Tonight’s Concert Picks: Guards open for Ra Ra Riot at Union Transfer, Katie Frank at Tin Angel, Joe D’Amico at Kung Fu Necktie, Femi Kuti at World Cafe Live


Photo by Olivia Malone

As if Ra Ra Riot isn’t already a solid reason to head to Union Transfer tonight, Richie Follin gives you another in a word: Guards. The younger brother of Cults’ Madeline Follin, Richie is equally talented and just as interested in the retro-pop sound that made his sister’s band so critically successful. Listening to Richie’s Guards EP from 2009 and the singles from his upcoming debut album, In Guards We Trust, it’s not surprising that Richie has played guitar for Cults when the duo toured. His music is distinct from his sister’s band, though, especially on the new album, even if his hair cut is …exactly like hers. Catch his polished, dark-tinged pop project when he opens for Ra Ra Riot. Tickets and information for the all ages show are available here. Below, watch Follin’s band in their new music video for the track “Silver Lining,” via

Her online persona may suggest that Katie Frank doesn’t take herself too seriously.  As a young, recent Temple University graduate, it could be safe to assume as much, but her attitude on her music is a different story completely.  Don’t let Facebook taglines like, “Folk rock meets pop in a whole new way!” fool you.  Both Frank’s stage presence and songwriting are heavy, mature products of years of hard work and dedication to her craft.  Toting a new EP, the budding songstress and her band The Pheromones play tonight at Tin Angel, with Madalean Gauze, Amy Faden and Meaghan Cary in a showcase of local female singer-songwriters.  Tickets and information for the 21+ show are available here.  Below, watch a video from when Katie Frank and The Pheromones performed at Underground Arts in October.

The day before yesterday, we Unlocked Joe D’Amico… so to speak. While his new album did make our Unlocked series, a feature story could hardly unpack his complex and eclectic compositions. D’Amico’s recent release, A Short Time’s A Long Time, ranges from easily accessible (like opening track “Up, Up and Away”) to winding and difficult (his 11-minute “Imagine My Surprise – Mother, Mother – Good Morning Child”). The Philadelphia native’s experimental americana has begun to draw attention beyond the local scene, which makes it all the more exciting to catch an intimate Kung Fu Necktie show from him. Tickets and information for the 21+ show with Rev. TJ McGlinchy and Ben Smith are available here. Below, you can stream tracks from his new album.

Femi Kumi brings world music to World Cafe tonight.  Born in London but raised in Nigeria, Kumi’s multi-cultural life informed his musical education and ultimately his style.  Beginning with his time playing in his father Fela Kuti’s band, his life-long musical career has been characterized by a blend of jazz and Afrobeat.  This fusion and even the tradition of father-son collaboration continue to play into his grammy nominated music.  Today, Kuti’s son plays in his critically acclaimed and aptly named band, Positive Force.  Kuti often uses his music as an outlet for political activism, famously raising AIDS awareness with a collaborative remake of his father’s hit “Water No Get Enemy” in 2002.  Tickets and information for all ages show are available here.  Below, watch the music video for his song, “Beng Beng Beng.”

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