Our Weekly Concert Picks: April 3–April 9

Local Natives play a sold out show at Union Transfer on Thursday, April 4th.

Spring time romps!

Thursday, April 4: Local Natives at Union Transfer

SoCal’s Local Natives have been a band to watch ever since their 2010 debut Gorilla Manor dropped, and introduced thousands to the band’s sunny blend of Afro-pop guitars and lush, blissed-out harmonies. But just because their music is upbeat, doesn’t mean their lives are…and indeed, the past year was a tough one for the Natives, between the death of vocalist/keyboardist Kelcey Ayer’s mother and the departure of bassist Andy Hamm. Luckily for all, rather than stew on these tragedies, the band used them as an impetus for their sophomore record, Hummingbird, a deep, emotional grower and collection of nuanced, sweeping tunes (we’re especially fond of first single “Breakers.”) Live, the band will draw from both releases, for a result that will have you staring pensively ahead one moment and jamming out the next.

9:00 at Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., $15. Tickets are sold out, but try Craig’s List.


Friday, April 5: They Might Be Giants at the TLA

In the 31 years American weirdos They Might Be Giants have been making music, it seems they’ve pretty much covered everything—from radio singles (we still <3 “Birdhouse in Your Soul”)—to TV theme songs (Malcolm in the Middle, anyone?)—to geeky singalongs, children’s music, Tiny Toons Adventures plot lines and more. Yet through it all, they’ve never loss their sense of wonder: a trait one-half founding duo John Linnell attributes to a constantly changing definition of what, exactly, TMBG are. These days, they’re touring in support of their 16th full-length, Nanobots, a rollicking romp through 25 word-play loaded charmers, that show TMBG still have what it takes. Before you go: check out stellar singles “Call You Mom” and “Circular Karate Chop” so you can sing along to the new jams as well as the old.

7:00 at the TLA, 334 South St., $27. Tickets available here.


Friday, April 5: Purling Hiss Record Release at Johnny Brenda’s

Philly shred-master Mike Polizze has been making music as Purling Hiss for nearly four years now, but finds new audiences with his fourth LP, Water on Mars, a moody collection of heady guitar jams that sees the band—now a trio—channeling everything from easy-going garage rock  to moody, psychedelic stewers—to manic, searing, grunge-inspired freak-outs. The band spent the past year hitting the road with the likes of Dr. Dog and Woods, where they undoubtedly picked up a thing or two about showmanship; we have no doubt their show Friday night will be positively face-melting. Plus arrive early for openers Spacin’, whose excellent take on slacker rock is filled with understated hooks.

9:30 at Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., $12. Tickets available here.


Friday, April 5: Meek Mill at the Tower Theater

Philly rapper Robert Williams might use “Meek” as his moniker, but fans of MM know: this heavy hitter is definitely more victor than victim. Whether he’s defending his work from haters or calling out the cops, Meek’s earned our respect with a no sh*t-taking policy, and pocket full of righteous raps. In the past year, he’s proven himself a formidable force on the scene, between the release of his super-charged, chart-topping debut LP, Dreams and Nightmares, and the creation of his own label, Dream Chasers Records. Live, the declamatory Emcee has proved fiery and electric, and we expect nothing less from the Philly stop on his headlining tour. Before you go: Scope the new vid for triumphant single “Believe It” (featuring Rick Ross) and practice getting down.

8:00 at the Tower Theater, 19 S. 69th St., $30–$45. Tickets available here.

Saturday, April 6: Pilam’s Human Barbeque XXXV

No humans will be barbequed at Human Barbeque, Penn frat Pilam’s annual all-day debauch-fest—but pretty much everything else will be, including, burgers, dogs, Vegan treats, and brains, as 18 bands rock the Spruce Street house to its foundation. Topping this year’s line-up are local rilers Delicate Steve, Norwegian Arms, and Total Slacker—all of whom should prove raucous, and outrageous—plus Philly stalwarts Banned Books, Laser Background, DRGN KING, and more. If you’re new to the local scene and looking for a way to dive in, this is a good bet—there’s not a bad offering among the stacked line-up, and Pilam’s two-stage set-up keeps things moving. Check out their FB page for the full line-up and set times…then get ready to get BBQ’ed!

Noon to midnight at Pilam, 3914 Spruce St., $15. Tickets available at the door.