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Made In America artist Rosalía shares striking video for new double single

Rosalía | still from video

Slowing down is not on Rosalía‘s agenda. Since releasing her acclaimed sophomore album EL MAL QUERER last fall, the Spanish artist has been consistently putting out singles. The latest drop, a double single lumped together under the title F*cking Money Man, sees Rosalía continue to push her sound and redefine modern flamenco.

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Flamenco phenom Rosalía added to Made In America lineup

Rosalía | still from “Pienso En Tu Mirá” video

This year’s Made In America festival just keeps getting better and better. Last month, Lizzo, Lil Uzi Vert, and more were added to the already stacked lineup. The festival has now announced that Barcelona based artist, Rosalía, is set to perform as well, and her futuristic take on flamenco is not to be missed. The eighth installment of the festival will take place at Benjamin Franklin Parkway on August 31st and September 1st. Continue reading →

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19 Philly concerts we’re looking forward to in summer of 2019

Tame Impala | photo by Doug Interrante for WXPN // Kamasi Washington | photo by Koof Ibi Umoren for WXPN // Kacey Musgraves | photo by Heji Shin | courtesy of the artist

Summer concert season is upon us, and once again, the Philadelphia region did not disappoint. We have so many options on the calendar over the next three months that whittling it down to 19 was an incredible difficult task — and we here at The Key wholeheartedly encourage you to peruse the extensive listings in the XPN Concert Calendar for details on the shows that didn’t fit — including Nuevofest at World Cafe Live, Cayetana’s swan song at Union Transfer, Brandi Carlile and Mavis Staples at the Mann Center, and of course our own XPoNential Music Festival.

But those are all gigs you probably could have guessed we were excited about. For this list, we’ve dug a little bit deeper and gathered that aren’t as obvious at first glance. From classic Philly soul to soaring international pop, tripped-out psychedelia and forward-looking jazz, here are 19 concerts we can’t wait to see in summer of 2019. Continue reading →

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James Blake assumes many forms at The Fillmore

James Blake | photo by Isaiah Spicer for WXPN | iospicer.com

James Blake has come a long way since he first introduced himself to the world through a series of gorgeously glitchy EPs back the start of the decade. From there, we’ve seen him undergo subtle but significant evolution. That early glitchiness gave way to dubstep-infused piano balladry, Mercury Prize-winning R&B, and elegant experimental soul, all anchored by Blake’s smooth, syrupy vocals.

This year’s Assume Form saw him adopting a different kind of shift, abandoning his trademark interiority in favor of collaboration and songs about romantic contentment. I’d dare say it’s the happiest collection of songs he’s put his name to yet. That happiness was both obvious and contagious at last Friday’s show at The Fillmore. Attendees were treated a generous, joyous selection of songs from his career, one that both properly showcased his new album and infused his past highlights with its positive vibes. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Running Away With 2018 — Rob Huff’s favorite music to marathon to

Robyn | via NPR Music

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2018 incredible. Today, Key writer Rob Huff shares a playlist of music that motivated him through the Philadelphia Marathon.

Just keep moving.

It’s a sentiment that can feel both tired and tiring. Yet at the same time, it’s the only ambition that feels attainable in adulthood. And that’s under the best of circumstances. This year, it was an ambition I decided to amplify as a recreational runner when I signed up for the Philadelphia Marathon, my first ever.

As one of the few healthy habits I have, running has proven downright lifesaving amidst the injustice and insanity of the past two years. It’s cleansing yet calming, lending itself simultaneously to deep focus and a welcome absence of thought. As my weekly training routine grew longer and more time consuming, it also became a chance for me to dive into music in a manner that life hadn’t truly allowed in some time. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: The Django Pages 2018 – A.D. Amorosi’s greyhound rates the hits, disses the misses of the year gone

Django Amorosi at Kimpton Hotel Monaco | photo by Reese Amorosi | courtesy of the artist

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2018 incredible. Today, Key contributing writer A.D. Amorosi turns to his greyhound Django for another pass at the year’s hits and misses.

After the rush of respect, acclaim and fame from 2017’s The Django Pages at The Key – his critical debut – my fleet greyhound certainly felt a serious sense of responsibility when it came to documenting his continued love affair (and occasional disgust) with the music around him, and the multi-culturalism surrounding that. Plus, he got a gig writing for Pitchfork, something that has, so far, alluded me during my career as an arts journalist.

As it was a weird year (politically, socially), so much of what Django took in, and appreciated/dissected had to be filtered through the noise of rhetoric and correctness. With that came an addition to his usual outward signs of approval and disapproval (relaxed ears or laying with legs akimbo for the former, grimace and growls for the latter): a side-eyed glare as if to say, “c’maan, really?” Many of these looks got shot at me at the sound of anything having to do with Kanye West (from his innumerable rants to his Kids See Ghosts), Asia Argento, Jeff Sessions, 6ix9ine (even though his performance at Made in America was stellar), Larry Krasner and Justin Timberlake (really, just JT’s whole Man in the Woods burly guy routine. Everything else is cool). Continue reading →

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The Key’s Top 15 Albums of 2018

This is the music that moved us in 2018

In her review of Lucy Dacus’ Historian, Key writer Sarah Hojsak uses a vivid phrase that sums up both the record, as well as the emotional landscape of 2018: “desperately sad but never hopeless.”

Oh, wait, I’m sorry…would you describe your year as happy? That must be nice, good on you. For many of us, it’s not as straightforward: the toxicity of the country at this moment in history, and the various players that fuel that toxicity, has a draining effect, whether you’re a marginalized person who is in the line of fire or an empathetic soul who is distressed from afar. There’s also the let-down: the pouring of our energies into something to watch it fail, whether personal or public.

And yet we experience moments of joy throughout it all: weddings are had, families are started, a breathtaking sunset is observed from the westbound platform of the Berks Avenue el stop. And there’s music, a constant source of joy and comfort that centers our lives. Continue reading →

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#NowPlaying at The Key: Eight must-hear songs by James Blake, Palberta, Mykki Blanco and more

James Blake | photo by Brianna Kehone for WXPN // Palberta | photo courtesy of the artist // Kanye West | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

This week’s song selections from Team Key include music that reminds us of a low-budget indie rom com, possibly one involving robots, a minute-long blast of unconventional energy, a sensitive offering from a complicated and confrontational artist, and more.
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