Sunday’s Concert Picks: Grandchildren and The Very Best at JB’s, Betty Iron Thumbs at The Fire, Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlesome Bells at Silk City

If the weekend weather’s got you down, your best call is to head inside and hunker down with some good people and good music. Heading over to Johnny Brenda’s will land you in front of Philly favorites Grandchildren, whose glowing indie-electro-rock will warm your rain-chilled soul and soften your summer heat-hardened heart. They just released a new song, “Where’s the Knife,” from their upcoming album over at Paste Magazine. Grandchildren are opening for the global pop duo The Very Best, who list their influences as “Lil Wayne and Phil Collins” and have a set of head-bopping, hip-shaking afropop tunes in store to get Frankford Ave dancing. The show starts at 9:15 (doors at 8), and admission is 21+; tickets are available for $13 here. Below, watch the video for “Kondaine,” an jubilant track from The Very Best’s forthcoming album, MTMTMK.

Or if you’re in a heavier mood, head over to The Fire for Philly’s own self-proclaimed “twangcore” rockers Betty Iron Thumbs, who’ll be taking that tiny stage along with a whole plethora of rock n’ rollers including South Carolina’s Modern Man, Virgina’s Gunchux, and locals Horace Mann. Tickets are $7 here; the show starts at 8 and is 21+. Below, stream “Under the Night,” the title track from Betty Iron Thumbs’ latest album.

Finally, if none of the aforementioned quite fits your fancy, why not try out local psych-folks Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlesome Bells, playing an early show at Silk City. They’ll be pairing their slow and lilting heady folk-rock jams along with the likes of fuzzed-out locals Dreambook, punk shoe-wave outfit Canary oh Canary, and Brooklyn shoegazers Invisible Days. Admission to the 6 p.m. show is $7 at the door; the show is 21+. Below, stream “O the Sun” from Bells’ first full album, The Sirens, Too, Sang That Way. Their latest album Worried Land is available on their website in vinyl or pay-what-you-want download.


Listen to the new album from The Very Best via NPR Music (playing Johnny Brenda’s in August)

Photo by Suat Kutlug

The Very Best release its new album MTMTMK on July 17th and are playing Johnny Brenda’s on Sunday, August 12th. Go here for tickets and more information about the show. The Very Best is Swedish-born producer Johan Hugo and Malawian singer and drummer Esau Mwamwaya. The band debuted in 2009 with their Warm Heart Of Africa, a contemporary dance music driven collection of funky jams with production by Radioclit and appearances from M.I.A. and Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend. Ann Powers, writing about MTMTMK for NPR Music says:

MTMTMK features many highly danceable earworms that could start any party and sound great on the radio. Renowned musical ambassadors K’Naan, Baaba Maal and Amadou & Mariam all make appearances. “Rumbae” even includes a hook which resulted from collaborations with “Dynamite” hitmaker Taio Cruz. Yet the focus and craft Hugo and Mwamwaya bring to MTMTMK only makes the music richer: “Rudeboy” and “We OK” (co-written with Bruno Mars) revive the spirit of new-wave genre-busters like The English Beat, whose pretty choruses were wrapped around sharp-edged stories of cultural collision and change.

Listen to MTMTMK via NPR Music here.