Our Weekly Concert Picks: July 17–July 23

Busses will perform at Ortlieb's Lounge.

Where you’ll find us this coming week

Wednesday, July 17: Busses

Ortlieb’s Lounge—the tiny, unassuming NoLibs spots managed and frequently booked by DIY videographers Bands in the Backyard—is quickly becoming our fave new spot to catch shows, with a killer soundsystem, great DJs, and an impressive line-up of bands (thanks BITBY!) This Wednesday, longtime Philly trio Busses headline, bringing their sometimes jazzy, sometimes punk-y blend of indie rock to life. Since 2008, the band’s regaled audiences with capricious concoctions, tight drumming, and front man David Brett’s impressive falsetto (for proof, check out our 2010 feature on their debut record.) Since then, they’ve released the dreamy, moody Metal/Shangri-La EP, featuring the epic, swirling A-side, and the gorgeous, understated B-side.  Great for a low-key Wednesday in the AC! Plus arrive early for openers Bridge Underwater and Ton-Taun, two Philly up-and-comers we’ve got our eye on. Only $5!

9:00 at Ortlieb’s Lounge, 847 N. 3rd St., $5. Tickets available here.

Thursday, July 18: Third Thursdays Live and Local with Worldtown Soundsystem and City Rain

Third Thursdays Live and Local, the free monthly celebration of live music and vibes returns to the Race Street Pier this week for an epic round-up of local talent, including electro-pop duo City Rain and genre-spanning fun-makers Nicos Gun—plus DJ sets from Worldtown Sound System, DJ Apt. One, and Pink Skull.  DJ Apt. One (aka, Michael Fichman; also founder and head of Young Robot Records) and Ben Arsenal (of Worldtown Soundsystem) curate the festivities, which double as a release party for Young Robot’s Philadelphia Maneto mixtape (streaming here), and Worldtown Sound System’s Mixshake. But we’re most psyched for City Rain, whose new EP The Optimist is a sparkling collection of electro-pop gems that seemed perfectly poised for a big-league breakthrough. Catch ‘em now before they’re huge! Before you go: scope the impressive vid for “The Optimist” here. Did we mention it’s free?

6:00 at Race Street Pier (Columbus Blvd. at Race St.), free.

Saturday, July 20: The Monkees

The Mann Center this week is your destination for nostalgia rock, with Barenaked Ladies, Ben Folds Five, and Guster on Thursday, and the legendary Monkees on Saturday. Between the two, we’d opt for The Monkees any day—because we’re not quite ready to re-live our awkward middle school years quite yet (pretty sure Stunt was one of the first CDs I owned) and because “Daydream Believer” is hands-down a better song than “One Week” (and easier to sing along to too!) First formed in 1965 as a novelty act for the TV series The Monkees (the show responsible for all those horrible Making the Bands), the quartet of Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork soon went on to become a real band, outselling both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones during their heyday in 1967, with four number 1 records (a world record!) that year.  They continued releasing albums until 1970, then reunited briefly in the late ‘80s, the mid ‘90s, and once more in 2011. Sadly, front man Davy Jones passed away last year from a heart attack, but the rest of the band—now in their late 60’s, and early ‘70s—have kept the torch burning, and still sound surprisingly fresh. Invite your parents (or your kids!) for a show the whole family can enjoy.

8:00 at the Mann Center, 5201 Parkside Ave., $39.50–$85. Tickets available here.

Tuesday, July 23: Tuesday Tune-Out with 3DCosby

It’s been a while since we’ve highlighted Tuesday Tune-Outs, the creative and unique music+movie series at DIY haven PhilaMOCA, so here’s a refresher: every month, a different curator picks four different bands (one for each week), who each pick one film. The band then plays a set, either before, or during the film, sometimes with fanfare (and costumes!), sometimes without. Snacks are served; dancing is encouraged; and it’s basically a great way to spend a low-key week night. This month’s curators are Andy Molholt (of Laser Background) and Brenda Mulvihill (of Norwegian Arms), musicians known for their zany psych-pop projects and convivial spirit. Their pick for this coming Tuesday is 3DCosby, a Boston band who Mulvihill describes as like DEVO, but “more punk” (yes please!) Their film selection is still TBA—although we’re secretly hoping for 1981’s The Men Who Make the Music, featuring Mark Mothersbaugh and co themselves. Either way, we expect mad vibes!  On the radar: Mark your calendars for next week’s Tune-Out too, featuring Austin transplants (and jangle-pop devotees) Literature. Plus Mulvihill’s own Norwegian Arms headlines at PhilaMOCA on Friday, for what is sure to be a very fun, very raucous show.

8:30 at PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St., $5. Tickets available at the door.