New Year’s Eve is a month away. What concert are you going to?

Kurt Vile at #XPNFest | photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN

We’re drawing to the close of 2016, and as always, we here at The Key recommend you give 2016 the boot with live music. Spending that special moment that brings us into our annual chance for a new start at a concert with hundreds or even thousands of people who are all on the same page as you — for those few hours, the feeling is exhilarating and even a little magical. Compare this to the cycle of looking at your phone, standing in circles trying to connect with people that you know primarily through Facebook and most times drinking way too much in your quest to achieve that perfect New Year’s Eve moment that movies like When Harry Met Sally have elevated just out of reality’s reach.

Given, I’ve been going the latter route for the majority of my adult life and some of my fondest memories are searching for lost phones or helping my friend figure out the name of the cute guy with the green hat the morning after. BUT I knew that after happening upon a house show on New Year’s Eve a few years back, no party could ever fill me with the same ecstasy as the music and all the people in that basement did in 2013. So, if you’re looking to try something new, check out your Philly-area options for musical New Year’s celebrations. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Laura Cantrell at the Tin Angel, Mikey Erg at Kung Fu Necktie, Post War Dream at Bourbon & Branch

laura cantrell
Laura Cantrell | photo via Facebook

NYC singer-songwriter Laura Cantrell performs at the Tin Angel tonight. Around the release of her latest LP No Way There From Here in 2014, Cantrell recorded an interview and live performance on World Cafe. Listen back to that appearance here and check out “Someday Sparrow” below. Tickets and information for the concert can be found here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: DIIV at Underground Arts, Spelling Reform at Johnny Brenda’s, Joseph Arthur at Tin Angel

DIIV | Photo by Chiaro Tiso | courtesy of the artist
DIIV | Photo by Chiaro Tiso | courtesy of the artist

Brooklyn outfit DIIV have spent 2016 making a resurgence after releasing their sophomore effort Is The Is Are in February, their first album since 2012’s debut. They’ll bring the shoegazy rock songs to Underground Arts tonight for a show with Moon King. Watch “Mire (Grant’s Song)” below and pick up tickets for the 21+ show here.

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Just Announced: Kristin Hersh will play Tin Angel this December

Kristin Hersh | via

Acclaimed author, singer, songwriter and indie rocker Kristin Hersh is going on a fall tour in support of her latest album / book, Wyatt at the Coyote Palace. [UPDATE: Listen to a song from it here.] The month-long run brings the frontwoman of Throwing Muses and 50 Ft. Wave to the Tin Angel in Philadelphia on Thursday, December 15th. Tickets for the 21+ show are $20 and go on sale Friday, September 23rd at 10 a.m. via the venue’s website. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Joseph at Tin Angel, Killiam Shakespeare at Johnny Brenda’s, Matthew Logan Vazquez at Boot & Saddle

Joseph | photo courtesy of the artist

Oregon sister trio Joseph play the Tin Angel tonight. Family heritage runs deep in the band’s indentity; they borrow the name Joseph from their Grandfather, as well as from a town in their native state where they spent time camping as kids. The group’s debut album will be out this year on ATO; get a taste of their jaw-dropping harmonies in the video for “Honest” below and pick up tickets for tonight’s show here. Continue reading →


Tonight’s (Non-KeyFest) Concert Picks: Into It. Over It. at TLA, Christine Havrilla at Tin Angel, and Charles Bradley at Union Transfer

Into It. Over It.
Evan Weiss of Into It. Over It. | photo by Cameron Witting | courtesy of the artist

Key Fest comes to close tonight, featuring Americana headliners Hezekiah Jones. But if you have your eye on some other shows, check these three out.

Into. It. Over It. is the emo-rock project of Chicagoan Evan Thomas Weiss. Having just released his new record Standards, Weiss is stopping by TLA tonight. If Into. It. Over It.’s own emo-revival music wasn’t appealing enough, the band is also touring with the acclaimed The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die. Find tickets and more info at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Tonight’s (Non-KeyFest) Concert Picks: Heart Harbor at Tin Angel, Rene Marie at Exit 0 Jazz Fest, and Spirit of the Beehive at the First Unitarian Church

Heart Harbor 0 Jessica Kourkounis
Heart Harbor | Photo by Jessica Kourkounis | courtesy of the artist |

So, you might have heard that night two of Key Fest is tonight. If you like punk/indie rock, it’s going to be awesome. If you like good music in general, it’s going to be awesome. But, this is Philly, which means there are always plenty of other concerts going on. Here are three other concerts happening tonight. Heart Harbor is the project of Kerry Hallet. But while Hallet is grounded by a singer-songwriter character, her music is recorded with a full band and is overflowing with catchy pop hooks. Think Aimee Mann but with a more upbeat, carefree sound. Hallet just released her debut EP, Tender Trap, and will be celebrating the occasion with a show at Tin Angel. Read Hallet’s conversation with The Key here, and grab tickets to the show over at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Bryant Eugene Vazquez joins The Once Was for an acoustic evening at Tin Angel

Bryant Eugene Vazquez
Bryant Eugene Vazquez | Photo by Bob Sweeney for WXPN |

Moorestown, NJ band The Once Was play progressive indie rock in the form of My Morning Jacket and other modern psychedelic acts, and they have just announced an “acoustic evening” at Tin Angel on Friday, May 27th.

For the event, the band will be joined by fellow Philly singer-songwriters Bryant Eugene Vazquez and Jeffrey Weathers. The Once Was tells us “fans can expect acoustic guitars, upright bass, piano, mandolin, violin, and more.” The band has released several EPs in the past couple years, and their recent single “New Funk” takes the band in a new more, you guessed it, funky direction while still maintaining their unpredictable musical sound. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hemming at Steel City, Kurt Cobain Tribute at Tin Angel, Hound at Boot and Saddle, and more…

Hemming | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

XPN favorite Hemming (Candice Martello) makes folk music with a rock sensibility. Or is it rock music with a folk sensibility? Either way, the phenomenal singer-songwriter is taking her talents to the suburbs tonight, headlining the first installment of the “Philly in the Burbs” concert series. Hemming will be performing alongside fellow Philly acts Up the Chain and Howlish at the Steel City Cafe in Phoenixville. Ticket information at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jane Siberry at Tin Angel, Pell at The Barbary

Jane Siberry
Jane Siberry | courtesy of the artist

Long-running Canadian singer-songwriter Jane Siberry will debut her new album Ulysses’ Purse for Philadelphia fans tonight with a headlining gig at The Tin Angel. At the same time as she teases that it may be her last proper record – following a career that’s seen her move in step with Suzanne Vega, Mary Margaret O’Hara and Kristin Hersh – she also called it the album “more universal recording, meant for a wider audience” in an interview with The Key’s K. Ross Hoffman. Tickets and more information on tonight’s show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Revisit “One More Colour” below. Continue reading →