New beginnings, and endings.
Wednesday, June 19: Catnaps Farewell show at PhilaMOCA
For three years now, Philly fuzz-pop group Catnaps has wooed audiences with jangly melodies and sweet vocal harmonies and this Wednesday will play their last show ever before parting ways. Led by front woman Adrianne Gold, whose airy vocals are one part storybook heroine, one part modern city dweller, the band is at its best when exploring the awkward and banal sides of love and dating—a trait that has landed them placement on TV dating Meccas Jersey Shore and Snooki & JWoww. Live, the fivesome inspire crowds with energy and a variety of unusual instruments (bassist/vocalist Carolyn Haynes also plays saxophone, melodica, accordion, and glockenspiel), and has shared stages with the likes of Eternal Summers and The Front Bottoms. And did we mention their amazing music video skillz? They leave us with a parting gift in the form of their new EP Forget About It, available as a free download via Bandcamp. Parting never felt so sweet.
7:30 at PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St., $7–$10. Tickets available at the door.
Thursday, June 20: Courtney Love at the TLA
She’s been called the most controversial woman in rock (probably fair) and the woman who killed Kurt (probably unfair) and countless other names … yet, through it all, Courtney Love prevails. These days, the former Hole front woman, and longtime proponent of babydoll dresses, is getting back to her roots, writing music and touring under her real name, having put Hole to bed in late 2012. Her new record, Died Blonde, is due out later this year, and this Thursday, she’ll stop by the TLA to promote it—despite failed attempts to locate a new bassist on Craig’s List (apparently, her current bassist will do just fine). She tells Philly.com’s Gab Bonghi that fans can expect “ the same old s**t. Sex, death, love, hate, [and] the state of the economy" from Died Blonde, which of course begs the question: can we also expect temper tantrums, destruction, and audience provocation from the album tour? Only time will tell, although if her recent appearance on The View is any indicator, the new Courtney is sober, demure, and (dare we say?) professional. In 2013, anything can happen.
8:00 at the TLA, 334 South St., $35. Tickets available here.
Thursday, June 20: Third Thursdays Live and Local Kickoff party with Dice Raw and Lushlife
Another free outdoor concert series? Yes please! This Thursday, underutilized Delaware River spot Race Street Pier gets in on the free concert game with monthly performances from some of our fave local artists. This Thursday’s kick-off will feature rapper and frequent Roots collaborator Dice Raw, alongside hipster poster-boy and genre-bending artist Lushlife (whose single “Still I Hear the Word Progress” is still a personal fave). Locals Jade Alston, D’Vina, and DJ Benz round out the line-up, promising enough music for several hours of waterfront lounging. Our suggestion? Pop over to Morgan’s Pier after work for a quick drink and bite, before heading down the block to Race Street for an evening of free tunes at our fave underrated spot.
6:00 at Race Street Pier, Race St. and Delaware Ave., free.
Saturday, June 22: Steven Gunn record release at JB’s
Kurt Vile fans might know Gunn from his work as guitarist with The Violators; but actually, this Philly native has been making music for 15 years, and boasts dozens of production credits, in addition to records with Magik Markers, GHQ, the Gunn-Truscinski Duo, and more. Inspired by the virtuosic finger-picking of John Fahey and friend and former Philadelphian Jack Rose (R.I.P.), in addition to Roy Harper, Bert Jansch, the Grateful Dead, and countless others, Gunn combines jazz, blues, folk, and Americana into a patchwork of disparate influences that still manage to feel distinctly him. This Saturday, he’ll celebrate the release of his new record Time Off, which explores concepts of stress and time, in addition to some of the colorful characters in his current neighborhood of Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. For fans of Vile, Rose, open roads, and lazy weekends. Before you go: Check out Americana-tinged “Water Wheel” (via P’fork) and vibe out.
9:15 at Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., $10. Tickets available here.
Tuesday, June 25: The Neighborhood at Union Transfer
Holy hype alert! Early last year, CA band The Neighbhorhood burst onto the blogosphere with few details as to their identity. They offered instead just one song—the dark, seductive “Female Robbery,” which was posted to Hype Machine. Within months, they were the talk of the web, with second single “Sweater Weather” gaining equal traction. By the time their debut record, I Love You, dropped in April 2013, they were already a national phenom—the record debuted at number 39 on the Billboard charts, and they sold out venues across America (including Union Transfer…hope you already bought your tix.) Combining classic indie rock tropes with tinges of R&B, hip-hop, and electronica, the band (since revealed to be a fivesome, led by Jesse Rutherford) taps into something intangible and enveloping, mixing slippery beats with big stadium production. The next big thing is already here!
8:30 at Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., sold out.