My vote for the summer’s best festival isn’t technically a festival at all. However, this Saturday (August 6th) Northern Liberties will host four great bands on two stages (I guess you could say a main stage and a side stage) with agreeable set times and a walking distance that I’m pretty sure even Americans can handle… and admission for it all is only $10 (Suck on that, Popped!!!).
It all starts at around 4 at the Piazza (yes, you are right to cringe) where Radio 104.5 is hosting a FREE Summer Block Party (yes, that cringe should be thus maintained) featuring The Airborne Toxic Event and The Naked and Famous for the main stage event.
The Airborne Toxic Event are pretty much the only contemporary mainstream pop group (I’m sure they resent that, but it is what is) that I can get behind. I once described the quintet as “Along the lines of A Clockwork Orange‘s gang as produced by Butch Walker” and characterized their sound as “The postmodern prose of leader Mikel Jolett manifested into a glorious, bubble-gum-coated riot.” And their live shows are possibly the last bastion of the Rock’N’Roll spectacle that’s not completely lame. An open air performance in front of several thousand is sure to be the most epically cool thing the city sees all summer.
Supporting TATE is the charmingly coy indie pop of The Naked and Famous. The New Zealand quintet might not have too much in common with the headliners but, I can tell you from experience, they’re quite brilliant live. You’ll be completely smitten with singer Alisa Xayalith by the second song.
For the second part of the evening, the cherry on top, if you will, you’ll need to mosey just a few blocks northeast (and spend just $10) where Nashville’s Heavy Cream and The Ettes will bring their Barn Garage (Yeah, I just made that up, but let’s make it a real thing.) to the M Room for a night of twangy, jangly punk.
Heavy Cream are three girls and a guy. They don’t like songs that make the two-minute mark. They’re a little scary, but in a good way. They sound a bit like The Runaways at an amphetamine-addled beach party.
The Ettes, who will be capping off the evening, are two girls and a guy. They’re a little more traditionally sexy than Heavy Cream, but rock even more anthemically. You’ve heard (and likely hummed) their music, whether or not you realize it. Earlier this week they released, Wicked Will, their fourth LP of self-proclaimed Beat Punk. The album, written on the road, does indeed sound like a haphazard journey across America’s dirtiest and dustiest musical nooks and crannies… and I mean that in the best fucking possible way.