A Stick and A Stone, a.k.a. Elliot Harvey, pushes a vocally dominant approach that feeds off a classical church-echoing vibe that depending on tone and the harmonic layering of voices can vary in the types of light it reflects. Some generate profound illuminating warmth that lifts the spirit, while others focus in cavernous shadows. However, the constant throughout the process are the stalwart vocals punctuated with minimal instrumentation. Great Thunder, the lo-fi, psych outfit that teams Swearin’s Keith Spencer and Waxahatchee’s Kate Crutchfield, who released an excellent EP Strange Kicks, also share the bill at the Great Indoors tonight. Great Indoors, (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.), $5 - $7, 7pm, All Ages (Photo from Too Much Rock) - Michael Colavita
Portland Playhouse is perhaps one of this fair cities more charming venues. Seating only 150 people, this church turned playhouse is intimate and striking and on May 19th Alela Diane, Vikesh Kapoor, and Barna Howard will be pouring out their own unique and heartfelt stories through song in a way that will also fall into the intimate and striking category. Alela Diane will surely stun that evening, with that haunting voice that sings to loss and regret eloquently and honestly. Kapoor and Barna share Dianes gift with lyrics, each one unique, each one sure to please the lucky 150 patrons of the Playhouse. The three powerful artists filling this once-sacred space with music on May 19th at 7:00pm. Tickets are $14/$16 at the door. - Joy Pearson
When you’ve been involved with crazy and unique bands and projects like Man Man, Buffalo Stance, Need New Body, and Adventuredrum, you’d think that there’d be no time to create another wild and wacky music experience. But somehow incendiary drummer and producer Christopher Sean “Pow Pow” Powell managed to do just that with his latest electro-tropicalia project Spaceship Aloha. Its first release Universe Mahalo Vol. 1 (Data Garden) is an homage to Hawaii that’s filled with lush melodies and electronic rhythms that may lead to non-stop dancing. And it will be just the right thing to jam to when he brings his creative, wild energy to Johnny Brenda’s tonight, especially since the evening will also feature special performances by Space 1026 founding member Andrew Jeffrey Wright and Grant$ partner in crime, Brooklyn’s Tim Fite. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford St., 9pm, $10, 21+ - Bill McThrill
Bestial Mouths create dank, uncompromising onlsuahgts of noise that are as seductive as they are disconcerting. The trio nudges the fearless behavior of no wave, piercing together swaths of synth goop and subtle tribal motifs that enact a distressing feeling of claustrophobia. Singer Lynette Crezo is a force to be reckoned with, a tall, spidery vixen that bellows a cry of war with an impassioned vehemence. On June 25th, they return with their self-titled follow-up to Hissing Veil, produced by electronic Toronto DJ Egyptrixx. Presence all the chaos unfold at 5 Star Bar on May 23rd, followed by a performance at the Troubadour on June 23rd.
This past March, we unveiled the first single from psych-pop duo Honeymooon. As they continue to work on their first full-length effort, they've just released a new potential tease in the form of "Sure Stuck", a limpid, lush pop tune with a chugging motorik groove that pays homage to the minimalist melodies of Krautrock duo Neu! It's fitting with what they're hoping to achieve as a whole, which they decribe as "Todd Rundgren crawling through lost 70's albums".
When Kurt Vile first signed to Matador Records, the amount of buzz that surrounded him seemed like a heavy burden for any young artist to shoulder. However, with the arrival of his latest LP Wakin on a Pretty Daze, the long-haired “constant hitmaker” is at the top of his game with his best label release to date. Vile will finally get a chance to celebrate his most recent success with his hometown friends, fans and family headlining a sold-out show this Saturday at Union Transfer. He’ll also be accompanied by emotive Chicago songbird and indie darling Angel Olsen, NYC guitar virtuoso Steve Gunn, and of course, the Violators so be prepared for one special evening. (Also don't forget to swing by R5's Punk Rock Flea Market this Saturday and Sunday!) Union Transfer, 1024 Spring Garden St., 8pm, $18, All Ages - H.M. Kauffman
Other things that might strike your fancy this weekend…
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI Telequanta, SAT Spaceship Aloha, Andrew Jeffery Wright, Surgeon, Swarm of Arrows, Ominous Black
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI (Downstairs) Bad Side, (Upstairs) Suicide Loop, Spinechain, SUN Timouth
PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St. Philadelphia) SAT War Emblem
Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) FRI The Fractals, Ben O'Neil, Matt McAndrew, Ill Doots, SAT Ladder Devils, Kvelertak
North Star Bar (2639 Poplar St.) FRI St. James & The Apostles, Swedeland, Full Blown Cherry, Mr. Unloved, SAT Cocktail Party Phenomenon
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Joe D'Amico, Up The Chain, The Barren Wells, Jeanette Lynne, SAT Heroes In Error, Zymotic Flow, Of The Sea, Little Miss Love Jones, SUN (All Ages) Leoce, The Static Locals, Secondhand Touch, Halved Dreams, (Late) The Division, I.M. Ivan, Listening Ritual
MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI Morning River Band, The Miners, John Train, SAT The National Rifle, Instamatic, Son Step
Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI Blessed Muthas, Doomed To Obscurity, SAT The Sparklers, Creem Circus, Riff Mountain, SUN Julie Charnet Quartet
The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) FRI Mad Dragon Records 10th Anniversary Concert w/Cheers Elephant, Hoots & Hellmouth, Kuf Knotz, Andrew Lipke & The Prospects, Matt Duke, Wild Rompit, SAT EveryOtherDay, Could've Been Kings, Tenth Amendment, Stare Syndicate, Peartree Place, The Big Black Night, SUN Courtney Jansen, The Silent SIgnals, Audio Impulse
The Blockley (3801 Chestnut St.) FRI Start Making Sense, The Great White Caps, Close To Good, SAT Long Miles, SUN The Philadelphia Songwriters Project Contest Finals Show
Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) SAT A Fistful of Sugar, The Sun Flights
Voltage Lounge (421 N. 7th St.) SUN Mo The General, Death DaVinci, Rob Stashiz
The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Matt Gauss, Connor Hansell and The Grits, Ryan Conroy, The Rivals, SAT Venice Sunlight, Dylan McGuire, Rodger Delaney, Brett Talley, The Slot Cars
Christ Church Neighborhood House (20 N. American St.) SUN Spring Trilogy: Part III "An Evening of Blind Dates" w/Jaamil Kosoko + Chris Forsyth, Leah Stein + Zachary Fairbrother, Olive Prince + Jeff Zeigler, Mason Rosenthal + MurMuration
Great Indoors (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SUN Great Thunder, A Stick and A Stone
Wolf Cycles (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Swarm, Nemesisters, Teen Priests
The Crystal Palace (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT Address, Vietnam
The Soup Kitchen (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT ICD9, Snoozer, Rasputin's Secret Police, MOSS
Hausu (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT Dingus, The Holidays, Retreever
161 West Gallery (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT Cousin Brian, Goner, Jackie Paper
A man known for making the old sound new again, Sam Amidon has made a career of taking folk's vernacular and re-making it to suit his needs. While some artists draw a line between roots and pop, Amidon takes all of it under his banjo's wing, and communicates a shared heritage common to all these voices. Now he's been signed to Nonesuch, and his new material showcases classic folk ('As I Roved Out'), contemporary pop (Mariah Carey's 'Shake it Off') and even a cover of a hymn his parents recorded on harps in 1977, 'Weeping Mary.' Always surprising, check out his moving cover of Tim McGraw's 'My Old Friend' below, and the new video for 'As I Roved Out here.' - Mike Levine (@Goldnuggets)
When the demos from Bad Side first surfaced, I began to get very excited because they gave me similar feelings to when I first discovered local powerhouses Leather and Sickoids. It was a sense of pride that Philly had another punk outfit that people should definitely take notice of. It is also certainly nice to see that others are feeling the same way with Bad Side being booked in the highly-coveted opening slot for JEFF the Brotherhood and Hunters’ final evening of their two-night run at Kung Fu Necktie. There will be blood. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 8pm, $15, 21+ - Alexis V.
Hot off their Harvard & Stone Residency, The Black Apples have released the video for their cheery surf pop tune, “Tales and Truths,” off of their EP of the same name. The video showcases the band playing live while a beautiful woman wanders in the dappled sunlight of an unknown wilderness. It’s almost a video within a video, and while there isn’t much of a narrative, the charisma of frontman, Campbell Scarborough, is sure to hold your attention. Rife with delightful harmonies, and bordering on both the anthemic, and at times, the bubblegum, their sound is always rooted in that ever present garage rock sound that’s permeating the LA atmosphere. The band is currently working on their second LP, ‘Patio.’ - Jacqueline Caruso
What's worse than finding yourself lying awake late at night, requiring nourishment, but stuck with the realization that nothing all that edible is open at 3 in the morning? A Great Big Pile of Leaves can relate. When lead singer/guitarist Peter Weiland found himself in this predicament, his mind went about creating the Dismemberment Plan-sounding ode to this dilemma for the band's new track 'Snack Attack.' Frustrations be damned if this isn't one of the group's most satisfyingly catchy beach-pop songs yet. Weiland puts it best: "The song is like a trip to the boardwalk and a ride down the tallest, twisty-est waterslide on the hottest day." Just remember to take care of your munchies after going down that waterslide.
The band will release You're Always On My Mind on July 2nd (Topshelf Records). Join them for their record release at Webster Hall's studio on July 13th, and check out 'Snack Attack' below. - Mike Levine (@Goldnuggets)