Divine Fits are playing tonight at Union Transfer in support of their debut album, A Thing Called Divine Fits, which was released in August. An indie supergroup of sorts, Divine FIts is spearheaded by Spoon‘s Britt Daniel, New Bomb Turks’ Sam Brow, and Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs. Tickets for the all-ages show are available here. Below, check out the video for “Would That Not Be Nice.”
The fantastical Father John Misty will once again grace us with his presence. Having played at SXSW this year, as well as our annual Non-Comm, we have grown fond of not just his debut album Fear Fun (which is spotlessly melodious, especially the master-crafted tune “Hollywood Cemetery Sings”) but also his live performances. The Father really knows how to get wrapped all up into his songs that discuss his pains and his pleasures, his sorrows and his irateness, and his feverish, wondrous dreams. He returns to Philadelphia on October 21st at Union Transfer with supporting acts including La Sera and Jefertitti’s Nile. Ticket sales TBA. Below, you can check out his live performance of “I’m Writing a Novel” from WXPN’s Non-Comm in May. You can listen to the entire performance here.
FRIDAY, MAY 20
Merrill Garbus, who performs as tUnE-yArDs, sees things in a million shades of gray. Her lyrics and interviews are filled with more questions than answers. Is she borrowing—or stealing—her beats and yelps from African music? Should she sing about the political views that are inherently a part of her personality, or will she come across as preachy? Should she make her music more confrontational to avoid having it played in Urban Outfitters? And if her music is even more confrontational, will it alienate the listener? That kind of ambivalence could bog a musician down. But Garbus has an ability to ask questions powerfully. Layers of explosive percussion drive the music; her voice ranges unpredictably. The result is music that lies off the beaten path of current indie trends. tUnE-yArDs performs with Buke And Gass at 9 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are SOLD OUT. —Dave Simpson
Also playing: Odd Future at First Unitarian Church (9 p.m., all ages, SOLD OUT); Weird Al Yankovic at Keswick Theatre (8 p.m., all ages, $29.50-$59.50); Dredg + The Dear Hunter, Balance And Composure, The Trophy Fire at The Trocadero (7 p.m., all ages, $16); Small Houses + Chris Kasper, Tinmouth, Brittany Ann at Danger Danger Gallery (9 p.m., all ages, $5-$10)
SATURDAY, MAY 21
As one of the leaders of the folk-baroque resurgence, Seattle’s Fleet Foxes bring a harmony-laden, rustic approach to pop. The songs sound like hymns to rural Americana—they’re both a tribute and a wishful hope for a return to simpler time. Unfortunately, singer Robin Pecknold’s lyrics sometimes veer off into hokey territory, especially when he rambles at length about the poetry of snowflakes and sun-drenched orchards. But Fleet Foxes are highly listenable: both their first album and their latest, Helplessness Blues (which came out earlier this month), offer a dreamy, inoffensive soundtrack for an afternoon spent picking apples and wearing plaid. Fleet Foxes perform with The Cave Singers at 9 p.m. at The Tower Theatre; tickets to the show are SOLD OUT. —Kiley Bense
Also playing: Converge + Drop Dead, Trap Them, Burning Love, Cop Problem at Broad Street Ministry (7 p.m., all ages, $15); Damon And Naomi + Amor de Dias at First Unitarian Church (7:30 p.m., all ages, $12); Delco Nightingale + Sean Kershaw And The New Jack Ramblers at The Fire (9 p.m., $9)
SUNDAY, MAY 22 The Punk Rock Flea Market (10 a.m.-5 p.m., $3, 461 N. 9th St.); Neon Trees + The Limousines, Eastern Conference Champions at Theatre Of Living Arts (8 p.m., $18); The Cars at Electric Factory (8 p.m., $60.45)
Fleet Foxes have a new album, Helplessness Blues, coming out on May 5th—and they’ll be stopping by the Tower Theatre on Saturday, May 21st, while on tour in support of the album. Complete ticket information for the show can be found here. You can also stream the entire album over at NPR Music here. In their review of the album, NPR Music says:
Still making intricate folk songs with otherworldly harmonies, Fleet Foxes’ members clearly wrestled with the fear of repeating themselves in making Helplessness Blues. Ultimately, they wind up letting go and doing what they do best, and the results are outstanding.
Fleet Foxes are playing the Tower Theatre on Saturday, May 21st. Their new album, Helplessness Blues, is being released on May 3rd. Below, check out their new video for the song “Grown Ocean.” And if you’ve yet to download the gorgeous “Helplessness Blues,” you can do so below.
Several years ago, acclaimed record producer Steve Lillywhite (U2, Dave Matthews) produced The Lillywhite Sessions for World Cafe with David Dye. Working at WXPN and Avatar Studios in New York City, some of the sessions he produced included The Pretenders, Dr. Dog, and She & Him. Yesterday—with the release of “Helplessness Blues” (a new song by Fleet Foxes, which you can listen to and download below)—we were reminded of a session that Lillywhite did with Fleet Foxes back in July, 2008.
Listen to Fleet Foxes: The Lillywhite Session here