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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: Lizzo at The Foundry and Fruit Bats at Underground Arts

Lizzo
Lizzo | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

Minneapolis artist Lizzo is bringing her spunky style of alternative hip-hop to the Foundry at the Fillmore tonight. She is currently touring in support of her first release with Atlantic Records, Coconut Oil. Tickets and more information can be found on the WXPN Concert Calendar; watch the video for “Phone” below. Continue reading →

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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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Michael Kiwanuka goes retro in his video for “One More Night”

http://bighassle.com/publicity/michael-kiwanuka
Michael Kiwanuka | photo by Phil Sharp | courtesy of the artist

In support of the July 2016 release of his album Love and Hate, British singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka is touring the world and releasing a series of music videos.

The most recent video is for the track “One More Night.” This song has a slick bassline that casts a retro feel when paired with Kiwanuka’s raspy vocals. The video takes place on a city block where a young man with cartoonishly long legs is breaking it down in the street as neighbors watch from their windows. The track is breezy and this video perfectly aligns with the positive vibe put forth by the music. Continue reading →

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They Came. They Saw. They Conquered: The Orwells at Underground Arts

The Orwells | photo by Tom Beck for WXPN
The Orwells | photo by Tom Beck for WXPN

BuzzFeed can suck it. Punk rock is alive and well in the Millenial generation, and if you need proof look no further than The Orwells. The group of early-twenty-somethings who hail from the rural outskirts of Chicago grew up with a punk rock education that’s become increasingly prevalent among today’s college-aged kids. The group’s new album set to come out this February, Terrible Human Beings, will likely be the latest addition to a flurry of great garage-punk albums to come out in recent years.

It’s a list of bands that’s becoming ever more impressive, featuring acts like FIDLAR, Twin Peaks, Speedy Ortiz, Bully, Tacocat, Downtown Boys, The Summer Cannibals, and Philly’s own Sheer Mag. But without a doubt, chief among them is The Orwells. The Orwells have a more melodic take on punk than most other punk bands; it’s a sound not unlike that of The Replacements or The Clash. The band’s two albums to date are brilliant, but the band’s live show is what makes them stand out.

That show was on full display Friday night at Underground Arts. The Orwells kicked things off with the latest single from the new album called “They Put a Body in the Bayou,” sending the overwhelmingly under-25 crowd into a moshing frenzy. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hardwork Movement at Johnny Brenda’s, Sorority Noise at First Unitarian Church, Daughter at The Electric Factory and more

Hardwork Movement
Hardwork Movement | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philadelphia hip-hop collective Hardwork Movement is playing a record release show at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The group’s music boasts intricate jazz-tinged instrumental arrangements and a fierce pride of their deep roots in The City of Brotherly Love. 2016 was a fantastic year for the nine-member group: earlier this year they released their debut LP Good Problems, and a few months later they signed to Chill Moody’s #nicethingsMUSIC imprint. Come help Hardwork Movement celebrate and get a taste of their mixtape Draft Night at their last show of 2016 in Fishtown. Brooklyn-bred Tacuma Bradley’s Unity Band and Philadelphia singer-songwriter Julia Rainer are also on tonight’s bill. Check out the WXPN Concert Calendar for more information on this 21+ show, and check out Hardwork Movement’s performance of “City Bars” during a session with Philadelphia-collective Out of Town Films. Continue reading →

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Dance, Improv, Nudity, Absurdity: Har Mar Superstar wows Underground Arts

Har Mar Superstar | photo by Ben Wong for WXPN | <a href=http://brotherlylost.com target="_blank">brotherlylost.com</a>
Har Mar Superstar | photo by Ben Wong for WXPN | brotherlylost.com

With such an intoxicating voice, literally and figuratively, and lyrics to swoon the clothes off of any concert-goer (although it’s usually himself who winds up stripping), Har Mar Superstar brought an unforgettable performance to Philly this past Monday. Making his fourth stop as the headliner of his Best Summer Ever Tour with Texas rock band, Sweet Spirit, he showed Underground Arts his timeless dance moves, hilarious improvisation, and partial nudity. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sad13 at PhilaMOCA, Mexrrissey at The Kimmel Center, T.J. Kong and The Atomic Bomb at Underground Arts and more

Sad13 | photo by shervin lainez | photo courtesy of the artist
Sad13 | photo by shervin lainez | photo courtesy of the artist

Mostly known for her role as frontwoman for grunge-pop band Speedy Ortiz, Sadie Dupuis is slated to release her first solo album Slugger on November 11th under the moniker Sad13. She kicked off her debut tour on Thursday, and is paying Philadelphia a visit tonight at PhilaMOCA. Sad13’s music is largely centered around the idea of empowering women, and we’re all for it. Joining this Massachusetts synth-popper will be Philly artists Ivy Sole and Empath with NYC-based rapper Sammus topping off this stacked lineup. Go to the WXPN Concert Calendar for tickets and more information on this all ages show. Get a taste of Sad13 with this song off her new album, “Devil in U.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Tacocat at Underground Arts and Barns Courtney at Johnny Brenda’s

Tacocat | photo by Michael Lavine, courtesy of the artist
Tacocat | photo by Michael Lavine, courtesy of the artist

Seattle pop-punk quartet Tacoat headlines Underground Arts tonight. The group produces music reminiscent of the 90’s riot grrrl feminist music movement that also originated in Washington State. Supporting Tacocat will be Daddy issues, Queen of Jeans, and Pouty all bands that dabble in their own unique genres that fall somewhere on the spectrum of grunge, pop and punk. Most recently, Tacocat released their third studio album Lost Time in April of 2016 with the label, Hardly Art. Take a look at their ultraviolet video for “Talk” from their new record. For more info on this 21+ event, head to the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Bird and The Bee at Underground Arts, Whaler at Boot & Saddle, Billy Bragg and Joe Henry at Union Transfer

the bird and the bee
The Bird and The Bee | photo courtesy of the artist

California indie pop outfit The Bird and The Bee headline Underground Arts tonight. The duo of Inara George and Greg Kurstin released their fourth studio LP Recreational Love last year, following a 2010 Hall & Oates tribute album (check out “I Can’t Go For That” here). This tour features Inara sans Greg, though she’ll still be joined by her stellar backing band. Tickets and information for the 21+ show can be found here. Watch “Will You Dance?” below.

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