Ron Funches plays the Troc on Friday. (ronfunches.com)
The Legendary Wid @ Punchline Philly | Wednesday, June 7
The Philly comedy veteran hosts a packed bill that includes Dave Terruso, Mike Brooks, Hannah Harkness and tons more.
Adele Givens @ Helium | June 8-10
The veteran comedian has been seen in a number of TV shows and movies over the years, including The Hughleys, Def Comedy Jam and Beauty Shop. If you watch this clip, you will laugh, guaranteed: Read more »
The Avalanches play the TLA on Wednesday. They’re crazy in the coconut. (emimusic.com.au)
The Avalanches @ TLA | Wednesday, June 7
Like the census, or cicadas, Australian dancey cut-and-paste geniuses operate on their own schedule. The group only has two records, 2000’s Since I Left You and last year’s Wildflower, each one a collection of insane samples mixed with hard-to-spot original bits and arranged over hip-hop beats. The mesmerizing “Frontier Psychiatrist” is their best-known track, but let’s hear a newer one.
Graves @ Fillmore Philly | Thursday, June 8
Hawaii-based DJ/producer/engineer Christian Mochizuki aka Graves aka Christian the Lion picked up a Grammy for Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and has worked with Jay Z, Kid Cudi, Big Sean and Biebs. He comes to town to do a DJ set, playing bass, dub, EDM and whatever else pops into his head.
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The 10th annual Roots Picnic is Saturday at Festival Pier. (Photo by: Mark Seliger/NBC)
FRIDAY, JUNE 2
Elizabeth Zharoff/Xavier Foley @ World Café Live
An alluring description for an atypical concert at WCL: “Two emerging composers and recent grads of the Curtis Institute of Music collaborating around their love of video games and their serious classical chops.” Elizabeth Zharoff is a soprano. Xavier Foley is a double bassist.
Talib Kweli/Vikter Duplaix @ Fillmore Philly
The two hip-hop stars do a Kiss-N-Grind DJ show at the Foundry performance space, upstairs in the Fillmore. Call it your Roots Picnic wind-up.
Michelle Biloon @ Good Good Comedy
A standup show by the Philly-based comedian heard/seen on Comedy Bang Bang, Chelsea Lately, 2 Dope Queens and more. Read more »
Galactic Empire plays the Troc on Saturday.
The Veldt @ Boot & Saddle | Wednesday, May 31
Back in the ’90s, Chapel Hill band The Veldt — a heavy-ish shoegaze band fronted by twin brothers Daniel and guitarist Danny Chavis (two Dans!) — were kind of a cult favorite. Now it seems like the band is finding its audience (again). This gig will sort of double as a record release show for The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation which drops a couple days later.
Frightened Rabbit/Torres @ Union Transfer | Thursday, June 1
With last year’s Painting Of A Panic Attack, Frightened Rabbit may have unlocked the Perfect Album Title achievement. On this album, and all albums, Scott Hutchison and his fellow Scots use dramatic lyrics and music create pretty pictures of angst and ennui. In these uncertain times, we need an uncertain band. P.S. Make sure you get there for the strangely dreamy Torres. Read more »
Future Islands plays Union Transfer tonight. (Tom Hines)
Memorial Dei Family Picnic and Festival @ Sexton Sideshow | 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sexton Sideshow of Queen Village presents its festival and picnic featuring food trucks, vendors, family activities and live music on multiple stages by Sweetbriar Rose, Kuf Knotz, Pawnshop Roses, Alison Wadsworth, Emmett Drueding and more.
Summerfest @ Rivverrink | 1 p.m.-12:30 a.m.
It’s opening weekend for the party down by the river. Roller skating, mini-golf, food, drinks, etc. Read more »
Wale plays the TLA on Friday. (Dante Marshall)
FRIDAY, MAY 26
Five Dollar Comedy Week @ Good Good Comedy
Cheap laughs and all new shows from the good people at Good Good. Continues through Saturday.
Final Fridays: Technologic @ Philadelphia Museum of Art
Tech and arts collide with events by Technically Philly, ChickTech Philadelphia, The Franklin Institute, The Hacktory and more. Includes a performance by Quindar (Wilco keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen and Philadelphia-based art historian James Merle Thomas) whose performance will include material from the Museum’s archives. Read more »
Nightlands plays Johnny Brenda’s on Saturday. (Dustin Condren)
Macy Gray @ Ardmore Music Hall | Thursday, May 25
Macy Gray remains one of the most unique voices in R&B, and I’m not just talking about those fine sandpaper vocals. In case you missed it, her recent standalone track “White Man” is the kind of fierce you can dance to. Warning: 1 out 100 people who see this video will get offended. The other 99 will be into it.
Chris Kasper @ World Café Live | Thursday, May 25
The local folky/bluesy singer-songwriter celebrates the release of O, the Fool. They’re streaming it over at Folk Alley, and it’s giving me a classic, weary, early-Springsteen vibe. I can’t seem to embed anything from the new record, so here’s an oldie but a goodie. Read more »
Ty Segall plays the Troc on Saturday. (Denée Petracek)
FRIDAY, MAY 19
Happy Birthday @ Plays & Players Theatre
Says theater critic David Fox: “Marc Camoletti’s play, a huge hit in London in the ’70s, has acquired the patina of a period piece, something of a send-up on the silliness of middle-aged swingers. I’d say that only adds to the fun, especially when it looks as smashing as here, played on Lance Kniskern’s luxe living room set, which somehow manages to be both chicly elegant, and a louche bachelor pad. But the virtuosity of a farce really is in the performing. Director Trey Lyford has a masterful sense of staging and energizes the hell out of Happy Birthday; mostly, this pays off.” Through May 21.
Laura Marling @ TLA
It’s petty, but I never liked the idea of Laura Marling hanging out with that Mumford crowd. Those pedialyte folk-pop jingles, that grandpa fashion sense — it’s no place for a singer-songwriter with real promise. With each record, the British-born/L.A.-based Marling explores new territory and re-focuses her formidable, increasingly conversational songwriting skills. On the new Semper Femina, she explores the subject of womanhood, from friends to frienemies and beyond. P.S. It’s invigorating to hear this once rigidly delicate performer wrap her lips around the F-word on “Wild Fire.”
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Scottish trio The xx — tragically conjoined following a hair product mishap in 2015 — plays the Mann’s Skyline Stage on Wednesday. (Alasdair McLellan)
The xx @ The Mann | Wednesday, May 17
Wouldn’t it all be so dreadful — the profound sparseness of the sound, the oft-declared shyness of the players, the lowercase — if The xx sucked? Lucky for them, and for us, this British electronic pop trio is kind of amazing. Released in January, their third record I See You pretty much cemented their status as a band of note, with singer Romy Madley Croft (omg that’s her middle name) reaching new emotional heights and depths. At this show under the stars, contemplative ecstasy will stream through the crowd like neutrinos.
Charly Bliss @ Boot & Saddle | Wednesday, May 17
Yeah, Charly Bliss is pretty ’90s. NPR nailed the namechecks — Weezer, Veruca Salt , Letters To Cleo — in its review of the band’s debut record, Guppy. But there’s too much joy in what Charly Bliss does do to dismiss them as merely retro. I’d been listening to The xx all morning before I put these guys on and it was a revelation: Oh yeah, rock ’n’ roll can be fun. Read more »
Ron Gallo plays with Baskery, Laura Marling and Real Estate on Thursday. (Lindsey Michelle Gardner)
WXPN’s annual NON-COMMvention is really an insidery type deal — a place for music programmers from non-commercial/independent/triple-A radio stations from all over the country to gather for panel discussions and performances by big-name talent. Every night (and some afternoons) from May 17 to 19 features acts with new or coming-soon records. Some of them never play a venue this small.
But Pat, you say, I’m not in the biz. How can I see Wednesday’s Blondie/Ani Difranco/Chicano Batman gig, for example?
Check it out: There are still some tickets available for XPN members. And if you’re not one, I bet you know one.
HERE’S THE FULL LINEUP: Read more »