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Watch the quietly moving “Never For Nothing” video by The Stray Birds

The Stray Birds | Photo by Doug Seymour
The Stray Birds | Photo by Doug Seymour

Folk trio The Stray Birds traveled a long way to make this video. In fact, they spent fifteen hours on a train from South Carolina to New York City in order to bring song “Never For Nothing” to life. Their travels were worth it. The video features Canadian musician Taylor Ashton of the group Fish & Bird as he performs on subway platforms to audiences of children and in fields to the open air. It’s a beautiful song and an equally beautiful video.  Continue reading →

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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: Creepoid at Underground Arts, The Stray Birds at World Cafe Live, and Marsha Ambrosius at The TLA

Creepoid
Creepoid | Photo by Adam Wallacavage

Heavy psychedelic foursome Creepoid return to their hometown of Philadelphia to headline Underground Arts tonight. The band made a name for itself after producing a unique blend of psych, grunge-induced sound reminiscent, echoing Bardo Pond and Dinosaur Jr. This year has been a productive one for them: they produced their self-titled second LP in March, followed it up with their EP Wet in April, relocated to Savannah and went on tour with Against Me!, Balance and Composure and more. Welcome them back to town for a headlining slot tonight. You can find more information on tonight’s show here. Check out their video for “Yellow Wallpaper” below. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Purling Hiss at Johnny Brenda’s, Orenda Fink at First Unitarian Church Side Chapel, and Shakey Graves at World Cafe Live

Purling Hiss
Purling Hiss | photo by Aaron Biscoe

Philly garage rock outfit Purling Hiss will take on Johnny Brenda’s this evening. The band’s distortion-infused sound has made the group a Philly favorite and they have continued to gain a following around the country thanks to relentless touring. Their recent album Weirdon, released by label Drag City in September, has received enthusiastic reviews, with Consequence of Sound saying that it proves frontman Mike Polizze  “to be one of Philadelphia’s best, a tough feat considering the talent bursting out of the city.” For more information on tonight’s show, head over to the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: The Stray Birds preview Best Medicine at World Cafe Live

 

The Stray Birds | Photo by Kelsey Stanger
The Stray Birds | Photo by Kelsey Stanger

The Stray Birds kicked off today’s double-header Free at Noon with their organic, room-filling folk sound. The Lancaster trio played songs off their new album, Best Medicine, which comes out this Tuesday on Yep Roc Records, and the group brought immense energy to the stage with a booming upright bass by Charles Muench, jangling guitar by Oliver Craven and spot-on classic Americana harmonies and all around. They whipped out some jaw-dropping solos as well, cheers bursting from the crowd as they would each come to an end. Continue reading →

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Watch The Stray Birds’ heartwarming tale of a record store owner in their “Best Medicine” video

Photo via cmtedge.com
Photo via cmtedge.com

After meeting the owner of a used record store in upstate New York, Lancaster bluegrass folk trio The Stray Birds wrote the title track of their new album, Best Medicine. Singer Maya de Vitry’s soulful voice shares this person’s story in the verses, effortlessly connecting with bandmates Oliver Craven and Charles Muench for the harmonized refrain “Music is the best medicine I sell.” Continue reading →