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: Foster the People, These United States with Juston Stens & The Get Real Gang

Tonight, Foster the People, the band that won the world over with their single, “Pumped Up Kicks” from their album Torches, is playing at the Mann Center. They have already had stellar success playing with The Beach Boys at the Grammy’s this past year and just finishing up an appearance at Bonnaroo.

Gina Vespa from says about their next album:

The band is piecing together ideas for the follow-up to their 2011 studio release of ‘Torches.’ While they’re still in the beginning stages of planning the new record, they have high and exciting hopes for it. As Foster commented to Billboard, “I think it’s going to take a lot of left turns … It’s going to be really celebratory … I think there’s going to be more grit, and I think it’s gonna be extremely percussive.” He also mentioned that the new music will likely be greatly influenced by what he’s been listening to lately, like the Kinks and the Clash.

Tokyo Police Club and Kimbra open for Foster the People at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts tonight at 7:30 PM, tickets are $29.50-36.50, all ages

Below, check out a video for “Warrior” that lead singer, Foster did with A-trak and Kimbra for the new edition of 3 artists 1 song.


And over at Johnny Brenda’s, The Swollen Fox and R5 present These United States, the alt-country rock band who just released their new self-titled album are playing with Juston Stens & The Get Real Gang. Purchase tickets for the 21+ show here OR, enter The Swollen Fox’s ticket give away here.


We’re not making this up: Reading Rainbow is now “Bleeding Rainbow”

Thanks to The Swollen Fox for noticing this update via the band’s (new) tumblr:



– We like the name Bleeding Rainbow better.
– It is trippy as shit.
– We didn’t want to get a cease and desist letter from PBS.
– We were sick of being named after a children’s t.v. show.
– We were sick of people fixating on it and making dumb jokes/comments about it. (even though it was our own damn fault.)
– Carrie Brownstein didn’t like the name Reading Rainbow.


Now On The Key: Tour and show announcements by The Swollen Fox

Over on The Key’s right rail, you’ll see a new widget featuring show announcements by The Swollen Fox. Since the site launched last year, it’s become one of our go-to spots for up-to-the-minute show announcements (including local bands and nationally recognized touring acts) as well as its comprehensive concert calendar. In fact, The Swollen Fox has become such a dependable resource for us (and, by extension, our readers) that we asked the folks involved if they’d be interested in partnering up with our site—and we were absolutely thrilled when they said “yes.”

If there’s a recent show announcement worth knowing about, you’ll find it in our widget; click on the links to get the full details from The Swollen Fox, and make sure to check out the concert calendar while you’re there.


Photo Recap: Popped! Music Festival featuring The Shins, Cage The Elephant, Panda Bear, Pretty Lights, Girl Talk, + more

All photos courtesy of Kevin Kennedy over at The Swollen Fox. From The Swollen Fox’s review of Popped! Music Festival, Day One:

Even before a single band had hit the stage, this year’s Popped! Music Festival was not off to a good start. Just a few days before the festival, organizers had to make the gut-wrenching decision to move the festival indoors due to the forecasted weather. No one can blame them for the move; they can’t control the weather and it’s certainly not their fault FDR Park wouldn’t be able to survive both the rain and thousands of people pounding its grounds. Nevertheless, no one seemed to be all that happy about the unfortunate move.

For the full review of the entire festival (including a ton of additional photos of each performing act), as well as a comprehensive calendar of upcoming shows in Philadelphia, visit The Swollen Fox. (Thanks to Kevin for sharing his photos with us.)


The Key’s Best Of Local Music 2010: Guest blogger edition

Earlier this month, while planning out our Best-Of coverage, we reached out to a handful of local scene folks for their input on the best albums to come out of Philly in 2010. Here’s what a couple of them had to say:

Strand Of OaksKevin Kennedy, The Swollen Fox
Favorite Album of 2010: Strand Of OaksPope Killdragon
When recording the follow-up to 2008’s lovely Leave Ruin, Timothy Showatler, the man behind the moniker Strand Of Oaks, made a conscious effort to steer away from the suffering-singer-songwriter (think Bon Iver) image that Leave Ruin gave him. That concerted effort resulted in Pope Killdragon, one of the most beautiful and imaginative albums of the year. With songs about hanging out with JFK, a giant who’s mother was killed by a bowling ball, and Dan Akroyd’s depression following John Belushi’s death, it’s certainly not short on imagination.

It wasn’t just a lyrical change Showalter sought though, he also gave Killdragon a more electric, full-band sound. The one constant is his amazing voice, which was the first thing to jump out at me and the main thing that keeps me listening so obsessively. What all of these elements (the imaginative lyrics, the new sound, and Showalter’s voice) gives us is a collection of devastatingly beautiful songs that will tear your heart out one moment and have you rocking out the next (I’m looking at you, “Sterling”). It also gives us one of the best albums of 2010.

ProwlerEmily Simpson, Assistant Production Manager at Kung Fu Necktie
Favorite Album of 2010: Prowler‘s Wooly Mammoth
When I first sat down to write a blurb about the best local album of 2010, I thought it was going to be next to impossible considering the amount of insanely good tunes being crafted in Philly this year—but then I remembered that hiding somewhere in my collection was Prowler’s most recent release, Wooly Mammoth. Game over. Amongst all of the noise rock, shoegaze, lo-fi, crusty punk, sludge metal, and indie pop that we tend to be overly familiar with, Prowler stands out as being a little weird, but inherently and aggressively unique.

Wooly Mammoth’s longest tune clocks in at a mere three minutes and twenty-six seconds, keeping with the band’s dedication to producing quick, in-your-face dance jams that give you enough time to get into the groove but never wear out their welcome. Percussion throughout the album, courtesy of Tyler Griswald, is consistently innovative and worthy of the dance moves it’ll have you busting in your seat during “Saturnalian.” Ryan Kerrigan’s funky guitar riffs and Mike Stazseski’s bass lines are, as per usual, flawless and perfectly complemented on tracks like “Automagically.” Kat Paffett puts her keyboard skills to use like never before to add that extra bit of boogie, and with a vocalist as captivating and energetic as Keith Greiman, Prowler is almost unstoppably good.

And even so, it gets better. Reef The Lost Cauze and Plastic Little both make appearances on the album in a love-letter-to-Philly kind of way. Colossal, spaced-out, booty-shaking, sassy, and soulful, Wooly Mammoth is the best kind of reflection for the Philadelphia music scene to have in the year 2010.

Prepare yourself to blast off into the funkosphere the minute you press play.