle "Bolo Boi" Perella, "Rodeo Ross" Bellenoit, "Big Tall Paul" Wilkinson. | Photo by Lisa Schaffer |
Hurricane Hoss and her pals, Alec Meltzer, Kyle “Bolo Boi” Perella, “Rodeo Ross” Bellenoit, “Big Tall Paul” Wilkinson. | Photo by Lisa Schaffer |

Is country music the new drag? The long beloved drinking, drag show, karaoke, and all round awesome neighborhood go-to spot – Bob & Barbara’s Lounge (at 15th and South Streets) – will be the setting for the 1st Annual Philadelphia Country Music Festival hosted by The Wallace Brothers on Saturday, August 22nd. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Lucius at World Cafe Live, Levee Drivers at Kung Fu Necktie, Phantogram at Union Transfer and more

luciusPhoto by: Peter Larson

Indie pop/rock quintet Lucius bring their catchy harmonies and intoxicating vocals to World Cafe Live tonight. With the October release of their wildly celebrated debut album Wildewoman, which has been making the rounds on a slew of top albums of 2013 lists, the Brooklyn-based band has been touring heavily and promises to put on a performance not to be missed. Get tickets and more information here. Watch the official video for “Go Home” off of Wildewoman below.

Continue reading →


Just Announced: The Swollen Fox presents Toy Soldiers with Goodnight, Texas and August John Lutz II at Kung Fu Necktie on 2/15

Our friends at The Swollen Fox just announced their latest showcase concert, which brings Philly roots-blues five piece Toy Soldiers to Kung Fu Necktie on February 15. The band its gearing up to release its Bill Moriarty-produced sophomore album The Maybe Boys in the spring, and plans to showcase a healthy selection of new material in the set. Also on the bill is the gritty North Carolina-based folk duo Goodnight Texas, as well as a solo appearance from August John Lutz II from The Levee Drivers. Tickets to the show are $10 in advance, $15 at the door; more information is available here. Below, check out a selection of videos from each act. Continue reading →


Kuf Knotz, Modern Inventors, The Districts and more to perform Beck’s “Song Reader” at World Cafe Live on 01/08

We’ve all heard about it by now: Beck, the cutting-edge musician who gave us leaf blowers on stage and the 1994 hit “Loser,” set forth his latest release in an unconventional medium – a songbook.  Available this week and distributed by McSweeney’s and Faber, Song Reader: Twenty New Songs by Beck features unrecorded songs in sheet music form, up to interpretation by those adventurous enough to step into its full-color illustrations and lush binding:

“The songs here are as unfailingly exciting as you’d expect from their author, but if you want to hear “Do We? We Do,” or “Don’t Act Like Your Heart Isn’t Hard,” bringing them to life depends on you.”

Over a dozen local musicians have accepted Beck’s challenge and will perform their interpretations of the compositions at World Cafe Live on Tuesday, January 8th.  The line-up so far includes Sean Hoots, Johnny Showcase and the Lefty Lucy Cabaret, The Levee Drivers, Killer Whale, Modern Inventors, Kuf Knotz, Penrose, The Districts, Juston Stens and the Get Real Gang, Satellite Hearts, The Great Unknown, The Bailey Hounds, and Chris Kasper, with more to be announced soon.  Tickets and more information for the show can be found here.


Guest VJ Kevin Kennedy previews The Swollen Fox’s Tuesday Tune-Out Lineup series (kicks off at PhilaMOCA tonight)

As we ease our way into autumn, another month of Tuesday Tune-Outs at PhilaMOCA begins tonight. October’s curator is our man Kevin Kennedy, the founder and main blogger over at The Swollen Fox.

When it comes to covering Philly’s live music scene, Kevin is a machine – he runs what’s arguably the most comprehensive concert calendar in the city, and when he’s not listing or announcing shows, he’s attending them, keeping meticulous setlists, and generally being a consummate concert-watcher. (He’s also a fun dude to hang with at shows, trade his Bonnaroo stories for my South By Southwest stories, and nerd out over craft brews.) I’m happy to invite Kevin to our corner of the internet to give an overview of what he’s got in store for the five Tuesdays of October. All events are at PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th Street), start at 7:30pm and are $5.

From Kevin:
When I first heard about PhilaMOCA’s Tuesday Tune-Out series back in June, I was very excited about the idea. Music and film are a great combination, and I thought it was especially cool that the musicians would be selecting the films. When Eric Besler asked me to curate a month, I was both honored and excited. It was a new and fun experience to put together October’s lineup, and I’m very excited for what’s in store this month. I’m also grateful to John Vettese for asking me to Guest VJ and let The Key’s readers know more about this month’s lineup. So without further ado, here are some videos and thoughts. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Good Old War at Union Transfer and Levee Drivers at Silk City

Philly favorites Good Old War recently played this year’s XPoNential Fest at Wiggins Park and hosted an event called “Good Old Beer” at Dock Street on Sunday night. Now the indie-folk trio are bringing their heart-warming harmonies to Union Transfer tonight before going on a national tour with Dispatch. Tonight’s all-ages show features opener Chris Kasper. Doors open at 8PM and the show starts at 8:30PM. Tickets are available here for $16. Check out Good Old War’s latest album, Come Back As Rain, available on their Bandcamp page and see coverage of the band at this year’s XPoNential Music Festival here. Watch the band’s music video for their new song “Amazing Eyes” below.

Levee Drivers are an alt-contry band from Morrisville, PA. The band are playing on a big bill tonight at Silk City with a mix of local artists. The bill features Chelsea Mitchell, Corporate Hearts, Rob Lately, and Mat Burke and the show starts at 8PM. Check out the venue page for more info. Listen to Levee Drivers’ song “Tennessee Girl” in the player below.


Local acts head to Maine for the Caravan Festival, kick off show tonight at Kung Fu Necktie

Blessed to have a huge strip of land in Belgrade, Maine owned by his family, Matt Manser (guitarist of the Philly band Flamingo) chose to use it for something more than just a hang-out spot. He joined forces with the guys from Philly rock trio Penrose – Tom, Pat, and Dan Murphy and their manager, Lynne Krohn – to create a a 3-day music festival on his property, which sits right next to a beautiful lake. And he invited bands from the Philly area to make the trip to Maine to party and play music for 3 days. The Caravan Festival has been going on for four years and it occurs again July 27-29 featuring a lineup of mostly Philly musicians; participating bands include Penrose, The Lawsuits, Cheers Elephant, Levee Drivers, and more.

Tom from Penrose says “the bands coming this year are some of the best Philly has to offer.” They are expecting about 25 bands to play and a 350 person attendance. Brian Dale Allen Strouse from The Lawsuits tells us, “The real beauty of this is how everyone is out of their element. When it’s all over and we arrive back home, we’ll have met new people, created new relationships, and through the power of live performance, we’ll have established future opportunities to play in Philadelphia with the people and bands we met in Belgrade Lakes.”

Tonight at Kung Fu Necktie marks the launch party for the Caravan Fest with performances from TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb, Penrose, and Izzy & the Catastrophics.

“The big news out of the Penrose headquarters … is that we’re going to unleash a whole hellstorm of brand new songs that’ll be on our upcoming record,” says Tom of tonight’s show. “For most of them it’ll be the first time anyone’s heard them, so we’re looking forward to unloading that.”

Tickets to tonight’s 21+ show are $8, set begins at 7:30 PM. After the performance there will be a party upstairs with DJ Matt Manser, the guys from Penrose, and TJ Kong’s Kevin Connor spinning tunes from the ‘Carabands’.

Interested in making the 8-hour trek to hear some of your favorite local bands play in a new setting? Go here to buy your tickets and check out the line-up.


Toy Soldiers, Eric Slick (of Dr. Dog) and more Philly bands to pay tribute to Levon Helm on June 12th at World Cafe Live

Many Philly bands are coming together on Tuesday, June 12th to pay tribute to The Band’s Levon Helm who passed away last month. Levon Helm: A Commemorative Tribute will feature Toy Soldiers, Eric Slick (of Dr. Dog) and friends, Levee Drivers, Kalob Griffin Band, Up the Chain, Brad Hinton, Chris Kasper, the Wadsworth Sisters, Birdie Busch, The Lawsuits, Bob Beach, Josh Olmstead, and more. Go here for tickets and more information about the show. Toy Soldiers are also performing Saturday, June 16th at World Cafe Live.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Creepoid’s record-release show at Kung Fu Necktie, “Philly Sings Sun Records” at World Cafe Live



In case you haven’t noticed all of our Creepoid-related coverage this week, we’re pretty stoked about the band’s record-release show at Kung Fu Necktie. (You can read our interview with drummer Pat Troxell here; look for a review of Horse Heaven next week.) The band will be bringing a limited 30 copies of its new LP, Horse Heaven—all of which are hand-numbered and silk-screened—to tonight’s show. (For those with even more disposable income, the band will also have a new batch of t-shirts.) Creepoid performs with Nothing, Party Photographers, and Pet Milk at 8 p.m. at Kung Fu Necktie; tickets to the 21+ show are $8.

Meanwhile, over at World Cafe Live, a handful of notable local bands will be performing at “Philly Sings Sun Records,” a tribute the the Memphis, TN-based label that helped launch the careers of legendary acts such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Roy Orbison. The lineup includes Toy Soldiers, The Levee Drivers, T.J. Kong And The Atomic Bomb, Papertrees, Thom McCarthy, The Lawsuits, and others. The performances begin at 8 p.m. at World Cafe Live; tickets to the show are $15.