Your best bets for 4th of July Weekend!
Wednesday, July 3: D’Angelo and Questlove Present Brothers in Arms at the TLA
18 years ago, there was a singer with a voice as smooth as silk, whose understanding of “soul music” would transgress all boundaries. That singer was D’Angelo, and since the release of his debut record Brown Sugar in 1995, he’s been pretty much a household name. In 2000, he released his sophomore record, Voodoo…and since then, he’s been pretty much quiet, playing a smattering of shows in 2012 and 2013, amidst rumors of a long-overdue follow-up record. Flash-forward to right now. The Roots are the house band for Jimmy Fallon, and Questlove—the prolific, Afro-pick-sporting, Twitter-obsessed drummer—is somewhat of a local hero around Philadelphia. He teams up with D’Angelo to lay down some tracks, and they decide to also play a few shows together. They refer to these shows as “Brothers in Arms,” and while we’re not quite sure what to expect of the pairing, we’re hoping it features some new tracks, and maybe even some Prince covers. Either way, we expect mega vibes—a great way to kick off an epic holiday weekend.
11:00 at the TLA, 334 South St., $35. Tickets available here.
Thursday, July 4: Toy Soldiers Record Release at the Jamaican Jerk Hut
It’s the Fourth of July! In the birthplace of America! No doubt the swarms will be heading to the Ben Franklin Parkway, where the likes of John Mayer, Neo, and The Roots (again!) will regale crowds during the city’s annual, free Fourth of July Jam. But for those of you who stopped listening to John Mayer in like, eighth grade, consider instead working up an appetite for Caribbean cooking and American tunes during Toy Soldiers’ record release party at the Jamaican Jerk Hut. Formed in 2007 by Ron Gallo, a rock’n roller with a guitar and a relentless spirit, Toy Soldiers have gone on to become one of the most driven bands in Philadelphia, and this Thursday, will release a new 7” and celebrate at this South Street spot. Combining rock, soul, country, and blues into a rollicking blend of whiskey-fueled Americana, there are few bands better suited to rep our nation on its birthday, and we’re psyched to celebrate the occasion with them, chicken leg in hand.
12:00 noon at Jamaican Jerk Hut, 1436 South St., $10. Tickets available at the door.
Friday, July 5: Lantern Record Release Party at Johnny Brenda’s
Vice once called them “the best band in Philadelphia,” but then it turned out that label came from the band themselves, who argue that you have to believe in what you’re doing if you ever want others to believe in you too. Good advice, and better still when what you’re doing is making rightfully raucous, ‘50s-influenced garage-rock ragers. Formed in 2010 when singer/guitarist Zachary Devereux Fairbrother and bassist Emily Robb moved to Philly from Montreal and started gigging locally, Lantern won fans with high energy shows and a penchant for face-melting. They now celebrate the release of their new LP, Rock’n Roll Rorschach, with an epic show at Johnny Brenda’s, that will undoubtedly feature said face-melting (bring a smock, lest you get splattered.) The record also marks a major step forward for the band, who explore more high-fidelity sounds and even some dance beats. Before you go: Download first single “Evil Eye” (via The Key) and rock out.
9:15 at Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., $10. Tickets available here.
Saturday, July 6: James Murphy at Morgan’s Pier
LCD Soundsystem might have called it quits, but James Murphy remains one of the five coolest people from New Jersey (alongside Bruce, and the members of Yo La Tengo), and this Saturday, he’ll spin tunes for us all from the deck of our fave outdoor party spot. The past few years have been a whirlwind of activity for the bearded visionary, who’s split his time producing new records (for the likes of Arcade Fire and the Klaxons), composing Broadway musicals, and gigging internationally. So what can fans expect from his DJ set? “I don't really have a pre-set thing; I just go and see what I feel like, and see what wants to happen,” he tells Rolling Stone. “Sometimes you'll look at a crowd and I'll be aggressive, or I'll be quite sweet—it just depends on what it feels like the moment needs.” There might, however, be a few appearances from Yes in the mix.
10:00 at Morgan’s Pier, 221 N. Columbus Blvd., $10. Tickets available at the door.
Tuesday, July 9: She & Him at the Mann Center
She & Him are a quintessentially American band, whose sun-kissed tunes are practically made for summer lazin’… and this Tuesday fans can do just that, from the lawn of Philly amphitheater The Mann Center. Since 2006, the duo of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward has wooed crowds with breezy pop numbers, which draw heavily from the ‘60s folk and ‘70s AM pop sounds of Brian Wilson, Phil Spector, Richard & Linda Thompson, and more. Live, the pair is a refreshing study in contrasts: Deschanel bounces and bops around the stage, excited and animated, while Ward stands to her side and strums his guitar, affable, subdued, assured. The pair is now touring behind their third full-length, Volume 3—we expect new numbers, such as the wistful “I Could’ve Been Your Girl,” alongside older faves. Plus arrive early for openers Camera Obscura, whose intimate summer pop is the perfect aperitif.
7:30 at the Mann Center for Performing Arts, 5201 Parkside Ave., $29.50–$47.50. Tickets available here.