Tonight’s Concert Picks: James Blake at Union Transfer, Robert Glasper Experiment at World Cafe Live at The Queen, Coke Weed at Boot & Saddle

Photo by Chris Sikich |"
Photo by Chris Sikich |
Recent Mercury prize winner James Blake returns to Philly tonight at Union Transfer. The electronica artist won the prestigious British music award for his current release, Overgrown. Tickets and information for the all ages event can be found here.

Robert Glasper recently released Black Radio 2, building on the genre bending musical blueprint he debuted on 2012’s Black Radio. Bringing together jazz, R&B, neo-soul, and hip-hop, the Robert Glasper Experiment perform at World Cafe Live at The Queen in Wilmington for an XPN Welcomes event. Tickets and more information can be found here. Below, listen to Glasper’s collaboration with Norah Jones from Black Radio 2.

Psychedelic rockers Coke Weed made one of 2013’s most under-the-radar and likely underrated rock records, Back To Soft. The Bar Harbor, Maine quintet is fronted by Milan McAlevey and the band’s music is bathed in electric Sixties vibes with elements of Velvet Underground, Grace Slick & The Great Society, and Creedence. The band play at Boot & Saddle. Go here for tickets and more information about the show.

Also tonight:
John Vanderslice with Philly’s Market East at Johnny Brenda’s.


Download “Raw Wood” by John Vanderslice (playing Johnny Brenda’s on 11/4)

John Vanderslice | Photo by Autumn De Wilde
John Vanderslice | Photo by Autumn De Wilde

Almost one year later to the day of his last appearance at Johnny Brenda’s, John Vanderslice returns on November 4th in support of his 2013 self-released record Dagger Beach.  In the early days of his career, Vanderslice was known for his political lyrics and his experimental recording techniques.  Dagger Beach, though, departs from the political themes and sees Vanderslice approach more personal relationships in his lyrics.  Born in transitional post-break-up months, Dagger Beach catalogs Vanderslice’s thoughts during a solo hiking trip along California’s Lost Coast. Tickets and information for next week’s show with Market East can be found here.  Stream and download “Raw Wood” from Dagger Beach below, followed by a live video of Vanderslice and Crooked Fingers performing Archers of Loaf’s “White Trash Heroes” from last year’s show.


Tonight’s Concert Pick: John Vanderslice at Johnny Brenda’s

If Edith Wharton’s macabre novella Ethan Frome were to be made into a movie, John Vanderslice and Minna Choi (of Magik*Magik Orchestra) would score it. Actually, someone already made the movie—but the soundtrack surely isn’t as fitting as Vanderslice’s latest album, White Wilderness, would have been. The album—released in January—is a departure from Vanderslice’s normal recording style; Wilderness feels like driving down a desolate dirt road on a New England winter night, with no signs of life in sight and your eyes playing tricks with the shadows on the bare trees. Even instruments that are usually cheery (or, at the very least, bright)—flutes, brass—take on a dark, sometimes deranged tone under Choi’s direction. It’s certainly cinematic: eerie and melancholy, with a great deal of lonely woodwinds and strings, and Vanderslice’s voice breaking at all the right places. The title track evokes exactly what the words imply—starkness, isolation, and a slowly growing depression, with hardly a major key in sight. An Edith Wharton character would feel right at home. John Vanderslice performs with Damien Jurado at 8 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are $12. —Danielle Wayda