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Just Announced: The Wonder Years to play a stripped-down set at TLA

The Wonder Years | photo courtesy of Big Picture Media

It’s been too long, The Wonder Years. The Philadelphia pop-punk band last performed in Philadelphia at the Fillmore for a sold out hometown show in November, and today they have announced the date of their triumphant return. In a nice twist, the six-piece will not be moving up to a larger venue but rather will be playing a stripped-down acoustic set at the Theatre of Living Arts on October 6th as part of a quick run of intimate dates to accompany the acoustic EP Burst and Decay. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Shoegaze legends take the crowd on a buzzing, high octane Ride

Ride | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Fuzzed-out, atmospheric, gauzy greatness. Yep, you guessed it – I’m talking about shoegaze. The late 80’s genre brainchild has been seeing a major resurgence as of late — whether it be newcomers or pioneers making long awaited returns — and I’m most definitely not complaining about it. Neither was the Free at Noon crowd today, who piled in droves this muggy afternoon to WCL to give a warm (literally) welcome back to shoegaze legends, Ride.

R-I-D-E. These four letters stood big and bold behind the band as they made their way onto the stage. One letter for each member, the backdrop served as a concrete and symbolic visual cue of the band’s sturdy comeback even before they started to play. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Balkan Beat Box at TLA, Ladybird at Johnny Brenda’s, and Matthew Logan Vasquez at Boot & Saddle

Balkan Beat Box| via http://www.balkanbeatbox.com/photo
Balkan Beat Box | via balkanbeatbox.com/photo

Israel’s Balkan Beat Box continues their US tour at the TLA tonight. The long-running band encompasses Israeli rhythms and sounds with its electronica style, and is touring behind last year’s Shout It Out, its fifth album. The show is all ages, and more information / tickets can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Juliana Hatfield at Boot & Saddle, Tobin Sprout at Johnny Brenda’s, and Goldfrapp at TLA

Juliana Hatfield at Boot and Saddle | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Juliana Hatfield at Boot and Saddle | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Veteran singer-songwriter Juliana Hatfield takes over Boot & Saddle for a headlining gig with Laura Stevenson. Hatfield’s new record Pussycat (out April 28th) hits a little harder than most, using gritty guitar work and pure kickassery to create a fantastic sound. The show is 21+, and more information can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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All These Sick Scenes: Los Campesinos! at the TLA

Los Campesinos! | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

“Enjoy this night, because I know for a fact that we’re not likely to be invited back.” It seems impossible that it’s been six whole years since hearing those words, the last time Los Campesinos! played in Philadelphia. At one of the first ever shows at the newly inagurated Union Transfer, the Welsh post-twee band celebrated the same thing they always have been — that the present is the only thing we’re ever guaranteed, even as bleak as it may seem. It’s a common theme in the band’s work, and existence as a whole. Even while remaining prominent cult favorites, eleven years into their so-called career, the future band has never been assured. At the TLA on Wednesday night, they approached the end of an impossible US tour and proved that there’s a certain kind of charming nostalgia hidden within bitter nihilism. Continue reading →

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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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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Elle King at The Fillmore, Chris Robinson Brotherhood at TLA and Robert Randolph and The Family Band at World Cafe Live

Elle King | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Elle King | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

UArts alum turned pop sensation Elle King returns to Philly tonight for a gig at The Fillmore. King has been on The Key’s radar for quite some time now, and her countrified rock music is hard to forget and even harder not to like. Her song “Ex’s and Oh’s” off her debut album Love Stuff catapulted the LA native into the spotlight last year. Watch the video for the massive hit song and click here for more information on the show. Continue reading →