Tonight’s Concert Picks: Neil Halstead at World Cafe Live, Animal Collective at The Mann Center, Nick Waterhouse at Johnny Brenda’s, Polica at Union Transfer, Ben Harper at The Merriam Theater

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British singer-songwriter Neil Halstead will be at World Cafe Live tonight.  A founding member of indie-folk group Mojave 3 and shoegazers Slowdive, Halstead has spent the last ten years building a solo career and released his latest record, Palindrome Hunches, in September.   Also playing tonight are Jim Hanft with Samantha Yonack.  Tickets are $15 at the World Cafe Live website; doors open at 6:00 p.m. with music beginning at 7:30 p.m. Watch Neil perform “Tied to You” off of Palindrome Hunches below.

Experimental psych band Animal Collective play The Mann Center tonight.  The Baltimore natives are considered leaders in the electronic field and achieved commercial success with 2009′s Merriweather Post Pavilion, which featured the singles “My Girls” and “Brother Sport.”  Their latest record, Centipede Hz, was released in September.  Animal Collective’s show at The Mann Center, with special guests Micachu and the Shapes, is all-ages and doors open at 6:00 p.m.  Tickets are $33.50 here.  Below, watch the official video for “Today’s Supernatural” off of Centipede Hz.

WXPN welcomes Nick Waterhouse to Johnny Brenda’s.  Working in the same vein as Mayer Hawthorne and JD McPherson, Waterhouse makes an old brand of music and makes it well.  The California native rocked the Penn Park stage at WXPN’s Non-Comm music conference in May, and he returns to Philadelphia tonight for a show with the Allah-Las.  Tickets are $15 here, and doors open at 8:00 p.m. for this 21+ show.  Watch his video for “Some Place” below.

At Union Transfer tonight, WXPN welcomes the return of Polica to Philadelphia.  The Minneapolis band made waves with their first record Give You the Ghost this past spring, with critics including Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon championing the band’s electronic R&B sound and the spacey vocals of Channy Leaneagh.  Tonight they play an all-ages show with Secretly Canadian signees Gardens & Villa.  Tickets are $16 here and doors open at 8:00 p.m.   Below, watch a video of Polica performing “Dark Star” at Johnny Brenda’s from when they were in town in May.

WXPN Welcomes Ben Harper to the Merriam Theater for a special acoustic evening.  Throughout the genre-crossing musician’s career, Harper has released numerous solo records as well as recorded with other musicians, most notably Dhani Harrison and Joseph Arthur in Fistful of Mercy.  On Monday, it was announced that Harper has a new studio album coming out in early 2013 with Charlie Musselwhite.  He plays tonight with Grace Woodroofe; tickets range from $35 to $55, available here.  Doors open at 8:00 p.m.  Watch a cool rehersal video with Ben and his band running through “Spilling Faith” below.

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