Music picks for the first week of September!
Thursday, September 4: Minka
Band on the rise! Philly four-piece Minka craft funky, new wave-inspired party jams imbued with energy, humor, and umm, sex appeal — for a result somewhere between '80s Prince and Transmission at The Barbary. Originally formed as a basement jam sesh between front man Ari Rubin and guitarist Ian Brick (who met during a reggae tour), the band played its first gig at The Fire in 2012 and has been on a slow roll ever since. Taking their name from Joseph Stalin's dog (note: sense of humor) and their vibe from every cool '80s dance record ever (think: Talking Heads, P. Funk, Bowie) — Minka draw you in with quirky beats, then make you stay thanks to Rubin's punchy lyrics and vocals. They've just released their new EP, The Republican (which takes its name from the seedy South Philly joint where Rubin first fell for his gf), and will celebrate this Thursday with a release party Boot & Saddle. Before you go: watch the new, Pulp Fiction-inspired music video for single "Let's F*ck" to get you in the mood for grooving. No word yet on whether their stylish track suits will also make an appearance.
8:30 at Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St., $10. Tickets available here.
Friday, September 5: Lorde
Honestly, it bowls me over every time I remember that Lorde is just 17 years old — already, the Auckland native seems wise beyond her years, penning tunes that criticize materialism in the music biz, or finding love in a cynical world. In fact, her 2013 single "Royals" (which earned her a "Song of the Year" Grammy win) was penned when she was just 13 or 14 — the same age at which I was listening to Spice Girls and crushing on middle school boys (perhaps why she's a major star, and I'm not). A genius since youth, who reportedly proofread her mother's master's thesis at age 14, Lorde rose to the top precisely because of her smarts, and dark, quirky style — then quickly shed her outsider status to make Big pop songs that appealed to an entire generation, while still retaining her own unique essence. Her debut record Pure Heroine is a playful and confident treatise on youth and love, that's not afraid to explore divergent emotions or opinions — and which has sold, literally, millions of copies worldwide. She now brings her clever tunes to the Mann Center, where the open skies should provide the perfect backdrop for an artist whose potential is just as limitless.
7:30 at the Mann Center for Performing Arts, 5201 Parkside Ave., $40–59.50. Tickets available here.
Friday, September 5: Buzzcocks
In some ways, it's sorta mind-blowing that the Buzzcocks are even still a band. The seminal British punk group and forefathers of pop-punk first came together in 1976 — the same time as the Sex Pistols and The Clash, although of the three only the Buzzcocks are still shredding face now. What's more, they're still writing songs….and said songs are actually good. We suppose it makes sense when you're writing about what you know — and Buzzcocks have a long history of imbuing songs with personal experience, whether it's a love of umm, deep breathing, or frustration assembling Ikea furniture. Of course none of this would matter if they didn't also rock with the fury and wit of 1,000,000 nerds who just found out Comic Con was cancelled — and luckily for us all, the wiry riffs, anxious drums, and front man Pete Shelley's tense vocals are still intact after all these years. This Friday, they bring their skills and bad-assery to Union Transfer, where fans of all ages will shriek along to "Ever Fallen In Love With Someone (You Shouldn't've Fallen In Love With)." Brush up on the lyrics ahead of time with this 1978 live vid.
8:30 at Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., $25. Tickets available here.
Saturday, September 6: DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist (play Afrika Bambaataa)
This is a cool concept. DJ Shadow (real name: Josh Davis) and Cut Chemist (Lucas MacFadden) are two of the most acclaimed DJs of our generation. Shadow's debut record Entroducing..... is a trippy, moody affair through myriad samples that some consider among the best records ever; he also boasts a massive record collection AND a world record. Chemist first turned heads as a member of 90s hip-hop giants Jurassic 5; he also got funky with Latin rock group Ozomatli, and released a trio of remix albums with Shadow that undoubtedly soundtracked many a sexy late-night hang. This Saturday, the pair join forces at the TLA, spinning records from the personal collection of Afrika Bambaataa, the New York DJ widely credited with originating breakbeat DJ'ing and lovingly nicknamed "The Godfather" of hip-hop. The project is in collaboration with New York curator Johan Kugelberg and Cornell University, the latter of whom is undergoing a massive project to preserve Bambaataa's legacy…by digitizing his entire record collection. The pair will set up shop with six turntables, two mixers, a drum machine, and a slew of vintage gear — and will spin James Brown, Miles Davis, Peter Gabriel, and whatever else Bambaataa's got hidden in his 41,000 deep collection. Come for the history, stay for the vibes! We have a feeling this one will be epic.
8:00 at the TLA, 334 South St., $29.50. Tickets available here.