Spring Fling

After the thaw, Philly plays host to bands a-plenty.

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Leonard Cohen

Tues., May 12, 8pm. $89.50. Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St. 215.893.1935. www.academyofmusic.org

And so he’s come down off the mountain for one more tour in the wake of a duplicitous agent and that documentary in which U2 awkwardly gushed over him. That means it’s time to revisit “Suzanne,” “Everybody Knows,” “So Long, Marianne” and especially “Hallelujah,” a song even Watchmen couldn’t ruin. (D.W.)

The Thermals

Tues., May 12, 8pm. $12. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. www.johnnybrendas.com

Now you can see the band whose new single is called “Now We Can See.” So what will you see? An energetic three-piece reminiscent of the days when listening to “indie rock” didn’t necessarily preclude you from hopping in a woody, speeding down the shore to guzzle Bud pitchers and win enormous stuffed tigers for your pals. (M.M.)


Tues., May 19, 8pm. $15. With Charles Cohen. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St. 215.291.4945. www.kungfunecktie.com

The music of Japan’s beloved king of noise Merzbow is often called unlistenable. While his level of intensity and conviction is admirable, this isn’t music to play at parties. Merzbow is arresting, challenging and confrontational all at once. The adventurous will be rewarded, all others will retreat in pain. (John Cramer)

Matana Roberts Solo

Thurs., May 21, 8pm. Free. Rotunda, 4012 Walnut St. www.arsnovaworkshop.com

Alto saxist/clarinetist Matana Roberts, steeped in the avant-garde methodologies of her native Chicago, is now a figure of note on New York’s improvising scene. Her 12-part performance epic-in-progress “Coin Coin” is inspired by her family ancestry in slave-era Louisiana. Two of the latest “Coin Coin” chapters feature her unaccompanied. (D.R.A.)

Bonnie “Prince” Billy

Fri., May 22, 9pm. $16.50-$18. Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.LIVE. www.thetroc.com

Bonnie “Prince” Billy is revered Kentucky indie-folk singer Will Oldham, a recording artist so prolific he makes Robert Pollard seem like a slacker. Since the early ’90s he’s cranked out countless lo-fi albums under both aforementioned names, or as Palace, Palace Brothers or Palace Songs—most of them sounding the way a ramshackle cabin in the woods looks. (M.A.G.)

King Britt

Fri., May 22, time and price TBA. 941 Theater, 941 Front St. 267.687.1667. www.villagegreenproductions.net

While you can catch his Back2Basics party every Monday at Silk City, change is good—and a large, BYO venue (with back porch!) is meant for artists like Philly’s homegrown producer/DJ King Britt. Blending spoken word, hip-hop and deep grooves, Britt shows are a mass of beautiful, swaying, shaking bodies. (K.S.)

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