SHOW OFF: Nobunny v. Lantern

When two killer bands play on the same night in Philadelphia, Julia West pins them against each other in Show Off. Two bands enter, one band – well, you get it.

L-R Nobunny and Lantern lead singer Emily Robb. Photos courtesy of Paul Bruening and Katie Harrold, respectively.

L-R Nobunny and Lantern lead singer Emily Robb. Photos courtesy of Paul Bruening and Katie Harrold, respectively.


NOBUNNY On stage, Nobunny wears nothing but a leather jacket, undies, and some hole-y scrap of filthy fur as a mask. Sure, that’s his shtick, but it’s also a decent representation of his music. It’s got that fringe-life exterior, though you don’t have to dig deep to see the vulnerability here. And that mask — that grimy chunk of dumpster pelt — is meant to hide Nobunny’s identity. Like some dirtbag superhero here to save us from the wreckage of the Black Lips and Wavves with more authentic bong hits and guitar riffs. Hear them sing "Gone for Good" hereFri., Feb. 7, with Hussy and BAD SIDEUnderground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., undergroundarts.org.

v.

LANTERN On their bandcamp page this local act uses the phrase “boogie-downers” to describe their sound. I'm sure they mean they play songs you can dance to, but when I first read it, I thought they meant dance-y bummer tunes, which is even better. Lantern can get super howl-y with hints of Iggy and the Stooges at times. It’s garage goth that plays around a little, doesn’t take itself so seriously. And then some tracks come on as smoldering, blues-y slow burners. The band’s latest is called Rock ‘N’ Roll Rorschach, which toys with the idea of instability at best and evil for the fun of it at its worst. See them perform "King of the Jungle" hereFri., Feb. 7, with Woodsman, Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., kungfunecktie.com.

WINNER

Go see Lantern. Yes, they’re locals, so we want to root for them. But the win is based on merits, not geography. Nobunny is great and he'll likely put on a wild show. As he gains popularity, though, and performs at bigger venues, his act becomes tamer. Go see Lantern while they’re still green.

  • JJ Cale

    Should’ve gone to see Nobunny. The Whips opened and were the best shit I’ve seen in Philly in a long time.