Philadelphia's live music scene rocks. From great halls to intimate one-room venues, shows for every taste take stages in neighborhoods all across town this month. (Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)
On any given night of the week, there’s no shortage of awesome music rocking stages in our fair city.
We’ve sifted through flyers, calendars and tapped in-the-know friends to bring you the best of what’s going on in Philadelphia, music-wise.
Here’s a look at the shows we’re the most excited about this month to kick off 2014, including a pizza-themed Velvet Underground cover band, Philly-bred synth pop and a totally psychedelic New Zealand import.
Read on for our picks of the best live shows to take in this month, below.
• Colleen Green: Sunday, January 5, 8 p.m., Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Frankford Avenue. Colleen Green’s ’60s girl-group vibes bring a little bit of California sunshine to Philadelphia at Kung Fu Necktie. Backed up by a gritty-sounding drum machine, Green’s sound is pleasingly minimal with dreamy bedroom vocals and subject matter — think lots of songs about boys.
• Connan Mockasin: Saturday, January 11, 9 p.m., Voyeur, 1221 Saint James Street. Upon first listen, Connan Mockasin sounds like he lives someplace between New Zealand and outer space, which, technically, is true. His latest album sounds like a psychedelic turntable playing through a pool of caramel (which just so happens to be the title) spliced up with a perfect dose of spacey, falsetto vocals and some very laid back R&B vibes.
• Yuck: Tuesday, January 14, 8 p.m., Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 North Frankford Avenue. Although the band’s name leaves much to be desired, this London foursome has figured out how to distill all of the elements of ’90s indie rock into a neat and oftentimes euphoric package. Pretty much every track on 2013’s Glow & Behold would be totally at home reviewed on the pages of a 1995 issue of Alternative Press — and that’s not a bad thing.
• Lockets: Thursday, January 16, 8 p.m., Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad Street. Local pop pair Lockets does slowed down, ’80s-accented synth pop just right. Vocalist Catie Parker makes the Cocteau Twins allusions easy and the dancing even easier.
• Phosphorescent: Tuesday, January 21, 8 p.m., Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden Street. Urban-rustic might sound more appropriate to interior design description, but for Matthew Houck’s solo project, Phosphorescent, it makes perfect sense. His songwriting and vocals are reminiscent of the delicate and warm Americana school, but his marriage of steel pedal guitar and backing synths make 2013’s Muchacho modern magic.
• The Pixies: Friday, January 24, 8:30 p.m., Electric Factory, 421 North 7th Street. After co-founder and bassist Kim Deal left the iconic rock band the Pixies last year, the group has since reformed and hit the road. Along with Bagboy, they have teamed up with unlikely (but totally amazing) openers, FIDLAR, a super high-energy skate punk outfit out of Los Angles. Even after all of these years, the Pixies still know a good thing when they hear it.
• The Pizza Underground: Saturday, January 25, 11 p.m., PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th Street. What’s could be better than an entirely pizza-themed Velvet Underground cover band? One formed with Macaulay Culkin. With Mac on kazoo, vocals and percussion, PU has reworked VU classics like All Tomorrow’s Parties and Stephanie Says into All the Pizza Parties and Papa John Says. Short story: It’s genius. **Update: This show has sold out.
• Delorean: Sunday, January 26, 8 p.m., Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 North Frankford Avenue. Going strong for 14 years, the Basque-electro foursome is back in town to make up for their cancelled (due to virtual kidnapping in Mexico City!) date back in October. Fully recovered from that insane fiasco, Delorean is sure to get the two-floor venue space at Johnny Brenda’s nice and warm with their sunny, summertime-in-Spain Balearic beats.
• Waxahatchee: Sunday, January 26, 7:30 p.m., The First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut Street. Katie Crutchfield’s roots are in basement shows and punk houses, but her current music is something so much sweeter and decidedly less gritty. With a lovely girl-guitar-four track combo, the honest ethos is there — sweet, simple and totally at home in the basement of the First Unitarian Church.
• Brazilian Girls: Friday, January 31, 8 p.m., Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill Street. So, the Brazilian Girls aren’t from Brazil, there’s only one lady in the band and, while their influences are all over the place, don’t expect any Brazilian rhythms. Instead, this show at Underground Arts is hopefully going to bring some new, totally danceable tracks from their upcoming album that they released via the world’s shortest teaser back in April.