Thursday, July 10: The Felice Brothers
Long before The Felice Brothers established themselves as the rollicking, rock’n roll force they are today, they were just another NYC subway band, busking and writing songs, sacrificing the comforts of modern life for a rock’n roll dream. And like hundreds of similarly minded poets before them, their hard work paid off, thanks to their relentless energy and the easy lure of throwback-style melodies, the kind that sound best while blaring from the back bar at 2 a.m. The project of brothers Ian and James Felice, sons of a carpenter from the Catskill Mountains, the boys moved to the Big City in 2006 to pursue music full-time, and quickly teamed up with friends. Their breakthrough came with 2008’s The Felice Brothers, whose catchy melodies they supplemented with wild, stompin’ live shows. Now 6 years later, they’re touring behind new record Favorite Waitress, and will roll through Philadelphia this Thursday. Get on board or be left behind.
8:30 at Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., $20. Tickets available here.
Thursday, July 10: Work Drugs
I love listening to Work Drugs in the fall, when the sun starts setting earlier and the hazy melodies seem to fade with its rays; I love listening to Work Drugs in the winter, when the images of beach-y groves transport me; and I love listening to Work Drugs in the spring, when it’s finally warm enough to roll down the car windows, blasting “License to Drive” as you roll down the interstate. But mostly, I love listening to Work Drugs in the summer, when the blistering beats and gauzy melodies seem to mirror epic evenings perfectly. The ongoing project of Thomas Crystal and Ben Louisiana, Work Drugs came together in 2011 in Philadelphia, and have churned out hits ever since, self-releasing countless records of chillwave charmers inspired by everything from Club MTV to life at The Barbary. Along the way, they’ve earned props as one of the city’s most consistent and prolific bands, and will celebrate the release of a brand new song this week with a show at Johnny Brenda’s. Thursdays never felt so smooth.
9:00 at Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., $10–12. Tickets available here.
Saturday, July 12: The Extraordinaires
The Extraordinaires are one of those bands I’ve seen so many times they practically feel like a Philly institution—complete thanks to Jay Purdy’s fish-shaped guitar and whimsical story-telling. Formed 10 years back by Purdy and Matt Gibson, the band first caught my attention with 2006’s Short Stories, which contained such gems as the artist’s anthem, “The Warehouse Song,” and the zippy, cautionary tale, “Hi Five the Cactus.” It was also released as a full, hardcover book, which, we should probably note, is kinda their thing. (They’ve released 3 record-books so far, in addition to an EP that functions as a board game). But they’re perhaps most known for their colorful stage show, which incorporates costumes, props, and loose choreography into a zany carnival of fun and good vibes. The past few years has seen both ups and downs, including hitting the road with Man Man, and the addition of new members (definite ups) and the dissolution of label Punk Rock Payroll (a down). But they’ve soldiered on with smiles and this Saturday celebrate the release of new record Dress for Nasty Weather, alongside Grandchildren and Teen Men. Major vibes expected.
9:00 at Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., $10. Tickets available here.
Monday, July 14: Owls + Hop Along
They say that Owls are very wise (although science has proven: it’s not true!) and thus it makes sense as a moniker for Tim and Mike Kinsella and crew, Chicago rockers whose years of experience makes them as wise as they are creative. Their myriad projects throughout the ‘90s and ‘00s guided many a suburban misfit through high school: the frantic, punk enthusiasm of Cap’n Jazz; the mellow emo of American Football; the brooding post-punk of Joan of Arc. The crew first came together in the late 1980s while still in high school, and formed Cap’n Jazz soon after. They later reformed as Owls shortly after its dissolution, and released one record in 2001 before dispersing once more. 2012 saw a band reunion, and these days they continue to bring us all the snarky, jangle-punk we want. They’re now touring behind Owls’ sophomore record Two, an easy-going listen that already sounds like an instant classic. But what seriously makes this show a can’t miss is opener Hop Along—aka, Philadelphian Frances Quinlan and friends, and your new fave discovery for the emo revival.
8:00 at Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., $15. Tickets available here.