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Our Weekly Concert Picks: May 15–May 21

What we’re hitting up this week

What we're hitting up this week

Thursday, May 16: OCD: Moosh & Twist at the TLA

DeQuincy Coleman-McRae III and Oliver Feighan became friends while in the first grade at The Philadelphia School, and recorded their first song seven years later. It was all fun and games back then, but these days the pair—more commonly known by their stage names Moosh and Twist—are in the legitimate business of making raps, and have done so with great success the past three years. Their debut single, "City Kids," garnered more than a million hits on YouTube; since then, the pair's toured America twice over, and shared bills with the likes of The Roots and Aer. Yet one element of their songwriting remains unchanged: the focus on fun, and crafting poppy, relatable jams, sans the swear words that pepper other hip-hop hits. This Thursday, they'll celebrate the release of their new mixtape Back to Basics with a headlining show at the TLA. The last two times OCD: Moosh & Twist played Philly, they were shut down by police due to wily youth antics, so we're keeping our fingers crossed that this show goes off smoothly. Before you go: Download and stream their Back to Basics mixtape here and groove on.

7:30 at the TLA, 334 South St., $14. Tickets available here.

Thursday, May 16, and Friday, May 17: JEFF the Brotherhood at Kung Fu Necktie

Nashville duo JEFF the Brotherhood craft sloppy, drunken rockers with lots of attitude, and this Thursday and Friday, will stop by KFN for two consecutive shows. Formed in 2001 by (actual) brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall, the band gained critical acclaim in 2009 with their fifth record Heavy Days, and has been touring the country ever since. Their latest, Hypnotic Nights, is a proven collection of keg -worthy ragers about summer jams and six packs—but fans of JEFF know the band shines most live, where their energy and antics have been known to incite beer fights and dancing in cages, and have led to their inclusion on many a "best live acts" list. Live, Jake plays a three-string, custom-made guitar, which allows for (we suppose) maximum raging, while Jamin jams out on drums. And while the duo's toured as a two-piece for more than a decade now, they'll be bringing along two extra members this tour, and will play half their set as a duo, and the other half as a four-piece. History in the making.

8:30 on Thursday, May 16, and Friday, May 17 at Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., $15. Tickets available here and here.

Friday, May 17: Mad Dragon Records 10 Year Anniversary Showcase at The Trocadero

Since 2003, Drexel student-run record label Mad Dragon Records has produced dozens of LPs from local bands, in addition to myriad young professionals with music industry degrees.  This Friday, they'll celebrate their rich history with a showcase featuring some of their most storied acts, including local popsters Cheers Elephant, and original Mad Dragon signees Hoots & Hellmouth. Here are six reasons to <3 Mad Dragon, one for each artist on the bill.

  1. Cheers Elephant: These guys can write a damn catchy melody, as evidenced by this and also this. Also, their drummer reminds us of Animal (from the Muppets) and boasts the best hair this side of the Delaware.

  2. Hoots & Hellmouth: DIY vets who raised money through Kickstarter before Kickstarter was overplayed, and craft rootsy, revivalist rock that eschews current trends.

  3. Kuf Knotz: He once opened for Bruce Springstreen, and his jam "Unstoppable" (with Guerilladelphia) is the official song of the Phillies.

  4. Andrew Lipke and the Prospects: Consider his most recent, The Plague, which explores apocalypse via lush strings.

  5. Matt Duke: best use of ballet dancers in a music video.

  6. Wild Rompit: we don't know too much about these up-and-comers, but NJ Underground calls them "the gritty folk-rock version of Vampire Weekend." We're super pumped to find out what that means!

7:30 at the Trocadero, 1003 Arch St., $10–$15, free for Drexel students. Tickets available here.

Saturday, May 18: Kurt Vile and the Violators at Union Transfer

Oh Kurt Vile, how far you've come! It seems like just yesterday that Philly's favorite world-wearied crooner was but a mysterious longhair, setting up shop on a stool (a stool!) weeknights at JB's or the North Star, hair covering his face as he gently strummed his guitar. These days though, he's practically a rock legend, who earned not one but TWO "Best New Music" designations from the mighty Pitchfork (the hallmark of fame that we all love to hate) in addition to his own mural on Front Street in Fishtown.  It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy, and we've loved watching Vile gracefully transition from seated crooner to confident shredder. His latest LP, Wakin on a Pretty Daze, is a free-wheeling collection of tunes that seems practically made for summer barbeques and afternoon drives—from the Springsteen-esque "KV Crimes" to the gorgeous title track—and we expect mucho vibes and maybe even a cover or two from his headlining show Saturday night.

8:30 at Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. Tickets are sold out, so Craig's List it.