Thursday, January 9: Potty Mouth
Pop punk’s garnered a bad rap over the past decade, as a plastic-y fallback for bands without real creativity. Northampton, MA’s Potty Mouth are working to change that. An all-girl band that is both deliberately all female (“In my other bands, I wasn’t doing any songwriting…Potty Mouth really enabled me to push myself,” explains front woman Ally Einbinder), yet deliberately non- political—Potty Mouth craft spirited pop punk inspired by youthful debauchery and uncertainty, complete with surf-punk riffs, girl-group style harmonies, and lots of feedback and fuzz. Formed three years back by friends at Smith College (and one friend still in high school), Einbinder admits two of the four members couldn’t play their instruments when they started, but were committed to rocking…and after many basement practice seshes, they released their first EP, Sun Damage, in 2011 and never looked back. Since then, they’ve morphed into a tight rock unit, whose infectious live show and rollicking choruses are enough to convert any rock fan. They play Boot & Saddle Thursday night, alongside locals Radiator Hospital and Le Yikes Surf Club.
9:00 at Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St., $10. Tickets available here.
Saturday, January 11: Connan Mockasin
This weekend, journey to an alternate headspace with the warm, experimental sounds of New Zealand native Connan Mockasin, who headlines the first Making Time of 2014. An iconoclast by trade, who eschews traditional songwriting and storytelling in favor of his own creative visions, Mockasin’s been on the rise since 2004, and has spent the past near-decade opening for the likes of Radiohead, Crowded House, and Charlotte Gainsbourg, while releasing a string of amorphous, psych-tinged tunes. His newest release, Caramel, was recorded over the course of a month while holed up in a Tokyo hotel, and features both seductive, Prince-style slow grooves and Ariel Pink-esque weirdo pop forays…even if Mockasin insists he hasn’t listened to popular music in a decade (to which we say: whaaaat?) Before you go: check out Erol Alkan’s remix of killer tune “Forever Dolphin Love” and prepare to lose yourself in the grooves.
9:00 at Voyeur, 1221 St. James St., $10. Tickets available here.
Monday, January 13: St. Lucia
Brooklyn musician Jean-Philip Grobler crafts shimmering, ‘80s-influenced, soft rockers that feel as warm and enveloping as a hug, and are likely to conjure up montage sequences from your very fave Brat Pack flicks. A native of Johannesburg, South Africa, Grobler grew up performing with touring giant the Drakensburg Boys Choir, and honed his pop knowledge at an early age. He formed St. Lucia in 2010 after moving to Brooklyn, turning heads with the darkly propulsive “September.” Since then, he’s gone on to release a full-length record (2013’s stunning When the Night), and is one of our very fave new artists to watch in 2014. He’ll perform live at World Café Live this Monday, alongside feel-good New Yorkers Panama Wedding. Before you go: check out the vid for “Elevate” below, featuring a very real eviction notice, and the very real rager that followed. Then get ready to rage similarly hard this Monday (black flips not required).
8:30 at World Café Live, 3025 Walnut St., $15. Tickets available here.
Tuesday, January 14: Yuck
Yuck’s 2011 self-titled record was one of my very favorites of that year, chock full of hazy guitars and grungy, alt-rock melodies that recollected the best of my ‘90s record collection: YLT, Pavement, maybe even a little Nirvana. There was something so fuzzy and familiar about these tunes, and the vocals—from front man Daniel Blumberg—towed the line between ‘90s angst and disaffection just so. Which is why I was super bummed to learn of Blumberg’s departure in 2013 (he now performs as Hebronix): can an indie band solider on without its front man? The answer, in Yuck’s case, turns out to be a resounding yes—their 2013 record, Glow and Behold, proved a similarly fuzzed-out affair, with guitarist Max Bloom (who sang lead on “Operation”) taking over writing and vocals, and adding a production sheen to tunes like “Lose My Breath.” It’s not as raw as original Yuck, but there’s an earnestness to it that makes it perfect listening for these chilly days. Before you go: check out this vid of Yuck covering New Order, and prepare to space out, ‘90s-style.
9:15 at Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., $15. Tickets available here.