Music Shortlist: 7 Shows to See This Week (Audio Enhanced)
Pharmacy, the Point Breeze coffee-shop/music venue/non-pharmacy, hosts a solid evening of bands you don’t know you like yet. There’s VARSITY, Anomie and Slur, but let’s listen to a track by headliner Addie Pray. “Email,” from last year’s Screentime, is a forlorn little tearjerker of a song — compelling and doomed in a Waxahatchee sorta way.
Shakai Mondai @ PhilaMOCA | Tuesday, March 29
I can’t get enough of this spooky, soulful, electronic minimalist pop artist. Alone on a space station haunted by robotic melodies and ASMR percussion, Shakai Mondai’s warm, echoing voice makes a plea for humanity. Not to dork out too much, but after hearing her do this Utada Hikaru cover (below), I want to see what she’d do with “Still Alive” or the Battlestar Galactica opening theme.
Wussy @ Milkboy Philly | Thursday, March 31
Seems like the people who know about Wussy really love Wussy. And if the gorgeous, catchy band of Cincinnati rock veterans is playing the intimate Milkboy Philly then more people need to find out Wussy. (Some members of this group were in The Ass Ponys. Guys, we need to talk about band names.) Listen to this. Love this.
Tsu Surf @ The Fire | Thursday, March 31
This track by battle-tested Newark rapper Tsunami Surf is kind of amazing. The bulk of it follows your classic ’10s-era conscious-gangsta rap(/Appalachian murder ballads) blueprint: bragging about doing bad things and wishing you hadn’t done them. A few threats, a couple confessions, a tangent about self-medication, etc. But Tsu finds another level in the last minute, letting the music fade away and just dropping desperate, heart-hurting rhymes a cappella. NSFW. Rated M For Mature.
Japanese Breakfast @ Ortlieb’s | Friday, April 1
Michelle Zauner of Philly band Little Big League finally celebrates the release of Psychopomp, the debut record from her Japanese Breakfast side project. Like everything she does, this stuff is smart and passionate full of surprises, and if it seems like I’m writing about it every other week it’s because Zauner just such a killer songwriter.
Slingshot Dakota @ Everybody Hits | Saturday, April 2
The Bethlehem keys/drums duo of Carly Comando and Tom Patterson celebrates the release of Break, a record full of urgent, sometimes thrilling rock ’n’ roll. Mates of State is a good comparison, but it’s not perfect. I like it when they’re loud and sweet. Listen:
Jo Kusy/Birds @ Beautiful World Syndicate | Sunday, April 3
Time Castle Records celebrates the release of cassettes by two artists with an free afternoon show at the Passyunk record shop. Jo Kusy is a lo-fi pysch-folk kinda dude from Philly. “Driftwood Bones,” from Kusy’s new Wild Violets, sounds like Kurt Vile whipping Mazzy Star CDs at the moon. In a good way. Birds, from New York, is louder and rockier, the storm after the calm.