If The Roots plan on hijacking your next two days in Philly, then it just makes sense to bring more hip hop into your life tonight at the Theatre of Living Arts. Local young buck Young Gliss will be holding things down for his cuz-o Questo. Young Gliss recently released the sequel to his debut, which is titled Dealing With The Pressure 2, so expect plenty of new tracks. He’ll also be unveiling a new collaboration called “Falling” tonight with West Philly’s Chill Moody. Philly hip hop staple and XPN favorite Kuf Knotz has been called on to bring some peace, love and good vibes to the big stage of the TLA this evening. He’ll be dropping some “boombox logic” to get the crowd in the mood for tomorrow night’s 4th of July Jam. Both homegrown emcees will be sharing the bill with up-and-coming Left Coast indie artists Dom Kennedy and Casey Veggies as well as local spitter Dosage. Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St., 7pm, $18, All Ages - Alexis V.
Though it may feel like Wawa has taken over 4th of July WEEK in Philly, Making Time “You’re Welcome America” Rad-B-Q is here to bring us that non-family-friendly party that we really wish would be happening on the Ben Franklin Parkway. Instead, Dave P and his army of DJs will be laying down the radness at Bamboo Bar this evening, and there will be live performances by London’s electro-noise punk trio T3ETH (Moshi Moshi Records), LA’s Puro Instinct (Mexican Summer), the 80’s synth-pop throwback of scholar John Maus, and LA’s Geneva Jacuzzi (a.k.a. Geneva Garvin). There will also be FREE PBR and fishbowl drink specials from 6 - 8pm (Sailor Jerry Rum specials all night long), grilling by PYT, Little Baby’s Ice Cream, swimming, and as always spectacular visuals from Klip Collective’s Ricardo Rivera. Niiice and don’t be afraid to get wet! Bamboo Bar, 927 N. Delaware Ave., 6pm - 2am, $10 adv/$12 door, 21+ - H.M. Kauffman
If you’re looking for a block party with a packed lineup of up-and-coming local acts this Fourth of July Weekend, then you’ll find you’re hook up at Enemies Central today courtesy of Cloud Entertainment. House band Conversations with Enemies will most likely give you a preview of tunes that they’ll be taking into the studio in August for their next album. Speaking of albums, grab a copy of Breakfast from garage-punk trio Bandname. It’s finally available on Bandcamp HERE for the affordable cost of “name your price.” They’ll be closing out the evening’s festivities. But don’t sleep on opener Tin Horses who recently released a very promising debut in American Radiance, and they’ll also be opening The War on Drugs Record Release Party on August 18 at Johnny Brenda’s so here’s your chance at a free sneak peek. You can expect supercharged sets from charismatic indie popsters/psych rockers Cheers Elephant, Crills Wilson, Early Ape and Eric n’ Eric. There will also be plenty of food and drink on hand (with the proceeds benefiting Rock to the Future) as well as games, mural painting, free Vitamin Water, fireworks, and more! Mercer Street Block Party, 219 Mercer St., 2pm, FREE, All Ages - Bill McThrill
2-2:40 – Tin Horses
3-3:40 – Eric n’ Eric
4-4:40 – Early Ape
5-5:40 – Conversations with Enemies
6-6:40 – Cheers Elephant
7-7:40 – Crills Wilson
7:50-8:30 – Bandname
Arc In Round are having a listening party tomorrow afternoon, July 3 (2pm - 5pm) at Standard Tap (901 N. 2nd St.) for their new EP II, which will be released this Tuesday, July 5. The EP includes four new tracks and a remix from A Sunny Day In Glasgow. There will also be a limited amount of free downloads available at the party. - The Deli Staff
Satanized will be headlining at KFN tonight alongside fellow local noisemakers, Drums Like Machine Guns. The demonic four-piece blurs the lines between metal, hardcore, punk and noise with pounding rhythms, scratching treble-heavy guitars, and growling vocals as they rip through complex song arrangements with such fervor and instrumental dexterity. Satanized just released their latest offering Technical Virginity earlier this week on cassette via Damage Rituals. The vinyl/CD formats of the LP will be available in September from Skin Graft Records. You can check out the track “Arnaud de Verniolle” below from Technical Virginity. Kung Fu Necktie, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 7:30pm, $8, 21+ - Dan Brightcliffe
Explore patriotic feelings with ‘seductive…smooth-fi’ by Work Drugs this Sunday at Johnny Brenda’s. Presented by The Roots as part of their Philly Fourth of July Jam weekend festivities, the Philly-based popsmiths’ brand of chill-wave bring to mind the buzzing backbeats of Neon Indian’s debut or Golden Ages’ catchy cover of “Twin Peaks.” Arguably more minimal in their approach, the band’s sound feels airy like vacation, with swirling layers of mellow synth and subtle diction that make cuts like “Golden Sombrero” hypnotic and “Ice Warf” memorable. If Work Drug’s anthems and the red, white, and blue aren’t enough to put you in the mood, blippy tracks by CSLSX reminiscent of VHS sounds transferred to cassette just might do the trick. Provocative and undoubtedly retro, CSLSX will transport you back to the ‘90s or earlier with “Paula Abdul Drinking a Pepsi, October 17th, 1987” and the tribal vibes of “Keep On Shining.” Add in deliciously drowsy rhythms by Wrestling (featuring members of Power Animal) as well as the Smooth Sailing DJs, and you’re set for the chillest Fourth of July that you could ever dream of. Johnny Brenda’s. 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 9pm, $10, 21+
Too much shit going on…
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI Goodnight Lights, In Grenada, Levee Drivers, SAT The Roots Present Philly’s Fourth of July Jam w/Work Drugs, CSLSX, Wrestling
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Mr. Lif, Swift Technique, Citizen Xavier, SAT Satanized and Drums Like Machine Guns, SUN Mean Streets and Small Reaction,
MON Joe Jack Talcum
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Harper, SUN Pool of Thorns and Harsh Vibes
M Room (15 W. Girard Ave.) SAT Nicole Reynolds and Donovan Rice
Tritone (1508 South St.) FRI Early Ape, Toddler Kat, Satellite Hearts, Sleepover Uncle, SAT Ghosts in the Valley and Hey Angel, SUN Mr. Unloved, The Improbables, Blessed Muthas, The Slotcars, Boogie Witch, St James & The Apostles, MON Toxic Sunshine, Wolfie Burns, Kite Party
Danger Danger Gallery (5013 Baltimore Ave.) SAT Penrose, El Fuego, The Warhawks, MON 4th Annual INDEPENDENCE DAY BASH!!! w/ BBQ, BANDS, BANGS & BOOMS!!, Pro US-fuckin'-A Movies, + MUCH MUCH MORE!!!!
The band from the Philly ‘burbs Hair Rocket has taken a Cheap Trick-gone-to-etiquette-school route in their newly released debut LP Punishment Cookie. Out on collective indie label Mountebank Records, the follow-up to 2009’s Novelty EP is an energized collection of greaser punk glam rock power pop. The threesome, whose band is named after the act of launching locks of hair into the sky for a “subversive enlightenment through cathartic art,” has created an album far easier to grasp than their thought-provoking alias. The 11-track recording is downright catchy without compromising the band’s significant sense of distinctiveness. Hair Rocket tactfully lets loose keyed-up rock inspired by the ghosts of 60s mod (as in clap-ridden, Strokes-inspired, pop-hook laden lead single “OK Alright”), 70s punk, 80s pop and 90s cheese…without rubbing your face in it.
Opening track “Eyes” takes classically riffed bluesy rock hitting it with heavy low-end blows and gives it a pinch of reggae punk optimism. “Motorcycle” reminisces combat boot punk with a Tokyo Police Club poppiness where harsh, growling vocals and a shrill, distorted electric guitar make for a satisfying hit-worthy track. Yes, Punishment Cookie rocks, but it is also not void of emotion. The song that started Berklee dropout and mastermind Chris Blassucci down this path of enlightenment, “Hair Rocket,” receives a revamping for the album, but still stabs sharply with its hard-earned life lesson from his real life bizarre love triangle (though I admittedly will always favor the original demo version and its strangely sadistic video). “Home” and the early Beatles-esque “Imagining,” which made their debuts on Novelty, also linger with the emotional remnants from that painful but musically productive time period. With Punishment Cookie, Hair Rocket neatly colors outside the lines of indie pop with an eagerly creative but well thought out approach to rocking your socks off. You can purchase the full-length album HERE.
Start Fourth of July Weekend off with an eclectic mix of local area acts at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The sparks will be flying when Goodnight Lights take the stage and unleash an explosion of pop medleys heavily influenced by 90’s alt rock. And since they recently tossed a batch of new tunes on the grill, you might just be treated to a taste this evening. While Bucks County country boys Levee Drivers might sound like their always ready for good ol’ drunken brawl with their southern-tinged rockabilly that would make Johnny Cash proud, the 50’s greaser-looking dudes are actual more of the sensitive artist types than badass drunken rednecks, but let’s just keep that as our little secret. We’re happy to have them back after they recently decided to go down to Nashville to check it out for a bit. Rounding out the bill will be the finely-crafted indie pop tunes of In Grenada. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9pm, $10, 21+ - Bill McThrill
I’m happy to have Mr. Lif back performing again in Philly, especially on such an intimate stage at KFN. Lif has been active in the underground hip hop community since 1998, when he released his debut single “Elektro”. Since then, the dread-y emcee has released 3 full length albums and 2 solo EPs, working mostly with Definitive Jux label head and producer El-P. Lyrically, Mr. Lif is best known for his intelligent and politically charged rhymes, but he is more than just a political emcee. Aside from his more socially conscience tracks, Mr. Lif has also taken on the concept album with his first solo LP, I Phantom and its’ follow-up Mo’ Mega, which are sagas covering the main character’s birth to the apocalypse. Lif will be joined by Philly’s own Swift Technique, who shared the stage with hip hop legends Wu Tang Clan earlier this year, and Citizen Xavier. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., $16 adv/$18 door, 21+ - Dan Brightcliffe
It’s a long weekend, and there are a helluva lot things to do so you should get out before the forecasted rain puts a damper on things. If you’re looking for a heavy dose of cheery indie pop, then you really should swing by Bookspace tonight. Catnaps (formerly When I Was 12) will be kicking off their 6-week national summer tour. It also may or may not be a release party for their latest effort Why Don’t You Whisper. They’re waiting on the physical copies and that seems to be becoming a reoccurring theme for them. You can check out where the tour will be heading HERE, and if you can help them fill in any TBAs on their schedule, then you’ve got some good karma points coming your way. They’ll be sharing the bill with Conversation with Enemies, who will be having a busy weekend since they’ll also be hosting the Mercer St. Block Party this Sunday, as well as Maryland’s Us & Us Only (the moniker of Kinsey Matthews) and acoustic Jersey pop punkers The Front Bottom. Bookspace, 1113 Frankford Ave., 7:30pm, $7, All Ages - H.M. Kauffman