Category Archives: The Key

Mondo Cozmo offers a moving response to mass gun violence in “The Ballad of Vegas”

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Mondo Cozmo offers a moving response to mass gun violence in “The Ballad of Vegas”

Mondo Cozmo | Firefly Music Festival | Photos by John Vettese

Local singer-songwriter and WXPN favorite Mondo Cozmo, the project of Bucks County native Josh Ostrander, released a new song today entitled “The Ballad of Vegas.” A direct response to the mass gun violence recently plaguing our nation, “The Ballad of Vegas” is hauntingly beautiful and deeply moving. Crooning “But my words are only prayers, and my prayers are only wind. Real change comes with the lifting of a pen,” Ostrander follows up the line by reading the litany of recent mass shootings. Ostrander’s husky voice seems to muster the ...

Read full article >>

Just Announced: Mannequin Pussy to headline PhilaMOCA next month

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Just Announced: Mannequin Pussy to headline PhilaMOCA next month

Mannequin Pussy | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Fresh off an opening slot at Creepoid’s send-off show this past weekend, Mannequin Pussy has just been announced as the secret headliner for the Peaer / Strange Ranger gig. Taking place at PhilaMOCA on March 7th, this Tiny Engines reunion of sorts features some of the label’s best on one bill. Be sure to catch MP at this intimate show before they set out on a Spring Tour with VA rockers Turnover.

Sample a selection of live songs from Mannequin Pussy, Peaer, and Strange Ranger below. Get your tickets at XPN’s ...

Read full article >>

The Power of Two: Listen to the 22 bands playing Two Piece Fest XI this weekend

Source: The Key (WXPN)

The Power of Two: Listen to the 22 bands playing Two Piece Fest XI this weekend

Honeytiger | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Whoever established that most bands should have more than two members clearly never encountered the surprising power of a duo. For 11 years now, Two Piece Fest has been proving just how great a two-person act can be. The annual celebration of duos is a much-anticipated tradition of the local DIY scene each year, and this year’s lineup is finally here.

Two Piece Fest XI will bring 22 two-person acts together for the day-long gig; most are local. Some of the standouts include Honeytiger, Boon, ShrillMadam Data/Mental Jewelry ...

Read full article >>

Church Girls revisits and revives their early track “Young Planes”

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Church Girls revisits and revives their early track “Young Planes”

Church Girls | photo by Charlie W. | courtesy of the artist

Philly four-piece Church Girls released a new version of an old favorite this past week. The rerecorded track, “Young Planes,” is the indie-rockers’ first release since 2017’s LP, Hidalgo. First appearing on the band’s 2015 self-titled EP, the group teamed up with Philly producer Brian McTear to give this track a new life.

The updated mix sounds full, with driving guitars at the forefront of the first half of the song and gorgeous vocal play between lead singer Mariel Beaumont and back up vocalist Joseph Wright. Staying true to ...

Read full article >>

Go back in time with Slingshot Dakota as they re-release 2004 album Keener Sighs

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Go back in time with Slingshot Dakota as they re-release 2004 album Keener Sighs

Retro Slingshot Dakota, circa 2004 | photo via twitter.com/slingshotdakota

Slingshot Dakota is the kind of band that’s never not up to something. Their last EP Broken came out a year ago, and the year before that saw the release of the LP Break. Since, they’ve kept busy with endless touring and reportedly have a new record in the works.

The Bethlehem rockers are a duo these days, with Carly Comando on keys and vocals and Tom Patterson on drums. But fourteen (fourteen!) years ago, they started out as a three-piece, Comando joined by Jeff Cunningham on guitar and vocals and ...

Read full article >>

XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Dissolve” by Absofacto

Source: The Key (WXPN)

XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Dissolve” by Absofacto

Absofacto | photo courtesy of the artist

In 2012, Paste Magazine wrote about 12 Michigan Acts You Should Listen To Now, and sitting in the number three position was Jonathan Visger, a singer, songwriter, and producer who was part of the Michigan music scene been since 2003. His band, Mason Proper released several albums, and 2011 saw the debut of Absofacto, with the album, Sinking Island, a collection of singles he had been releasing.

In November, 2017, Absofacto released an EP, Thousand Pieces, featuring “Dissolve.” It’s a charming, infectious pop song with head nodding beats and ...

Read full article >>

Free At Noon Flashback: The James Hunter Six performs from new record, Whatever It Takes

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Free At Noon Flashback: The James Hunter Six performs from new record, Whatever It Takes

James Hunter Six | photos by Ashley Gellman | agellmanphotos.com

Following jazz-funk trio Hambone Relay’s set, today’s Free At Noon doubleheader continued with blues and soul outfit the James Hunter Six. The afternoon performance kicks off the English group’s US tour in support of their brand new record, Whatever It Takes.

James Hunter’s gritty, soulful voice continuously and effortlessly moved between commanding the crowd’s attention and serving as an instrument itself, thrown around in incredible range and style that was difficult to mimic when he led a call-and-answer bit during the last song.

The rest of the Six included an upright bass, both tenor and baritone saxophones, and the classic keys and drums. For a minute, there were two upright basses – as the set came to an end, Hunter teased the audience with “I’m about to do something really crazy,” and crazy it was. He slung his guitar around and down to the ground where he continued to play, an impressive feat of flexibility and finesse that became even more so when he did so standing on only one leg.

The James Hunter Six will be playing ArtsQuest in Bethlehem, PA on February 22nd. Watch the performance and check out photos below.

Free At Noon Flashback: The James Hunter Six performs from new record, Whatever It Takes
Free At Noon Flashback: The James Hunter Six performs from new record, Whatever It Takes
Free At Noon Flashback: The James Hunter Six performs from new record, Whatever It Takes
Free At Noon Flashback: The James Hunter Six performs from new record, Whatever It Takes
Free At Noon Flashback: The James Hunter Six performs from new record, Whatever It Takes
Free At Noon Flashback: The James Hunter Six performs from new record, Whatever It Takes
Free At Noon Flashback: The James Hunter Six performs from new record, Whatever It Takes
Free At Noon Flashback: The James Hunter Six performs from new record, Whatever It Takes
Free At Noon Flashback: The James Hunter Six performs from new record, Whatever It Takes
Free At Noon Flashback: The James Hunter Six performs from new record, Whatever It Takes
Free At Noon Flashback: The James Hunter Six performs from new record, Whatever It Takes
Free At Noon Flashback: The James Hunter Six performs from new record, Whatever It Takes

Read full article >>

Free At Noon Flashback: Philly’s Hambone Relay brings sunshine on a cloudy day

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Free At Noon Flashback: Philly’s Hambone Relay brings sunshine on a cloudy day

Hambone Relay | photos by Ashley Gellman | agellmanphotos.com

“I was you guys every week,” said Rob Tait, now onstage behind the drums instead of part of the Free At Noon crowd gathered in World Cafe Live. Tait was joined by organist Mark Brown and guitarist Luke Ferracone, who together are Hambone Relay.

The Philadelphia-based trio’s modern, jazz-funk-psychedelic grooves in no way matched the gray skies outside. Their dynamic, up-tempo tracks immediately heightened the energy in the room and never let it drop during the set. The trio performed tracks from their 2013 self-titled debut and their 2016 record Free Hugs all the way to their latest release, American Hi-Fi.

Tait also made sure to give a special shout-out to XPN’s Dan Reed. Hambone Relay had been covering “Come Together” at Dawson St. Pub when a man was handed a mic and took over the vocals – that man turned out to be Dan Reed, whose show Tait listened to avidly but had never before seen in person.

The James Hunter Six continued the Free At Noon doubleheader.

You can catch Hambone Relay performing tonight at the very same Dawson St. Pub, or at the Ardmore Music Hall on the 18th. Watch their Free at Noon performance and see photos below.

Free At Noon Flashback: Philly’s Hambone Relay brings sunshine on a cloudy day
Free At Noon Flashback: Philly’s Hambone Relay brings sunshine on a cloudy day
Free At Noon Flashback: Philly’s Hambone Relay brings sunshine on a cloudy day
Free At Noon Flashback: Philly’s Hambone Relay brings sunshine on a cloudy day
Free At Noon Flashback: Philly’s Hambone Relay brings sunshine on a cloudy day
Free At Noon Flashback: Philly’s Hambone Relay brings sunshine on a cloudy day
Free At Noon Flashback: Philly’s Hambone Relay brings sunshine on a cloudy day
Free At Noon Flashback: Philly’s Hambone Relay brings sunshine on a cloudy day
Free At Noon Flashback: Philly’s Hambone Relay brings sunshine on a cloudy day
Free At Noon Flashback: Philly’s Hambone Relay brings sunshine on a cloudy day
Free At Noon Flashback: Philly’s Hambone Relay brings sunshine on a cloudy day

Read full article >>

Willie Nelson reflects on mortality in his new song “Last Man Standing”

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Willie Nelson reflects on mortality in his new song “Last Man Standing”

Willie Nelson’s Last Man Standing | via Brooklyn Vegan

“Gettin’ hard to watch my pals check out,” sings country music icon Willie Nelson, reflecting on the deaths of his peers like Merle Haggard while celebrating life in the title track of his new record. Last Man Standing comes out on April 27th, two days before Nelson turns 85, and though the song’s subject matter can be morbid, in typical Nelson style, it’s infused with lyrical wit and toe-tapping energy. 

Watch the music video for the song below. Last Man Standing will be released via Legacy Recordings, and you can ...

Read full article >>

New band Exmaid shares “Devoted” from forthcoming album Fair Sex

Source: The Key (WXPN)

New band Exmaid shares “Devoted” from forthcoming album Fair Sex

Exmaid | photo courtesy of the artist

You may be familiar with Philly post-punk staples Psychic Teens and their signature brooding and atmospheric sound. If so, you may recognize some of the members of the new band Exmaid — but their sound may surprise you. Gone are the deep and haunting vocals and dark and stormy, fuzzed-out melodies — “Devoted,” the first single from Exmaid’s forthcoming LP, is positively sunny.

That’s all thanks to the influence of songwriter and vocalist Miranda Taylor (formerly of New Jersey bands Hunchback, Black Wine, and Full of Fancy). Taylor approached Psychic ...

Read full article >>

David Byrne shares American Utopia track “This Is That”

Source: The Key (WXPN)

David Byrne shares American Utopia track “This Is That”

David Byrne | photo by Jody Rogac | courtesy of the artist

Listening to music from this year’s upcoming XPN Fest headliners is one of the best ways to beat the winter blues on a dreary February day — especially when that headliner is David Byrne and he’s just released a new song. Byrne’s forthcoming album American Utopia is due out March 9, and the iconic artist has just shared a second single, “This Is That.”

Co-written and produced by Daniel Lopatin, also known as Oneohtrix Point Never, “This Is That” strikes a more brooding tone than the first ...

Read full article >>

As Creepoid prepares for its final bow, Lovelorn debuts with “Chains”

Source: The Key (WXPN)

As Creepoid prepares for its final bow, Lovelorn debuts with “Chains”

Philly’s Creepoid is playing their farewell show this Saturday the 17th at Union Transfer, but three-fourths of of the band are continuing on under the name Lovelorn, and they’ve just released their first single “Chains”.

With bassist Anna Troxell at the front, the song is sleepy and atmospheric with hazy, distorted guitar, steady drums and bass, and far away, airy vocals. One thing that especially caught my interest was the way the guitar interacts with the vocals, at times functioning the same as backup vocals would. The lyrics are interesting and imaginative with lines like “So take me away ...

Read full article >>

Kilamanzego just dropped a strange and magical new single

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Kilamanzego just dropped a strange and magical new single

Kilamanzego | photo courtesy of the artist

Philly DJ and experimental electronic artist Kilamanzego just dropped a new single “picking my kalimba from a distance.” First of all, I love this; this song is a weird, magic, dope blend of interesting synths, minimal percussion, electronic noises, and bass that you feel as much as you hear. The song takes you on a ride as it progresses, adding and subtracting layers before a graceful fadeout. Soundcloud user Love Junior encapsulated my thoughts on the song with the comment “You a weird and talented mf. Love this.”

Check out the song below, ...

Read full article >>

From Rock to Jock, Steve Gorman of The Black Crowes talks sports & music with the Dan & Dan podcast

Source: The Key (WXPN)

 

From Rock to Jock, Steve Gorman of The Black Crowes talks sports & music with the Dan & Dan podcast

Trigger Hippy | Photo by Cameron Pollack

Meet Dan and Dan! Dan Reed, Music Director and Afternoon Host at WXPN/Philadelphia and Dan DeLuca, Music Critic and Columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer sit down on a bi-weekly basis to talk MUSIC!

Drummer and founding member for The Black Crowes, Steve Gorman joins the podcast.  Steve is in the process of penning a book about his time with The Black Crowes and he shares some stories about the bands early days.  Currently Steve currently hosts a sports radio show. We get the story about how a rock drummer turned into a ...

Read full article >>

Hour finds instrumental solace from the noisy streets of Philly on their new LP Tiny Houses

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Hour finds instrumental solace from the noisy streets of Philly on their new LP Tiny Houses

Hour | photo by Bob Sweeney | courtesy of the artist

Local instrumental supergroup Hour packs a lot into their quiet, delicate sounds. The group’s latest release, Tiny Houses, is out now, and showcases Hour at their finest, their skilled instrumentalists stepping away from their various other projects to pour their talent into a collective sound.

Mike Cormier, Abi Reimold, Evangeline Krajewski, Matt Fox, Friendship’s Pete Gill and Naps’ Jason Calhoun are the faces behind Hour, and each musician is responsible for a different sound on the ten-track record, from violin to guitar to drums to field recordings (you’ll hear ...

Read full article >>

Saxophonist Steve Davit fuses Electro swing and Trap in latest single “Philly Sophia”

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Saxophonist Steve Davit fuses Electro swing and Trap in latest single “Philly Sophia”

Steve Davit | Courtesy of the artist

Saxophonist Steve Davit of Marian Hill has released his latest single, “Philly Sophia,” just the third track in his solo catalogue. Absent of lyrics, Davit is still able to depict a story here. “The title is a play on words with the Greek origins of Philosophy – Philo Sophia, which means “Lover of Wisdom”. But it could also be about a girl named Sophia who’s from Philly,” describes Davit. One great double entendre, we’ll leave this one up to your own interpretation.

Mixing various elements of Electro swing with a percussion arrangement likely to be ...

Read full article >>

L7 returns to The Trocadero with their first album 19 years; listen to “I Came Back to Bitch”

Source: The Key (WXPN)

L7 returns to The Trocadero with their first album 19 years; listen to “I Came Back to Bitch”

L7 | photo courtesy of the artist

90’s rock favorites L7 recently dropped a new single, “I Came Back to Bitch.” The last time we heard from the punk-metal veterans was last year’s “Dispatch From Mar-a-Lago,” which was their first new song in eighteen years.

The chaotic music video for “I Came Back to Bitch” perfectly matches the song with its aggressive guitar riffs and playful cowbell. From scenes with mannequin parts to the foursome going crazy in a backyard, L7 still seems to have that screw-you, badass flame inside of them.

With the new release, the band ...

Read full article >>

Philly son Eric Jamal puts in work from the west coast

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Philly son Eric Jamal puts in work from the west coast

Eric Jamal | photo courtesy of artist

2018 is looking very bright for the City of Brotherly Love not just because Philadelphia’s green and white Eagles are now Super Bowl champions, but there seems to be an abundance of good music coming out the Philadelphia region. Music artist such as Shawn Smith, Dayne Jordan, Beano, Tierra Whack, Sunnie, Ivy Sole, James Weldon, No Headliner, Doug C Jr and plenty more continue to provide the tri-state area with incredible dope music. Hip hop artist Eric Jamal is working extremely hard all the way ...

Read full article >>

Killiam Shakespeare gets together with Reesa Renee and The Bul Bey to “Party & Chill”

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Killiam Shakespeare gets together with Reesa Renee and The Bul Bey to “Party & Chill”

Killiam Shakespeare Party & Chill cover art | courtesy of the artist

Killiam Shakespeare stirs up some funky grooves with their latest, ”Party & Chill.” The single is a breezy blend of R&B, funk, soul and pop which features Reesa Renee, an independent artist from the DC Metropolitan Area, and The Bul Bey, a West Philly rapper who we’re quite fond of here at The Key.

Ressa’s voice is mesmerizing as she sings the hook in ”Party & Chill.” In addition, The Bul Bey brings hip-hop vibes to the single with his feel-good rhymes. Overall, Killiam Shakespeare’s single ...

Read full article >>

The 7th Annual Center City Jazz Festival touches down on Sansom Street on April 28th

Source: The Key (WXPN)

The 7th Annual Center City Jazz Festival touches down on Sansom Street on April 28th

Monette Suder performs at Center City Jazz Fest 2017 | photo by G.J. Hild photography | courtesy of Center City Jazz Fest

The annual Center City Jazz Festival returns for its seventh year on Saturday, April 28th. You’ll be able to spend six hours listening to the sweet sounds of horns, keys and more. There will be over twenty bands performing across five venues on the Sansom Street corridor: Franky Bradley’s, Chris’ Jazz Cafe, Fergie’s Pub, MilkBoy, and Time Restaurant.

So far, all we know is that performers such as Dave Kikoski, BIGYUKI, Marcus Strickland’s Twi-Life Delta, Sharel Cassity, Leon ...

Read full article >>

Courtney Barnett is releasing a new album, playing Union Transfer, being generally awesome

Source: The Key (WXPN)

Courtney Barnett is releasing a new album, playing Union Transfer, being generally awesome

Courtney Barnett | photo by Pooneh Ghana | courtesy of the artist

Okay, so about that mysterious news from the awesome Courtney Barnett? It’s exactly what we suspected, and it is good news indeed.

There’s a new album coming out. It’s called Tell Me How You Really Feel. It’s got a wicked lead single called “Nameless, Faceless,” a total F the patriarchy jam about power, inequality, internet trolls and objectification set to hard-hitting riffs; the chorus incorporates the Margaret Atwood quote, “Men are scared that women will laugh at them, women are scared that men will kill them.” There’s ...

Read full article >>

WXPN presents Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul

Source: The Key (WXPN)

WXPN presents Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul

Campbell Brothers | photo courtesy of the artist

A new project by WXPN will explore gospel music and its influence on rock and roll, soul, and pop music. Launched today, Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul will feature live concerts, film screenings, and a radio documentary, supported by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. The project runs through 2019.

Some of the initial events in Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul include:

  • A free screening of the new documentary film about gospel music’s role in the birth of rock and roll, How They Got Over, on February 25 ...

Read full article >>

HIRS lines up a hit parade of guests, from Shirley Manson to Laura Jane Grace and Marissa Paternoster, for new LP

Source: The Key (WXPN)

HIRS lines up a hit parade of guests, from Shirley Manson to Laura Jane Grace and Marissa Paternoster, for new LP

HIRS’ Friends. Lovers. Favorites. LP cover art | via SRA Records

The only thing more exciting than the mere existence of a new LP by the always brilliant Philadelphia punks HIRS is the veritable who’s who of feminist and queer icons lending their voices to Friends. Lovers. Favorites.

They include Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!), Shirley Manson (Garbage), Sadie Switchblade (G.L.O.S.S.), Martin Crudo (Limp Wrist), Alice Bag (The Bags), and Marissa Paternoster (Screaming Females), along with many more. The album will be released April 20th jointly by Get Better Records and SRA Records, and pre-orders are available here.

...

Read full article >>

The Dove and The Wolf team up with Butch Walker to cover 10cc’s “I’m Not In Love”

Source: The Key (WXPN)

The Dove and The Wolf team up with Butch Walker to cover 10cc’s “I’m Not In Love”

The Dove and The Wolf | photo courtesy of the artist

Our favorite Philly-dwelling Parisians The Dove and The Wolf teamed up with Georgia singer-songwriter Butch Walker for a cover of the classic 70s pop song “I’m Not In Love” by 10cc. The cover balances the smooth tones of the original with the atmospheric instrumental dreamscapes and vocal melodies that are a staple of TDATW’s Paloma Gil and Lou Hayat-Camard.

As Walker writes in the YouTube description of the video:

You might remember these talented gals from when they opened for me on the Afraid Of Ghosts tour a few ...

Read full article >>

Jasmine Cassell flexes her songwriting skills on S7VEN EP

Source: The Key (WXPN)

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 ...

Read full article >>