Tonight’s Concert Picks: Big Thief at Electric Factory, Sheila E. in Cedar Park, Superfive at World Cafe Live, plus more

Big Thief | Photo: Shervin Lainez
Big Thief | photo by Shervin Lainez | courtesy of the artist

It’s been a minute since Big Thief have been to Philly. The Brooklyn folk-rockers-who-can-totally-shred have since followed up their 2016 debut album Masterpiece with the comparatively downbeat and emotional Capacity, and now they’re bringing all your favorite tunes to the Electric Factory as part of the Project Pabst festival. Though it’s definitely worth heading over to the festival just to see Big Thief, other standout performers on the lineup include Speedy Ortiz, Thin Lips, and The Menzingers. More information can be found on Project Pabst’s website. Watch Big Thief perform “Paul” for The Key below. Continue reading →


Free at Noon Flashback: December’s Artist to Watch Dawg Yawp mesmerizes with their unique brand of sitar-heavy rock

Dawg Yawp | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN
Dawg Yawp | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN

WXPN’s December Artist to Watch Dawg Yawp certainly did not disappoint today at their Free at Noon show.

Helen Leicht said it best, “They had me at sitar.” The duo from Cincinnati consisted of Tyler Randall, Rob Keenan, a sitar, an acoustic guitar and an array of homemade productions that  created the illusion of a much larger band than stood before the crowd that day. I typically try to draw comparisons between the band I’m writing about and another well-known artist so that readers can get a better grasp on the sound of the group set before them. I say this with the utmost sincerity, Dawg Yawp’s sound can be categorized as nothing except completely original. A feat very difficult to achieve in today’s scene that is so densely saturated in guitar rock. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Underwater Sounds at Underground Arts, Sheer Mag at Ortlieb’s, Wiki of Ratking at Ardmore Music Hall, and more…

underwater sound
Underwater Sound | photo by Samuel Markey Photography

Down Under: The Underwater Sounds take on Underground Arts for the last time tonight. The Philly reggae group has been together playing shows in the area for around six years now, so do not miss this last chance to see them. Everyone who attends the show will receive a copy of Visions Of Love And Light Part II. Also performing will be The Snails and The Rosemary Fiki Band. For more info, check out the link here. Continue reading →


From Waxahatchee to Smallpools, here are 5 Philadelphia concerts not to miss in April

Smallpools | via
Smallpools | via

Lots of celebrated musicians are headed to Philly in April, and a handful of shows are already selling out. If you’re bummed about not grabbing those Jose Gonzalez or Father John Misty tickets while you had the chance, head over to StubHub or catch tickets to these April shows while they’re still hot. (It goes without saying that we think Key Fest is a pretty rad three-day lineup over at MilkBoy too.) From electronic to folk, here are five Philadelphia concerts not to miss this month. Continue reading →


This Weekend’s Concert Picks: Making Time (w/The Drums and Surfer Blood), Phoenix, The Walkmen, Erin McKeown + more

The Drums

The Drums perform 10/22 at Voyeur

Making Time returns to Voyeur, and Dave P is bringing a few friends with him: Brooklyn-based indie-pop quartet The Drums and West Palm Beach, Florida’s Surfer Blood. Meanwhile, local garage-rock quartet The Spooks will perform in the venue’s Ruby Lounge basement with the RockTits DJs. And, to top it off, Dave P will also be putting together a Making Time RADio local-band mix for us over here at The Key. All of which means Philadelphia’s raddest hyper-rad dance party just got significantly more radically radical. Rad! The Drums perform with Surfer Blood at 9 p.m. at Voyeur; tickets to the 21+ show are $15.

Also playing: Guster + Eli “Paperboy” Reed at Electric Factory (8:30 p.m., all ages, $28); Rocky Votolato + Ha Ha Tonka, P.J. Bond at M Room (9 p.m., 21+, $12); Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit + Langhorne Slim, Jesse Sykes And Phil Wandscher, Mimicking Birds at North Star Bar (8 p.m., 21+, $18)

How do we feel about Phoenix‘s now-ubiquitous single “1901” from last year’s critically acclaimed Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix? Well, we love its beautiful, stripped-down simplicity—quite possibly the band’s crowning songwriting achievement to date. (One that took the French quartet 14 years—and three previous albums—to create.) And we always get a kick out of the way that Thomas Mars’ charmingly imperfect voice cracks when he sings “Eighteen fifty-five, nineteen ooHHH-one” halfway through the song. But, more than anything else, it really makes us want to buy a brand-new Cadillac SRX. After all, why listen to Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix on your 1995 Volkswagon Jetta’s crappy tape deck when you could do so in style, driving the world’s only true luxury crossover SUV (modestly priced at $34,155)? Well, other than that whole safety recall thing. Phoenix performs with Jenny And Johnny and Wavves at 8 p.m. at the Tower Theater; tickets are $45.

Also playing: The Walkmen + Japandroids, Blood Feathers at The Trocadero (9 p.m., all ages, $21); The Felice Brothers + Adam Haworth Stephens at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, SOLD OUT)

Has it really been 10 years since Erin McKeown released her breakthrough sophomore album, Distillation? It must be, because her performance at World Cafe Live is billed as part of her “Distillation 10th Anniversary Tour.” Still, it seems like it was just yesterday that people were asking, “Hey, who is this kooky folk-rock singer-songwriter that started her own label and isn’t Ani DiFranco?” Erin has, of course, made her own name for herself since then, releasing an additional four studio albums of unpredictable, genre-jumping music—including last year’s Hundreds Of Lions (which came out, coincidentally, on Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records)—while constantly playing on the road. During this performance, she’ll play Distillation in its entirety, followed by a set of more recent material. Erin McKeown performs at 7:30 p.m. at World Cafe Live; tickets are $30-$40.

Also playing: Matt And Kim + Donnis at Starlight Ballroom (7:30 p.m., SOLD OUT); Gentleman Jesse And His Men + The Barreracudas, Woman at Kung Fu Necktie (8 p.m., $10)