10 Concerts and Music Shows to See This Week

This week’s highlights, from poetry brothels to Bowie paeans.

Photo from Live Nation

The Summer Set @ TLA | Wednesday, May 25th

As described in their lyrics “I’m a bit too pop for the punk kids, but I’m too punk for the pop kids,” this quintet falls on a rather ambiguous spot along the alternative spectrum, releasing albums that have been considered country and even reggae. The band’s latest record, Stories for Monday, is peppered with youthful feel-good anthems.

The Poetry Brothel @ L’Etage | Wednesday, May 25th 

Heralded in headlines from the New Yorker to L’Agence France-Presse, this coquettish cabaret finally makes its a sultry stop in Philly. Encompassing a kaleidoscope of live poetry, fortune-tellers, burlesque dancers, and painters, the evening is set to the sounds of The Perseverance Jazz Band.

Charlene “Tweet” Keys @ TLA | Thursday, May 26th

The neo-soul Grammy nominee returns to the scene after a hiatus with a self-titled record that’s a fervent yet relaxed body of work featuring the vigorous verses of Missy Elliot.

Courtney Barnett @ Electric Factory | Thursday, May 26th

Born in Melbourne, this deadpan diva from Down Under is distinguished by her rambling, unvarying vocals. Her debut album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, was critically acclaimed across the globe and even landed her a 2016 Grammy nomination for Best New Artist.

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real @ World Live Cafe | Thursday, May 26th

Lukas Nelson, son of Willie, and his pack promise all sorts of real with their latest record, a collaboration with Neil Young called The Monsanto Years that delves into the agribusiness giant’s business practices. Don’t expect to find the CD on Starbucks’ counters either, as the album includes a protest ballad titled “A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop.”

The Bowie Showie @ Vox Populi | Thursday, May 26th

Journey through a space oddity with The Flannel Chucks creation The Bowie Showie. Produced by Good Good Comedy, a Philly-based experimental comedy theater, come check out the tribute to art rock innovator David Bowie. Puppets, men in diapers, and caped crusaders portray a different Bowie for each act, including a special appearance by the Bowie Showie Choir an all-female choir comprised of members of Improvaries, Philly’s online comedy community for women.

Friday Live Day @ The Trocadero | Friday, May 27th

In the theater’s first Friday Live event, uTm radio hosts on-air performances by Reef The Lost Cauze aka Sharif Lacey, Squablz & DJ Ghetto aka Dahseim Henry Ken Khaoss, ShoreShot aka Patrick WhelanShank SixIzzo, Born Prince aka Jameel Prince El-Amin, The Cypher Circuit Battle winner of May 14th at Marsten House and more.

Paperwhite @ Milkboy | Friday, May 27th

Natives of the Philly area, dream-pop duo Katie and Ben Marshall synthesize cosmic chords with hypnotic harmonies. Transporting fans to a galaxy far, far away, they maintain a spellbinding and psychedelic style throughout their eletropop discrography.

David Ford @ World Live Cafe | Saturday, May 28th

Although he was born across the pond, Philly holds a special place in this British singer-songwriter’s heart and lyrics. Ford’s newest record, Charge, features a song called “Philadelphia Boy,” illustrating how he finds inspiration in a “cold wind on Walnut Street.”

Cyndi Lauper & Boy George @ Sands Bethlehem Event CenterSaturday, May 28th

Time after time, these concert roundups could use a little ’80s reboot — which is exactly what this dynamic duo will deliver with a special appearance by throwback comedy queen Rosie O’Donnell.