The Week Ahead: Ani Di Franco, Marian Hill, Bartees and the Strange Fruit, The Feelies and more

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Ani DiFranco | photo by GMD Three | courtesy of the artist
Ani DiFranco | photo by GMD Three | courtesy of the artist

Got plans this week? Because, wow, have we got plans for you. It’s a jam-packed seven days ahead of us, with no fewer than 22 concerts at your fingertips in the Philadelphia region (most within city limits, some a short drive away). Get out. See live music. And we’ll catch up with you on the other side.


 Tuesday 5/8: Ani DiFranco at The Queen

Can we talk for a second about how apt it is that folk trailblazer Ani Di Franco is performing at a venue called The Queen tonight? The upstate New York native has had a long and storied career, from her days selling tapes out of the trunk of her car to the 90s heyday of her Righteous Babe records — particularly the run from Not A Pretty Girl to Dialate to Little Plastic Castle, all leading into a ridiculously productive 1999, where Di Franco released three (!) projects over the course of the year — all the way to today, where Di Franco takes things at a more measured pace, but still manages to be powerful as ever. Her 19th studio album, Binary, was released last year, and her latest tour leg in support of it brings the singer-songwriter vet to The Queen tonight. // 8 p.m., $20, AA // TIX + INFOJohn Vettese

Tuesday 5/8: Hinds at The First Unitarian Church

Also tonight, Madrid rockers Hinds bring their latest album, New For You, to the First Unitarian Church Basement. The band is raw and irreverent, playing catchy garage rock that’s pretty impossible not to bob your head to. // 8 p.m., $17, AA // TIX + INFOJ.V.

Tuesday 5/8: Jelani Sei at PhilaMOCA

Wait a minute, this is a lot of gigs for a Tuesday night, huh? Jelani Sei is an awesome five-piece band from Hartford, Connecticut whose style spans cathartic punk and groove-oriented funk, under the leadership of duel vocalists Kayana Guity and Evan Lawrence. The band recently released the single “Rep. Maxine Waters,” a song that sonically translates the taxing plight of marginalized American citizens in 2018, and they open the show at PhilaMOCA tonight for Chicago’s Varsity. Local artists Boosegumps are also on the bill. // 8 p.m., $12, AA // TIX + INFO  – J.V.

Tuesday 5/8: Marian Hill at Union Transfer

And let’s not overlook the awesome Marian HIll this Tuesday. The Lower Merion-rooted duo of Samantha Gongol and Jeremy Lloyd are gearing up for the release of their sophomore album, Unusual, which will be everywhere this Friday, May 11th, and their hometown pre-release gig finds them on the stage at Union Transfer. The new songs we’ve heard so far make measured refinements to the band’s core chemistry — so Lloyds beats still do their thing, Gongol’s voice spins evocative lyrical stories, collaborator Steve Davit chimes in on sax, but pushing ever-so-slightly into new and equally alluring territory. And sometimes the leaps are more extreme, like we see in the sci-fi / horror music video for “Subtle Thing,” which you can get some serious X-Files vibes from below. // 8 p.m., $29, AA // TIX + INFOJ.V.

Wednesday 5/9: Great Weights at Lava Space

I’m not one to make “album of the year” declarations before I’ve absorbed as many of the year’s albums as possible, but I will say that West Philly’s Great Weights have set the bar pretty high for Philly punk with the April release of their self-titled EP. On a sonic level, its six songs channel a range of elements of punk and hardcore from the past 25 years, while lyricists Meredith Haines and Al San Valentin study themes of survival during times of adversity. On Wednesday, they’ll be at Lancaster Avenue’s Lava Space with Curtis Cooper, Yazan and Bethlehem Steel. // 7 p.m., $10, AA // INFOJ.V.

Wednesday 5/9: Bartees and the Strange Fruit at PhilaMOCA

Brooklyn’s Bartees Cox is a tremendously busy individual, whether it’s with his day job at the environmental justice nonprofit Climate Nexus, or in his musical pursuits with punk band Stay Inside or his more folk-oriented solo project Bartees and the Strange Fruit. Calling out and combating inequality and social injustice is the common thread between all of those things, though. Late last year, Bartees and the Strange Fruit released the Magic Boy album; this winter, they recorded and released a breathtaking Folkadelphia session. And Wednesday night, Bartees performs at PhilaMOCA, opening an all-ages show with Sunny War. // 8 p.m., $12, AA // TIX + INFOJ.V.

Wednesday 5/9: Trampled By Turtles at Union Transfer

Folk-rooted Duluth jammers Trampled by Turtles just released their eighth studio album, Life Is Good On The Open Road, via Thirty Tigers records. With one foot in bluegrass, country and roots music and another stepping into expansive instrumental territories, the band is a joy to see live, and Wednesday the former XPNFest artists headline Union Transfer with support from current XPNFest-ers Hiss Golden Messenger. // 8 p.m., $25, AA // TIX + INFOJ.V.

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