Last week I had my most plentiful edition of “Do It for the Kids” yet, with six all ages picks. I actually only ended up making it out to two of them. I saw my friend, Elizabeth Z., playing to nearly 3,000, at the Electric Factory, opening for Sara Bareilles. It was her biggest Philly show yet and she more than appreciated your appreciation. And I made it out to see JD Samson’s MEN, alongside CSS. It was my first trip to Union Transfer, only to find that they had recruited many of my favorite Philthy venue personalities. I got many free drinks, I hung out with the help, and… oh, the show was pretty fucking great too. I could’ve hoped for a bigger crowd, but… whatever (it certainly wasn’t embarrassing). This week, somehow, even tops last-week’s celebration of all-agedness. There are eight pretty great shows that you can check out in Philly this week, regardless of whether or not you’re legally allowed to drink. Here they are:
Dum Dum Girls @ Union Transfer (10/23)
Many bands have named themselves after songs written by James Osterberg… Dum Dum Girls are the most worthy of all of them (including Radio Birdman). They concentrate history’s greatest musical influences (most of which fall into the realm of “post punk”) into avant-catchy tunes for fashionably disenfranchised, city-dwelling youth. If you think your record collection or wardrobe are set to impress, this concert would be a worthy playing-field.
The Naked and Famous @ Theatre of Living Arts (10/24)
The last time this New Zealand indie outfit played the TLA they were opening for Foals to a packed house. The last time they were in town they were playing the Piazza in front of an audience of five digits. Philly’s yet to give them a less-than-loving response, but this is their first shot as the stars of a mega-bill. If they sound, and look, cute, it’s because they are. Come out and show them some more Philthy love.
The Civil Wars @ The Trocadero (10/25)
I often have students tell me that they’re really into country… which I wouldn’t understand. I often tell my students that I’m actually into country… which they wouldn’t understand. The Civil Wars may be something which we could both understand.
Austra/Grimes @ First Unitarian Church (10/26)
This is easily the week’s best overall bill. We have the dark and hot New Wave headliners and immediate support from the East Coast’s loveliest electronic fairy tale princess.
Sleeper Agent @ Electric Factory (10/26) (supporting Circa Survive)
Although I’m not normally a fan of bubblegum pop angst, which seems to be the common thread between the bands appearing this night at the Factory, Sleeper Agent imbues that aesthetic with some legit garage and some legit twang that actually forces their appeal to those with a more refined palate.
Butch Walker and the Black Widows @ Union Transfer (10/26)
I once interviewed Butch and, in regard to live performances, he told me that he “Just really wants to sing the shit out of those songs.” Butch Walker “sings the shit out of songs,” better than just about anyone else on the planet. Although he may have a knack for producing charting pop songs for the likes of Avril Lavigne and Lindsay Lohan, that doesn’t mean that that work which he holds dearest isn’t still completely badass and that he can’t turn any rock concert convention into a sincerely religious experience.
The Black Angels @ Union Transfer (10/27)
The phrase “neo-psychedelic shoegaze” generally evokes eye-rolls on all fronts. However, whether your rocks are best gotten off by The Velvets and Joy Division or The Stones and Pink Floyd, The Black Angels will be both sufficiently epic and sufficiently transgressive. They may not be “performers” in the traditional sense, but… they really don’t need to be.
Asobi Seksu @ Union Transfer (10/28) (supporting Boris)
Asobi Seksu seem to change their genre with every release: From shoegaze to dream pop to lo-fi acoustics to whatever Fluorescence is. Yet, they’ve never proven to be anything less than enchantingly captivating. They blend hyper-traditionalism with hyper-postmodernism in a fashion that will move/shake you.