In honor of Women's History Month this March, this week's picks are all awesome ladies.
Friday, February 27: Screaming Females
Jersey punk trio Screaming Females actually feature just one screaming female: Marissa Paternoster, one of the most bad-ass lady rockers we've had the pleasure of seeing live a dozen times. So far, the allure has yet to wear off. As front woman/shred master for Screaming Females, Paternoster boasts killer pipes, killer shreds, and some of the most awesomely punishing melodies New Jersey has ever produced. A DIY band who started off playing house shows in New Brunswick, NJ (near the Rutgers U campus), Screaming Females signed to Don Giovanni Records in 2009, and have been raging ever since. We first fell in love with them back in 2009, opening for Jay Reatard (RIP), where they totally shredded face then danced in the wreckage. This Friday, they celebrate the release of their sixth LP, the lean, taut, and very rocking Rose Mountain — in the most punk way we can think of: a sweaty basement show at the First Unitarian Church. Bring a 40, and get ready to get wild.
8:00 at the First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., $12–14. Tickets available here.
Saturday, February 28: Sleater-Kinney
Sleater-Kinney has been called the best American rock band of all time, a title I probably don't agree with, but can certainly see the impetus behind. At any rate, Sleater-Kinney is definitely a very awesome rock band, who helped launched riot grrl and alt rock in addition to churning out dozens of righteous anthems that sustained many a young punk (ahem) through break-ups and the wearing of baby tees. Formed two decades ago by Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker (with Janet Weiss hopping aboard soon after), Sleater-Kinney matched raw punk energy with impressive musical chops and Tucker's ragged, feminist lyrics. Between 1994 and 2005, they released seven records, and toured extensively, even opening for Pearl Jam (the moody kings of alt rock) in 2003. Shortly after, they broke up, and spent the next decade on hiatus — though Weiss continued drumming for Stephen Malkmus as well as Wild Flag — while Brownstein also slayed with Wild Flag, and co-created best show on television, Portlandia. Earlier this year they reformed, and will now play Union Transfer in support of excellent eight record No Cities to Love. See them now lest they break up for another decade; baby tee not required.
8:30 at Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., sold out.
Saturday, February 28: Ali Wadsworth
For nearly a decade now, Ali Wadsworth has been a fixture on the local scene, her powerful voice and magnetic persona lending gravitas to acts from Unlikely Cowboy (who first brought her to Philly all those years back) to Goldiebox and Satellite Hearts. A striking blond with a large set of pipes and even larger heart, Ali traveled the world as a child, learning opera in Moscow and theater in New Jersey, before studying jazz professionally at the University of Vermont. In 2012, she performed on NBC's The Voice alongside sister Claire — and while they didn't win the grand prize, the experience helped solidify her already strong skills. In 2013, she released her debut record, a smoky, soldering collection of songs written by some of our fave local songwriters, including Ron Gallo, Seth Kauffman, The Lawsuits' Brian Strouse, Hoots & Hellmouth's Sean Hoots, and more. This Saturday, she'll perform with a myriad of special guests; come celebrate Philly's lively folk scene with one of its most compelling voices.
8:30 at Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St., $10. Tickets available here.
Sunday, March 1: 2:54 with Honeyblood
Holy double header! 2:54 and Honeyblood are two female-fronted bands who make very different types of rock, and are a reminder that there's no such thing as a quintessential girl band. 2:54 is the project of London sisters Hannah and Colette Thurlow, who craft smoky, sulky indie rock that pits the dark electronics of The Cure against chugging bass lines and moody vocals. Since bursting onto the radar some 5 years back, the pair has toured with like-minded popsters Warpaint, The xx, and The Big Pink, earning props as a batch to watch. Honeyblood is a collaboration between Glasgow pals Stina Tweeddale (possibly the most twee name ever) and Shona McVicar, who together write sweet, deceptively simple indie pop with a raw punk edge. Their debut, self-titled record was on repeat pretty much all last summer — especially perfect single "Killer Bangs." They team up this Sunday for an unbeatable celebration of ladies in rock — plus show up early for Philly pop trio The Pretty Greens, whose punky take on surf rock will make you feel like it's summer already.
8:00 at Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., $12. Tickets available here.
Sunday, March 1: Amanda X
The past 12 months have been a whirlwind of activity for Philly trio Amanda X, and we couldn't be more psyched. Since last year, the sweet-but-tough trio released their debut record, Amnesia; headed off on tour with The Vaselines; and turned on hundreds to their perfectly fuzzed out punk. All we can say is: it's about damn time! A trio formed 3 years back by Cat Park, Kat Bean, and Tiff Yoon, Amanda X quickly established themselves as a force on the local scene, combining lo-fi punk jams with Park's emotive vocals — despite barely knowing how to play their instruments (they've since become quite competent). Along the way, they've toured the country in a blue "Mom-style" minivan, playing shows with the likes of Parquet Courts (who also invited them to their SXSW showcase), Dum Dum Girls, and Marnie Stern — and silenced the dumb dudes interested only in their hotness by being actually really great. This Sunday, they play their first local show since returning from tour; we're quite certain eardrums will be slain.
8:00 at Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St., $8. Tickets available here.