Music: 10 Shows to See This Week

Jurassic 5, Brand Nubian, Girlpool, The Avalanches and more.

The Avalanches play the TLA on Wednesday. They’re crazy in the coconut. (

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.

Jurassic 5 @ TLA | Thursday, June 8
Like “alt rock,” “alternative hip-hop” is a fairly useless genre tag. Best you can say is “I know it when I hear it” and point to Jurassic 5. Speaking of. Chali 2na, Akil and the rest of the L.A. hip-hop group had their heyday in the late-’90s/early 2000s, crushing it with singles like “Concrete Schoolyard” and “What’s Golden.” They’ve been reunited since 2013 and have yet to release a new record, but they did drop this White Stripes-sampling track a few years ago.

Brand Nubian/Das EFX @ Underground Arts | Thursday, June 8
Wait a minute. Is this Alternative Hip-Hop Day or something? No? I guess it’s just a coincidence that two venerable ’90s+ rap shows are playing Philly on the same night (see above), splitting the audience and demanding tough choices. Well, you know Brand Nubian, led by smartass conscious rappers Grand Puba, Sadat X and Lord Jamar. Das EFX, of course, are known to for their spell-bindingly clever rhymes on songs like “They Want EFX” and “Mic Checka.

Garland Jeffreys @ World Café Live | Thursday, June 8
The veteran bluesy, soulful folk-rocker celebrates the release of his newest record, 14 Steps to Harlem. Here’s the title track:

B.O.B. @ Kung Fu Necktie | Friday, June 9
An intimate show by Georgia rapper B.O.B., whose guest-star-studded 2010 record The Adventures of Bobby Ray I remember fondly. Wikipedia just reminded me of B.O.B.’s more recent exploits, like teaming up with Tech N9ne and investigating alternate facts. “He believes that the Earth is flat, the 1969 moon landing was staged, 9/11 was an inside job, the New World Order will be led by the Illuminati and celebrity cloning is administered by the US government.” Sigh. Okay, let’s hear this Neil deGrasse Tyson-sampling number.

!!! @ Underground Arts | Friday, June 9
Dance-punk mainstays !!! — or Chk Chk Chk, if you want to Google them — just released their seventh record, Shake the Shudder. As always, Nic Offer and co. are all about that style and sass.

Girlpool @ Union Transfer | Saturday, June 10
The L.A. indie-poppers return to Philly, where they lived for a bit — and it’s like I don’t even know them anymore. All the old articles where about how they didn’t have a drummer! And so now they have a drummer and it’s all too much! I need to sit down. But for real: Girlpool is excellent. The new record Powerplant is smart and catchy. Nice to see you kids again. Hope L.A.’s treating you okay.

Rodrigo y Gabriela @ Electric Factory | Saturday, June 10
This Mexican folk/rock duo explores the sonic potential of their acoustic guitars with intricate, high-energy arrangements. Dazzling and lovely.

Kevin Ross @ The Trocadero | Monday, June 12
Apparently there’s a kickboxer by the same name, but the guy playing the Troc’s upstairs Balcony this week is Atlanta-based R&B/soul singer Kevin Ross. He’s got a voice like an angel, like vintage Stevie Wonder.