By

The Key’s Year-End Mania: Adam Gould’s top five hip-hop / electronic albums of 2012

For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, contributing writer Adam Gould shares his top hip-hop and electronic releases of the year.

I would like to preface this list by saying that I found this year to be pretty underwhelming. Some of my favorite bands put out albums and none of them would have made a Top 10 list. There were a bunch of ‘good’ albums, but I don’t remember the last time there were so few ‘great’ albums. I can’t believe I am going to say this, but I miss 2006. That being said, hip-hop was awesome this year. Continue reading →

By

The Key’s Year-End Mania: Stephanie Seiple’s top five Philly businesses

For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, Tri-State Indie founder Stephanie Seiple shares her top five Philadelphia businesses.

Since we (TSI, Rich and Myself) recently moved to East Kensington / Fishtown in 2012 – here’s my top five Philly local businesses in our new hood:

Loco Pez - This place looks like your dad’s basement from 1979. The decor is awesome and the food is addicting. We go here sometimes once a week. It’s super cheap, but always packed, so the good thing is that it’s a fast turn around for tables. It’s more traditional Mexican rather than Americanized, which is awesome, and you can tell everything is made on site. I’ve tried many things on the menu, but my go to is the Carne Asata tacos ( small soft tacos) and a bowl of red rice, along with a bunch of homemade hot sauces.  Continue reading →

By

The Key’s Year-End Mania: Q.D. Tran’s Top 5 Favorite Albums of 2012 from Non-Philly Artists

For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, Q.D. Tran of The Deli shares his favorite albums from non-Philadelphians.

OK, so here is my year-end list of top 5 favorite albums from non-Philly artists that I’m just getting in under the gun. I know. I should have chosen a more original topic like some of the other folks who were asked to contribute to The Key’s Year-end Mania, but since I spent most of my year focused on writing about Philly’s indie music scene, it actually was a lot of fun for me to think about and revisit other albums making the rounds internationally/nationally. Continue reading →

By

The Key’s Year-End Mania: Kyle Costill’s top five Bands in the Backyard videos of 2012

For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, Kyle Costill of Bands in the Backyard shares the five favorite videos he produced in 2012.

Here are our top videos for BITBY. 2013 is gonna shred.

5. Nothing live Key Studio Session at WXPN – “The Rites of Love and Death”

Continue reading →

By

The Key’s Year-End Mania: Chris Zak’s top five songs in 2012

For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, photographer Chris Zak shares the five songs from 2012 that were his.

There is always music that is yours. Perhaps the musicians who wrote and played those songs that are yours would beg to differ, but don’t overthink it. I’m not talking about a song that says all the loving or bitter-as-hell things you’ve never been able to express. Let me break down my opinion of what is yours:

1. You want the record on vinyl so you can hug the music, and literally make it near (and dear to) your heart.

2. You’d probably consider it the greatest thing you could be doing with your life to see them live. And everyone not going to this concert is a doofus.

3. You think that the musicians making these songs probably don’t watch TV. It’s just too low-brow for them. If anything, they definitely don’t watch comedies. Maybe Louie.

4. Their music has appeared in your dreams. And any song that appears on your dreams is a queue from an unconscious part of your brain saying “Hey! Wake up and remember how good this song is before you forget it!”

5. Hearing one song unlocks a string of music history connections that you feel compelled to share with the world.

So, let’s get down to the top five music that belongs to me in 2012. Continue reading →

By

The Key’s Year-End Mania: Fred Knittel’s top five soundtracks of 2012

Photo by Laura Jane Brubaker

For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, Folkadelphia host Fred Knittel recaps his five favorite film soundtracks of the year. Click on the titles to hear them on Spotify. Continue reading →

By

The Key’s Year-End Mania: Joel Tannenbaum’s top music news headlines of 2012

For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, Plow United bassist, Ex-Friends singer-guitarist and occasional Key contributor Joel Tannenbaum shares his top music news headlines* of 2012.

5. Julio Iglesias releases Saludos desde Asbury Park, NJ, a song-by-song rebuttal to Bruce Springsteen’s Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ. 

4. Joey Sweeney releases digital-only retrospective spanning his 80+ year career.
Early vaudeville material largely ignored.

3. The Spin Doctors’ “Two Princes” certified top-selling mini-disc single of 2012.

2. Ben Nichols of Lucero cast as Eddie in Ang Lee’s Eddie and the Cruisers remake.
Other members of Lucero not cast as Cruisers.

1. Chris Christie realizes lifelong dream of meeting Glenn Danzig.
Meeting facilitated by President Obama during Hurricane Sandy aftermath.

*entirely fabricated

Thanks to Justin Agnew and Tom Kretchmar.

By

The Key’s Year-End Mania: Beth Ann Downey’s top five rock collaborations from Philly-area natives

For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, contributing writer Beth Ann Downey ranks her top collaborations from regional artists.

We music lovers read, browse, skim, agree with, disagree with and soon forget so many of these lists this time of year. But if you’re a rock/punk/alternative lover from in or around Philadelphia, hopefully you’ll remember this one.

Collaborations amongst hard-working artists are undoubtedly how the best music is made. And in a time when folk, hip-hop and electronic music seem to top most of these other lists this year, I wanted to highlight the local singers, instrumentalists and producers who work together to do what they love despite what’s popular.

Collaborations are also where we see scene veterans training or complimenting emerging talent, and vice versa. Whether it’s bringing them out on tour or asking them to provide guest vocals on a new track, it’s great to see bands helping each other, or big-time producers working diligently on what they think should become the next big thing.

Here are five examples, in no particular order, of just how much love and talent the city of Brotherly Love has to go around. Continue reading →

By

The Key’s Year-End Mania: Nick Morrison’s top 5 Underground Philly albums of 2012

For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, Key intern Nick Morrison shares his favorite underground albums from the local scene this year.

Continue reading →

By

The Key’s Year-End Mania: Kate Bracaglia’s top 5 under-the-radar acts of 2012

For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, we get a second list from contributing writer Kate Bracaglia – the year’s best under-the-radar acts.

Every year around this time, music lovers the world over clamor to check out “Best Of” lists from sites like Pitchfork and Stereogum. And while these sites make an effort to cover all sorts of music, their reach is only so far. And thus I present: my top 5 under the radar acts of 2012. You won’t find them on Pitchfork’s “Best of” list—or anywhere else on Pitchfork for that matter. They’re signed to small labels, and/or releasing music independently, and thus have not grabbed the attention we know they deserve. Check ‘em out below… then make sure to keep an eye on them the next couple of years, as we know their influence will only grow. Continue reading →