Philly scene favorite Curtis Cooper just announced that their next record, Graceful, will be released next month, and its lead single is the equivalent of a big, long sigh of relief. With “Breathe Out,” the songwriter explores the causes of everyday anxieties that are bringing them down. Cooper’s vocals sound resigned against the song’s jangly melody, but their tone brightens as the song progresses, reminding us to “Leave some time to breathe on out / Breathe it out.” Continue reading →
Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, Sarah Hojsak takes a look at some of the best artist portraits of 2017.
During last year’s end-of-the-year rush, The Key took a brief step away from music itself and instead started digging through the images surrounding it. The result was 2016’s ten best Philly artist portraits — a collection of some of the most visually stunning, ridiculously outlandish or otherwise eye-catching promotional photos from our beloved local musicians.
As you well know, we have no shortage of great music happening here in Philly, and lucky for us so, so many of our favorite artists released new music this year. With those new tunes came a whole new batch of images to take in — they range from the standard artsy but professional press photo to the quirky personality pic and everything in between, and they come from some of music’s best photographers. The best ones, regardless of the forms they take or the themes they use, caught our attention and didn’t let go. Here’s a far from thorough but nonetheless delightful selection of some of 2017’s standouts. Continue reading →
“I feel like all my closest friends are damaged,” says Philly’s Curtis Cooper. “And I don’t mean damaged in a bad way. I mean they have been beat down in one way or another and they’ve come back, and now they know the difference between having a good life and having a bad life, and they really appreciate what’s going on in their lives now. Those are the kind of people I want to spend time with.”
We’re talking one evening last week over falafel at Mama’s Vegetarian in Center City; “I love coming here,” Cooper comments, “there’s always somebody behind the counter wearing a Clique shirt.” And indeed, we’re handed our pita sandwiches from somebody wearing a jet black LIZARED tee. We grab a table and proceed to discussing Cooper’s personal and creative journey – through drugs, depression, and breakdowns – to their new album Messy, released this week. Continue reading →
Curtis Cooper has made their way around the Philly DIY scene over the past couple years, and recently shared news of a forthcoming second album, the follow-up to last year’s debut Laughing In Lane. We don’t have a release date for the LP, but we do have a new video for the lead single “Percs of Life,” a song we first heard when Cooper played it during their Key Studio Session last year. Continue reading →
Now, with the help of the new local non-profit media collective, Dissenter Works, the gig’s philanthropic good-naturedness is being resurrected by ways of a benefit compilation of a few live recordings from the night. Continue reading →
Lame-O Record’s annual residency at Boot and Saddle ends with a bang, leaving with a headlining set by Three Man Cannon. Their relaxed indie rock is quintessential to Lame-O’s roster, and Katie Ellen and The Afterglows as support makes this a stacked local bill not to be missed. The gig is 21+, and all proceeds will be donated to the Philly ACLU; more information and tickets can be found here. Continue reading →
As an end-of-semester-send off, Villanova University’s student-run radio station WXVU and the Campus Activities Team have announced the line-up for their Philly Underground Music Festival. Open to all ID-carrying college students in the Philadelphia area, the December 8th event will take place on Villanova’s campus and feature a solo headlining slot by Alex G, supported by Weekender, Abi Reimold, and Curtis Cooper.
This holiday season will bring together several local musicians for a good cause. The Holiday Benefit Show at Everybody Hits, which features emo/pop artist Grayling, fun punk duo Coping Skills, folk/punk songwriter Curtis Cooper (with a full band), and Zoe Allaire of DIY darlings Kississippi on the bill, will take place at Girard Avenue space on Wednesday, December 28th with proceeds going to Punk Talks.
Philadelphia’s Curtis Cooper laughs when asked about his the next shows he’s playing in town. He quickly rattles off some playful names of places that sound semi-familiar — All Night Diner, Overlook Hotel — then clarifies: “they’re all basements. All house shows.”
It’s true: Cooper has hit the DIY scene hard lately, particularly since the March release of his debut LP Laughing In Line. And it suits him well, between his explosive energy as a performer, his fuzzed-out guitar tones and his skateboarder’s demeanor, mellowed out and amped up all at the same time.
He’s a punk rock dude at heart, make no mistake. But there’s more to him than punk. His songwriting betrays a fondness for The Beatles and their descendants (Elliott Smith in particular) and if you see him with an acoustic guitar and no other accompaniment (check his Random Tea Session), he’s directly in singer-songwriter / busker / Avett Brothers territory. Continue reading →