The Week Ahead: The Districts, Curtis Cooper, Flobots, Lana Del Rey and more

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Curtis Cooper | photo by Abigail Townsend Photography | courtesy of the artist

16 shows over five days. Hip-hop to house jams, noisepop to jazz-pop, house shows to arenas, benefits and more…we’ve got quite the variety of selections for your concertgoing guide this week. Dig in below, beginning with a couple options for tonight. 


Wednesday 1/17: Telepathic at Space 1026

Philly DIY scene vets Sarah Everton and Rob Garcia have impressed us in recent years with their noisepop trio Telepathic, which last fall released the fuzzy and frenetic Self Check Out LP on Third Uncle Records. Tonight the band hits up Space 1026 with Sun Organ, Joey Sprinkles and the fresh-off-of-tour Cult Objects. Brace yourself for buzzsaw guitars and blissed out vocal harmonies.  // 7:00 p.m., $7, AA // TIX + INFO

Wednesday 1/17: Dan Kassel at World Cafe Live

Nomadic soundlooping cellist Dan Kassel returns home to Philadelphia tonight for a gig opening for the jazz-tinged Daniel Weatherspoon. Though Kassel racks up the YouTube views for his cello loop covers of pop hits like “Pumped Up Kicks,” his originals are elegant and graceful, and equally deserving of your attention.  // 8:00 p.m., $10, AA // TIX + INFO

Thursday 1/18: The Districts at The Queen

Their New Year’s Eve throwdown was one for the ages. They played new songs, not yet on any of their releases — giving us all indication that The Districts are not slowing down in any way, shape or form. On Thursday, the local sons return to the first stage I ever saw them play, The Queen Theater in Wilmington, to headline a show alongside their good friends Pine Barons and Wilmington’s Grace Vonderkuhn. // 8:00 p.m., $25, AA // TIX + INFO

Thursday 1/18: Harmony Woods at Boot and Saddle

The Lame-O Records Rock Residency continues this week with a set from east coast faves The Obsessives — but get there early for this one, because the fabulous Harmony Woods opens the night. It’s yet another full-circle moment for the band’s singer and songwriter Sofia Verbilla, whose first-ever show was opening for The Obsessives at Michael Jordon (the house venue currently known as JJ’s Diner). Alongside Hurry, who have a wonderful new album on the way, these three bands will raise money for PAWS with this gig.  // 8:00 p.m., $10, 21+ // TIX + INFO

Friday 1/19: Curtis Cooper at Johnny Brenda’s

A Philly born-and-raised singer-songwriter who fuses punk, folk, jazz and psych rock, Philly’s Curtis Cooper released the cathartic and compelling LP Messy back in the fall. Friday’s headlining show at Johnny Brenda’s is nominally in celebration of the new album — which unpacks depression, addiction, and mental health — but when we talked to Cooper about it, they seemed just as stoked to get these emotions out of their system and move on to the next body of work. Prediction: we’ll hear a lot of Messy on Friday, as well as a lot of newer-than-the-new-album material. Laser Background and Coping Skills open. // 9 p.m., $10, 21+ // TIX + INFO

Friday 1/19: Felix Da Housecat at Coda

Hailing from the fertile electronic music ground of the Chicago metro area, Felix Da Housecat is a veteran in the scene. As you’d guess from the name, “house” is his game, and his mixes have just as sweet of a richly melodic bump today as they did when he debuted on the early 90s DJ circuit. Friday’s gig is a late one, appropriately so, and for those with a bit of extra pocket change, you can take advantage of the most affordably priced VIP ticket I’ve seen (the $25 option) for a cozy 90 minutes of open bar fun.  // 11:00 p.m., $15 – $25, 21+ // TIX + INFO

Friday 1/19: Punk Talks Benefit at Everybody Hits

The idea behind Philly nonprofit Punk Talks is quite literal — hey, punk scene, talk about your emotions and uncertainties. Feel safe telling people when you’re having struggles with your mental heath. And on the flipside, be willing to listen to your friends and peers when they are in that situation. More specifically, beyond awareness-raising, Punk Talks helps provide affordable mental health care for musicians, and a lineup of Adult Mom, Narra, Free Throw and Cheem on Friday at Everybody Hits will support the organization.  // 8:00 p.m., $10, AA // TIX + INFO

Friday 1/19: Joey Sweeney and the Neon Grease at Connie’s Ric Rac

The last time I saw Joey Sweeney and the Neon Grease, I was onstage shaking sleigh bells at their Maas Building holiday spectacular. The longtime Philly musician / writer / journalist / cultural connoisseur brings his current crew to South Philly spot Connie’s Ric Rac Friday to kick off the weekend with music from their album-in-the-works. // 8:00 p.m., $8, 21+ // TIX + INFO

Saturday 1/20: Pinkwash at The Mothership

Performances from hard-hitting power duo Pinkwash are increasingly rare, as Ashley Arnwine spends a lot of time on tour playing drums with Waxahatchee, and Joey Doubek has been doing the same with The Downtown Boys of late. This weekend, both parties are back in Philly, and will make your Saturday rage with Branch Manager, Stinking Lizaveta and Dialer. // 7:00 p.m., $5 – $7, AA // TIX + INFO

Saturday 1/20: Flobots at Coda

Incredibly catchy Denver hiphop duo Flobots hits Philadelphia Saturday to headline Coda. A bit sardonic and silly in that late 90s alt-rap kind of way, the duo of Brer Rabbit and Jonny 5 dish observational rhymes with a comic book nerd’s attention to lyrical detail and unstoppable melodies. Their most recent outing was last year’s Noenemies, but 2009’s earworm “Handlebars” is always amazing for a listen.  // 8:00 p.m., $15, AA // TIX + INFO

Saturday 1/20: King Azaz at WaR3house3

The best (only?) band named for a character in the classic children’s book The Phantom Tollbooth, grungy punk duo King Azaz reigns Saturday at Swathmore DIY hub WaR3house 3. Following up 2016’s well-received Spiritus Mundi LP, the band dropped the new single “Bury The Pit” earlier this month; recorded in a workshop with the folks at Weathervane Music, you can dig into it below.  // 7:00 p.m., $1- – $15, AA // TIX + INFO

Saturday 1/20: Lizdelise at Bourbon and Branch

In between working on the followup to their self-titled 2016 outing, Philly duo Lizdelise keeps plenty busy — scoring modern dance routines, touring, and heading up gigs locally, like this Saturday night jaunt in Northern Liberties with Key faves Queue.  // 8:30 p.m., $10, 21+ // TIX + INFO

Saturday 1/20: Lizanne Knott at The Underground

The folks at Lansdale’s Round Guys Brewing have been gradually expanding into the live music universe lately, and local singer-songwriter Lizanne Knott joins them Saturday night at their performance space The Underground. A favorite of the local coffeehouse circuit (and XPN’s Helen Leicht), Knott fuses roots, blues, pop and more. // 8:00 p.m., $17, 21+ // TIX + INFO

Saturday 1/20: Cunio Sings Etta at RUBA

A celebration of sorts of the days between Etta James’ birthday (January 25th) and the anniversary of her passing (January 20th), Broadway performer Michael Cunio will perform a tribute to the iconic jazz and pop vocalist Saturday night at tucked-away NoLibs spot RUBA.  // 8:00 p.m., $25 – $35, 21+ // TIX + INFO

Sunday 1/21: Small Circle at Everybody Hits

The project of Philly’s Marissa D’elia and three of her friends in emo faves Sorority Noise, emerging four-piece Small Circle makes propulsive punk jams with poetic musings on last year’s Cyclical LP. They’ll spend Sunday night at the Cages, headlining a show alongside Queen Moo, Snowhaus and AllegrA.  // 7:00 p.m., $10, 21+ // TIX + INFO

Sunday 1/21: Lana Del Rey at Wells Fargo Center

Sunsoaked Southern California is captured in all its beautiful grandeur and ennui in Lana Del Rey’s masterful fifth LP, Lust For Life. Sunday, she closes out the week (or opens it up, depending on your perspective) by makes a long-awaited appearance at the Wells Fargo Center. // 8:00 p.m., $39.50 – $125, AA // TIX + INFO

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