Our Weekly Concert Picks: April 2–April 8

Rapper Cam'ron performs at the Hot 97 Summer Jam 2005 Concert June 5, 2005 at Giant Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Matthew Peyton/Getty Images)

Warm weather = more reasons to go see shows.

Thursday, April 3: Pattern Is Movement

It’s been 6 years in the making—but it’s definitely been worth the wait. We’re talking, of course, about Pattern Is Movement, the brand new, self-titled record from Philly art-rock duo Pattern Is Movement, which finally dropped this Tuesday on Hometapes, and which the band will celebrate with an epic release show this Thursday. The ongoing project of drummer Chris Ward (Strands of Oaks, Johnny Brenda’s) and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Andrew Thiboldeaux, Pattern Is Movement have evolved over the years, from a capricious, math-rock outfit to the soulful brothers behind tunes like “Suckling” and “Untitled (How Does It Feel),” and the unexpected heart of the Philly scene. We <3 these guys for their whimsical, insular melodies; their ability to fuse disparate influences into something greater than the sum of its parts (PIM was inspired by everyone from Drake to Beyonce); and their total willingness to try something new—whether it’s synching song clips with scenes from Oscar-nommed flicks, or covering J Dilla for art fans at the Barnes Museum. Before you go: stream Pattern Is Movement in its entirety via AV Club—then get ready to embrace the weirdness.

8:30 at Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St., $12–14. Tickets available here.


Thursday, April 3: Cam’ron

Harlem rap veteran, Dipset Crew MC, and Sizzurp co-creator Cam’ron (real name: Cameron Giles) has been making tunes for nearly 15 years now, with no signs of slowing down.  It’s not surprising coming from Giles, who’s never been one to shy away from the spotlight—whether showing off his fly b-ball skillz (unlike Skee-Lo he truly is a baller), or worming his way into the pop-culture lexicon with his outrageous outfits and much-publicized “beef” with other rappers. Then there’s the question of his flow: rich, confident, and aggressive, but never overwhelmingly so—and his ability to incorporate bits of pop or electro-rock into genre-defying party anthems. In past years, he’s mostly focused on his work with Vado and The Diplomats (who reunited in 2010, following the squashing of one aforementioned beef), but will release his 7th studio record, Killa Season 2, this spring. He’ll stop by the TLA this Thursday to promote it, playing new jamz and hopefully this one too. Come celebrate spring, and party. 

8:00 at the TLA, 334 South St., $25. Tickets available here.


Thursday, April 3: Real Estate

Jersey vets Real Estate are one of those bands I feel like I could really bond with, even though we’ve never met. Like me, the band hails from Jersey, the land of guidos, questionable hair styles, and dozens of small, suburban communities tucked in valleys, on quiet, tree-lined streets. Real Estate—like Yo La Tengo before them—understand that it’s these unassuming places where the real experiences of life happen: when you’re hanging out on the couch with your buds, trying to save enough money to move back to the city. Past records have perfectly encapsulated the hum of the TV, always on in the background, and the pulsing beat of the road during “aimless drives through green aisles.” On new record Atlas, they trade hazy riffs and lazy nights for warm, clean melodies that both smile on the past nostalgically and yearn for its simplicity. Partially inspired by the birth of singer/guitarist Martin Courtney’s first child, Atlas feels intimate and bittersweet without trying to be either—and this Thursday, the band will bring it to life at Union Transfer. Don’t sleep.

 8:30 at Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., $20. Tickets available here.


Friday, April 4: Night Panther

New venue alert! This Friday, Philly self-described “sex pop” act Night Panther kick off Night 1 of a 4-week residency at new NoLibs venue Bourbon & Branch (read more about spring residencies here).  We started crushing hard on Night Panther last summer, when their searing single “Fever” became one of our very fave summertime jams; since then, we’ve pretty much fallen captive to their smooth beats and soulful falsetto—not to mention perfectly coifed good looks (“Is everyone in this band just ridiculously hot?” a friend recently asked me.) A collaboration between long-time friends (before Night Panther, the guys played together in Drink Up Buttercup), Night Panther credit their modest success to an untrenchable support system and never ceasing imagination. “We come up with an idea, and then we work to achieve it,” says front man Farzad Houshiarnejad. They’ll be joined this Friday by party rockers Nicos Gunn and Purples—plus $1 Narragansetts, and all the alcoholic gummy bears you can eat.

8:00 at Bourbon & Branch, 705 N. 2nd St., $10. Tickets available at the door. 


Saturday, April 5: Human BBQ

When I was in college, at the University of Penn., I spent most of my free time hanging out at Pilam, the campus’s resident punk-rock frat/DIY show spot,  that back in its day regularly hosted sets from the likes of The Dead Milkmen and Stinking Lizaveta. Every year, it culminated in Human BBQ, a sort of spring fling for Pilam residents and an enormous celebration of local music and food (of the non-human variety). This year is BBQ XXXVI, and the stacked line-up boasts headliners Total Slacker, Brooklyn BBQ alums who sound exactly how you’d expect a band named Total Slacker to sound; Bethlehem, PA pop duo Slingshot Dakota; and a ridiculous list of cool local bands, including Secret Plot to Destroy the Entire Universe (again, the name says it all), Cold Fronts, Laser Background, Alex G, and Mumblr (see the full list here). Come for the music, stay for vibes (and the trippy, multi-colored walls). Free burgers + fixin’s included.

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