Live Music

Eleni Mandell, Marnie Stern, Dead Confederate, Reigning Sound, Psychotic Quarter, Maserati, Alice Russel, All the Saints

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Photo by Lauren Dukoff

Eleni Mandell

Mon., March 9, 8pm. $10. With Winterpills. Tin Angel, 20 S. Second St. 215.928.0770.

L.A.’s Eleni Mandell—superfans call her Miss Eleni (get it?)—has been queen of the quirky-cool smart chick musicians long before the vintage dress revival started getting more spin than the Reagan presidency. Eight years ago she was called perhaps the best unsigned artist in the business by The New Yorker. Best known for writing slightly off-kilter pop songs, full-moon porch-swing ballads and fizzy little ditties about shitball boyfriends, she weebles her wobble into big fat arrangements featuring guitarist Jeremy Drake on the fresh release Artificial Fire. It kind of sounds like she brought her breakups and make-ups to outer space and a Mark Ronson-produced Pavement was the house band. Kind of. (Tara Murtha)

Marnie Stern

Tues., March 10, 8pm. $10. With Satanized. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St. 215.291.4945.

Marnie Stern’s shredding guitar is a hot knife sheathed in a cocoon of complicated arrangements. Her songs—reminiscent of technical High Priests of Math like Battles and Hella—have exuberant chant-worthy pop rock hooks and guitar riffs that draw equally from avant-metal freak of nature Mick Barr and prog-hero supreme Steve Hackett. “Transformer,” the lead track on last year’s breakthrough album This is It ... , bursts out of the gate like Iron Maiden’s “Number of the Beast” but eschews Satanic imagery for more happy-clappy fare. The risk of injury still remains, but with Stern you’re blindly, happily unfazed. (Nick Millevoi)

All the Saints

Tues., March 10, 6:30pm. $10. With These Arms Are Snakes, Darker My Love + Sinatrah. Barbary, 951 Frankford Ave. 267.765.5210.

All the Saints’ dark psychedelia harks back to the ear-pummeling days of My Bloody Valentine, Jesus & Mary Chain and Ride—loud as amp-twisting effects-pedaling guitar rock can be and proud of it. Add to that the slow blossoming drone of desert rock, the clattering, chaotic fills of math-y, metally drums, and you’ve got a recipe for transcendence ... and possibly deafness. The Alabama-based trio crank howling, careening, wall-of-feedback onslaughts that will ring in your head for days. (Jennifer Kelly)

Dead Confederate

Thurs., March 5, 8pm. $12. With the Whigs + Trances Arc. The Note, 142 E. Market St., West Chester.

Turns out Skynyrd was wrong: A Southern man does need Neil Young around. At least that’s the case for Athens, Ga., quintet Dead Confederate. While there’s undeniable Southern rockness to their debut album Wrecking Ball, DC often whips up epic Neil Young/Crazy Horse-worthy guitar storms on their way to psych-rock outer space. Elsewhere, they prove a Southern man needs the ghost of Kurt Cobain around too; frontman Hardy Morris sounds eerily like Nirvanaman when he howls through “Heavy Petting” and “Start Me Laughing.” Put together, it generates a power that’ll pick you up when you’re feeling blue. (Michael Alan Goldberg)

Reigning Sound

Sat., March 7, 9pm. $12. With Love City + Teenage Whore-Moans. Khyber, 56 S. Second St. 215.238.5888.

Greg Cartwright’s place in garage history is well-cemented through his bands the Oblivians and Compulsive Gamblers. With Reigning Sound Cartwright has managed to steer himself farther into the various streams that fed his previous efforts. The influence of R&B, country and straight fuzzed-out guitar-driven rock all play prominent roles in his strongly American body of work. While all the diversity leads to a need to jump from influence to influence with each new release, it is a credit to Cartwright’s talent (and enthusiasm) that the end result is as fun as it’s broad-ranged. (John Cramer)

Psychotic Quartet

Sun., March 8, 8:30pm. $5. With Viperax + Hot Change. Gojjo, 4540 Baltimore Ave. 215.238.1236

Trombonist Dan Blacksberg, violinist Katt Hernandez and bassist Evan Lipson are some of Philly’s busiest, most advanced and idiosyncratic improvisers. Their run-ins with New York-based drummer-thereminist-conceptualist Michael Evans are fairly infrequent, but sufficiently way-out to warrant a label of mental illness. Blacksberg explains: “You’re not seeing what’s there; you’re seeing some weird extrapolation that comes from the processes of your brain. Reality comes through in the filter. The filter is what’s psychotic.” Got that? Come ready for a colloquy reflecting divergent backgrounds in free jazz, noise rock, ethnic music, microtonal playing and kitchen-sink aesthetics. And watch out when these cats go off their meds. (David R. Adler)


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