Tonight’s Concert Picks: Psychic Ills at Johnny Brenda’s, Bilal at World Cafe Live, XPN Welcomes Northern Liberties Music Fest with Ruby the Hatchet and more to The Fire


New York experimental rock band Psychic Ills headline Johnny Brenda’s tonight.  The psychedelic-infused outfit recalls the distorted and distressed, laidback sound of early Kurt Vile with lo-fi vocals and hypnotic arrangements that seem on the verge of exploding.  Psychic Ills will be releasing One Track Mind on February 19th via Sacred Bones Records, following up 2011’s Hazed Dream.  Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show with Nothing and Mike Bruno & The Black Magic Family Band can be found here.  Stream “Might Take A While” from the upcoming record below.

Local alternative hip hop artist Bilal performs at World Cafe Live tonight.  A graduate of Philadelphia’s High School for Creative and Performing Arts, Bilal took his passions for jazz and songwriting to New York City where he fell into the company of The Roots, Erykah Badu and Mos Def.  A chance encounter with Aaron Comess of The Spin Doctors led to his first record deal and started Bilal on a path of putting out genre-defying music.  Tonight’s show is a record release event for Bilal’s upcoming full-length A Love Surreal, out through Purpose Music on February 26th.  Tickets and information for the all-ages show with Johnny Popcorn and Hezekiah can be found here.  Below, stream “West Side Girl” from the new album.

XPN welcomes the second night of the Northern Liberties Winter Music Festival to The Fire.  Tonight’s featured acts run the gamut of musical genres from the noise rock of New Jersey’s Ruby the Hatchet to the electro-pop of City Rain and the alt funk / rock of Black Stars.  Several of the bands are boasting new music, with Ruby the Hatchet’s excellent OUROBOROS out last fall and Asbury Park’s Brick & Mortar currently working on a new record.  Tickets and information for the 21+ show with Revolution, I Love You and Swear and Shake can be found here.  Below, watch Brick & Mortar’s video for “Bangs.”

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