Wednesday, July 4
Wawa Welcome America!
As Founding Father John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail about the Declaration of Independence in 1776: “It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” No mention of ?uestlove in there, but hey, whatever. America’s biggest and freest Independence Day bash, courtesy of Wawa (after all, turkey Shortis fall under the “pursuit of happiness” rubric), includes a 7 p.m. concert near the Art Museum featuring the Roots, Daryl Hall, Queen Latifah, Common and Joe Jonas, followed by the usual ginormous fireworks extravaganza around 10:30. If you want to get in the spirit earlier in the day, head down to the Parkway for a block party with food, games and other entertainment that kicks off at noon. -Michael Alan Goldberg
Noon. Free. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 23rd St. and the Ben Franklin Pkwy.
Search for An Albatross on YouTube and one of the first results you’ll get is “an albatross in Philadelphia.” It’s a performance by the Wilkes-Barre-bred band at what looks to be First Unitarian Church. Although the 11-minute clip cuts across the set, it still makes an exquisite Albatross primer. Eddie Gieda wears a ridiculously flashy pair of pants, constantly moves across the stage, and fries his vocal folds through one high-pitched scream after another. Occasionally, he takes a breather to speak like a preacher. Meanwhile, the players behind Gieda function in total clusterfuck mode, combining spazzed-out power-violence guitars, relentlessly fast drums and whirling, psychedelized keyboard lines. Toward the end of the video, a patron says, “Why is that one of the best things I’ve ever seen?” We’re asking ourselves the same thing. -Reyan Ali
7pm. Free. The Barbary, 951 Frankford Ave. facebook.com/thebarbary
Thursday, July 5
Coldplay is the last stadium rock band on earth, a roving, multi-ton spectacle with video screens, pulsing laser-light pyramids, confetti cannons, day-glo beach balls and flashing wrist bands. Last year’s Mylo Xyloto added a bit of R&B flash to the pot, splicing lacquered synths, booming beats, a duet with Robyn (also on the bill, and in this week’s calendar!) and something perilously close to Chris Martin rapping on the single “Princess of China.” Yes, the songs are more drama than heft. Sure, the glittery guitar lines sound just like the Edge. And of course, you’ll be a mile from the stage. Still, it’s a big rock show—the kind you don’t see much anymore—and you get to keep the wristband. -Jennifer Kelly
7pm. $49.50-$96.50. With Robyn. Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St. 215.298.4200.
Call your girlfriend and let your body talk this Thursday: Robyn and her DJ partner Rokk will be spinning at Voyeur Nightclub after the Coldplay show at the Wells Fargo Center. The bleach-blond Swedish pop star has been pumping out hits since she was 13, all while evolving her sound from the R&B-infused “Show Me Love” in the ’90s to a more electro-pop-based “Dancing on My Own” of late. Rokk, a London-based producer, runs the London club “Body Talk,” the namesake for Robyn’s series of albums released in 2010. Together, they create a fun dance vibe that will keep your body rockin’ all night. -Fiona Lockyer
10pm-3am. $10-$12. With Dave P and Adam Sparkles. Voyeur Nightclub, 1221 Saint James St. 215.735.5772. voyeurnightclub.com
Sure, their break-out hit, an electronic/disco cover of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb,” might still be the Scissor Sisters’ claim to fame 10 years later, but the New York-based band never stopped writing melodramatic electronic dance music. Over the course of four albums, since the release of their 2004 self-titled debut, the band has perfected its blend of flamboyant glam rock. A little bit Bee Gees, a little bit MGMT, and a big pinch of Madonna and David Bowie define the band’s sound, while vocalist Jake Shears’ Rush-inspired quasi-falsetto remains the group’s calling card. Their latest album was released in May and is a trove of kinky dance beats and Killers-esque anthemic pop. -Katherine Silkaitis
8:30pm. $27. With Rye Rye. Electric Factory, 421 N. Seventh St. 215.627.1332. electricfactory.info
Friday, July 6
Guided By Voices
Bob Pollard and his “classic” lineup—that’s bassist Greg Demos, guitarists Mitch Mitchell and Tobin Sprout and Kevin Fennell on drums—kicked off the first lo-fi movement in the early 1990s, with a string of fuzzy, feedback-damaged, felicitously hooked albums that included ultra-rare Propeller, scattershot Vampires on Titus and the great Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes. Twenty years later, amidst another burst of communal fuzz, this band, including longtime abstainer Tobin Sprout, was resurrected for the Matador 20th Birthday Party. In 2012, the band released two new albums, but even so, when playlists extend to 30 or 35 songs, there’s always room for “Hot Freaks” or “Kicker of Elves.” -J.K.
9pm. $31-$33. The Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.6888. thetroc.com
This summer, in addition to breeding and showcasing some of the finest comedic talents in the city, the Philly Improv Theater is also inviting a slew of hilarious out-of-town acts to perform. First up is this side-splitting, yet thought-provoking one-man show performed by veteran improv comic Luis Sosa. The audience follows Sosa’s desperate journey to track down a lost lottery ticket. Along the way, he encounters various colorful characters (all played by Sosa), and ultimately is forced to re-evaluate his priorities. Sosa developed his chops at two of the most revered improv theaters/schools in the country: Upright Citizens Brigade and iO West in Los Angeles. Since debuting Jackpot! in 2004, he’s taken the show to cities around the country. Catch him in Philly tonight. -Nicole Finkbiner
7pm. $8-$10. The Shubin Theater, 407 Bainbridge St. 267.233.1556. phillyimprovtheater.com
Bridge Nine Records was founded on aggressive and intensely motivated hardcore. Traditionally, the label’s bands put on the kind of shows that leave you with light bruises (from stage divers) and aching toes (courtesy of stray, inconsiderate moshers). The fact that they signed Lemuria—a Buffalo, N.Y., trio who favor a sound rooted in the ’90s alt- and indie rock acts of Dinosaur Jr. and Yo La Tengo—is surreal. Lemuria exude a generally introverted aura, as if they have worthwhile ideas they want to write about and shows they very much want to play, but they’re just naturally shy and humble about their talents. It’s an endearing approach, which is made all the more lovable by the group’s willingness to go all in on genre-bending challenges like playing grindcore-heavy fests or issuing Pebble, their latest full-length—on a hardcore label. -R.A.
6:30pm. $10. With Ma Jolie + NONA. The Barbary, 951 Frankford Ave. r5productions.com
Saturday, July 7
Calendar: December 17-24
Calendar: Dec. 10-17
PW's Holiday Guide 2014