It's the weekend, so let's get started. You don't need to go down to New Orleans to hear good music, JazzFest or not. This being Philly, it comes to you. (But if you want to hear Dan DeLuca, who IS in the Big Easy, drinking in Trombone Shorty, click this.)
Saturday night? Get up! How about the hardest working Afrobeat band, Antibalas? Coming to the TLA. Based in New York, put together from parts of King Chamgo, the Daktaris and the Soul Providers, these guys mix Nigerian beats, greasy U.S. soul and shakin Latin rhythms. Their site has news and sound clips from the new EP, Government Magic. Click "Che Che Cole (Makossa)" to hear for yourself.
Graham Parker at the Steel City Coffeehouse in Phoenixville. The former gas pump jockey is still pouring it all out. We go across the pond to Adventures of A University Finalist for some native Parkerilla:
Parker often becomes embroiled in comparisons with pub rock and the late 70s Canvey Island pub rock scene of Ian Dury (a wonderful songsmith in his own right) and Dr Feelgood which I find rather unfair. He creates a fantastically tight form of R & B with fluid rhythms, taut solos and an acerbic vocal style. Even nowadays, Parker continues to perform unabated by musical changes and still sounds as fresh and important as ever. You can find some of that heat here.
How about the Roches Saturday night at the Sellersville Theatre in ... Sellersville? This is from a loving blog called Shake Your Fist:
It's New York, 1979. Punk is petering out, disco's dying, hip hop's an inchoate art, new wave's ascendant. And The Roches . . . The Roches, where the hell did they come from? So far out of left field, it turns out, they might as well be in another ballpark.
Sisters Maggie and Terre Roche had existed as musical vagabonds in the city for a decade--singing backup for Paul Simon and releasing an all-but-ignored album--when baby sis Suzzy dropped out of college to join them. The power of three, blood ties and raw talent worked a strange alchemy, yielding something quite original and extraordinary. The Roches' debut self-titled album is a weird, wonderful artifact--like nothing you've ever heard. I suppose you could call it an urban folk record, but that doesn't get at those odd doo-wop and vaudeville touches or Robert Fripp's elastic guitar accompaniment.
But, what shall we play? How about a video from Soundstage in 1983. Classic. "The Hammond Song." A performance of "Mr Selleck" from the Tonight Show, 1985, is a trip back, too. Whimsical, notes Johnny.
UPDATE: One more for Saturday night.... a strangely attractive one: STS9, which stands for Sound Tribe Sector Nine, come to the Borgata in Atlantic City. So what would it be like seeing this Santa Cruz, Calif. electronica, trip hop, dance band kicking out grooves from their Powerbooks before a crowd of gold chains and four-flushers? Surreal. STS9 has some downloads and videos at their site, but just tune into their radio stream for a while. Caa-ching.
Friday night at The Unitarian Church there's a bill featuring the Lilys, locals who conjure some sort of Kinks/My Bloody Valentine/Mungo Jerry memory. But don't take my word. We'll pick up Eric at the Marathon Packs blog, who describes "With Candy" as one of his favorite three songs of the year. It's:
a psych-disco masterpiece that sounds like the theme song to the sitcom Lewis Carroll never got around to producing, without copping anything at all from the master of psych-disco, Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes. It's the type of song I'd love to hear performed live with "real" instrumentation, especially a full brass section on the chorus. It was hard to trace the imaginary lineage of (Kurt) Heasley's mutations, until, of course, I popped in Scary Monsters (Bowie's best, by the way) the other week, and well, "Ashes to Ashes" essentially did a fair amount of my thinking for me. It's not a direct line of course, and Bowie's tale is much more self-referential and dystopian, but the two just sound so similarly tweaked and spacy. Then, partially spurred by Simon Reynolds' post-punk book, I reapproached Duty Now for the Future, the point where Devo started their push for the mainstream with one foot still firmly in the "industrial grotesquerie" Reynolds writes about.
Not just a review, a fantastic journey. Hear here.
Citizen Cope, Friday night at the TLA. His web site offers a new acoustic-based mix of a"Bullet and a Target" and other radio-friendly songs, like "Hurricane Waters" for streaming. Bunch of video from the Carson Daly show to "Son's Gonna Rise." Is the D.C. guy, born Clarence Greenwood, as street as the way he says "heron" for "heroin?" Dunno. Berkeley Place is serving a sing-a-long Cope cover of Bob Marley's "Is This Love?"