Restorations, Young Statues and Broken Spirit captivate at Johnny Brenda’s

Restorations | Photo by Sameer Rao
Restorations | Photo by Sameer Rao

A brief, humble salutation by a recently de-beareded Jon Loudon preceded three snare hits before Philly’s own beloved Restorations launched into “Misprint” and kicked off a searing set at Johnny Brenda’s. This was the quintet’s first Philadelphia show in months, capping off a long tour in support of their excellent and sophisticated LP3, whose roomy and anthemic songs punctuated key points throughout the set (which also featured many songs from 2013’s LP2). Continue reading →


Good Old War, Young Statues, The Early November to play NJ’s Pinelands Music Festival

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

The inaugural Pinelands Music Festival brings a collection of Philly indie rock favorites to Millville in South Jersey on August 15. The event, announced this week, features acoustic pop trio Good Old War – who will be re-joined by founding drummer Tim Arnold and is set to release an album this summer. The bill also includes Young Statues, Locals and The Early November from Hammonton, New Jersey. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Northern Arms at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Young Statues at Johnny Brenda’s, Carl Madison at Kung Fu Necktie and more

Northern Arms | photo via
Northern Arms | photo via

Expressionistic noir rock army Northern Arms performs in the grand staircase of the Philadelphia Museum of Art tonight as part of the museum’s Art After 5 Friday night series. The band released its self-titled debut LP last year to much acclaim, and has been taking is booming and brooding show – which project the blues, gospel, and Americana through a cinematic lens – to unconventional spaces like the Fleisher Art Memorial in the fall. The sonorous acoustics of the Grand Staircase should make for a thrilling setting for the band’s slow-burn story songs tonight. Information on the show can be found hereContinue reading →


The Arbor Christmas Show: Spreading Christmas spirit and a sense of community in South Jersey

Photo by Mark Martucci |
The Arbor Christmas Show cast performs at the Audubon Auction House in 2012 | Photo by Mark Martucci |

The show was Jon’s idea.

That’s what Mike Maier writes, first and foremost, about the annual Arbor Christmas Show on the event’s website, and it’s the first thing he says when asked about it.

It was his idea, so Maier helped his friend Jon Montague put that first show on 15 years ago. They’d worked on other things together in the past, and were both fans of sketch comedy in the vein of  “The Kids in the Hall” and “Monty Python.” They wanted Arbor Christmas to be like a variety show or Christmas special you’d see on TV, but feature their friends, most of whom were accomplished musicians who lived in South Jersey. Continue reading →


The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Young Statues, Minus the Bear and more…

Young Statues
Young Statues | photo by Shervin Lainez

The Key’s special feature Unlocked made a return this week with locals Young Statues and their new record The Flatlands are Your Friend.  You can get the full scoop on the Jersey natives’ record with an full interview, review and the premiere of an in-studio documentary here.  Download “Got the Knife” for free here, courtesy of Run For Cover Records.

Continue reading →


Unlocked: Read the Young Statues guide to what’s good (and familiar) about Athens

Carmen Cirignano of Young Statues | Photo via

For the final installment of Young Statues’ Unlocked spotlight, frontman Carmen Cirignano shares some of his favorite places in Athens, Georgia where the band recorded its new album, The Flatlands Are Your Friend. He also describes why and how his favorite spots remind him of home in Philly.

I spent six weeks away from Philadelphia recording this record. Luckily I got to do it in a place that is now starting to feel like a second home: Athens, Georgia.

Athens, like Philadelphia, is an amazing city with a rich cultural history. Naturally, there were a lot of similarities. Here are a few of my favorite places that reminded me of home while in Athens. Continue reading →


Unlocked: Why Jersey’s Young Statues took measures to make “Flatlands” feel like a home away from home

Young Statues _Shervin Lainez (LoRes_WEB)
Young Statues | Photo by Shervin Lainez

Carmen Cirignano hopes putting on his band’s new record can provide a very certain kind of feeling.

He relates it to taking a trip to his grandmother’s house. Whenever he visited her, he’d feel a certain way and have very distinct memories. It’s an idea of being somewhere familiar that’s not exactly home.

“I wanted a cohesive, kind of flowing record that made sense from the beginning to the end and felt like a tangible thing, in a way,” Cirignano says. “I wanted people, when they listened to it or put it on, to be able to go somewhere, go to a place, wherever that place is to whoever listens to it. It could be different for everybody. I wanted it to have that feeling, like it was something as a whole rather than just a collection of songs.”

Cirignano, frontman for Young Statues, is sitting at an outside table at Old City’s Ole Café, having just driven downtown from his home in Prospect Park. He’s joined by bassist Tom Ryan, who has just driven in from across the bridge in New Jersey. They’re both joined by Ryan’s sister’s small dog, who remains mostly quiet as the two discuss the past and present history of the band. Continue reading →


Unlocked: Follow Young Statues into the studio in a new documentary (PREMIERE)

Matt Weber and Tom Ryan of Young Statues in the studio | via Instagram
Producer Drew Vandenberg and Tom Ryan of Young Statues in the studio | via Instagram

To the non-musician, the process a band goes through to make an album may not seem like hard work.

Those unfamiliar recording may think that the songs are always fully realized before the band enters the studio — that musicians can just go in, nail their various parts in a few takes, then move onto the next song. It seems like making an album should come easily and naturally.

But talk to any musician about recording for more than a few minutes, and you’ll know this isn’t the case in the least bit. You’ll hear stories about spending a whole day recording one guitar solo or drum fill, or singers scribbling down lyrics just minutes before the song they’re writing is to be recorded.

Making music isn’t easy. That’s why Young Statues knew that, to record their sophomore LP The Flatlands Are Your Friends, they wanted to travel somewhere to both limit distractions and feel more inspired. So the band spent three weeks recording in Athens, Georgia at Chase Park Transduction Studios, where frontman Carmen Cirignano had also retreated to years prior and wrote Young Statues’ debut album. Continue reading →


Unlocked: The Key’s review of Young Statues’ The Flatlands are Your Friend

Young Statues’ The Flatlands are Your Friend

It’s almost fitting that the release date of Young Statues’ sophomore LP, The Flatlands Are Your Friend, would fall around Halloween.

Whereas the South Jersey-based band’s self-titled debut could be categorized as indie pop, and its 2013 EP Age Isn’t Ours bordered on pop punk, Flatlands is something total different — an eerily haunting, rock-driven release.

We’re obviously not talking “Monster Mash” here. It’s edgy and emotional in the vein of “Gimme Shelter,” and a far cry from anything the band has ever done in the past.

Young Statues has always stuck out because they’ve never really fit in where they were. Punk and hardcore bands dominate the band’s label, Run For Cover Records. This has informed the tours Young Statues been on and the fan base they have developed. But you’d be mistaken to lump them in with many of their label mates or this “emo revival” everyone keeps talking about. Continue reading →


Unlocked: Download “Got The Knife” from Young Statues’ new The Flatlands are Your Friend

Young Statues | Photo via
Young Statues | Photo via

Young Statues’ 2011 self-titled debut album wasn’t exactly unintentional, but it was somewhat unplanned.

The South-Jersey based indie rock band was born from the collection of songs written by frontman Carmen Cirignano on a prolonged trip to Athens, Georgia. He had just left another band behind and was encouraged by people there and then upon returning home to turn what he thought would be solo material into a new project.

That collection of catchy, intricate indie pop tunes won over fans for a reason. Continue reading →