Get hip to some overlooked local talent this holiday season.
Every week it seems a dozen new bands pop up on the bill at shows across the city. And while some of those crash and burn not long after their first show, others become staples in town or successes elsewhere.
Below is a list of nine overlooked Philly bands and songwriters with shows worth seeing and songs worth downloading. Track them down now, because next week there'll probably be all new ones.
Halloween may be behind us, but that's no reason to ignore the ghoulishly themed punkabilly of the Young Werewolves, who recently signed a sweet licensing deal with MTV. The trio's self-titled album is peopled with zombie car chases, cocaine mummies, black cats and werewolf fever, but it's as catchy as it is kitschy. And when bassist Dana K. takes over lead vocals for "Graveyard of Love," it's as if they've resurrected Patsy Cline. Second best surprise? A hidden cover of "White Wedding."
Upcoming shows: Sat., Nov. 27, 11pm. $7. Manhattan Grill, 15 W. Girard Ave. 215.739.5577; Sat., Dec. 11, call for time and price. La Tazza 108, 108 Chestnut St. 215.922.7322
Download: "Evil Soul" and "Black Cat." (www.theyoungwerewolves.com)
"Jolly Rancher," the A-side of Sympathizers' recent 7-inch single, sounds like rough-cut early Pavement--with beats. The band's unlikely Eno-inspired fusion of crooked indie rock and homespun electronics must be what earned it an opening spot for laptop-folk legend Greg Davis. In fact, Sympathizers may be the first decent Philly band trafficking in remixes since Fingernail. A remix of "Our Meteorologist, Tom Verlaine" turns a rudimentary Television shout-out into a hypnotic gem that would make sense on the Trainspotting soundtrack.
Upcoming show: Fri., Nov. 19, 10pm. $7. Tritone, 1508 South St. 215.545.0475. www.plainparade.org
Download: "Another Green Desert" and "Highway Cleaner (Vintage909 remix)." (www.thnthn.com)
For a band that prides itself on campy garage raucousness, opening for the Cramps is a dream come true. Jukebox Zeros did just that last month and continue the momentum with their long-awaited debut EP Welcome to Rutsville. The title track scorches with '70s-style guitars and an amphetamine frustration you can actually hum along to. Most of the players have done time in respected outfits (Stuntmen, 440s, Sickidz), and they'll be joined at their release show by two of our city's other great garage hopes.
Upcoming show: Sat., Nov. 20, 9pm. $8. With Beretta 76 + Thee Minks. Khyber, 56 S. Second St. 215.238.5888. www.thekhyber.com
Download: "Static, Static" and "Shutterstop." (www.jukeboxzeros.com)
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