What you'll be seeing this Christmas vacation!
Friday, December 26: Rebirth Brass Band
I can't speak to everyone here, but for me the day after Xmas is all about sitting on the couch, gawking over your new toys + gifts all day—then going out and um, getting toasty in the evening, with all your friends who are also home for the holidays. But since getting sloshy in a bar is kinda lame, slay couch-potato status (and maybe dance a little) at Union Transfer instead, where proven "joyous, heart-pumping" ensemble the Rebirth Brass Band gets down, and stays down. Formed in 1983 by tuba-blatting band leader Phillip Frazier in New Orleans' French Quarter, Rebirth gradually grew to an international force, whose high-energy performances and tunes have won them both a Grammy award and placement on TV's Treme. These days, the band boasts a fierce nine-person lineup and booty-shaking collection of jams that draw from traditional brass, funk, and hip-hop. Solid.
8:30 at Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., $25. Tickets available here.
Saturday, December 27: Creepoid
Philly's moodiest band might now reside in Savannah, GA—but they'll always be Philadelphians in our hearts <3. We first fell in love with Creepoid in 2011 with debut record Horse Heaven—which drew us in with haunting rockers reminiscent of Lou Reed (singing into a fog machine) or Nirvana (high on painkillers). Formed in 2009 by Pat Troxell, a Philly-by-way-of-Austin-by-way-of-Philly transplant with a love of punk and a strong DIY ethic, his wife Anna, and guitarists Sean Miller and Pete Urban (now Nick Kulp)—Creepoid grew from a casual recording project to a band to watch, whose dark aesthetic and killer live chops earned them opening gigs for nearly every cool punk band to play Philly, ever (giant list here). These days, they're living in Georgia, home of new label Graveface Records—and have spent the past year on the road with Balance and Composure and Against Me! They'll return to the City OBL this Saturday for the holidays, playing alongside the equally awesome Amanda X. Let's get spacey, Philly!
8:30 at Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St., $10–12. Tickets available here.
Sunday, December 28: mewithoutYOU Home for the Holidays
For more than a decade now, Philly art-rock weirdos mewithoutYOU have surprised, delighted, and occasionally bewildered fans with their colorful, eclectic, and high-energy tunes, which run the gamut from wordy punk diatribes to glistening, indie-pop gems. The project of Philadelphian Aaron Weiss, his brother Michael, and a cast of like-minded friends, mewithoutYOU formed as an outlet for experimentation, and flourished as the creative and fickle heart of the scene, releasing five records of experimental rock and touring the country in a custom bus that runs on vegetable oil. Along the way, they gained a reputation for crazy live shows—which we have no doubt they'll live up to this Saturday, during their "Home for the Holidays" show at Johnny Brenda's. (Hopefully also on tap: unreleased songs from a rumored new record). Not surprisingly, it's long sold-out—but don't give up hope quite yet. The band may or may not be playing another show this Tuesday, under a very secret alias. Talk about a Christmas miracle!
9:00 at Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., sold out.
Monday, December 29: Television
Television were one of the coolest bands to emerge from the '70s art-punk scene, their brash, brittle rockers and cerebral jamming setting the standard for generations of post-punkers. Formed in the early '70s by Tom Verlaine and Richard Hell, high school classmates who ran away from private school separately and joined forces in NYC—the band gained footing after a residency at a new club called CBGB, playing alongside bands like The Ramones, Patti Smith Group, The Talking Heads, and Blondie. By the time they released their debut LP, Marquee Moon, in 1977, they had amassed a strong cult following—which persisted even after they broke up 1978, then teased fans with a brief reunion and record in '92. These days they're back together—for now—and even though Moon is nearly 40 years old, it still surprises with its nuance and general coolness. They play the TLA this Monday—you're probably off all week, so why not?
8:00 at the TLA, 334 South St., $25. Tickets available here.
Wednesday, December 31: NYE in Philly