Our fave must-see acts this week, from England to Philadelphia.
Thursday, March 7: Veronica Falls at Johnny Brenda’s
On their debut, self-titled record, British band Veronica Falls paint a dark, vaguely gothic picture of England—as a place teeming with Dickensonian magic and macabre vibes, from the forlorn “Misery” to the wary “Bad Feeling.” Luckily for them, things seem a bit sunnier on sophomore effort Waiting for Something to Happen, which feels less paranoid and more assured. Lead single “Teenage” is a breezy slice of car-window pop, and “Everybody’s Changing” has an easy-going, soft rock jangle that we surprisingly don’t hate! Live, the band proves both energetic and charmingly ragged—and fully convincing enough to transform JB’s into their own capricious version of reality.
9:00 at Johnny Brenda’s, 1201. N. Frankford Ave., $13. Tickets available here.
Friday, March 8: Django Django at World Café Live Free at Noon, and at Union Transfer
Edinburgh’s Django Django released one of our fave records last year in Django Django, a unique and encompassing romp through Western-tinged desert rock, accented with a flurry of electronic bleeps and bloops. (See: the surprisingly lush “Hail Bop,” the bouncy “Default”). The foursome is already huge across the pond, where word-of-mouth led to a string of sold-out performances, and this Friday, the band will make its Philly debut with TWO shows—at World Café Live’s Free at Noon, and later at Union Transfer. We’re not quite sure WHAT to expect from the futuristic foursome live, but we do know this: once word gets out about Django Django, they’ll be everyone’s new fave band since Animal Collective.
Friday, March 8: Body/Head at Space 1026
Body/Head is a new project from Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, alongside Vampire Belt’s Bill Nace. Together they craft scuzzy, noisy, garage jams with all guitar (b/c drums are for sellout$) and Gordon’s airy, no-wave vocals, laid atop an omnipresent layer of fuzz. The result is a heady blend of free rock grit that sounds best if you’re intoxicated, and will make you feel like the venue walls are swirling around you. Ever since Kim split from Thurston in late 2011, we feel like he’s been grabbing all the attention, with kewl, shred-tastic new project Chelsea Light Moving—but the truth is, we’ve always thought Kim was more of a bad-ass, and with Sonic Youth on indefinite hiatus, this is your chance to watch her really let loose. Before you go: check out this mind-bending live vid so you know what to expect.
8:30 at Space 1026, 1026 Arch St., $12. Tickets available here.
Friday, March 8: Norwegian Arms at PhilaMoca
Norwegian Arms is Brendan Mulvihill and Eric Slick, mandolinist/scholar and drummer extraordinaire, respectively. Since forming in 2009, the band’s turned heads with their unique brand of weirdo pop, which has evolved, over the years, from impassioned Tupperware-banging to a complex blend of lush, percussive, and melodic folk. Their band’s debut record, Wolf Like a Stray Dog, was inspired by Mulvilhill’s journey to Siberia, where he spent a year teaching English as a Fulbright Fellow, and deals with Big topics like wanderlust, identity, and finding your place in an unfamiliar land. Joining the band live is Ape School’s Scott Churchman, who will be releasing his new record Ignore That Noise on cassette (yes, really!), plus local faves Laser Background and Circadian Rhythms. Before you go: Check out this sweet teaser vid of Norwegian Arms playing live to get amped.
8:00 at PhilaMoca, 531 N. 12th St., $8. Tickets available here.
Saturday, March 9: Work Drugs at Kung Fu Necktie
The aura of Work Drugs is one of sex appeal and endless cool; of breezy boat trips up the coast, and late night dance parties under twinkling lights. We’ve already detailed our love for last year’s Absolute Bearing; and since its release, the men of Work Drugs have continued to churn out charmers, including the seductive “Tigerbeats” (named after the dance party of the same name) and the oh-so-smooth Amore EP. Live, the band proves equally charismatic mood-masters, and their headlining show at KFN should be a very sexy way to spend a Saturday night. Arrive early for opener Night Panther, whose single “Snudge” is an insatiable slice of dance-pop candy.
7:30 at Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St., $10. Tickets available here.