The lazy holiday weekend is behind us, and it’s back to business here in the Philly music scene. This week we’re fortunate to have a huge variety as ever, from midwestern garage rock to living room jazz, soul on the waterfront and folk/blues in Fairmount Park. Here are 20 concerts to see in the next seven days, all around Philly.
Tuesday 7/9: Spirits Having Fun at Johnny Brenda’s
This Chicago indie-rock quartet is touring in promotion of their brand new (and first ever) LP Auto-Portrait, released on June 28th via Ramp Local. All nine songs involve intricate arrangements that thoughtfully weave together, with tinges of jazz and punk sprinkled in. Lead singer Katie McShane’s voice has an eeriness to it that makes the group’s tracks sound like wild, beautiful, musical experiments. Check Spirits Having Fun out for yourself this Tuesday at Johnny Brenda’s. // 8 p.m., $10, 21+ // TIX + INFO – Rae Burach
Wednesday 7/10: Chess at World Cafe Live
Philly-born rapper and beat-maker Chess is a high-energy creative person with an impressive background. Having opened for Pharrell, Meek Mill, The Roots, and more, Chess currently plays twice each month at Underground Arts as a part of Dice Raw’s “Square Root Tuesdays.” His latest work is titled Black Pill Project and Black Pill 2 is forthcoming. As someone who enjoys interacting with and bettering his community, Chess will most definitely be in tune with his audience on Wednesday at World Cafe. Also on the bill is Vivid, Dave Watson, and Upallniteshxt. // 8 p.m., $15 – $20, AA // TIX + INFO – R.B.
Wednesday 7/10: Tedeschi Trucks Band at The Mann Center
Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks are back at The Mann on Wednesday with their Wheels of Soul tour, featuring Blackberry Smoke and Shovels & Rope. The group released their latest record, Signs, this past February, which is their fourth studio album since their formation in 2010. Their full blues ensemble is bound to bring some serious boogie to Fairmount Park. // 7 p.m., $20 – $150, AA // TIX + INFO – R.B.
Thursday 7/11: Baroness at Chameleon Club
Georgia-born, Philly based heavy metal group Baroness has been longtime favorites here at The Key. In mid-June they released their latest color-themed record Gold & Grey, which displays a more unrestrained, improvisational side of the band — but also some of their poppiest moments to date as well. They’re currently on tour in promotion of their latest effort, stopping at Chameleon Club in Lancaster this Thursday night. // 7 p.m., $25, 18+ // TIX + INFO – R.B.
Thursday 7/11: So Totally at Johnny Brenda’s
So Totally made their debut in 2016 with their EP A Cheap Close-Up of Heaven and most recently released their first full record, In the Shape Of…, this past May. The group began as a part of the DIY alternative music scene, making psych-rock bops in the basement of their South Philly home. Their new record is dynamic and hazy, exuding a definitive youthfulness. You’ll see what I mean when you catch them at Johnny Brenda’s on Thursday night. En Route and Greg Electric is also on the bill. // 9 p.m., $10, 21+ // TIX + INFO – R.B.
Thursday 7/11: Beano French at Spruce Street Harbor Park
Beano French is a rising vocalist that has opened for the likes of The Dream, Music Soulchild, Ty Dolla $ign, and Ryan Leslie. Born and raised in West Philly, his style is a distinct blend of R&B, soul, pairs greatly together with his sultry vocal delivery. Currently preparing to drop his debut album, French is working on honing his sound and reaching wider audiences while still paying respect to his home town. // 6:30 p.m., Free, AA // TIX + INFO – Ian Hranilovich
Thursday 7/11: The O’Jays at The Dell
American R&B legends The O’Jays will be hitting The Dell this Thursday. 10 gold and 9 platinum albums since forming in the mid-60s, The O’Jays are finally ready to come back on tour after multiple sold-out endeavors. Russell Thompkin’s Stylistics, Bloodstone & The Intruders will also be performing. // 7:00 p.m., $35 – $75, AA // TIX + INFO – I.H.
Thursday 7/11: Purling Hiss at PhilaMOCA
Purling Hiss is the musical project of Philly multi-instrumentalist Mike Polizze. He is known for his creative use of fuzzy guitar distortion and psychedelic vocals, and has been releasing music under the moniker for nearly 10 years. Polizze is set to drop his latest album Interstellar Blue on Tuesday in addition to starting this newest tour with a hometown date. Purling Hiss will be joined by The Writhing Squares and Long Hots. // 7:00 p.m., $10-12, AA // TIX + INFO – I.H.
Friday 7/12: Empath Record Release
Philly-based noise-pop group Empath are finally having a hometown album release party for their newest release Active Listening: Night On Earth at Cousin Danny’s. The quartet’s unique style of noisy and fuzzy pop-rock has received high praise from Pitchfork, and Rolling Stone. Empath boasts a strong emotional bond held together through the fuzzy instrumentation and shouted vocals that define the band’s sound. // $10, 8 p.m., 21+ // TIX + INFO – I.H.
Friday 7/12: Dreamswell at Boot & Saddle
Philly-based band Dreamswell will be at Johnny Brenda’s this Friday. The show is in celebration of their first full-length record, Spoiled, which showcases slow-moving melodic vocals, distorted guitars, and heavy-hitting drums. Coming from vastly different styles, the four-piece band has a sound that combines doom metal, and shoe-gaze into the beautifully haunting nightmare that they call “doomgaze.” Stay At Home Dads, Witching, Sold will also be performing. // 7:30 p.m., $10, 21+ // TIX + INFO – I.H.
Friday 7/12: Tate at Bourbon and Branch
Philly’s own Tate celebrates the release of their debut album After You this Friday with a show at Bourbon & Branch. The band started as the solo project of singer-songwriter Tate Kamish, before growing into an indie rock four-piece. They’ll be joined by Rose Hotel, Babe Grenade, and Fast Car Slow Car. // 7:30 p.m., $8-$10, 21+ // TIX + INFO – Sarah Hojsak
Friday 7/12: Zaccai Curtis Quintet at @exuberance
The salon-style jazz listening room at @exuberance hosts Zaccai Curtis this Friday. The pianist and composer has been experimenting with his own style of “Projection,” which mixes R&B and jazz with elements of AfroCuban music. Curtis will be playing as a quintet, backed by Craig Handy, Joe Dyson, Mike Boone, and Brevan Hampden. // 8 p.m., $30 donation, AA // INFO – SH
Friday 7/12: Soul Glo at Ortlieb’s
Philly punk outfit Soul Glo released their new record THE N___ IN ME IS ME last month, and will headline Ortlieb’s Saturday night on a bill that also includes Jocko and Drowse. The new record mixes hardcore punk, noise and rap to build Soul Glo’s distinctive sound, with tracks like “21” conveying calls to activism. // 8 p.m., $10, 21+ // TIX + INFO – SH
Friday 7/12: Love Fest at Pentridge Station
Love Fest takes over Pentridge Station this Friday and Bourbon & Branch this Saturday with a lineup of over 20 music and comedy acts. Proceeds from the festival will benefit Savage Sisters, a non-profit that helps women in recovery. Food and drinks will be sold, and you can catch local acts like Secret Base Life, Breakfast for Turtles, Delmont, and Ntive Flora across the two days. // 3 p.m., $10, 21+ // INFO – SH
Saturday 7/13: Stef Chura at PhilaMOCA
Detroit indie rocker Stef Chura returns to town for a show at PhilaMOCA this Saturday, following the release of her sophomore album Midnight last month. The new record is the songwriter’s debut on Saddle Creek, and was recorded and produced by Will Toledo of Car Seat Headrest. French Vanilla will open the show. // 7:30 p.m., $10-$12, AA // TIX + INFO – SH
Saturday 7/13: Bill Callahan at World Cafe Live
Listening to good music can often feel like being told a bedtime story by a loved one. Folk star Bill Callahan has always told ornate and contemplative stories with his music. On his latest album, Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest, Callahan’s stories are even brighter than before. The Texan artist’s rich voice glides over subtle instrumentation throughout the project. The stories it tells are wholly human, and as a result are deeply evocative. He will bring his sprawling and delightfully warm new record to World Cafe Live this weekend. The show promises to be a moving and beautiful one. // 8 p.m., $25, AA // TIX + INFO – Solomon Friedman
Saturday 7/13: James at Franklin Music Hall
The last time James played in the US was at a one-off show in New York in 2014. The band hasn’t toured here since 2012, but now they are making their grand return. They aren’t alone on the road though. Joining the Tim Booth-fronted band is The Psychedelic Furs and Dear Boy. If James weren’t enough of a draw on their own, this stacked lineup definitely is. Be sure to brush up on the British band’s immense discography, especially their latest record, last year’s Living In Extraordinary Times. The album, which features contributions from Brian Eno, Charlie Andrew, and Beni Giles, is an impressive documentation of the wild state of the world. It is a rumbling and charged record whose sense of urgency will be felt even more strongly when heard live. // 8 p.m., $39-45, AA // TIX + INFO – S.F.
Sunday 7/14: Nuevofest at World Cafe Live
Presented by AfroTaino Productions and WXPN, Nuevofest is an all-ages celebration of Latin American music and culture. The festival returns to World Cafe Live this Sunday. This year’s bill features everything from the polyrhythmic-funk of Lady HD to the punk of Tall Juan. The Beachers will bring their Caribbean influenced Afro-Panameño music and Los Rivera Destino will bring their socially conscious sounds. Rounding out the stacked lineup is Yanga, Kevin Johansen, Stefa, and Silvina Moreno. Neuvofest shines a spotlight on the glorious and multidimensional music coming from Latin America, specifically Argentina, Colombia, Panama, Peru, and Puerto Rico. With such a diverse bill and so much to celebrate and cherish, Nuevofest is the perfect way to spend your Sunday. // 2-10 p.m., $12-15, AA // TIX + INFO – S.F.
Sunday 7/14: Aimee Mann at The Newton Theatre
Despite it coming out way back in 2016, Aimee Mann is still on the road supporting Mental Illness. We’re definitely not complaining though. The album is gorgeous and a Mann gig is always worth attending. Don’t believe us? Just watch her Tiny Desk Concert from 2017. In just 15 minutes the iconic singer-songwriter will enchant you, even with a parred-down band. Her ability to make even the most melancholic songs glisten with hope and beauty could be considered a superpower. Catch the superhero in action this Sunday at the Newton Theatre in North Jersey alongside Jonathan Coulton. // 7:30 p.m., $49-64, AA // TIX + INFO – S.F.
Sunday 7/14: The Sidekicks at PhillyMOCA
Ohio four-piece The Sidekicks have had our attention for years now. Last spring they released the bright and shimmering Happiness Hours. The album was bursting with addicting hooks and masterful guitar pop. In May of this year they changed course. Their latest single, “People’s Court”, is a melancholic and haunting twist on the band’s style. Even when changing things up, the band is enigmatic. Get a taste of why The Sidekicks are so great this Sunday when they play PhillyMOCA with Adult Mom and Thin Lips. It’s not a show you’ll want to miss.. // 7:30 p.m., $13, AA // TIX + INFO – S.F.The Week Ahead