Concert Picks: Spend New Years Eve with A Sunny Day in Glasgow
Ben Vaughn Quintet
Camden County-bred rocker Ben Vaughn long ago migrated to Southern California, where he made his bones scoring TV sitcoms such as 3rd Rock From the Sun and That '70s Show while continuing to release engaging, retro-rock-styled albums marked by his trademark clean production style and dry, droll wit. The host of the syndicated radio show The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn -- which airs Saturdays on WXPN-FM (88.5) -- has been making trips back a few times a year recently, and this summer, he cut a five-song EP in Sewell, N.J., with his longtime five-piece band.
The resulting Five by Five (MM Records) finds Vaughn in top form, amusingly lonesome on "Jukebox Jukebox" and "I Don't Want to Go Home" (to the Southside Johnny song) and touchingly tender on the horticultural love song "Trumpet Vine." The fivesome celebrate the disc's release upstairs Saturday at World Café Live. --Dan DeLuca
The Ben Vaughn Quintet play at 8 p.m. Saturday, upstairs at World Café Live, 3025 Walnut St. Tickets: $17. Information: 215-222-1400.
More than 20 years after chamber-pop collective October Project wowed Philadelphia music fans, vocalist Mary Fahl -- forever billed as the band's "former lead singer" -- continues to mesmerize audiences with her otherworldly contralto and dramatic stage presence.
Fahl, whose solo career has touched on everything from world music to opera, will perform solo for an intimate New Year's Eve show at the Tin Angel. She'll likely focus on tracks from her recent John Lissauer-produced CD, Love and Gravity, which includes her take on Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" and the ballad "Exiles: The Wolves of Midwinter," originally written and recorded for the audiobook of Anne Rice's 2013 novel Wolves of Midwinter.
Fahl will also likely toss in Pink Floyd's "Brain Damage/Eclipse" -- a concert favorite since her own "re-imagined" version of The Dark Side of the Moon came out a few years back. And, of course, no Mary Fahl concert is complete without a few well-chosen (undoubtedly to be well-received) drama-laden October Project tunes. "Ariel," anyone? --Nicole Pensiero
Mary Fahl will perform at 9 p.m. Thursday at the Tin Angel, 20 S. Second St. Tickets: $45. Information: 215-928-0770.
A Sunny Day in Glasgow
A Sunny Day in Glasgow got their start in Philadelphia with 2007's acclaimed Scribble Mural Comic Journal. The band have scattered across the globe since then. Fortunately, they've begun to make New Year's Eve a homecoming tradition, and this week, they come to Johnny Brenda's atop a strong bill that includes DJ Jeff Zeigler, jangly locals Mercury Girls, and New York's excellent power pop/dream pop band EZTV.
A Sunny Day in Glasgow just released the double EP Planning Weed Like It's Acid / Life is Loss, which contains some of their most streamlined, poppy tracks yet. The songs still have roots in the shoe-gazing of the Cocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine, but "Hey You're Mine" is a taste of pure electro-pop candy and will make a giddy entry point for 2016. --Steve Klinge
A Sunny Day in Glasgow, with DJ Jeff Zeigler, Mercury Girls, and EZTV, are to play at 9 p.m. Thursday at Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. Tickets: $15. Information: 215-739-9684.