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Waxahatchee will preview new album at First Unitarian Chapel

Photo by Ryan Russell | courtesy of the artist
Photo by Ryan Russell | courtesy of the artist

We’re not sure if Waxahatchee‘s Katie Crutchfield lives in Philadelphia anymore, and frankly, that’s irrelevant: the woman makes incredible music, regardless of whether her zip code designates her as “a local artist.” We do know that Crutchfield maintains Philly ties – her sludgey stoner rock band Great Thunder was one of the headliners at Golden Tea House’s OK Fest, a benefit for Decarcerate PA – and we do know that another Waxahatchee album is due sometime in the near future. And with today’s tour announcement, we’ll got our first taste to hear some of the new tunes. Continue reading →

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Cayetana will live stream its Shaking Through session this weekend

Photo by Mary Ferrigno, courtesy of facebook.com/cayetana
Photo by Mary Ferrigno, via facebook.com/cayetana

This weekend, get a rare look into what goes behind the production of Weathervane Music Organization’s Shaking Through sessions with Philly band Cayetana.

The three-piece, all-female punk rock group is live streaming their Shaking Through session on February 1st and 2nd free to the public – an opportunity otherwise only given to members of Weathervane Music Organization. Shaking Through gives fans the chance to watch an insider’s guide as to what recording is like for some of their favorite bands, or a chance to discover new music, while the bands or musicians get to record in a “professional setting.”

(Read More – Past Shaking Through coverage on The Key)

Weathervane, founded by producer Brian McTear in 2009, strives to promote independent bands in the area with Shaking Through. Cayetana, formed in the fall of 2011, is finally starting to take off, opening for Waxahatchee just last Sunday and releasing a 7″ this winter on Tiny Engines Records. Check out their studio session with The Key here and their video for “Hot Dad Calendar” below.

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Photos: A punked up bill with Waxahatchee, All Dogs and Cayetana at the First Unitarian Church

Waxahatchee | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordo.tumblr.com
Waxahatchee | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordo.tumblr.com
Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield had her biggest headlining Philly show to date last night, playing to a packed crowd at the First Unitarian Church and mixing in songs from last year’s breakout LP Cerulean Salt and 2012′s American Weekend. Opening the show were two very like-minded punk-rooted acts: Columbus Ohio’s All Dogs, featuring Maryn Jones of Saintseneca, and and Philly power trio Cayetana. Check out photos from the show in the gallery below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Waxahatchee at First Unitarian Church, Pine Barons at Kung Fu Necktie, Candice Martello at The Fire and more

Photo by Emma Swann
Photo by Emma Swann

Waxahatchee (aka singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield) will play at First Unitarian Church tonight. Crutchfield began the alt-folk project back in 2011 and has released two albums under the moniker (which was named after Alabama’s Waxahatchee Creek) with the most recent being 2013′s Cerulean Salt. Watch the video for the crunchy-but-catchy “Misery Over Dispute” below and get tickets here.

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The Best of Philly Music 2013

Photo by Abi Reimold
Photo by Abi Reimold

In September 2010, we started The Key because we wanted to offer the local music scene another platform to reach more audiences. We also started it because starting in the early aughts we noticed something happening here creatively amongst the local music scene that was hadn’t felt in a while – it was growing creatively and the buzz about how good the local scene was becoming more significant.

More new bands were starting than ever before, more music was becoming available for fans and more musicians were looking for ways to connect to fans. To me, the last five years of “the scene” reminds me a lot of the Philly music scene in the mid-Eighties to early Nineties when bands like Electric Love Muffin, Three Times Dope, The Wishniaks, Nixon’s Head, the Goats, the Dead Milkmen, Schoolly D, The Low Road, The Hooters, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, and Tommy Conwell all represented for Philly on both local and international stages. We thought Philly 2012 was a banner year for the local music scene. Guess what? 2013 was even better. Here are some of the best things about the Philly music scene in 2013.

Dr. Dog made their best album yet, B-Room.

Man Man made their best record yet, On Oni Pond.

The Districts signed with Fat Possum. Look for an EP with a couple of old songs and new tunes on January 26th.
Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Melody Chiang’s Top 5 Philadelphia Transplants of 2013

Radiator Hospital | via Facebook
Radiator Hospital | via Facebook
Year End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2013 awesome. In this installment, photographer Melody Chiang shares the best of who’s new to town.

When I first moved to Philadelphia four years ago, alot of people questioned my sanity for electing to leave California. In the beginning, I stayed almost exclusively inside the comfortable, familiar bubble of University City. But with help from some friends, locals, and of course the XPN crew, I began to spend more time exploring other parts of the city and getting to know Philly’s amazing, rollicking music scene a little. Now as I head into my final semester of college that will quickly be followed by another period of terrifying transition, I’ve discovered that I’ve kind of fallen in love with this vibrant, unapologetically spirited, sometimes disconcerting, one of a kind place. And I hope I get to stick around here longer.

So, for my 2013 year end list I wanted to compile my favorite recently local acts who, like me, all hail from elsewhere but have come to call Philadelphia home. Here are my top five Philly transplants of 2013:

5. Maitland
Maitland originally hail from Williamsport, PA. Josh Hines and Jeff Mach play gorgeous atmospheric folk songs that have oft elicited comparisons to Bon Iver and Jose Gonzales. Their EP (from a cabin in the woods), which was technically released last fall in 2012, is sonically minimalistic but chock full of natural imagery and nostalgic snapshots in time.

Continue reading →

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Watch a live video of Waxahatchee covering Guided by Voices’ “Game of Pricks” (playing First Unitarian Church 1/26)

Photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Waxahatchee | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Yesterday the crew over at Philebrity dug up a video of Waxahatchee (Katie Crutchfield) performing an acoustic rendition of Guided by Voices‘ “Game of Pricks” at a high school in Pomona, CA last year. Crutchfield’s ability to sing confessional music in an off-the-cuff manner sounds just as honest and stripped down with an acoustic guitar as it does with her three-piece power trio band. She brings the emotional charge of emo and the sound of indie pop in a way similar to that of Frances Quinlan from Hop Along.

With the GBV cover, Crutchfield handily transforms their snappy minute and a half power pop jammer from the 1995 album Alien Lanes into her own thing; watch the video below, and compare  it against the original. Waxahatchee’s 2013 album Cerulean Salt is available here; she plays the First Unitarian Church on January 26th with All DogsCayetana, and Heavy Bangs. Tickets and information can be found here.

Continue reading →

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Watch Waxahatchee perform “I Think I Love You” and “Tangled Envisioning” for Last.fm (playing the First Unitarian Church on 1/26)

Photo by Emma Swann
Photo by Emma Swann

West Philadelphia’s Waxahatchee just wrapped up at tour in the UK, and frontwoman Katie Crutchfield performed a couple studio sessions while she was abroad. Below, check out her sessions with Last.fm where she played acoustic versions of “I Think I Love You” from 2012′s American Weekend and “Tangled Envisioning” from this year’s Cerulean Salt. The band just announced a string of winter tour dates with Columbus, Ohio’s All Dogs and Philly’s Cayetana, and the tour stops at the First Unitarian Church on January 26th. Tickets and information on the all ages show can be found here.

Continue reading →

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Waxahatchee performs a stripped down rendition of “Swan Dive” from Cerulean Salt for Clash Music

waxahatchee

There are few who are able to convey tragic misery quite as beautifully and elegantly as Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield. Her confessional lyrics, driven by angelic vocals that pierce straight to the soul, are so intimate that one can feel the songwriter’s vulnerability; and her music has resonated with a wide, cult-like following of admirers. She appropriately draws comparisons to melancholy indie artists Elliott Smith and early Cat Power.

“Swan Dive,” from the Philadelphia based band’s most recent sophomore album Cerulean Salt, features the same simple yet astonishingly forceful lyricism that garnered Crutchfield and Waxahatchee so much support following their first album American Weekend. (Pitchfork gave Cerulean Salt an impressive 8.4 rating if you’re into that sort of thing). Crutchfield performed a solo, acoustic rendition of the song outdoors for Clash Music, and the result is a deeply insightful, personal, dreamlike lullaby. Although plugged in, the acoustic version allows for more emphasis on the song’s lyrics, and one can recall every sad moment when hearing “you hold onto the past, you make yourself miserable / and I’m ruled by seasons and sadness that’s inexplicable”. To sum it up, Crutchfield performing live is just plain moving.

Waxahatchee is currently touring Europe and the UK with band Swearin’, led by Crutchfield’s twin sister Allison, but will return to North America in November with a first stop in Seattle, Washington on the 27th. See the full list of live dates here. The band also recently performed at North Carolina’s Hopscotch Festival, where their set was recorded by NYC Taper; download it here. Be sure to pick up Cerulean Salt and see what all the pretty noise is about.

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Screaming Females, Waxahatchee and more wrap the Don Giovanni Records tour with a bang at The Church

Screaming Females | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Screaming Females | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

Four bands rocked First Unitarian Church to the core on Sunday night on the final stop of the Don Giovanni Records tour of Screaming Females with Waxahatchee, Tenement, and Trophy Wife. The night got under way on the basement floor where the dynamic duo of Philadelphia’s own Trophy Wife – drummer Katy Otto and guitarist Diane Foglizzo – took the breath away of all in attendance. It was this critic’s third time seeing them live and with each new performance, their rock prowess seems to grow exponentially. They are one of Philly’s greatest music treasures.

Next up was Wisconsin’s punkers Tenement. They were brash and energized, with lead singer and guitarist Amos Pitsch pouring every ounce of sweat into their set. They certainly know how to get the crowd moving, but their aesthetic is one of style over substance, so before one knew it they were gone.

Philly’s own Waxahatchee brought their indie cred to the forefront of the barely lit church stage. Band kingpin Katie Crutchfield and company unleashed tracks mainly from their 2013 masterpiece Cerulean Salt. The angular rock was the night’s counter to the punk and hard rock of the other three bands. Their set was a memorable slice of the contemporary hip.

The finale of Screaming Females was a culmination of the night’s styles, from the shredding expertise of Trophy Wife’s Foglizzo to the punk of Tenement and a dash of the present and future combined as found in Waxahatchee. Led by the mesmerizing Marissa Paternoster, they transported the packed basement of sweaty mostly twenty and thirtysomethings to the raw center of the desired elixir of perfect parts guitar, drum, and vocal. Swallowing the microphone and using her guitar as an axe of grand sound, Paternoster stirred the audience into a moshing frenzy that carried through to the end.

This was the 7th show in 10 days for this critic and the one I was looking forward to the most for the total music experience. It certainly lived up to and exceeded these expectations.