The Week Ahead: Selwyn Birchwood, Sun Ra Arkestra, Sinkane, Sweet Spirit and more

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Sun Ra Arkestra | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

It’s a big week for shows big and small — noisemakers NOTS taking to Boot & Saddle tonight, The National bringing their sweeping new record to The Mann on Tuesday, Sun Ra Arkestra leader Marshall Allen celebrating his 95th at Union Transfer on Thursday, Dave Matthews Band settling into the BB&T for a two-night stand this weekend. And that’s just for starters; here are 16 concerts to see in the next seven days, all around Philly.

Monday 6/10: NOTS at Boot & Saddle

If you don’t immediately associate noise punk with Memphis, Tennessee, NOTS may just change your mind. The riot grrrl-inspired four-piece recently released their third album, 3, and describe their live show as “not easily classifiable but entirely addictive.” See for yourself when they play Boot & Saddle tonight; Olivia Neutron-John and Deep Tissue will open the show. // 8 p.m., $10, 21+ // TIX + INFO – Sarah Hojsak

Tuesday 6/11: The National at The Mann Center

The National make their much-anticipated return to Philly this Tuesday, after giving us a preview of their new album last month at NonCOMM. The 68-minute I Am Easy To Find follows their Grammy-winning 2017 album, Sleep Well Beast, and will sound great under the stars at The Mann this Tuesday — especially since The National’s been performing lately as a dynamic ten-piece band. Australian rock star Courtney Barnett opens the show. // 7:30 p.m., $43.50-$86, AA // TIX + INFO – S.H.

Wednesday 6/12: Selwyn Birchwood at Sellersville Theater

Blues guitarist Selwyn Birchwood returns to the area to play the Sellersville Theater this Wednesday. The Florida-based artist broke out of his local scene in 2013 after winning the International Blues Challenge. Birchwood is touring hard this summer, and it seems like new music may be on the way. Co-headlining the show are Lil Ed & The Blues Imperials. // 8 p.m., $25-$39.50, AA // TIX + INFO – S.H.

Wednesday 6/12: Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties at The Foundry

Just a few verified resale tickets remain for Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties’ show this Wednesday at The Foundry. The Wonder Years’ frontman Dan Campbell started the folk-rock solo project-slash-alias as “a character study conducted through music,” and released its second full-length album, Routine Maintenance, last month. // 7:30 p.m., $36, AA // TIX + INFO – S.H.

Thursday 6/13: Sun Ra Arkestra at Union Transfer

In celebration of Marshall Allen‘s 95th birthday the legendary free jazz band Sun Ra Arkestra plays Union Transfer this Thursday. Allen took over as band leader when Sun Ra left this planet in 1993. Since them, the alto-saxaphonist has continued the spread the Arkestra‘s magical and iconic music around Earth. The collective will be joined on Thursday by Sounds of Liberation, another Philly jazz collective, and Eli Keszler. Check out the Arkestra’s mind-bending Tiny Desk Concert below, and celebrate Allen with them on Thursday. // 8 p.m., $20-$100, AA // TIX + INFOSolomon Friedman

Thursday 6/13: Armani White at Spruce Street Harbor Park

Last year he blew us away at Made In America, so be prepared to be wowed by Armani White this Thursday. The West-Philly rapper always brings his A-game, both in terms of energy and rapping. He and his band put on a magnetic show that showcases their individual talents and the beauty of their combined efforts. There’s a reason White was named an NPR Slingshot Philly artist to watch. His Spruce Street Waterfront Session is a great (and free) way to see the rising rapper before he’s a huge star. Listen to White’s most recent single, “secret handshake” below.  // 6:30 p.m., Free, AA // INFOS.F.

Thursday 6/13: Sinkane at Johnny Brenda’s

The world-traveler that is Sinkane is finally back to Philly. The musician has lived in London, Sudan, and cities across the U.S. His childhood travels has greatly influenced his work, as seen on his latest album Dépaysé. Just as he has crossed borders, Sinkane’s music bounces across genres. Hints of pop, rock, Afrobeat, and more show up across his music, making each listen as exciting as the first. Sinkane will headline Johnny Brenda’s on Thursday along with the soulful-funk of Bassel & The Supernaturals. Check out the video for Sinikane’s “Ya Sudan” below.  // 9 p.m., $15, 21+ // Tix + INFOS.F.

Friday 6/14: The Lemonheads at The Foundry

Even if you’ve seen The Lemonheads a dozen times before, their show on Friday at The Foundry is worth catching. The band is currently on tour in support of Varshons 2, their latest covers album, so don’t expect to be hearing the same Lemonheads songs at this show. The album features unique interpretations of songs by The Eagles, Yo La Tengo, John Prine, and more. The show is bound to be as singular and mystifying as the band’s ability to not only craft superb songs, but breathe new life into others’ work. The band will be joined at The Foundry by the equally iconic Tommy Stinson. Listen to The Lemonheads’ take on Yo La Tengo’s “Can’t Forget” below. // 8 p.m., $25, AA // Tix + INFOS.F.

Friday 6/14: Laura Cheadle at The Living Room at 35 East

From opening for bands such as the Jonas Brothers and Hall and Oates to being a part of the reality TV show Next Great Family Band, Laura Cheadle has had a lot of recent success. In 2018, she released her album Chill, which can be described as just that. Her sound is bluesy, it is jazzy, it is genuine. On Chill, she can be heard covering classics such as Stevie Wonder’s “I Was Made to Love Her,” alongside original tracks like the sultry “Reverberate.” See her live this Wednesday at The Living Room at 35 East in Ardmore. // 8 p.m., $20, AA // TIX + INFO – Lily Sanders

Friday 6/14: Craig Finn at Ardmore Music Hall

Craig Finn is known for being the frontman of The Hold Steady, but he has been going solo on and off since 2012, most recently for his album I Need A War. Released in April, the record has a starkly different sound than his work with the band. With a more laid-back sound, Finn aims for the main focus to be on lyrics, and with each song, he tells a story. Not happy stories exactly, but stories that are captivating nevertheless. See him at Ardmore Music Hall this Friday to hear more. // 8 p.m., $25 / $29, AA // TIX + INFO – L.S.

Friday 6/14: Dave Matthews Band at BB&T Pavilion

In perfect timing for summer, Dave Matthews Band is back in the Philadelphia area with a performance at Camden’s BB&T Pavilion this Friday. The band has been together since the early 90s and has an extensive discography under their belt. With hits like “Crash into Me” and “Ants Marching,” they are sure to have a great performance. If you cannot make the band’s Friday show, don’t fret, they have a second show scheduled for Saturday the 15th. // 8 p.m., $45, AA // TIX + INFO – L.S.

Friday 6/14: Sweet Spirit at Johnny Brenda’s

Every song from Sweet Spirit is an eccentric, psychedelic adventure. The nine-member band began after frontperson Sabrina Ellis’ divorce and turned into something much different than what she (obviously) envisioned. The band’s music is playful, striking, and upbeat. Their music videos are weird but in an exceedingly good way; puppets, reflective costumes, and robotic dance moves make for an undeniably unique experience. While the band has a much more subdued appearance live, they still maintain that wild energy through song. Head over to Johnny Brenda’s this Friday at for some wild vocals to dance to. // 9 p.m., $15, 21+ // TIX + INFO – L.S.

Saturday 6/15: Kirby Sybert at Bourbon and Branch

Indie-folker Kirby Sybert will be performing at Bourbon and Branch this Saturday. Sybert’s style is built on the backbone of songwriters such as Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, but he knows how to give the genre his own flair. Sybert tries to make each performance unique, and according to him, the only way to understand is to experience it for yourself. // 8 p.m., $15, 21+ // TIX + INFO — Ian Hranilovich

Saturday 6/15: The Jayhawks at Ardmore Music Hall

Minneapolis alternative country group The Jayhawks will be at Ardmore Music Hall this Saturday, performing music from their vast discography. The group has been releasing music for decades, and are showing no signs of stopping. The Jayhawks’ tenth studio album, Back Roads And Abandoned Motels, was released in last summer and features Jayhawks versions of songs Gary Louris had previously written with other artists, plus two new compositions. Sarah Lee Guthrie will also be performing. // 8 p.m., $32, 21+ // TIX + INFO — I.H.

Saturday 6/15: Nav at The Fillmore

Trap superstar Nav will be hitting The Fillmore this Saturday. Nav has made been making a name for himself for some time now, releasing hit after hit. His sticky, metallic vocal style has won fans over and he is continuing to spread it around the world. He released his second studio album, Bad Habits, back in March. The Toronto rapper will be joined by fellow Torontarian Killy. // 8 p.m., $35, AA // TIX + INFO — I.H.

Sunday 6/16: Helms Alee at Johnny Brenda’s

Helms Alee is set to perform at Johnny Brenda’s this Sunday, along with Earth. The band’s dark, heavy riffs, and brutal math rock stylings have set them apart in a sea of rock and metal bands that have emerged throughout the past ten years. They have just released their latest album, Noctiluca, in April. If you are a fan of gut-wrenching lead vocals, heavy riffing, and complex drumming, you’ll feel right at home. // 8 p.m., $16, 21+ // TIX + INFO — I.H.



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