The Week Ahead: Ben Arnold, Thin Lips, Common, Folk Fest and more

Philadelphia Folk Festival | photo by Lisa Schaffer |

It’s Philly Folk Fest week! But it’s also a week for checking out indie rock on the waterfront, noise rock in Fishtown, hip-hop and jazz in Germantown, and more. Here are 15 concerts to see in the next seven days, all around Philly. 

Tuesday 8/13: Ben Arnold at Kennett Flash

This Tuesday, Ben Arnold returns for his third annual residency at Kennett Flash. Last year Arnold released Sunday Morning Meltdown. The album twists American gospel traditions with rock and roll, making for a thrilling listen. Arnold will be joined on Tuesday by another Philly native, Paul Keen. // 8 p.m., $12, AA // TIX + INFO –Solomon Friedman

Wednesday 8/14: Winding Way Records Showcase at World Cafe Live

Music festivals around the world seem to be unable to highlight women-led acts. Winding Way Records wants to prove just how easy and rewarding it can be to put together a woman-centered show right here in Philly. On Wednesday night the label will highlight the talents of Danie Ocean, Evelyn Brown, and Lili Añel. All three women and their bands will play a full set downstairs at World Cafe Live. With styles ranging from jazz, country, Motown, singer-songwriter, and more, these women will put on thrilling shows.  // 7:30 p.m., $15, AA // TIX + INFO –S.F.

Wednesday 8/14: Britt Thomas and the Breaker Boys at Johnny Brenda’s

Britt Thomas and the Breaker Boys put out their second EP in early June. Pony Up showcases the band’s country-rock stylings and Thomas’ superb songwriting. WXPN favorite Ali Awan contributed some guitar to the project. The EP’s upbeat and clever songs will come to life this Wednesday at Johnny Brenda’s. Also on the bill is headliner Karl Blau and opener Levee Drivers. // 8 p.m., $12, 21+ // TIX + INFO –S.F.

Wednesday 8/14: Lauren Scott at Ortlieb’s

This week’s round of Cherry-Veen Zine‘s residency at Ortlieb’s is gonna be a great one. Rising Philly singer-songwriter Lauren Scott is on the bill. Scott is joined by Dull Bluelight’s Todd Fausnacht and art-folk artist Rachel Andie. This show, and the entire Cherry-Veen Zine residency is a great way to see the range of Philly’s musical talents. // 8 p.m., $10, 21+ // TIX + INFO –S.F.

Thursday 8/15: Summer Cannibals at Boot & Saddle

Based off their name I’d say August is probably not the safest time to see Summer Cannibals, so attend this show at your own risk. If you aren’t too worried about being eaten by the band, you should definitely be checking this show out. Summer Cannibals are a Portland-based rock group whose thunderous riffs will be the highlight of your week. The band released their fourth album, titled Can’t Tell Me No, in June of this year. Brooklyn/Philly indie rockers Field Mouse are set to open. // 8:30 p.m., $12, 21+ // TIX + INFO –S.F.

Thursday 8/15: Thin Lips at Spruce Street Harbor Park

In April of this year Philly punk-rockers Thin Lips surprised us with a bare-bones EP. Carrot Milk showcased the band’s softer side; it stands in opposition to the bold pop-punk of the rest of their catalog. Who knows what surprises they have in store for their show this Thursday? Expect the unexpected. Joining Thin Lips is DJ Frances and Giant in the Lighthouse. //6 p.m., FREE, AA // TIX + INFO –S.F.

Friday 8/16: Philadelphia Folk Fest

Concerts have their time and place, but sometimes you just feel like trekking to an outdoor venue for a full day (or weekend) of music-related festivities. Friday the 16th sets off a weekend of performances from prominent folk and blues artists, both from the Philadelphia area and beyond. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band headlines the Friday lineup at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, but artists like David Crosby, Margo Price, and The Mavericks can also be seen throughout the weekend. // 12 p.m., $60.30, AA // TIX + INFOL.S.

Friday 8/16: Common at The Fillmore

This famed rapper turned actor is set to return to Philly for a performance at The Fillmore. From his beginnings as an MC in the early 90’s to a multidimensional artist in the present, Common has routinely demonstrated that he is a performer with longevity. Interested in hearing his extensive repertoire of 12 studio albums live? Then be sure to get tickets! // 8 p.m., $44.50, AA // TIX + INFOL.S.

Friday 8/16: The Bird and The Bee at World Cafe Live

The Bird and The Bee are known for their eccentric indie-pop flare, but more recently as a Van Halen cover band. The group’s most recent record released earlier this month Interpreting the Masters, Volume 2: (A Tribute to Van Halen) compiles the rock’ band’s greatest hits. Interested in spending an unconventional evening in West Philly? This concert might just be your ticket. // 8 p.m., $17-19, AA // TIX + INFOL.S.

Friday 8/16: Secret Nudist Friends at Everybody Hits

Self-described as “queer philly psych-garage rock love” on Bandcamp, Secret Nudist Friends are a real treat. With Brian playing drums, Missy playing keyboard and synth, Matty singing lead vocals and playing guitar, and Deb on bass, they make for a fun performance. If distorted vocals and grungey guitar are your things, see them at Everybody Hits with Philly friends Trash Boy, who celebrate the release of their new single. // 8:30 p.m., $10, AA // TIX + INFOL.S.

Friday 8/16: Northern Liberties at Johnny Brenda’s

With trippy, psychedelic album covers and heavy punk instrumental jams, Northern Liberties one of the longest-running Philly bands currently active, and you’ll want to keep them on your radar. They have a distinct sound, and it’s probably best heard live. // 9 p.m., $10, 21+ // TIX + INFOL.S.

Saturday 8/17: People’s Poetry and Jazz Festival at Vernon Park

R&B, spoken word, jazz, and traditional African drum and dance routines take center stage for this one-day festival. Some of the day’s planned events include a concert from Rakim, and performances by The Last Poets and Band of Resistance (featuring Jamaaladeen Tacuma), Universal African Dance Ensemble, Tyehimba Dance & Drum Ensemble, and Keith Parker & Friends. This, of course, will be joined by a market where food, clothing, and artisan crafts can be purchased. // 12 p.m., Free, AA // INFOL.S.

Saturday 8/17: Aster More at Boot & Saddle

Three years ago, Philly dreampop rockers Aster More formed to play the First Time’s The Charm Festival, and this weekend they close the circle at Boot and Saddle with a farewell show. But not before putting one last bunch of new music into the world; listen to their final album, Dog Eared, below. // 7 p.m., $12, 21+ // TIX + INFO – John Vettese

Saturday 8/17: Bahamadia at Johnny Brenda’s

On Saturday night, Philly rap royalty converges at Johnny Brenda’s to celebrate the birthday of event promoter Stacey “Flygirrl” Wilson. Bahamadia, who just released a new single called “We Here,” plays alongside Reef the Lost Cauze, Ursula Rucker and more. // 9 p.m., $20 – $25, 21+ // TIX + INFO – J.V.

Saturday 8/17: King Azaz at Century

Punk two-piece King Azaz is back onstage this weekend at Century Club. Singer-guitarist Christo Johnson spent the last year fronting Yarrow, but they’re back in the mix with drummer Sarah Schardt for this show, a benefit for the Philadelphia Lyme Disease Support Group. The Invasive Species, and Beloved Binge also play. // 8 p.m., $10, AA // TIX + INFO – J.V.

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