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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 →

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TJ Kong and The Atomic Bomb “prepare to send 2016 to Hell” with NYE Boot & Saddle set

TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb | via the band's Facebook page
TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb | via the band’s Facebook page

Philly’s TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb have spent the past year keeping busy on the live circuit, and this past summer, they shared a brand new single “She Don’t Keep Time.” That’s all well and good, but for a lot of us, 2016 has been anything but rosy. This sentiment is certainly not lost on Kong and The Bomb, who. in a recent Facebook post, announced that they were “done grieving” and that “It’s time to send 2016 to Hell”.  On December 31st, they’ll put a final nail in this year’s coffin with a headlining performance at Boot & Saddle. If you’re a frequent reader of The Key, you should already know what to do for tickets and more information, but if not, then I suggest you try clicking here. Continue reading →

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Listen to new tune from TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb, catch them at Johnny Brenda’s tonight

TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb | via Facebook

Philly post-apocalyptic blues band TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb shared a new song today, just in time for their gig at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. For those who weren’t planning to attend, “She Don’t Keep Time” is a reason to change that. And for those who have been waiting impatiently for tonight, you’ve now got all the more reason to dance when TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb take the stage. This tune is an upbeat howler of a track that harkens back to an era — and a girl — that’s come and gone. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Youth Lagoon at Union Transfer, Sonnder at Boot and Saddle, TJ Kong at Underground Arts and more

Photo by Rachel Barrish | raddrhapsodies.com
Photo by Rachel Barrish | raddrhapsodies.com

Youth Lagoon recently released his third studio album, Savage Hills Ballroom, and it swirls together chaos and calm. Unpredictable synths, glitches, and samples are paired opposite beautiful strings, keys, and brass. Youth Lagoon’s Trevor Powers’ voice quivers yet remains confident throughout the ten track album. Youth Lagoon will bring his eclectic performance to Union Transfer tonight. Get tickets and show information at the XPN Concert Calendar, and watch the music video for “The Knower” below. Continue reading →

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TJ Kong return from tour with a show at Johnny Brenda’s

TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb | photo via www.facebook.com/tjkongandtheatomicbomb
TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb | photo via www.facebook.com/tjkongandtheatomicbomb

Bluesy folk four-piece TJ Kong And The Atomic Bomb will play a welcome home show at Johnny Brenda’s after their three-week southern tour and performances at SXSW. They perform with Le Fits (who have a new album in hand) and The Bernhardt Family Band on April 4th. Continue reading →

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TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, Diane Birch and more to play at September’s Communion Philly showcase

TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb | photo via www.facebook.com/tjkongandtheatomicbomb
TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb | photo via www.facebook.com/tjkongandtheatomicbomb

A stellar lineup has been announced for September’s Communion Philly with bluesy folk punk band TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, singer-songwriter Diane BirchCrash (of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros), former Toy Soldiers frontman Ron Gallo and local roots-rock band Levee Drivers. Continue reading →

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American Diamond Recordings celebrates their first show at Boot & Saddle

The Lawsuits | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
The Lawsuits | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Togetherness and unity were certainly in the air pre-Independence Day when American Diamond Recordings hosted their first showcase at Boot & Saddle. The new Philly record label comprised of five local bands celebrated their out-coming with performances from each group, including The Levee Drivers, T.J. Kong & The Atomic Bomb, Ron Gallo, The Lawsuits, and a special set by a band who went by the moniker Eight Legged Prawn. The show was also a celebration of Marley McNamara’s birthday, and most figured out that Eight Legged Prawn was actually one of the bands she manages, The Districts.

It was easy to tell that these artists performing don’t just make music together, they are family.

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My Ruined Life: Poking fun at everyday troubles with the help of some Philly musicians

Brian Cowden and Eric Wunsch | photo courtesy of facebook.com/pages/My-Ruined-Life/
Brian Cowden and Eric Wunsch | photo courtesy of facebook.com/pages/My-Ruined-Life

Lee Porter has a fascination for two things: film-making, and local folk scene mainstay David Falcone’s monstrous beard.

Sprinkled in with a bit of comedy, he’s combined the two together, somehow convincing Falcone, who frequently plays World Cafe Live, and his facial hair to make his acting debut in a three-minute webisode called “Sales” (about shaving, who would have guessed?) for Porter’s series, My Ruined Life.

In the episode, actor Nathan Holt tries to sell shaving cream for the company he works for by targeting random passer-bys in a park.

Holt remains unsuccessful, but the comedic aspect of the short begins when Falcone enters the shot.

Dressed casually, he walks up to Holt and stands with his massive beard and long, fluffed locks of hair, staring at Nate and camera. End scene, cue laughter.

And though this is Falcone’s first acting performance, it isn’t Porter’s first time behind the camera.

“This is my baby,” Porter said. “This is my project I started myself.”

He gathered a group of four actors along with animators, musicians and more together to form the series in 2011. Now, the group is in their third season, releasing a new three-minute short every Sunday at 5 p.m. The plot now stars two characters, Brian and Eric, played by actors Brian Cowden and Eric Wunsch who meet up after work on a various park benches in the Philadelphia area to comedically discuss “their ruined lives.”

To keep things exciting, Porter started reaching out to Philly musicians during the second season. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Communion Philadelphia with Vacationer and Pearl and the Beard at Underground Arts, The Wonder Years at Chameleon Club, TJ Kong at Kung Fu Necktie and more

Photo by Abi Reimold AbiReimoldPhoto.com
Photo by Abi Reimold AbiReimoldPhoto.com

Before getting back to work on a new album and kicking off a co-headlining tour with Hellogoodbye next month, Vacationer will headline this month’s Communion Club Night tonight at Underground Arts. The Philly-based pop band, who are working on their follow up to 2012’s Gone make relaxing music that echoes the sounds of summer and relaxation. Also on tonight’s bill is NYC folk-pop trio Pearl and the Beard who plan to release their third full-length this year. Check out Vacationer’s “Trip” and Pearl and the Beard’s “You” below and grab tickets here.

Continue reading →

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TJ Kong doing rare solo show at Ortlieb’s this Saturday 7/6

TJKongPhilly’s Dan Bruscewicz, often known by his onstage persona TJ Kong (of TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb), will be kicking it solo (a rare occurrence!) this weekend for a show at Ortlieb’s on Saturday, July 6th. He will be supported by a slew of fellow local groups, including Morning River Band, Psalmships, and Ton-Taun. There’s a 5 dollar cover charge at the door, and the show gets started around 7. Find more info here, and listen to the TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb track “Rock and Roll Club Bathroom Cocaine Blues” below.