Live Music

Extra Golden, Grubstake, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Submarines, Eddy Grant, Charli Hunter Trio, Hoppin' John Orchestra, Bee Team, Left Over Crack + Witch Hunt

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Extra Golden

Sat., Aug. 2, 8pm. $10. With Sonic Liberation Front + Public Record. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684.

The three Kenyans in Extra Golden have been unable to play in their native country for some time now, due to the extreme unrest that keeps people of all tribes battened down in their homes. So why not come to America where their brand of funky, laid-back jam and traditional Kenyan benga is just another excuse to party? Last time the band hit the States they had a new song about an Illinois senator (half-Kenyan, like the band) who helped them cut through a bureaucratic visa morass. This time the senator is starting to look like a president, and the band might haul out "Obama" not as a traditional praise song, but as a song of triumph. (Jennifer Kelly)

Charlie Hunter Trio

Sat., Aug. 2, 9pm. $18. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400.

Why should organists have all the fun playing simultaneous basslines, chords and melodies? Charlie Hunter's been doing it for years on his startling eight-string guitar. The one-man groove machine still prefers to mix it up with other humans, whether in Garage � Trois with Skerik, Mike Dillon and Stanton Moore, or his more abstract Groundtruther project with veteran weird-jazz drummer Bobby Previte. Settling in for a summer residency in Philly (he's here Aug. 8 and 15 as well), Hunter will lead the charge with keyboardist Erik Deutsch and drummer Tony Mason. Mistico, his 2007 trio outing on Fantasy, is the likely jumping-off point. (David R. Adler)

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

Fri., Aug. 1, 9pm. $10. M Room, 15 W. Girard Ave. 215.739.5577.

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti sounds so much like a 1977 recording of some unheard psych band it's disconcerting. But totally awesome. The unending rhythm guitar lines are trippy, the vocals fuzzy and poorly equalized and the basslines heavy and droning. And those drums--oh, that's just Pink using his mouth to beatbox. Little details like recorder solos, tambourines and eerie backup choruses add to the band's ethos. It all sounds as if it were recorded in some dank basement. In fact, his albums are self-recorded on an eight-track. Need another reference point? A close association with Animal Collective led the band's label to release Pink's albums, bringing the experimentalists together at last. (Katherine Silkaitis)


Sat., Aug. 2, 10pm. Free. With Dr. Tommy Thunder. Fergie's, 1214 Sansom St. 215.928.8118.

Named for an arcane mining term, Grubstake have been hammering out mud-caked guitar-drum blues for about a decade now. Patrick McHugh led the band in Boston for much of that time before returning to his old stomping grounds in Philly and nabbing drummer/engineer Steve Bozzone to make a fifth album, Make an Animal Noise. It's another gritty, ground-down outing, with McHugh hollering about TV dinners and other mundane miseries on "Delaware" and trafficking heavily in spite on "Sophisticated Whore." Most garage-rock duos putter out when they cease to mix things up musically, but McHugh's been around long enough to know when to throw a wrench into the works. (Doug Wallen)

Left�ver Crack + Witch Hunt

Fri., Aug. 1, 7pm $12. With Mischief Brew. Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.LIVE.

All bands that aren't gay anarcho commies should hang their heads in shame. What's the point of them? Left�ver Crack are a very funny New York punk, ska and atheist death metal combo perhaps best known for their awesome rocksteady anthem "Gay Rude Boys." Witch Hunt are from Philly, might well contain a heterosexual or two, and are really pissed about capitalism. You can be particularly taken with the line from the gutter punk classic "Blood Red States," "The meek will inherit the stench of death." They're right. Life is a horror movie. Here is your soundtrack. Go meek, eat rich. Grarrr. (Steven Wells)

Bee Team

Sun., Aug. 3, 9pm. $7. With Deleted Scenes + Never. Millcreek Tavern, 4200 Chester Ave. 215.222.1255.

Since growing from a duo called the Bees and the Birds into a larger ensemble called the Bee Team, guitarist Josh Craft and bassist Chrissy Tashjian have fleshed out their plucky folk-pop with the addition of slide guitar, banjo, mandolin, drums and sometimes keys. All the while, like the Moldy Peaches and Beat Happening before them, they've snuck sexual frankness into what could easily pass for childlike simplicity. They're still getting admirable mileage out of last year's 11-song Hot Times USA, woozy as it is with off-the-cuff harmonizing and handclappy country. Live, the kids are more fun still, and they've been known to cover the Beach Boys' quirky Smile number "Vegetables." (D.W.)

Hoppin' John Orchestra

Mon., Aug. 4, 8pm. $8. Chris' Jazz Cafe, 1421 Sansom St. 215.568.3131.

After a decade in business, this eclectic local band has a long-awaited self-titled CD and seems in prime mood to celebrate. Led by bassist/trombonist/arranger Mike Hood, the 10-piece unit bills itself as "Philly's only Southern-fried jazz orchestra." That would seem to entail horns galore and a taste for New Orleans second-line grooves, jump blues, good-time funk, vintage R&B, early jazz and the odd smoky ballad. The CD playlist features a slowed-down "I Hear You Knockin'," along with Ellington and Charlie Shavers goodies and a helping of Hood's originals too. With dollops of tuba and banjo and big-band power in a small package, it's hard not to like. (D.R.A.)

Eddy Grant

Wed., Aug. 6, 8pm. $18-$20. Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.5483.

One of those stars you never read about, Grant's history extends back 40 years to his teen band the Equals. Their hit U.K. debut "Baby Come Back" mixed British invasion-style R&B with a reggae rhythm, offering a precursor to 2-Tone and notice of Grant's genre-blending skills. Their overlooked output runs from rocking ("Police on My Back") to soul-soaked ("Black Skinned Blue-Eyed Boys"), and Grant followed it with a successful solo career highlighted by the discofied delight "Electric Avenue." It's been two decades since he toured the U.S., lying low in the Caribbean, running his studio/label. But 2006's triumphant return Reparation rivals his best, proving time hasn't diminished his talent. (Chris Parker)


Mon., Aug. 4, 7:30pm. Sold out. With Aimee Mann. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400.

Like Mates of State and Rosebuds, L.A.'s Submarines are an indie pop husband-and-wife team--in this case awesomely named and exceptionally photogenic John Dragonetti and Blake Hazard. Their back-story is hardly saccharine bliss, however: After dating and collaborating musically for four years, the couple endured a bitter breakup in 2004, and each wrote miserable songs about it in the aftermath. Realizing the tunes were good, they began recording together again, and eventually reconciled romantically too. Which is great for us, because the Subs' subsequent albums--including the new Honeysuckle Weeks--have been fantastic, with pensive lyrics cloaked in bright psych-pop that's kissed by electronic bloopiness and gorgeous vocal harmonies. (Michael Alan Goldberg)

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