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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 →

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Stray Birds sign to Yep Roc Records, announce label debut LP Best Medicine

Photo by Doug Seymour
Photo by Doug Seymour

Lancaster folk trio The Stray Birds have signed a record deal with Yep Roc (home to Nick Lowe, Jukebox the Ghost, Wesley Stace), resulting the release of label debut coming October 21st.  Best Medicine will be the band’s second full-length after its 2012 self-titled effort and will be accompanied by a fall tour, to be announced.  Take a look back at The Key’s coverage of the band here, including a Key Studio Session, and watch The Stray Birds’ Out of Town Films session filmed at last year’s XPoNential Music Festival below.

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The Stray Birds flew home after touring in Ireland and the UK

The Stray Birds / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko
The Stray Birds / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko

The lights went low, leaving only the glow of handcrafted wooden chandeliers hanging above the back bar. The audience packed into seats starting about two feet away from the stage and ending in the back of the large hall. Spot lights went up on a few mics and strewn string instruments as Maya de Vitry took center stage first, leading the hauntingly aggressive folk ballad “Adelaide.”

Friday evening, Central PA folk phenomenon The Stray Birds came home to Lancaster’s Tellus 360 after ending their UK and Ireland tour. Playing at home for friends and family, the trio shared the stage with Boston-based singer songwriter Deitrich Strause.

Dietrich Strause / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko
Dietrich Strause / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko

With the room buzzing with chatter and a stage to himself, Strause started the evening with a beautiful acoustic set reminiscent of Swedish folk singer Kristian Matsson. One at a time, he invited each of the trio to the stage to sing a duet. Telling the audience that playing with The Stray Birds is like having a little bit of Lancaster with him, Stause invited the three bandmates to the stage to help him sing an homage to Lancaster. This enchanting set is definitely one that you wouldn’t want to miss again. So plan for Strause’s return Lancaster on the 16th alongside David Wax Museum.

After a fifteen minute intermission to climb over people and refresh drinks, The Stray Birds came on with a humble confidence as they dedicated each song to someone or something special in their lives. “I want to send this song out to my dad. He can’t be here because he’s got a gig,” de Vitry states before starting “Harlem.” “That’s the kind of people I come from. My dad’s got a gig and my mom is at home watching basketball,” she chuckles while reassuring the audience that they will see her in Philly.

For a full two hours de Vitry, Oliver Craven, and Charlie Muench took turns sharing center stage and running through a flawless set of organic harmonies and carefully crafted strings. So not to taint the pure beauty, barely anyone wanted to sing along to favorites like “San Antonio Rose,” “Dream In Blue,” and their version of Nanci Griffith’s “I Wish It Would Rain.” Narrating how she seeks out the buildings that were in her textbook and wrote this song after visiting the Lorraine Motel, de Vitry precedes “The Bells” by saying “This song is for Martin Luther King Jr. and the vision that didn’t die when he did.” Finally returning the favor to Strause, the three invited him back on the stage to finish out the exquisitely crafted set.

They Stray Birds released their new EP Echo Sessions this past February and will continue with their American tour through May. Check out the photo gallery below to relive the Lancaster performance.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: OhBree at Kung Fu Necktie, The Stray Birds at World Café Live, Daley at Union Transfer and more

OhBree | Photo by Jake Beadenkopf
OhBree | Photo by Jake Beadenkopf

Yesterday, we premiered their new single “Sweater” and tonight Philly’s OhBree brings their brand of oddball pop to the Kung Fu Necktie stage. There’s much to celebrate as the band’s new LP Death by Broomstick comes out in just a few weeks on April 15th via Lillian Records. Tickets are available at the door before showtime at 8:00pm.

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The Stray Birds take on the United Kingdom during three-week long tour

Photo by Jake Jacobson
Photo by Jake Jacobson

Lancaster folk trio The Stray Birds, who performed at this past summer’s XPoNential Music Festival, are making their way into Europe. The band has taken off on a transatlantic tour to United Kingdom for the past week and are expected to stay until February 16th. The Stray Birds have already started to sell out shows in Glasgow, Scotland and London, England. Check out the band’s performance for Wee Pop Up at the Celtic Connections Festival below.

(Hear More – The Stray Birds release Echo Sessions EP)

(Watch More – The Stray Birds perform “Might Rain” along the Delaware River)

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The Best of Philly Music 2013

Photo by Abi Reimold
Photo by Abi Reimold

In September 2010, we started The Key because we wanted to offer the local music scene another platform to reach more audiences. We also started it because starting in the early aughts we noticed something happening here creatively amongst the local music scene that was hadn’t felt in a while – it was growing creatively and the buzz about how good the local scene was becoming more significant.

More new bands were starting than ever before, more music was becoming available for fans and more musicians were looking for ways to connect to fans. To me, the last five years of “the scene” reminds me a lot of the Philly music scene in the mid-Eighties to early Nineties when bands like Electric Love Muffin, Three Times Dope, The Wishniaks, Nixon’s Head, the Goats, the Dead Milkmen, Schoolly D, The Low Road, The Hooters, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, and Tommy Conwell all represented for Philly on both local and international stages. We thought Philly 2012 was a banner year for the local music scene. Guess what? 2013 was even better. Here are some of the best things about the Philly music scene in 2013.

Dr. Dog made their best album yet, B-Room.

Man Man made their best record yet, On Oni Pond.

The Districts signed with Fat Possum. Look for an EP with a couple of old songs and new tunes on January 26th.
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