Tonight’s Concert Picks: Bird Watcher at Johnny Brenda’s, Le Fits at Kung Fu Necktie, Bettye Lavette at World Cafe Live

Bird Watcher

Bird Watcher | photo via Facebook

Local indie rock / folk group Bird Watcher headline Johnny Brenda’s tonight. Founded by the duo of Jesse Soifer and Julian Booker (the latter also the host of Sleepy Hollow on Sunday mornings), Bird Watcher is now a full band and will be performing new songs taken from an upcoming full-length. Watch their video for “All You Suburban Mothers, I Depart Thee!” below and pick up tickets for the 21+ show with Dylan Jane and Ortolan here.

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Le Fits celebrating new release with Bastille Day party (tonight at The 5th Side)

Let them eat cake! Or at least munch hors d’oeuvres, sip biere, and dance the night away at The 5th Side, where local new wave outfit Le Fits will bring the fête in honor of their new 7″. Come out for an evening of Bastille Day-inspired DJ sets (the event touts an abundance of “un-American dance music” including French, Spanish, Italian, Latvian, and Bulgarian jams) and all-around revelry tonight, Saturday, July 14th at 7pm; admission is free. Vive La France!

Below, watch the video for “Sign Language” from Le Fits’ last album, Sportif.

Le Fits Sign Language Mexican Vacation from Le Video Fits on Vimeo.


The Key Studio Sessions: Heyward Howkins

The rare combination of a warm southern storyteller and a cool northern soul, Heyward Howkins is a longtime player in Philadelphia’s music scene who is coming into his own on the debut LP he’ll release later this month. The Hale and The Hearty is an album that rewards multiple listens – particularly the selections that Howkins recorded spaciously arranged versions of for his Key Studio Session with guitarist Severin Tucker and drummer Erik Schmidt. “Spanish Moss,” one of the best songs I’ve heard this year, is simultaneously a nod to the songwriter’s family roots in Georgia, as well as a vignette of working class life in Philadelphia. It’s so lyrically subtle, you almost have to be from the 215 to pick up on all the clever turns of phrase it contains (the line “My city’s way hungover / still sore from red October” is a good one), but the song is also melodic and sublime in a way that transcends its regional references. Likewise, “The Live Oak” makes a solid case for naming Howkins poet laureate of Oaklyn, N.J. The album is in stores and online on June 26, but you can get a copy early with the price of admission at this weekend’s album pre-release show at the Maas Building in Fishtown. Heyward Howkins performs with Oh! Pears, Le Fits and Juliet Hope Wayne at The Maas Building, 1320 N. 5th St., on Sat. June 9 at 8 p.m. Admission to the show is $10.