Although there have been a small handful of live concerts throughout Philadelphia over the course of the summer, The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection will have its unofficial welcome back to live music with Japanese Breakfast, who will be headlining a record five sold out nights at Union Transfer, starting this Friday, August 6th (Mannequin Pussy will handle opening duties the 6th – 8th and Spirit Of The Beehive will take over on the 10th and 11th.)
Japanese Breakfast and mainperson Michelle Zauner have had an exceptionally noteworthy pandemic. Zauner’s first book; Crying in H-Mart: A Memoir, which documents her relationship with her mom throughout her losing battle with cancer; was released this April, is already in its double-digit printing, received rave reviews, and is being adapted to a feature film by Orion Pictures (Zauner will be penning the screenplay and soundtrack). Additionally, Japanese Breakfast released their third full-length, Jubilee, that very same month, courtesy of Dead Oceans.
Jubilee has garnered praise from the likes of The Wall Street Journal (“Easily her best album and one of the best records of the year so far.”), Esquire (“A sonically expansive collection of technicolored songs about joy in all its forms.”), and Billboard (“Jubilee is just what the doctor ordered after an isolating, year-long pandemic.”), and already spawned three singles; “Be Sweet,” “Posing in Bondage,” and “Savage Good Boy;” for all of which Zauner has directed videos.
The songs of Jubilee prove to be both the most varied and uplifting of Japanese Breakfast’s catalogue. The album serves as an optimistic search for hope and happiness after a struggle with tragedy and the moroseness that comes along with that. Michelle also studied music theory and took piano lessons, which give the album a noteworthy range, while maintaining the lo-fi indie pop quirk and charm for which the band is known.
Last month Japanese Breakfast kicked off an extensive tour at The Fillmore Silver Spring, which runs through November and already has an abundance of sold-out dates. The sets so far have boasted most of Jubilee, in addition to a handful of favorites from the band’s catalogue, like “Everybody Wants To Love You” and “Road Head,” but I suspect that the five nights in the band’s one-time hometown will feature a bevy of unique set lists (If you want to hit them up on social media, ask them for “12 Steps” for me… on the second night… if you can…)
While you’re preparing for our return of live music, getting anywhere from 1-5 super cute outfits together and making sure you know all of the words to Jubilee, take some time to reminisce about five of the most memorable shows our favorite mega-venue hosted in 2019, back at the end of live music’s first stint of existence.
Clairo (Nov. 7th)
Although surely well in the works for years, it would seem as though this lo-fi bedroom pop chanteuse would transform into a full-fledged pop star in front of a sold out crowd, at her very first headlining show in the 215.
Sharon Van Etten (Feb. 7th)
After a brief musical hiatus saw Sharon Van Etten become a mother, earn a psychology degree, and take up acting, the folk musician returned to her former home with a new look and sound that flaunts her love of ‘80s synth pop, ‘90s trip-hop, and a plethora of other flavors teen angst you can dance to.
Peter Hook & the Light (Oct. 24th)
Not a lot of bassists could focus a 3+ hour performance on the 5th and 6th albums of a band to which they used to belong and have it not be laughable… And even fewer could turn that evening into the dance party of the year… Yet, Peter Hook continues to capture the spirit and memories of that band even better than they’ve been able to muster all century.
Peter Murphy, featuring David J. (Feb. 12th)
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of both the most important and impressive goth album of all-time, 2/4ths of the band that invented the genre decided that they didn’t-hate each other just long enough to give us the most beautifully black evening of music possible from a couple of now-emotionally-and-financially-stable elderly white guys.
Belle & Sebastian (July 12th)
Shortly before taking Ms. Zauner and company on their festival cruise, the ambassadors of twee played their most intimate Philadelphia show ever and possibly the most epic show to ever take place in the former Spaghetti Warehouse.