What we're seeing live this week!
Friday, May 8: Lovers League
Band on the rise! Lovers League is a collaboration between Dani Mari and Reverend TJ McGlinchey, both acclaimed members of the Philly folk scene, who together tap into something sweet, sincere, and uniquely compelling. A classically-trained musician who began playing piano in the second grade, Mari first caught our attention with her work with bedroom pop group Lockets, her airy vocals and gauzy melodies lending the project an effortless, dreamy vibe. In 2013, she won the Philadelphia Folksong Society performance contest for her solo act, earning a spot on the festival roster, and turning on hundreds to her dark pop charms. The last person to win this contest? The Reverend McGlinchey, one year earlier. A native of Drexel Hill and Lansdowne, McGlinchey played punk rock in high school, studied classical musical in college, and honed his live chops playing music in the 'burbs before bursting into the city scene a few years back. His spirited take on folk ricochets between bluesy stompers and swinging throwback rockers, which are even more fun live. Together, they craft sentimental love songs and perfect duets, and this Friday they celebrate the release of their new record 2 with a release show at Boot & Saddle. Come fall in love with Lovers League.
8:30 at Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St., $10. Tickets available here.
Friday, May 8: Pissed Jeans
Philly punks Pissed Jeans are a bunch of old guys. They write songs about family, and going to work, and their hair starting to fall out. They're also one of my favorite bands to see live, and proof that punk is nothing but an attitude (and the ability to shred really, really hard). Formed by friends from Allentown, PA, Pissed Jeans shattered their way into the scene in 2005 with Shallow Parts, a furious, sludgy affront with lyrics about the banal that was absolutely perfect for dudes to blast at full volume on their car stereos will driving to work in their hybrids (I imagine) and letting off some steam. Since then, they pretty much perfected their brand of middle class hardcore punk; when I saw them at Made in America last fall, they completely destroyed both it and my eardums. They're now working on a new album and also touring, and will play JB's this Friday. Get your eardrums ready now.
9:00 at Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., $12–14. Tickets available here.
Saturday, May 9: The Replacements
The Replacements, it could be argued, are America's best bar band. For one, they certainly seem to spend a lot of time at the bar — so much so, in fact, that they've been known to forget their own songs. Then of course there's all their songs about drinking, or going to the bar, or being drunk … and actually, come to think of it, the band stumbled upon the name "The Replacements" after they were banned from a club for being TOO drunk while called The Impediments. Formed in 1979 in Minneapolis, MN by Paul Westerberg, Bob and Tommy Stinson, and Chris Mars, The Replacements were one of the most fun and influential bands of the 1980's, releasing a slew of acclaimed singles and pounding a slew of beers. Albums like Let It Be and Tim will forever be classics, Westerberg's throaty vocals and shout-aloud refrains a visceral complement to sloppy garage jamming. And while the band's absolute refusal to give in to industry demands — getting banned from SNL, choosing NOT to make an MTV-friendly video for "Bastards of Young" — meant they never became a big commercial success back in the day, it definitely makes them seem cooler now. This weekend, they bring their delightfully sloppy jams to Penn's Landing, proving that just cuz you're old doesn't mean you can't rock.
7:30 at Festival Pier at Penn's Landing, Columbus Blvd. at Spring Garden St., $49.50. Tickets available here.
Saturday, May 9: Hop Along
2015 is about to be a huge year for Hop Along, and all we can say is: it's been a long time coming. The project of Frances Quinlan, the quirky, wordy, breathless, screeching, post-emo poet-laureate for today's twentysomething generation, Quinlan's take on rock'n roll is as complex as she is, yet somehow also manages to be one of the most relatable and compelling things we've heard in some time. Formed more than a decade back as a solo project for Quinlan her senior year in high school, Hop Along evolved into a full band with the addition of brother Mark on drums, plus Tyler Long and Joe Reinhart on bass and guitar. Since then, they've become local faves, sharing the stage with bands as diverse as F*cked Up and The War on Drugs (who they recently hit the road with) and screaming, sweating, and thrashing their way through hundreds of high-energy performances. Quinlan has a unique way of singing and writing songs, crafting dense, diary-style lyrics that she alternatively croons and screams, while the rest of the band lays down tight, drunk-in-the-garage-playing-punk-rock grooves. They recently signed to Saddle Creek Records and released their sophomore record Painted Shut this week. Did we mention they're about to explode? Come get on board now, claim bragging rights later.
8:30 at Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., $14–15. Tickets available here.
See also: Atmosphere at The Troc (Wednesday, May 6), Those Darlins at Kung Fu Necktie (Wednesday, May 6), Laser Background at Boot & Saddle (Wednesday, May 6), Great Lake Swimmers with Oldermost at Jonny Brenda's (Wednesday, May 6), Sam Fermin and Natalie Prass at Union Transfer (Thursday, May 7), St. James & The Apostles at Ortlieb's (Saturday, May 9), Palma Violets at Johnny Brenda's (Tuesday, May 12)