Tonight, How to Dress Well (aka Tom Krell) brings its catchy, minimalist R&B to the First Unitarian Church stage. Krell released his second album Total Loss back in 2012 which featured the single “And It Was U”. His bare bones approach to the genre is low on frills but high in quality as he transforms melodies with layered harmonies and simple beats. Get tickets here and check out “And It Was U” below.
It’s difficult to classify the music of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. The Detroit-based duo has enough reverb to sound like The Flaming Lips, enough retro melodies to sound like The Beach Boys, and, somehow, enough dance beats to sound like a 1980’s throwback. After releasing their debut full-length LP, It’s A Corporate World, earlier this year, band members Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott have gained buzz for their eclectic indie pop and irreverent wardrobe choices, showcasing everything from multicolored checked suits to Nascar jumpsuits. According to a recent update on the band’s Twitter, after tonight’s show they will do a guest DJ spot at Kung Fu Necktie. If the group’s success in mix-and-match music-making is any indication, the set is sure to be just as full of delightfully unexpected miscellany. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. performs with The Homophones at 9 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are $12. —Marielle Mondon
Even before a single band had hit the stage, this year’s Popped! Music Festival was not off to a good start. Just a few days before the festival, organizers had to make the gut-wrenching decision to move the festival indoors due to the forecasted weather. No one can blame them for the move; they can’t control the weather and it’s certainly not their fault FDR Park wouldn’t be able to survive both the rain and thousands of people pounding its grounds. Nevertheless, no one seemed to be all that happy about the unfortunate move.
For the full review of the entire festival (including a ton of additional photos of each performing act), as well as a comprehensive calendar of upcoming shows in Philadelphia, visit The Swollen Fox. (Thanks to Kevin for sharing his photos with us.)
Friday, September 23rd
Cage The Elephant
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
Company of Thieves
Saturday, September 24th
Foster The People
The Budos Band
Mates Of State
Black Thought & J. Period Mixtape
A limited number of Early Bird two-day passes ($90) and Early Bird two-day VIP passes ($175) are on sale now through Thursday, June 23rd, at 10 p.m. Use the code: POPPED (for two-day passes) and code: VIPPOPPED (for two-day VIP passes) at the Popped! wesbite or at Ticketmaster. VIP passes include a special viewing area near the stage, a separate entrance, bar/food/restroom areas. Regular price two-day passes ($110) and two-day VIP passes ($200) go on sale this Friday, June 24th, at 10 a.m. at the Popped! website and Ticketmaster. Charge by phone at 800-745-8000, or the Electric Factory Box Office located at 421 N. 7th Street. (No service fees for cash purchases!)
FRIDAY, MAY 13 The Loom simply plays folk music—or, at its most complex, chamber-folk music. The six-piece Brooklyn-based act has horns, ukulele, piano, and some (primarily undistorted) guitars; they don’t add reverb or loops or lo-fi or beats. But the distinctly folk sound is only one way in which The Loom serves as a reminder of the past. Sure, the band’s increasing popularity has pushed it into the blog realm—but, for an indie band, a surprising amount of its acclaim comes from old media. The New York Times called it “the next big thing” in folk music, The New Yorker used the word “beloved,” and The Loom’s music has been used on Good Morning America. In interviews, the band members talk about the meanings behind their songs, and about the joy music brings them. They possess a sincerity that is rare in the ironic, apathetic, or deliberately ambiguous demeanor of today’s musicians. The Loom performs with Christopher Paul Stelling, Psalmships, Annachristie of Sisters3, Former Belle at 9 p.m. at Danger Danger Gallery; tickets to the all-ages show are $5-$10. —Dave Simpson
Also playing: Adele + The Civil Wars at Electric Factory (8:30 p.m., SOLD OUT); Mason Jennings + Birdie Busch at World Cafe Live (8 p.m., $25-$42); Dutch at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (5 p.m., all ages, $8); Simone Felice at First Unitarian Church (8 p.m., all ages, $15); The Armchairs (last show) + Dinosaur Feathers, The Circadian Rhythms, Orbit to Leslie at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $10); WXPN Welcomes Danielia Cotton + Peter Bradley Adams at Tin Angel (7:30 p.m., 21+, $15); Hezekiah Leaves & The Spinning Joneses + The Extraordinaires, Nic Esposito, Joshua Park at Bookspace (8 p.m., all ages, $12); Reverend Horton Heat + The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band at Theatre Of Living Arts (9 p.m., $31.25)
SATURDAY, MAY 14 Fake Problems is about keeping the drama to a minimum, and getting the work done. The Naples, Fla. natives know what hard work feels like, having been consistently touring since 2006, and enduring a long growth process from a one-man DIY beginning to a thriving four piece outfit. Since Fake Problems’ rough beginnings, its sound has developed organically—never making a drastic shift or sharply redefining itself, but rather drifting from alt-country pop rock (with a touch of banjo) to an indie sound that reflects its sleepy, beach-front home town. Front man Chris Farren says their newest album, Real Ghosts Caught On Tape, has touches that show how the band’s constant state of development has diversified its influences in the past few years. You can hear some Look Mexico, Phil Spector, M. Ward, Prince, and even some Kanye-inspired lyrics, all held together by a jangly, beach vibe. Although the band is founded on a “no problem” mentality (hence the name), Real Ghost’s second track “5678” openly tackles the self-indulgent dilemma of, as Farren describes, a Kanye-esque dichotomy of “I hate myself” and “I’m awesome” mentalities. Fake Problems performs with Pomegranates, Laura Stevenson and Into It Over It at 3 p.m. at North Star Bar; tickets to the all-ages show are $20. —Danielle Wayda
Perhaps, Saturday night at Kung Fu Necktie, the members of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. will take off their NASCAR jumpsuits, remove all of their faux-patriotic stage clutter (red, white, and blue streamers, a light-up American flag), shave their mustaches, and change their band name to something meaningful. Until then, audiences will have to skip past the overbearing irony and focus on the duo’s mature, meaningful music. For a band that shies from seriousness, its music hits hard: both band members play lightly-fuzzed electric guitars, deriving rhythm from drum beats and solid bassy guitar riffs. Some songs are soulful falsettos, others are synthy and electronic; the lyrics, meanwhile, are creative and thoughtful, with only the occasional gimmick. They sing well-crafted melodies, playing off the other’s harmonies, like an electronic Simon And Garfunkel…in NASCAR jumpsuits. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. performs with Generationals at 7 p.m. at Kung Fu Necktie; tickets to the 21+ show are $10. —Dave Simpson
Also playing: XPN Welcomes Southern Culture On The Skids at Sellersville Theater (6 & 9:30 p.m., $25); XPN Welcomes Warren Haynes at Tower Theatre (8 p.m., $63); Buried Beds + Ape School, In One Wind at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $10)
SUNDAY, MAY 15
Party Photographers + Dikes Of Holland, Dangerbird at Danger Danger Gallery (9 p.m., all ages, $5-$10); Blue October + The Soldier Thread (8 p.m., SOLD OUT)