It’s been ten years since Erik Petersen’s folk-punk outfit Mischief Brew released its EP Bakenal, and to mark the anniversary (and as an excuse to dust off some old tunes), he’s playing a rare acoustic set tonight at Boot and Saddle. The out-of-print EP was Mischief Brew’s first foray into the compact disc format – which seems a bit quaint today, but in the early aughts before mp3 streaming really took off, the ability to put your music out that way was something of a big deal. Also released that year was the Bellingham and Philadelphia EP, a split with celtic-influenced singer Robert Sarazin Blake, and Petersen says he plans to play both releases in their entirety “along with some old rare songs you always shout for but never hear. Yup, ‘Dirty Pennies,’ ‘Rambler’s Ghost,’ ‘Anti-Lullaby’… all of ‘em. It will also be the kick-off show of an acoustic mini-tour. Denise, Erik, pugs, Honda Element. Old school.” Tickets and information on the show can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar. Below, listen to “Devil of a Time” from Bakenal.
Singer-songwriter Beth Orton will take the stage at The Trocadero tonight. The English musician’s forthcoming record Sugaring Season is her first in six years and represents a time of self-reflection and transitions in both her personal life and her music career. Supporting Beth Orton is Vermont-bred folk singer Sam Amidon. Tickets for this seated all-ages show are $29.50, available here. Doors are at 7:00 p.m. and music begins at 8:00. Below, watch the video for Beth Orton’s single “Magpie”.
Irish rock trio Bell X1 announced a fall acoustic tour today, and it kicks off in Philadelphia on Sept. 25 with an appearance at at World Cafe Live. Tickets for the show go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. Click here to listen to Bell X1′s Live at the World Cafe session from 2011, and watch a video of the band performing “Velcro” from World Cafe’s Sense of Place series below.
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 18
Bell X1 is Ireland’s best barely-kept secret. The group, originally known as Juniper, used to feature Damien Rice as its lead singer; unfortunately, it’s still often recognized for that fact, rather than for its Talking Heads- and Flaming Lips-inspired fusion of rock and electronic music. Bell X1 is a sensation in Ireland, nominated for Best Irish Band at the Meteor Music Awards three different times. It was also nominated twice for Best Irish Album and Best Irish Live Performance. However, the band’s success in the states and in the UK barely compares to its fame at home. The chance to see a festival-headlining band up close and personal is rare, but Bell X1’s current international tour for its new album, Bloodless Coup, provides just that opportunity. The new material walks the fine line between early Radiohead and contemporary UK folk like Mumford And Sons and they’ll be performing it at a series of smaller, intimate shows in the states. Bell X1 performs with Favourite Sons at 9 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are $18–$20. —Naomi Shavin
Eilen Jewel performs two shows (7:30 and 10:00 p.m.) at Tin Angel. Tickets to the 21+ show are $15.
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 19 Intuition and tenacity have driven Ray Davies’ extensive songwriting career. Davies, the prime lyricist of The Kinks, has been deemed responsible for the England-based band’s literate rock ballads. Now, 15 years after The Kinks’ split, Davies is writing more than ever. Recently he stated, “I think it’s an instinct, a desire to want to communicate things to people… you try to find a unique way of doing it.” His most recent album, See My Friends, might be his most unique attempt at communicating yet. The record is composed entirely of collaborations with well-known acts such as Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, and Mumford And Sons. Davies’ determination to create at the age of 67 outshines that of many 20-somethings. So, despite a six-month hiatus due to health concerns and a conflict-ridden relationship with his brother (once-bandmate, Dave Davies), Ray Davies is touring to promote even more new songs (and a few oldies). Ray Davies performs with Dessolf Choir at 8 pm at the Temple Performing Arts Center; tickets to the all-ages show are $55. —Caitlyn Grabenstein
Chris Smither performs with Andy Friedman at 7:30 p.m. at World Cafe Live; tickets to the all-ages show are $30-$40.
Drive-By Truckers perform with Jessica Lea Mayfield at 8 p.m. at the Theatre Of Living Arts; tickets to the 21+ show are $35.
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 18
Los Campesinos! has finally embraced the misery it has hinted at for years. From Hold On Now, Youngster… to We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed to Romance Is Boring, Los Campesinos! has made a steady decline into twee-pop depression. The Welsh band’s latest album, appropriately titled Hello Sadness, doesn’t even pretend to be happy. It is an obvious reflection of the break-up that inspired it. The music itself remains unbearably anxious and involved, with countless beats and instruments, but the affect is much gloomier. Lyrics like, “This dripping from my broken heart/Is never running dry,” destroy any delusion of cheerfulness. The sound of Hello Sadness is still boisterous, but, as a whole, it is a melancholic departure from Los Campesinos!’s previous albums. There is a certain palatable maturity to it that isn’t present on any of its predecessors. Los Campesinos! will be performing with Reading Rainbow at 8 p.m. at Union Transfer; tickets to the all ages show are $15 – $18. —Caitlyn Grabenstein
Also Playing: XPN Welcomes Bell X1 + Favourite Sons at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $18–$20); Todd Rundgren’s Utopia at Tower Theatre (8 p.m., $49.50–$90); Hot Rod Circuit + Cartel, Smoke Signals, The Front Bottoms at Theatre Of Living Arts (7 p.m., all ages, $26); Joe Lally + The Gerunds, Helen Money at Kung Fu Necktie (7:30 p.m., 21+, $10); The Levee Drivers + Satellite Hearts, Thom McCarthy at The Fire (8:30 p.m., 21+, $7); TJ Kong & the Atomic Bomb + Psalmships, The Looks Of It at North Star Bar (9 p.m., 21+, $10)
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 19
XPN Welcomes Drive-By Truckers and Jessica Lea Mayfield at Theatre Of Living Arts (8 p.m., $35); XPN Welcomes Chris Smither at World Cafe Live (7:30 p.m., $30–$42); Purling Hiss + Puerto Rico Flowers at Johnny Brenda’s (9:30 p.m., 21+, $10–$12); Peter Murphy + She Wants Revenge at The Trocadero (9 p.m., all ages, $23.50–$25); Summer Fiction + Steve Goldberg And The Arch Enemies, Brown Recluse at The Barbary (7 p.m., 21+, $10); The Fleeting Ends + LP Stiles at Milkboy Philly (9:30 p.m., 21+, $8–$10)
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 20th
Mastodon + The Dillinger Escape Plan, Red Fang at The Trocadero (7 p.m., all ages, SOLD OUT); Tom Rush at World Cafe Live (7:30 p.m., $35–$45)