Rad Racket, Vivian Girls, Jeffrey Gaines, Jim Bianco, El Guincho, Suicidal Tendencies
Mon., Dec. 1, 9pm. $10. With Sebastien Grainger + Josh Reichmann. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. www.johnnybrendas.com
Since shelving the Red Rocket moniker, West Philly's signature firebrands have also changed musical course a bit. That means downplaying the math and prog influences and rediscovering pop melodies and actual singing on their upcoming album Let's Fight All Night. "Morning Trolley" may still pack a rollicking release, and "Sleep In Rich Kids" skitters thrillingly around every corner, but dig the fluffy keyboards alongside the guitar-led drama of "Babe I'm Running From You" and the romantic old-world folk vibe of "Morning Mourning," a duet with Tickley Feather's Annie Sachs. It's always exciting when math-rock bands turn their eerie precision and rugged endurance to other genres, and Rad Racket's brave stab at pop is no exception.
Fri., Nov. 28, 9pm. $12. With the King Khan & BBQ Show, the Jacuzzi Boys + Love City. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. www.johnnybrendas.com
The Vivian Girls are many things to many people. To haters who spend all day commenting on music blogs about how shit music blogs are, they're talentless over-hyped Brooklyn ragdolls stumbling through random Warholian hype-machine fame 'cause they sloppily rip off Black Tambourine and C86 and are sort of hipster hot. To lovers that get that rock is in how you roll, they're a kickass girlie trio that harmonizes Olympia-style over spirited, imperfect, way distorted riffs who are blowing up because of constant touring and tasty 7-inches. How can you diss a band with beats the vibe of the Ronettes after a few caterpillars of cocaine crawl up the nose? And yes, since we have to talk about how female musicians look, they look like teenage Charlie's Angels meet the Fabulous Stains at last call in Williamsburg. Hatersaidwhat?
Sat., Nov. 29, 7:30pm + 10:30pm. $22. With Clara Lofaro. Tin Angel, 20 S. Second St. 215.928.0770. www.tinangel.com
Because he hails from Harrisburg and plays the Philly area constantly among the nearly 200 shows he does a year nationwide, it's easy to take singer-songwriter Jeffrey Gaines for granted. That would be a mistake because tomorrow he could fall into a bottomless pit or get eaten by a stegosaurus, and then you'd never again get to enjoy his rich, emotional tenor, his smartly crafted lyrics and his alternately rousing and bittersweet tunes that combine jangle-pop, Brit-rock and classic soul into an engaging whole. Recording and touring steadily since the early '90s, Gaines gained a lot of attention a few years back when he covered Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes." Expect to hear that fine nugget, and likely a batch of new stuff, tonight.
Wed., Nov. 26, 7:30pm. With Shelby Lynne. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. www.worldcafelive.com
You heard wrong: Stars aren’t blind