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Five must-see artists at Made In America

Photo via facebook.com/actuallygrimes
Photo via facebook.com/actuallygrimes

As the Made In America fast approaches this weekend, one might feel a bit overwhelmed with the enormous amount of musical options to check out. Don’t feel stressed – we’re here to help! Here are our pics for five must-see performances this weekend, whether you’re catching the festival in person or streaming it on the MIA website. These artists are sure to keep the crowd buzzing well after their set ends. Continue reading →

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A scuzzy fun rock show at Boot and Saddle with Miniature Tigers and more

Miniature Tigers | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Miniature Tigers | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Three scuzzy rock acts set up shop at a packed Boot & Saddle last Saturday evening. NYC based garage rock quartet, Total Slacker opened the show. Their fun punk rockyness and energetic vibe got the crowd movin’ just in time for the next act, Brooklyn’s Bear Hands. The crowd grew in size to watch the electronic indie pop group, catching the attention of fan girls standing up front gazing longingly at the band members. By the time the second headliner came on, Miniature Tigers, it was a mix of poppy exuberance and one dismayed crowd member who shouted “Sorry but Bear Hands is better!” Definitely not cool. The lead vocalist Charlie Brand though, didn’t let the member’s comment sway him from rockin’ out with the rest of the crowd, walking through people and handing off the microphone so they could sing along to the lyrics.

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Stream the new Circa Surive album; release show(s) this Friday and Saturday at Union Transfer

Locally-rooted post-punk band Circa Survive are releasing their fourth album, Violent Waves, next Tuesday on August 28. The album was a total DIY effort – the band did not bring in outside producers on this one, and are self-releasing it. They will be holding two album release shows in their hometown of Philadelphia this weekend at Union Transfer. On Friday night they will be joined by Bear Hands, along with Birdie Num Num and the Spirit Squad. Saturday features performances from Balance and Composure and Grimace Federation. It has been rumored that their album will be available for purchase at the show, but it is not officially available until Tuesday. If you can’t make it to the show, you can pre-order Violent Waves on the band’s page. Rolling Stone is streaming the album now, and you can listen here. Tickets to this weekend’s shows are $20 per day, doors open at 7 p.m. Below, read a letter from Circa Survive to their fans. Continue reading →

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This Weekend’s Concert Picks: Bear Hands + The Asteroid No. 4 at Johnny Brenda’s, Normal Love at Danger Danger Gallery

Bear Hands

Photo by Victoria Jacob

Bear Hands

FRIDAY, JANUARY 28
When Modest Mouse released its sophomore LP, The Lonesome Crowded West, back in 1997, it seemed like exactly the kind of breakthrough album that could propel the band into indie-rock stardom. (Which it did.) Since then, the band has influenced countless newer acts in a variety of ways—the most distinctive and obvious of which is singer Isaac Brock’s voice. Truth be told, it is near impossible to listen to a track such as Bear Hands‘ “What A Drag” (off last year’s Burning Bush Supper Club) and not hear Brock’s voice when the singer yelps, “You’ve got them long nails / I’m dreaming of your god damn long nails” in a pinched, nasal tone. The band has probably come to terms with hearing that by now; after all, you can’t really spout out vocals like that and not expect such a comparison. Thankfully, the band has a few other vocal tricks up its sleeve, including the distorted falsetto on Supper Club‘s equally excellent opener, “Crime Pays.” Bear Hands performs with The Asteroid #4 and Snakes Say Hisss at 9 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ are $10.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 29
Do you love the early-’80s, Philly-based no wave band The Stick Men, but often wish they were a little less conventional in terms of songwriting? If so, we should probably discuss your idea of “conventional songwriting.” But, in the meantime, you’re going to love Normal Love. Normal Love performs with White Suns, Mincemeat Or Tenspeed, and Bad News Bats at Danger Danger Gallery; tickets to the all-ages show are $5-$10.

Also playing: Umphrey’s McGee + Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad at Electric Factory (8:30 p.m., $25); Andrew Lipke And The Prospects + The New Connection, Oldermost, Lily And The Parlor Tricks at North Star Bar (9 p.m., 21+, $8); Citizen Cope at Tin Angel (8 & 10:30 p.m., 21+, SOLD OUT)

SUNDAY, JANUARY 30
Less Than Jake + The Supervillains, Off With Their Heads, Transit at The Trocadero (6:30 p.m, all ages, $17); Citizen Cope at Tin Angel (7:30 & 10 p.m., 21+, SOLD OUT)