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Girlpool, Radiator Hospital, Screaming Females and more to play Don Giovanni Records music fest

don giovanni records
Girlpool | photo by Simon Klein for WXPN

Don Giovanni Records has announced an anti-establishment festival of sorts, set to take place September 16th to the 18th at the Asbury Park, NJ Convention Hall. The New Alternative Music Festival will celebrate truly independent artists in a truly independent way, with no corporate sponsorship backing the event.

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Rockers BBQ promotes cultural diversity in Philly this weekend

Shinobi Ninja performs a Rockers! show at Kung Fu Necktie last summer | Photo by Geoff Hall | via facebook.com/thegoodfolksatrockers
Shinobi Ninja performs a Rockers! show at Kung Fu Necktie last summer | Photo by Geoff Hall | via facebook.com/thegoodfolksatrockers

Many events strive to be diverse. Few are as deeply committed to the cause as the people behind Rockers!.

A long-running monthly series in Philadelphia that promotes cultural diversity, the Rockers! shows are mix of genres, ethnicities, and even mediums. Spoken word events and workshops occur often—it’s not strictly music. The event series grew out of a desire to see more bands of color playing punk shows. Continue reading →

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Download The Key Studio Sessions Volume 10 (feat. Modern Baseball, Elegant Animals, Marah and more)

TheKeyStudioSessionsVol10Summing up an entire region’s music scene in an hour-ish long compilation is pretty much impossible. But dangit, we try our best. I’m very psyched for the roster of artists we’ve lined up on The Key Studio Sessions Volume 10, out today as a free download you can grab below. Pop-punk wave makers Modern Baseball did a version of “The Weekend” from their 2012 debut LP Sports, and the mini XPN shoutout they deliver at the end of the first chorus might be my favorite moment of the set. Continue reading →

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Photos: Pissed Jeans, Purling Hiss and Trophy Wife at Union Transfer

Pissed Jeans | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Pissed Jeans | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

It was definitely one of the harder-hitting lineups at Union Transfer in recent memory: Philly thrash four-piece Pissed Jeans, alongside scuzz-guitar jammers Purling Hiss and power duo Trophy Wife. Check out photos from Saturday night’s all-ages punk extravaganza below.

(Hear More – The Key Studio Sessions: Pissed Jeans)
(Hear More – The Key Studio Sessions: Purling Hiss)
(Hear More – The Key Studio Sessions: Trophy Wife)

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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Basia Bulat, Sidewalk Atlas, Trophy Wife and more

 

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

Folkadelphia welcomed Basia Bulat into the studio for a live session last fall and premiered it this week on XPN.  The singer-songwriter performed poignant songs from both her recent Tall Tall Shadow release and her debut Oh, My Darling.  Stream and download the stripped-down performance below.

Trophy Wife stopped by for this week’s Key Studio Session.  The local genre chameleons recorded raw takes of songs that will appear on their upcoming third LP, expected later this year.  Check out the “metaphysical pondering” of “Transition” below and get the full set here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Restorations at Boot & Saddle, Mission of Burma / Bleeding Rainbow at First Unitarian Church, and Trophy Wife / Purling Hiss / Pissed Jeans at Union Transfer

Restorations | Photo by John Vettese
Restorations | Photo by John Vettese

Philly punks Restorations will play tonight at Boot & Saddle. The five-piece will likely play some tunes off of its latest album, LP2, released last April, but according to the band’s Facebook page, they have some new songs in store for the audience. The Holy Mess and Dogs on Acid are also on the bill. The 21+ show will start at 8:30 p.m.; tickets cost $12 and can be purchased here.

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The Key Studio Sessions: Trophy Wife

Philly’s Trophy Wife is many things: expressive, aggressive, impressionistic, sensitive, empathetic,  empowering and any number of attributes that adjectives just don’t do justice to. The power duo of Diane Foglizzo (guitar and vocals) and Katy Otto (drums and vocals) has roots in punk rock and hardcore – check their shared time in the D.C. scene before moving to Philly and founding the band in 2009 – but the music they create now spans so many styles. There are hints of metal, prog, noise and experimental music in their blend, and the dynamic sounds they create is perfect for underscoring thought-provoking lyrical topics.

(Read More – Get to know Trophy Wife)

In the past, Trophy Wife has sung about intolerance and self-reliance (“Boundaries,” performed in this week’s Key Studio Session, hits on some of these themes) while its newest work takes imaginative departures. “Transition” is a metaphysical pondering of our roles in the universe inspired by science fiction and Afrofuturism, while the raga-esque guitar tones of “Neil Young” – my favorite of the four new songs they debuted for us – set a haunting mood to minimal lyrics that seem to meditate on strength versus powerlessness. These are raw live performance of music that will be available in more fleshed-out versions later this year when Trophy Wife releases its third album. To experience it further in the meantime, though, catch the duo opening for Pissed Jeans and Purling Hiss this Saturday at Union Transfer; tickets and more information can be found here.

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Chris Sikich’s Top 5 Photos of Under-The-Radar Bands

Bosnian Rainbows at the First Unitarian Church | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Bosnian Rainbows at the First Unitarian Church | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

Year End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2013 awesome. In this installment, contributing photographer Chris Sikich recaps the year’s best under-the-radar bands as seen through his lens.

Bosnian Rainbows, First Unitarian Church, Feb. 19

The cramped and barely lit First Unitarian Church was the perfect place for this band fronted by two rock geniuses — Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (The Mars Volta, At the Drive-In) and Teri Gender Bender (Le Butcherettes) — to make their Philly debut back in February. Though Bosnian Rainbows stands as the most well-known group of this list (this show sold out and their return in the summer to Underground Arts was very well attended), their self-titled debut was not easily found at record shops and is missing from year-end lists, despite being one my top five records of the year. Continue reading →