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Grandchildren performs a sci-fi ballet in their “Gravity” video

Grandchildren | photo by Avi Gupta | courtesy of the artist

Grandchildren released their new self-titled album last month, and to kick off their US tour the band has shared a new video for the track “Gravity.” The project of Aleks Martray has been making music for the better part of a decade, with Shari Bolar coming into the fold for their self-titled new album,  and they capture the range of it all with the new album, which works a sonic diary to compile pieces of their musical existence. Continue reading →

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West Philly Porchfest returns for a fourth year of homemade concerts this June

West Philly Porchfest | via Facebook

Porchfest has proven itself a big hit in Philly over the last few years, and we just caught word that the annual event will be returning for its fourth year this June. On Saturday, June 8 the porches of West Philly will be transformed into a neighborhood-wide open air music venue as local artists come together to present a full day’s lineup of tunes. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Rickie Lee Jones, Sunflower Bean, Citizen Cope, The Beths and more

The Beths | photo by Mason Fairey | courtesy of the artist

Starting tomorrow night with a performance by Latin Grammy Winner and continuing through Sunday with a gig from a New Zealand pop-punk outfit, there’s lots of variety — geographic and otherwise — in this week’s gig roundup. Here are 16 concerts to see in the next seven days in and around Philly. Continue reading →

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Your set times for Philly Music Fest have arrived

The Districts | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philly Music Fest returns this year, providing a snapshot of artists currently staking their claim in the Philly music scene. Kicking off on Thursday with a punk rager at Johnny Brenda’s, closing Sunday with a jazz showcase at MilkBoy, and centered by two eclectic nights at World Cafe Live, the festival rounds up 25 artists at three venues, with hotly anticipated performances by Soul Glo, Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield, Hardwork Movement, Ruby the Hatchet, Palm, The Districts and more.  Continue reading →

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Local artists inspire Philadelphia’s youth at Aspiring Young Artists

Aspiring Young Artist | photo by Richard Sanders | courtesy of Aspiring Young Artists

The city of Philadelphia has a very incredibly vibrant music scene and a rich music history that spans genres. But imagine if those two intangible things could become more of a direct resource for the adolescents of the city who are in school and have a passion for creating music. That’s where Aspiring Young Artists steps in.

While most schools can only advocate for more funding so they don’t have to make really hard choices, like cutting out art programs because of lack of funds, AYA cuts out the middle man and connects North Philadelphia students from schools like Youth Build Philadelphia, Kensington CAPA and Olney Charter High School with local artists who teach them how to compose their own music and expose them to the beautiful things that are happening in their hometown’s music scene.

Recently I was able to sit with AYA’s founder Ricky Strickler about how the music programs and the local artists that lead them have made an impact on its students. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Queen of Jeans, The Diplomats, Drive-By Truckers, Lorde and more

Queen of Jeans | photo by Jessica Lim | courtesy of the artist
Queen of Jeans | photo by Jessica Lim | courtesy of the artist

Your choices are many; your excuses are few. Here are 25 concerts you could see in Philadelphia this week; enough for you to catch one per day, or for the more enterprising of you Key readers, several per day. Starting with folksinger Sam Amidon, and going up to arena pop rocker Lorde, here are our picks for the week ahead. Continue reading →

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Jasmine Cassell flexes her songwriting skills on S7VEN EP

Jasmine Cassell | via facebook.com/jasminecassellmusic

New Jersey singer songwriter Jasmine Cassell focuses on love for her recent EP S7VEN. Different types of love; self love, the love of God, romantic love. The lyrical theme, mixed with superb instrumental arrangements, made this project a standout debut.

I had heard Jasmine Cassell perform “Let Me In” live, so I was pleasantly surprised to hear some layered 80s synths — a signature style of producer Lee “LeBeet” Clarke, who has also worked with Kate Faust and Kingsley Ibeneche. That sound could have easily been a very cheesy move, but it works so well for the song and compliments the melody really well. The melody is catchy, and the way the chorus comes in makes this perfect for an impromptu car karaoke session. The lyrics echo Erykah Badu’s “Bag Lady” sentiment with lyrics like “You’ve got a lot of baggage, girl. / Let me in so I can trash it, girl.” Continue reading →

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Five artists to see at O:O Our Black Arts Festival this weekend

Kingsley Ibeneche | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

O:O Our Black Arts Festival is this weekend, February 9th and 10th, at Circle of Hope in South Philadelphia. The two-day festival welcomes people of all ages, shapes, colors, genders, and orientations. There will be visual work, poetry, and performances from various artists, which you can read more about below.  Continue reading →