Jurks are ready for a new beginning in “45”

Jurks | photo by Matthew Raspanti | courtesy of the artist

Last year, Philly’s Matthew Jurasek went on his first vacation in ten years. His band Thee Idea Men was on hiatus, he finally had a break from his day job as a jazz publicist, and he and his old bandmate Kris Pirnat decided to travel to Italy, where a café encounter with another American tourist make him stop and take stock of life back in the states.

“This guy was at a table with his wife and daughter,” Jurasek remembers. “And he just wouldn’t let them speak at all. He pooh-poohed [his daughter] a bunch whenever she tried to talk.”

Later on, he sketched out the story into lyrics, reflecting on alpha-male aggression and domineering personas. And as he wrote, he realized that there was more to the encounter than he realized.

The song that resulted, “45,” is the first single from his band Jurks, and it premieres today. Jurasek gradually began writing with a new project in mind after Thee Idea Men took a break from playing and recording. “I had a bunch of material I really didn’t know what to do with,” he says. “Not that the band was ever against those songs, but stylistically they didn’t fit with the concept we were going for.” Continue reading →


Watch Mark Lanky’s retro rooftop video for “Slowly Fading Away,” see him at his February Ortlieb’s residency

Mark Lanky | still from video

If the name Mark Lanky sparks any kind of association for you, dear Key-reading Philadelphia music scenester, it is probably with the historic North 3rd Street music venue Ortlieb’s, formerly a jazz house, now a home for indie artists of all sorts. Lanky seems to always pop up as an opener on its various bills — and if he’s not opening, he might be checking your ID and taking your cash at the door.

This month, Lanky is wholly embracing his home-away-from-home with a Thursday night residency at Ortlieb’s, beginning tomorrow. All of it circles around the release of Another Night, the album Lanky recorded with Jamie Mahon and Mike Kiker of fellow Northern Liberties stalwarts St. James and the Apostles, at their Green Rock Studio.

To tease the album release, Lanky this week released a stylishly retro video for “Slowly Fading Away,” shot in the autumnal twilight on a NoLibs rooftop by Kurt Fowles and Sirius Cinema. As a suit-clad Lanky sings a 50s-style croon into a vintage ribbon mic and strums an acoustic guitar, the sun dips gradually below the western skyline. (Unless I have my geography all mixed up, in which case it was actually shot in the breathtaking pre-dawn as the sun slowly ascends from the east…but I’m pretty sure we’re looking west.)  Continue reading →


The Week Ahead: Kelela, Matt Cappy, Combo Chimbita, Diet Cig and more

combo chimbita
Combo Chimbita | photo by Itzel Alejandra Martinez | courtesy of the artist

Even on a slow week, you’ve still got fourteen amazing concerts to choose from — that’s how you know you’re living in a great music city. From Kelela at the TLA tonight to Greg Sover at the Sellersville on Sunday, here’s what’s going on in and around Philly over the next seven days. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Orion Tango at Ortlieb’s, Riverside Rhythm and Rhyme at Roxbury Performing Arts Center

Orion Tango
Orion Tango | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN |

Local experimental power trio Orion Tango bring their ambient instrumentals to Ortlieb’s tonight, playing along with Graffiti Wisdom, Taylor Kelly and Progressive Overload. The band features Philly musicians Tim Motzer on guitar, Jeremy Carlstedt on drums, and Barry Meehan on bass; they released their second album The Apple of No this summer. Revisit Orion Tango’s Key Studio Session below and find tickets and more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar.   Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Petal at Everybody Hits, The Districts at Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center, A.M. Mills at Ortlieb’s, and more

Petal | Photo by: Ellen Miller |
Petal | Photo by Ellen Miller for WXPN |

You may have caught Petal in stunning solo form recently at that fantastic show with Julien Baker and Half Waif, and now the Scranton-based project of Kiley Lotz returns to Philly for another solo performance — this time on a smaller-scale, at Everybody Hits, but the show is sure to be no less beautiful and even more intimate than it was on the big stage. Born Without Bones, Super American and Tombo Crush will also play the Home Outgrown Presents gig. Petal’s latest release is the Comfort EP, which includes a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Silver Springs.” Listen below and find tickets and more information on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Cool Moon at Lava Space, Worriers at Johnny Brenda’s, The Hooters at Keswick Theater, and a whole bunch more

Cool Moon | photo via artist’s Facebook page

Houston’s Cool Moon is passing through Philly tonight at West Philly’s Lava Space. Helmed by frontwoman Andrea Lisi — who was the lead singer of the early aughties’ DIY D.C. power trio, Del Cielo — this new trio still rocks just as hard. Find more info on the show over at the XPN Concert Calendar, then stream their latest album Postparty Depression on Spotify below. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Margo Price at BB&T Pavilion and The Stammer at Ortlieb’s

Margo Price | photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN
Margo Price | photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN

Nashville star Margo Price is bringing her country croons to BB&T Pavilion tonight in support of Chris Stapleton. Find tickets on the show here, and watch her NPR Tiny Desk Concert below, which takes on greater depth and meaning with the added context of having performed the set the day after the election this past fall. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Blondie and Garbage at The Mann, Hurry at Everybody Hits, Amanda X at Ortlieb’s

Blondie | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN |

It’s a double header of still-vital rock and roll pioneers at The Mann Center tonight with Blondie and Garbage. In the 70s and early 80s, Debbie Harry and her bandmates bridged downtown New York punk rock with the dance-driven international New Wave scene, and wrote a massive amount of hits in the process; in the 90s, Shirley Manson brought a bold dose of glam and pop sensibilities to the dreary grunge landscape. Thing is, neither band is resting on its laurels or going through the nostalgia motions. Blondie and Garbage have both released albums of new material in the past year that stand strongly alongside their work from 20 (and 40) years ago — Pollinator, from the former, totally rips, as Harry and the band proved at NonCOMM this year, and Strange Little Birds is Garbage at its most vulnerable and honest but still kicks out driving anthems. Watch videos for “Long Time” and “Empty” below and get tickets and more information on tonight’s show at the XPN Concert CalendarContinue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Josh Lawrence at Pastorious Park, Lady Parts at Ortliebs & more

josh lawrence
Josh Lawrence | photo courtesy of the artist

Find a winning combination of outdoor venues, live jazz, and summer nights tonight over at Pastorious Park in Chestnut Hill. The Pastorious Park Summer Concert Series is the oldest running outdoor concert series in Philadelphia, and every show is free to the public. Tonight’s performance features Philly jazz musician Josh Lawrence, who has recently released his third solo album Color Theory. More information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →