The Key Discover Philly's Best Local Music at http://thekey.xpn.org/ Philadelphia: Home to a rich musical history, a unique musical identity, and one of the nation's most thriving musical communities.

In a scene filled with so many local bands worth listening to, there will always be new music to discover—and The Key is your source for finding it. Brought to you by WXPN—the non-commercial public radio station that World Cafe, and XPoNential Music Festival call home—The Key covers all local music in Greater Philly and beyond.

Operating as usual

Madalean Gauze's latest two-track single, “I feel like you’re making fun of me,” embodies the ambivalence of knowing som...
10/14/2021
Madalean Gauze releases emotive new single “I feel like you’re making fun of me" - The Key

Madalean Gauze's latest two-track single, “I feel like you’re making fun of me,” embodies the ambivalence of knowing someone is terrible for you but feeling like you can’t live without them.

Madalean Gauze will send you back to the most tumultuous relationship you’ve ever been in. Her latest two-track single, “I feel like you’re making fun of me,” embodies the dichotomy of knowing someone is terrible for you but feeling like … Continued

“When I think of nature and the earth as a whole I think of my ancestors," says orion sun of her new song "Concrete." "M...
10/13/2021
Orion Sun's new single "Concrete" explores connection to nature and family - The Key

“When I think of nature and the earth as a whole I think of my ancestors," says orion sun of her new song "Concrete." "My lineage is long, filled with strength and knowledge, overflowing with resilience and beauty."

Philly-rooted singer songwriter Orion Sun released new single “Concrete” today, along with a stunningly colorful music video with an analog aesthetic. The single is the first new song released by Orion Sun since 2020’s Hold Space for Me and features … Continued

dante robinson's reflective music echoes the indie-folk spirit of Bright Eyes and Sufjan Stevens, and the haunting atmos...
10/13/2021
The Key Studio Sessions: Dante Robinson and The It's Lit Family Band - The Key

dante robinson's reflective music echoes the indie-folk spirit of Bright Eyes and Sufjan Stevens, and the haunting atmosphere of his songs fit right in with the mood of 2020. Joined by The It's Lit Family Band -- members of Vague Advice, Humilitarian, Junonia, Rally Point and more -- Robinson brought his songs to life at WXPN for this week's Key Studio Session.

I first encountered the music of singer-songwriter Dante Robinson last spring, when he was a clear standout amid a flurry of Bandcamp Friday recommendations. It was heartening every month during the pandemic to watch musicians show up for their friends, … Continued

Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females and Noun is releasing 'Peace Meter' on Don Giovanni Records this fall, and it c...
10/13/2021
Marissa Paternoster announces first album under her own name, shares lead single "White Dove" - The Key

Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females and Noun is releasing 'Peace Meter' on Don Giovanni Records this fall, and it comes from such a personal perspective that the singer-guitarist and songwriter is releasing it under her own name.

Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females and Noun announced today a new solo record called Peace Meter. The new record, which is the first to be released under Pasternoster’s own name, is due out December 3rd via Don Giovanni Records. “White … Continued

Keys & The Never Before's new video full-on embraces horror movie vibes from 80s and 90s classics: the energy is equal p...
10/13/2021
Keys & The Never Before's heart-stopping "Prefontane" video is a nightmare in Wynnewood - The Key

Keys & The Never Before's new video full-on embraces horror movie vibes from 80s and 90s classics: the energy is equal parts Halloween and Scream as he races through the sidewalks of Wynnewood and West Philly, encountering one obstacle after the next.

When singer Jeremy Keys delivered lyrics about the need to keep on running in “Prefontaine,” it seemed to be a metaphor for facing the challenges life throws at you, trying your best to remain centered and undaunted through it all. … Continued

This month imani! debuts with “Plant Song,” and shows that the excitement of that punctuation mark at the end of her nam...
10/13/2021
Get to know Philly singer-songwriter imani! in her debut single "Plant Song" - The Key

This month imani! debuts with “Plant Song,” and shows that the excitement of that punctuation mark at the end of her name is absolutely justified.

Earlier this year, I caught a solid cover of Phoebe Bridgers’ “Kyoto” circulating my social media feed, home-recorded by Philly artist imani!…which, yes, that exclamation point is part of her name. Working with such strong source material, it’d be tough … Continued

Refusing to allow society to dictate his identity, Shamir uses his new single to proclaim “you’re just stuck in the box ...
10/12/2021
Shamir's new single "Gay Agenda" is empowering and unapologetic - The Key

Refusing to allow society to dictate his identity, Shamir uses his new single to proclaim “you’re just stuck in the box that was made for me / and you’re mad I got out and I’m living free.”

At this point, it seems like there’s nothing Shamir can’t do. Following the release of his self-titled album in 2020, the multi-disciplinary artist has explored various other creative outlets with astonishing success. Over the summer, he released his first book, But … Continued

On their new single, Trap Rabbit collaborates with fellow Philadelphia musician Maxfield Gast and England-based harpist,...
10/12/2021
Trap Rabbit, Maxfield Gast, and Tatyana release jazz-infused new single "This Once Was Out Of Shape" - The Key

On their new single, Trap Rabbit collaborates with fellow Philadelphia musician Maxfield Gast and England-based harpist, Tatyana, to create a stunning tapestry of sound.

Despite their moniker, Trap Rabbit makes lush and intricate music that is as far away from trap as you can get. While the name might deceive you, there’s nothing misleading about the immense amount of talent that the drum and … Continued

Chynna's drug opera is a dark chorus exploring her depths of mental health and substance abuse, sprinkled with signs of ...
10/11/2021
Chynna’s posthumous debut album 'drug opera' is a bittersweet symphony - The Key

Chynna's drug opera is a dark chorus exploring her depths of mental health and substance abuse, sprinkled with signs of hope for the future ripe with astounding wordplay and wittiness.

drug opera, the new posthumous release from West Philly’s own Chynna Rodgers — aka Chynna — is a glaring example of an extremely talented young artist lost sadly before their time, long before they could mature into the performer they … Continued

Armani White continues his musical therapeutic sessions to deal with the feelings of grief and sorrow with his new EP Th...
10/11/2021
Armani White is back and feeling grateful with his new EP 'Things We Lost in the Fire' - The Key

Armani White continues his musical therapeutic sessions to deal with the feelings of grief and sorrow with his new EP Things We Lost in the Fire.

The last time I spoke to Armani White, I talked to him about his early beginnings as a hip-hop artist, his album Keep In Touch, and how music has always been very therapeutic for him. Makes sense, like Jay-Z and many … Continued

In the spring of 1967, Philly-born drummer Rashied Ali would come to famed NYC jazz club Slug’s to lead a quintet for tw...
10/11/2021
Rashied Ali and his quintet push against the grain on 'First Time Out: Live at Slug’s 1967' - The Key

In the spring of 1967, Philly-born drummer Rashied Ali would come to famed NYC jazz club Slug’s to lead a quintet for two sets of intriguing and challenging music. These performances were captured on tape and have now been reissued; read a review by our John Morrison.

In her 1977 book, As Serious As Your Life: Black Music And The Free Jazz Revolution 1957-1977, journalist and photographer Val Wilmer gives a riveting and encompassing account of the avant garde jazz movement that was first introduced in the … Continued

WKDU's Electronic Music Marathon is in full swing, and tonight, DJ Sega headlines the event's Late Nite Get Down. Get a ...
10/09/2021
DJ Sega shares a KDU EMM warmup mix on XPN Local - The Key

WKDU's Electronic Music Marathon is in full swing, and tonight, DJ Sega headlines the event's Late Nite Get Down. Get a taste of the energy he'll bring to the party with this warmup mix from the WXPN Local Show.

Drexel’s student-run radio station WDKU is closing in on the first 24 hours of its annual Electronic Music Marathon, which runs nonstop through Monday and raises money for a handful of important community nonprofits in Philly. This year, the event … Continued

Sunflower Philly, the premiere outdoor venue in the north Philly area, is finishing the season strong with indie rockers...
10/07/2021
Speedy Ortiz comes to Sunflower Philly for an end-of-season banger - The Key

Sunflower Philly, the premiere outdoor venue in the north Philly area, is finishing the season strong with indie rockers Speedy Ortiz on October 16th for what will be one of their first (and last) shows of the year.

As the chill in the air starts to hang around more permanently, outdoor concert season is coming to a close. And Sunflower Philly, the premiere outdoor venue in the north Philly area, is finishing the season strong with indie rockers … Continued

deer scout's Dena Miller chatted with our Jane Lai about her beginnings in Philadephia’s robust DIY scene, her views on ...
10/07/2021
Catching up with Deer Scout - The Key

deer scout's Dena Miller chatted with our Jane Lai about her beginnings in Philadephia’s robust DIY scene, her views on community-building, having parents who doubled as folk musicians (and Philadelphia Folk Festival regulars), and her new album coming out next year. She plays The Broadway in Brooklyn this weekend.

The first time I saw Deer Scout play, I was 22 and freshly out of college. I had moved to New York City earlier that morning. That night, eight or nine bands were slotted to go on in a beautiful, … Continued

Amanda Blank’s ideology was essentially “Leave Philly Alone” and “No one likes us, we don’t care” years before those wer...
10/07/2021
The Key Studio Sessions: Amanda Blank - The Key

Amanda Blank’s ideology was essentially “Leave Philly Alone” and “No one likes us, we don’t care” years before those were slogans on t-shirts at sporting events. But her music was also deeply sensitive, and that balance continues in the new crop of songs she played live at WXPN just before the pandemic.

This week marks the formal return of The Key Studio Sessions here at XPN, and for the occasion, we’re going to travel back almost two years, to the autumn of 2019, not long before the world as we knew it … Continued

Philly rocker Ali Awan set up in a spacious city stairwell to record a rendition of his song "Sticky Sneakers" for the S...
10/07/2021
Watch Ali Awan perform “Sticky Sneakers” as part of Small Songs, a global session series - The Key

Philly rocker Ali Awan set up in a spacious city stairwell to record a rendition of his song "Sticky Sneakers" for the Smallsongs sessions.

Philly indie rocker Ali Awan is the most recent performer to debut a session on Small Songs, a session series directed by Cole Mitchek that features artists from all over the world. For his short episode, Awan performed “Sticky Sneakers” … Continued

Kristine Leschper is officially hanging up her sad girl hat. Listen to the Philly-based artist's new song, "Figure And I...
10/06/2021
Kristine Leschper of Mothers releases raw and rhythmic new track "Figure And I" - The Key

Kristine Leschper is officially hanging up her sad girl hat. Listen to the Philly-based artist's new song, "Figure And I," a promising look into her emerging solo catalog.

Kristine Leschper is officially hanging up her sad girl hat. While she has spent the past 8 years releasing emotive and atmospheric indie under the moniker Mothers, the Philly-based artist’s new single, “Figure And I” is the final nail in … Continued

You'll see some familiar faces from the #XPNFest stage -- including The Funkitorium, Stella Ruze, and Ryan Gilfillian --...
10/06/2021
The Funkitorium and friends will play Funktoberfest, an all-day music and beer festival at Attic Brewing this Saturday - The Key

You'll see some familiar faces from the #XPNFest stage -- including The Funkitorium, Stella Ruze, and Ryan Gilfillian -- at Attic Brewing Company this Saturday for FUNKTOBERFEST.

Your October is about to get a whole lot groovier, thanks to the folks at Attic Brewing Company. The Germantown brewery will be hosting Funktoberfest, a packed music festival with some of the funkiest bands in the city, this Saturday, … Continued

The Districts will release their fifth studio album in 2022 on Fat Possum Records, and the single they shared from it to...
10/05/2021
The Districts will release 'Great American Painting' LP this winter; watch the "I Want To Feel It All" video - The Key

The Districts will release their fifth studio album in 2022 on Fat Possum Records, and the single they shared from it today is an electrifying jolt of energy and emotion.

On the heels of their North American run with Modest Mouse, Philly rockers The Districts shared news today that they will release their fifth studio LP in early 2022. Great American Painting is out on February 4th via Fat Possum, … Continued

“It’s about going from being a kid with a dream, to a grown up with a job, and feeling that somewhere along the way you ...
10/05/2021
Mitski shares new song "Working For The Knife," will play Franklin Music Hall on 2022 tour - The Key

“It’s about going from being a kid with a dream, to a grown up with a job, and feeling that somewhere along the way you got left behind," says Mitski of her new song. "It’s being confronted with a world that doesn’t seem to recognize your humanity, and seeing no way out of it.”

Indie singer-songwriter Mitski has re-emerged from hiatus. After going mostly off the grid once her tour cycle for 2018’s acclaimed Be The Cowboy LP wrapped (save for a couple one-off soundtrack contributions), Mitski was back on Twitter yesterday with a … Continued

Philly label Julia's War is releasing the latest from PGH band Feeble Little Horse, a single where they promised drama, ...
10/04/2021
Feeble Little Horse deliver biting lead single "Drama Queen" - The Key

Philly label Julia's War is releasing the latest from PGH band Feeble Little Horse, a single where they promised drama, and that’s exactly what they deliver.

On their latest single, Feeble Little Horse promised drama, and that’s exactly what they deliver. The follow-up to their EP “Modern Tourism,” “Drama Queen” posses the same stinging sound and point-blank brutality. The Pittsburgh-based band, composed of Sebastian Kinsler, Ryan … Continued

In addition to Philly Music Fest, there's a lot of live music to see from local artists this week -- including Nothing, ...
10/04/2021
10 concerts to see this week including Courtney Marie Andrews, Nothing, Body Meat, KRS-One and more - The Key

In addition to Philly Music Fest, there's a lot of live music to see from local artists this week -- including Nothing, SOUL GLO, Body Meat, Lady HD, Mobbluz, Reef The Lost Cauze, RedtouchBlack and more.

It’s a busy week for music in Philadelphia, and we easily could have recommended another ten shows for you to see; particularly since Philly Music Fest is happening, and there have been a handful of ticket drops for that sold … Continued

While WKDU Philadelphia 91.7FM's Electronic Music Marathon is a celebration of dance music in all its forms, it’s also a...
10/01/2021
WKDU celebrates the 17th annual Electronic Music Marathon October 8th to the 11th - The Key

While WKDU Philadelphia 91.7FM's Electronic Music Marathon is a celebration of dance music in all its forms, it’s also a way for the station to raise money for various nonprofits around the city.

Initially designed as a radio class project in 1997, WKDU’s Electronic Music Marathon has evolved into a highly anticipated annual event. This year, the EMM will celebrate its 17th anniversary with a stacked line-up and secret DJ set. Kicking off … Continued

A SAMIA show makes you feel alive. A Samia record makes you think about the weight of what that means. Read a review of ...
10/01/2021
Samia spins sad songs into pure, unfiltered joy at Johnny Brenda's - The Key

A SAMIA show makes you feel alive. A Samia record makes you think about the weight of what that means. Read a review of last night's sold-out Johnny Brenda's show by our Emily Herbein.

The power behind New York-based songstress Samia is almost unfairly understated on her debut LP, 2020’s The Baby. But seeing these songs brought to life onstage at Johnny Brenda’s last night left the whole crowd vibrating with an unmatched amount … Continued

From The Tisburys to Curly Castro, The Retinas to Emily Robb, here are ten Philly artists to support this #BandcampFrida...
10/01/2021
Ten releases from Philly artists to support on Bandcamp Friday - The Key

From The Tisburys to Curly Castro, The Retinas to Emily Robb, here are ten Philly artists to support this #BandcampFriday.

It’s the start of another month, and that means our regular Bandcamp Friday shopping spree — your chance to buy local while shopping digitally. The music and merch website has, since the early days of COVID-19, designated the first Friday … Continued

A quartet in Clark Park or a digital hardcore show at Sunflower, new releases and freeform radio exhibitions: see what's...
10/01/2021
The Skeleton Key: Get into Rocktober with Philly Music Fest, new tunes from Ghosh and Irreversible Entanglements, and a whole lot more - The Key

A quartet in Clark Park or a digital hardcore show at Sunflower, new releases and freeform radio exhibitions: see what's on around town in the first October installment of The Skeleton Key. 💀🗝

Was everything this busy two years ago? I’m not being hyperbolic, that’s an honest question! I don’t know if it’s due to taking all that time off from stuff, or maybe it’s that everything feels downright exciting. I touched on … Continued

Philly trio screamcloud releases its debut album tomorrow; today, check out the video to its title track.
09/30/2021
Watch Screamcloud's new lyric video for "Let's Break Something" off forthcoming debut LP - The Key

Philly trio screamcloud releases its debut album tomorrow; today, check out the video to its title track.

Days before the release of their debut full-length album, post-punk rockers Screamcloud released a video for their single, “Let’s Break Something.” The video features the noisy track complemented by colorful moving static and the song’s hardcore lyrics. “Let’s break something … Continu...

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Hello All, I live in Feasterville, PA and am a big fan of local Philly music. Back in the 90s I used to tape a lot from the radio. Now years later there’s a few songs I can’t identify through google searches or Shazam. Below are YouTube links to 3 short song clips. Again these were recorded in the 90s and would be local Philly area artists. Can you please give them a quick listen and let me know if any of them sound familiar? 1) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=m_5n-DT8kww 2) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_4iAxbXrMts 3) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=29E9FIoBMr8 Thank you for your time.
A Fool Who Fights For His Own Chains Mista Big Stuff rounds up fools like him from the north, south, east and west. He’s betrothed to blind obedience, so his common sense is suppressed. He stands before the court house and heaves a hapless holler. When he waves the slavery flag, it’s into a puddle of hate that he loves to waller. He shines up Big Stuff’s golf clubs into a gorgeous hue. He’s better than all the other fools, so he gets to caddy them too. He’s a fool who fights for his own chains. Mista Big Stuff beams at him with pride. He won’t depend upon his own brains. Whatever needs doin’, Big Stuff decides. He trusts Big Stuff’s claptrap and he swallows every word. He ‘gurgitates with gusto as he clamors to be heard. “These people don’t belong,” he barks. “They’re fruit of a poisonous tree.” I wish that he’d just recognize that we’re all one pedigree. I’d tell him, “You’re a dupe to fight to keep us chained. You got to change your tack. We all want to go forward, but you will hold us back.” He’s a fool who fights for his own chains. Mista Big Stuff beams at him with pride. He won’t depend upon his own brains. In Big Stuff’s realm he shall reside. He claims to be a patriot, so we’re the enemy. Can’t see beyond Mista Big Stuff to our commonality. One day he’ll get the message. I hope it won’t be long, before he gives Big Stuff a mighty shove. That’s when he’ll sing his own song: “I was a fool to fight for my own chains. Mista Big Stuff always lied. From now on I’ll use my own brains and join the loving sibling side.” A God-fearin’ Tan Billy Bob Banana Clip was revered throughout the fatherland for ridin’ late at night with his merry old band. He was oh so sure. That’s what he heard that he was oh so pure. But he flipped his lid and dropped his fryin’ pan, when his bacon burned on the day he learned from his folks about the truth hidden in their family tree and they surely weren’t kiddin’. Oh heed this tale of a knight who’s plumb full of spite, ‘cause he’s an angry white man with a God-fearin’ tan. In the broad daylight he can veil his head beneath that hood, but that’s not goin’ to do him any damn good, ‘cause he’s an angry white man with a God-fearin’ tan. When Billy Bob’s great Aunt Alice heard, her carbuncle’d ass fired off a big turd with pungent malice. Auntie’s favored clientele were fetishists of hair triggers and spit-washers of whiskey jiggers. As she oftentimes would vociferously yell “White people are superior figures.” We know well that we’re all just flesh, blood and bones, but why all this bu****it ‘bout the rainbow of skin tones, when nearly all of us are producers while a tiny handful are seducers? Oh heed this tale of a knight who’s plumb full of spite, ‘cause he’s an angry white man with a God-fearin’ tan. In the broad daylight he can veil his head beneath that hood, but that’s not goin’ to do him any damn good, ‘cause he’s an angry white man with a God-fearin’ tan. Then there was that quickie strike in town. Every hamburger joint was down. The number one demand of all the hired hands was a big pay hike and that was somethin’ that the bosses surely didn’t like. Now Billy Bob’s boy was sittin’ with his fellow workers on the curb, doin’ his very very best to disturb the company’s profit when Billy Bob shouted at Junior to get off it. But Junior knew better than his old man how to make ends meet with a God-fearin’ tan. Oh heed this tale of a knight who’s plumb full of spite, ‘cause he’s an angry white man with a God-fearin’ tan. He thinks he’s out of sight when he veils his head beneath that hood, but that’s not goin’ to do him any damn good ‘cause he’s still an angry white man with a God-fearin’ tan. Better With Your Stupid Face Hidden I saw you on TV. You know who you are. Yelling at kids shrouded and crowded on the bus. Right then it seemed as you screwballs just screamed, that Lady Liberty’s got lungs full of pus. Youngsters who yearn to breathe free, just want to be safe in the arms of their families, but you said “USA! USA! Go away! You can’t stay in the Alamo today! Much less four score and seven years! The Prez says he’s the guy who steers! Segregation and separation! Now! Tomorrow! Forever!” You know who you are. Your eyes and ears don’t see and don’t hear the lever. That’s what’s really goin’ on, while the sponges that you salute are laughing on way to the bank of ill-repute. Your seventh inning stretcher awaits. You’re still a section eight trend-setter. You’d look a whole lot better with your stupid face hidden in poopy underpants while that flag-wavin’ fascist rants. Goose-steppin’ to that song and dance. You know who you are. You sing for Klan militia you call Christian soldiers, but you’re more worried about your Folger’s. Not about the moms, dads and kids who flee las cliques. The coyotes leave them high and dry in ragged sneakers. You eat los vendedores treats and swagger with your pistols down frontera streets for show. Don’t you fools know you need leather hands to hoe which way the hate grows? Like when your not-so-great great grandpa handled Bull Conner’s firehose? You know who you are. You’re all grown up to be an appliance salesman. A wide-eyed boll weevil’d state senator’s son of a gun. A damn good right-hander. As night watch commander, you kept an eye out for those tadpoles on the block. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. More sooner than later hunger awakens the forsaken unseen unsung and demeaned among all others so numbered as common livestock that once unchained we’ll dynamite the colonel’s auction block and finally break that visionary fast so we can all sit down to a funk-driven dinner at last. Big Toe Knuckle Kickin’ up gravel in a sixty-six Jimmy. Passin’ ‘round the contraband when he says “Give it to me.” Been known to knock your lights out with a sock full of buckles. Got a long train of kids with little babies who suckle. We call him Big Toe Knuckle. Big Toe Knuckle. We call him Big Toe and Shirley his wife knows why. Remember that time when the Kluxers rode in with the Louisville sluggers and the bottom shelf gin. Big Toe jumped out in front with a sawed-off ten. When it was done, no one was standing but him. The only livin’ sound was the Kluxers who could ruckle: “Please Mister Knuckle. Please Mister Knuckle. Please don’t blow me sky high.” Remember that time when Big Toe met Shirley. Before they got hitched, her maiden name was Pearly. They had a lot of stuff in common. Both of them were burly. Put a bottle in between ‘em. It won’t be very long, before they’re laughin’ and singin’ and the Bourbon is gone. Big Toe Knuckle. Oh what a surprise! On their honeymoon with Shirley! Rubbin’ his big toe on her undulatin’ thighs! We had a union meetin’ about half past eight. Toe emptied the bar and shouted “Don’t be late.” We counted all the ballots and then we said with a chuckle: “That palooka with the charms will be our Sergeant at Arms.” We voted for Big Toe Knuckle. He ain’t been known to truckle. All in for Big Toe Knuckle. We voted for Big Toe and that’s no lie. Big Toe and Shirley knows why. Binary You own the green grass and the high tide. You’d celebrate upon my sweaty, rough and ready ass if I shriveled up and died. Far away from your palace in Telluride, I go ask Alice when she’s ten feet tall why platinum squares like you all come around here without a care looking for a bumper crop of that hush-hush lollypop. You gobble up the BBQ and we suck on the bone. We operate the honey dipper. You s**t on the thrown. The Police Chief is your law-abiding apertif who rings that okey-doke bell. We are the awful backsliding skells whose grand-daddies and great-grand-daddies dug out all the coal, way down in the bowels of Hell. With amazing refinement, you lords of the manor rule. In solitary confinement, a convict soul recollects a long-ago lost duel. Crossing over the binary, you say we got to pay free enterprise fees. You’re just a letch so don’t slobber. We on the job can see through your disguise. Through your lying eyes sociology about the judge and the DOC. No kin-folk of ours would put poor people behind bars, so p**s on you and your whole f**kin’ family. Bi-partisans**t Shameless and Spineless get joined by a tether. Prancing hand in hand they go together, where they caucus on a Kohler. A very fancy two-holer. So there they sit. Then they fart. Then they s**t. Then they say “What a fortunate day for the working class. They get to wipe a statesman’s ass.” Bi-partisans**t. That’s it. Bye-bye Babylon (inspired by a Methodist hymn) By the Babylonian rivers, we called aloud in disbelief and wept. Then we gazed at God’s freshly-painted billowing clouds. Faith restored by affirmation while we slept. Harken to victory’s wondrous rapture. ‘twill spawn a stout revolutionary song. Deep within each love-laden verse is sacred brawn that carries our children further along. We sing of freedom in a strange and bitter land. Our voices hail the morrow. Join all ye brave people. Hand-to-hand. Abandon the late sadness. Praise God that he beckons the enduring gladness. The breaking of chains is our conviction, for those unfortunates bound in tyranny. We the people do aspire that every slave shall be set free. “Big Daddy. This jury doesn’t need a rehearsal. Your Maga crew equipped a reversal and started some heavy wrong imperial s**t to install fear and outwit us. You’d spear and omit us as we pass the baton, but we know that retrievin’ the real whole deal built by our own drivin’ wheel is a marathon. Big Daddy. You like hangin’ out with your muscle-headed dupes who shark loans. You say the poor folk should drink kool-aid and eat funky soups like from neckbones. You don’t give a damn for a single sufferin’ soul. You jones for a world where every fat man pigs out from the people’s sugar bowl. Big Daddy. We never abdicated. We fabricated a volcano. It’ll kick your ass when it blows its nose, ‘cause y’all will be exposed to a jump jet blast of Covid Nineteen’s vaccine called Drano. Forever more, Mother Earth will be a special place, where you can’t ever erase us. Bye-bye Babylon.” Carryin’ the Mail If you wanna altercate with me, Saint Pete he’s waitin’ at the gate you see. You better get it straight in this life son. I’m a busted flush. Ain’t no fortunate one. I got a folding knife but it’s just for fun. Got a thirty-eight snubby so I’m not outdone. But when the shootin’ starts, be too late to run. When I been carryin’ the mail. Carryin’ the mail. When I been carryin’ the mail, I’m bound to win not fail and I know I got my style. Doctor Acupuncture ridin’ in a Cadillac car, adores Take Five the chauffeur who plays the guitar. Doc’s a righteous liberal who just can’t be late. Be grateful if his wardrobe has lost some weight. There's his entourage, at the Whitewall Garage and the shoe-shine crew, at the Eyeball Massage. I just don't care ‘cause he's a nincompoop. I'll let them other silly fools serve him up the soup. You know his good intentions ain't my concern. His docile apostles got a lot to learn. When they're drivin’ his car. Playin’ his guitar. When they can’t be late. His s**t ain’t lost no weight and he’s a mighty long way from style. Meet palm readers, paraplegic feeders, celebrity stalkers, zip code talkers greetin’ Herman the German doorman with a turquoise vest and the best-dressed brown banana-eatin army surplus’d soldier, keepin’ his corned-beef hash in a empty can of Folger’s, who pushes that cart and pounds his chest that their in-hock wages can’t invest or fetch a furnished room in a junkie’s nest. To ruminate a rummage sale. Guaran¬tee a garbage pail. A rummage sale and a garbage pail, but they still got that style. When I been carryin’ the mail. Carryin’ the mail. When I been carryin’ the mail, I’m bound to win not fail and I know I got my style. Charlottesville Adrift through paradise. Full of good will. I’m looking down on Charlottesville. My name was on a roster called the butcher’s bill. I’m looking down on Charlottesville. Down on Charlottesville. Poor Daddy was hobbled. He could barely stand. Couldn’t run away with me to the Yankee man. Signed an X on a paper when I joined that day. We were hexed as colored soldiers so we got less pay. We got less pay. Praise Jesus I’m a freedman wearing soldier blues and a cartridge belt with brand-new shoes. You know we’ve got good vittles, but God in heaven knows that we all get to praying when the rebel bugles blow. When the bugles blow. Cooking at the end of day. Looking around for coffee. Then it happened that way with long shadows in the dusk. It was a dang mini-ball from Johnny’s musket. From Johnny’s musket. In Elysium I joyfully leapt, until I saw the angels flock, o’er my gray old great-great-grandson, who half-heartedly swept as he did vigorously mock the bronze of General Lee on horseback. Suddenly I tasted my tears and heard familiar screams, when the whips would crack. When the whips would crack. My soul is aloft and my bones are still. I’m looking down on Charlottesville. It takes me back to the day I fell. I’m looking down on Charlottesville. Down on Charlottesville. Down on Charlottesville.