15 concerts to see this week, including Sudan Archives, Broken Social Scene, Rufus Wainwright, Philly Music Fest and more - WXPN
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It’s another huge music week in Philadelphia, anchored by the sixth annual Philly Music Fest. If you are only going to one concert in the immediate future, make sure it’s one of theirs, since the week-long event benefits music education programs in the city. If you’re going to two concerts in the immediate future, we’ve got plenty of suggestions of which to see. Here are 15 gigs to get to in the next seven days, all around Philly; for tickets and more information on them, head to the XPN Concerts and Events page.

Sunday 10/9 to Saturday 10/15: Philly Music Fest

This year’s PMF has something going on every day of the week, unofficially beginning tonight with an “industry night” kickoff show at center city’s Concourse Live starring dreamy Americana outfit Cosmic Guilt and indie singer-songwriter / former Walkman Peter Matthew Bauer. Some concerts are already sold out – if you don’t already have tickets to see heavy Jersey rockers Screaming Females at Johnny Brenda’s or two nights of L.A. balladeers Mt. Joy at Ardmore Music Hall, sorry. But that shouldn’t stop you from spending a night with Lady HD, Kayleigh Goldsworthy, Low Cut Connie and more at World Cafe Live (Wednesday), with Shamir and Echo Kid at The Dolphin (Friday), or Mannequin Pussy, Empath, Riverby, and Justmadnice at Underground Arts to wrap the week (Saturday). The week’s concerts benefit nonprofits around Philly like Beyond The Bars, Girls Rock Philly, Musicopia, Philadelphia Youth Orchestra and more, and also features the Inside Hustle afternoon workshop on Saturday, where various artists and music industry persons from the city will be on hand to offer advice and perspective, including WXPN’s Mike Vasilikos and John Vettese. If you’re a Philly musician or someone who loves Philly music, make it a point to be as many of these events as possible. // various prices, various times

Mannequin Pussy - "Control"

Monday 10/10: L7 at Union Transfer

Los Angeles hard rockers L7 are on the road this fall, and reports from previous tour stops are coming in amped and excited. Core members Donita Sparks and Suzi Gardner on guitars and vocals, as well as Jennifer Finch on bass, are once again teamed up with longtime drummer Dee Plakas, and they’re fired up on this tour, showcasing their post-reunion album Scatter The Rats and sharing the stage with Providence punks Downtown Boys. They’ll be at Union Transfer on Monday.  // 8 p.m., $33, AA

L7 - Fast and Frightening

Tuesday 10/11: Sudan Archives at World Cafe Live

An XPN Artist to Watch from December of 2019, Sudan Archives – aka singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Brittney Parks – plays World Cafe Live on Tuesday in support of her new album Natural Brown Prom Queen. The album’s aesthetic orbits poppy R&B with effervescent and ethereal tones, balancing electronic excursions and fiddle leads with hooks galore.  // 7 p.m., $30, AA

Sudan Archives - Selfish Soul

Tuesday 10/11: Julia Jacklin at Union Transfer

Sydney singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin’s third studio album Pre Pleasure came out in August, and was widely praised as a show of introspective growth and sonic expansion for the indie singer-songwriter. Fans of Angel Olsen, Aldous Harding, and good company on cool autumn nights would do well to head to Union Transfer to see Jacklin on Tuesday.  // 8 p.m., $20, AA

Julia Jacklin - Love, Try Not To Let Go

Wednesday 10/12: Broken Social Scene at Union Transfer

Led by singer-guitarists Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew, Toronto art rock collective Broken Social Scene has never been a bunch to easily classify. From the dreamlike wash of their ambient debut Feel Good Lost to the soaring anthems of 2010’s Forgiveness Rock Record, it can potentially mean just about anything when BSS assembles for a new project. Their most recent collection of new material, 2017’s Hug Of Thunder, was an explosive and bombastic set themed equally around catharsis and community, and it took a total of 18 musicians to bring its sound to life. This year, the band dug into the archives for Old Dead Young (a deep tracks / outtakes collection) and the concert recording Live at the Phoenix Concert Theatre, 2003. The latter is probably the closest guess at what we’ll hear Wednesday when Broken Social Scene headlines Union Transfer; the tour this autumn is, in part, a 20th anniversary celebration of the band’s celebrated You Forgot It In People LP, a crucial transitional moment in their journey from soundscapes to pop songs. The live album was recorded at the tail end of the 2003 tour in support of People, a point where its songs had so totally gelled that the band was breaking out yet-to-be-released music that we’d hear later on their 2005 self-titled. If that means we’ll get a taste this week of the LP BSS releases in 2025, that’s good by us. // 8 p.m., $35, AA

Broken Social Scene - "KC Accidental (live at Pitchfork Fest)"

Wednesday 10/12: The Wonder Years at Franklin Music Hall

On their seventh studio album, The Hum Goes On Forever, Lansdale-rooted punk outfit The Wonder Years take a bold and introspective look at various facets of adulting: parenthood, family ties, and loss. On release week last month, the band took over State and Main Streets in Doylestown for acoustic performances for fans lucky enough to snag tickets; on Wednesday they’ll play for a much bigger crowd at Franklin Music Hall. // 7:30 p.m., $32.50, AA

The Wonder Years - "Summer Clothes"

Thursday 10/13: Rufus Wainwright at Colonial Theater

From operas and torch songs to collabs with pop queens like Carly Rae Jepsen – check out the recent “The Loneliest Time,” it’s great – Rufus Wainwright has a spectrum of interests and incorporates them all into his creative work. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Wainwright released Unfollow The Rules, his ninth album of original material and first since 2012’s Out of the Game; hear him play it live this Thursday at the Colonial Theater. // 8 p.m., $42.50 and up, AA

Carly Rae Jepsen ft. Rufus Wainwright - "The Loneliest Time"

Thursday 10/13: The House of Love at Underground Arts

You can spot the DNA of British cult faves The House Of Love so many places, from the Australian psych rock band Babe Rainbow (named for THoL’s 1992 album) to a stunning cover of “Beatles and Stones” by Philly’s Meg Baird. The band’s first U.S. tour in a decade is finally under way, and in addition to being a 30th anniversary of their breakout Butterfly LP, it’s also a showcase of the new A State of Grace, and it comes to Philly Thursday at Underground Arts. // 8 p.m., $25, 21+

The House of Love - "Beatles and Stones"

Thursday 10/13: Craig Finn at World Cafe Live

The Hold Steady frontperson Craig Finn played a terrific solo acoustic set at NON-COMM this spring, pinch-hiting for Hurray From The Riff-Raff when the band had to drop from the bill. It was full of warmth and engaging storytelling, and this Thursday Finn returns to the World Cafe Live stage with his full band, the Uptown Controlers. // 8 p.m., $47 and up, AA

Craig Finn - "A Legacy of Rentals"

Friday 10/14: Don McCloskey and Chris Kasper at Ardmore Music Hall

If you didn’t get enough of Philly singer-songwriter Don McCloskey last week between his Key Studio Session and his rousing Free at Noon – and both were terrific, so no, you did not – make your way to Ardmore Music Hall on Friday night where he co-headlines along with fellow Philly artist Chris Kasper. Both are celebrating new and recent albums – Holysmoke for Kasper, The Chaos and the Beauty for McCloskey – and both are full of endearing roots rock songs and top-notch musicianship. // 8 p.m., $18, 21+

Don McCloskey - "Dre (The Key Studio Sessions)"

Friday 10/14: Barns Courtney at XL Live

UK singer-songwriter Barns Courtney moves at a measures pace, following up two buzzy folk rock LPs (2017’s The Attractions of Youth and 2019’s 404) with an EP (2020’s It’s Hard To Be Alone) and now a new single (“Supernatural”). While the troubadour builds to his next big project, you can catch Courtney in Central PA this Friday for a Harrisburg University show at XL Live. // 8 p.m., $25, AA

Barns Courtney - "Supernatural"

Friday 10/14: Jake Blount at World Cafe Live

Folk scene star Jake Blount appeared on numerous year-end best-of lists in 2020 following the release of his compelling Spider Tales LP, the product of extensive research into Black and Indigenous mountain music. This year he followed the project up with The New Faith, an Afrofuturist distilling lessons from Black spirituals and reclassifying them for a modern audience. Blount plays it live Friday night at World Cafe Live; New England singer-songwriter Eliza Edens opens, and for extra excitement, it’s the release day of her stellar new LP We’ll Become The Flowers. // 8:30 p.m., $12, AA

Jake Blount - "Didn't It Rain"

Friday 10/14: Velvet Rouge at Kung Fu Necktie

We last saw Philly rockers Velvet Rouge headlining The Lounge at World Cafe Live last month and kicking off their set with a raging cover of “Ocean Size” by Jane’s Addiction. Which, if you want to get this writer’s attention, that’s a great way to do so. Fronted by singer-guitarist and songwriter Gina Zo, the band has been trickling out new music since the summer, beginning with “Save Me” produced by Philly veteran Brian McTear, and they’ll rock the house at Kung Fu Necktie on Friday. // 7:30 p.m., $12, 21+

Velvet Rouge - "Save Me"

Friday 10/14: Cheeky at The Khyber

Electronic composer and singer-songwriter Cheeky is in the afterglow of a performance at Making Time’s Transcendental weekend at Fort Mifflin last month, but she’s not resting on her laurels. Back in the show mix, Cheeky hits the stage Friday night at The Khyber with left-of-center Philly rockers Broke Body. Her debut album The Star, released in May, is a must-hear. // 8 p.m., $15, 21+

Cheeky - "Your Name"

Saturday 10/15: Wild Pink at Johnny Brenda’s

New York City vibecasters Wild Pink occupy this rare Venn diagram center between dreamy ambient atmospheres, roosty and robust Americana (thanks in no small part to their lap steel player, Philly legend Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner), and earnest and honest indie songwriting. Their new album, ILYSM, is a gorgeous and immersive set of songs, and they’ll play it live Saturday night at Johnny Brenda’s. // 8 p.m., $18, 21+

Wild Pink - "Hold My Hand (ft. Julien Baker)"
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