Live Music

Love City, CSS, I Call Fives, Blood Feathers, Oasis, Surefire Broadcast, Ghost in the Valley

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photo by Adam Wallacavage

Love City

Fri., Dec. 19, 9pm. $8. With Stalkers + the Lusts. Khyber, 56 S. Second St. 215.238.5888. www.thekhyber.com

In its relatively short lifespan, the Philly four-piece Love City has already accrued some impressive opening slots and spent time recording with the Cobbs. The latter is a logical fit, especially since Love City plunders an age-old strain of growling garage rock that's muddied with slurred shout-singing and flecked with flinty organ. Long shadows and primordial distortion compete for attention within that retro mold--somewhere between the Animals and ? and the Mysterians--but there are sturdy enough songs at the core to make it more than just an exercise in style. This kind of band sounds best steeped in beer and sweat, so be sure to crowd as close to the stage as humanly possible. (Doug Wallen)


CSS

Fri., Dec. 19, 9pm. $18.50. With hey willpower + Pink Skull. Theater of the Living Arts, 334 South St. 215.922.1011. www.livenation.com

"I'm gonna jump on to the table and dance my ass off till I die,'" sings CSS' Lovefoxxx in one of the many no-wave dance tunes that fills the band's latest album. It sums up the group's ideology and ethos, as well. The Brazilian quintet has been hot stuff since Sub Pop released its first album in 2006 and Apple deftly used the "Music is my boyfriend/Music is where I'd like you to touch" tune for an iPod Touch commercial. Picture elements of '80s new wave and French electro-pop (imagine if all the members of Justice and Blondie had babies together!) with some sensual and Carvinal-inspired Brazillian beats and you've got the gist of it. (Katherine Silkaitis)


I Call Fives


Fri., Dec. 19, 6pm. $8. With the Wonder Years, Braindead + the Crosstown Rivalry. Khyber Upstairs, 56 S. Second St. 215.238.5888. www.thekhyber.com

Hyper-catchy and highly caffeinated, New Jersey's I Call Fives are light on their feet and clearly smitten with sunny pop-punk, all blurred drums and zippy riffs. Vocalist James Corbi has the affable yelp down pat, and his lyrics are as universal as any band with a teenage audience could hope for. Just out on Rochester's small Open Your Eyes label, the First Things First EP is over before we know it, a jittery collection of high-flying choruses. Considering their next two shows after this one are at--no kidding--a roller rink and a bowling alley, these dudes definitely know how to have fun. (D.W.)


Blood Feathers


Fri., Dec. 19, 9pm. $10. With the Oranges Band + the Homophones. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. www.johnnybrendas.com

A little bit country, a little bit rock 'n' roll and a heavy dose of psych thrown in for good measure, Philly's own Blood Feathers write beautiful, entrancing songs that captivatingly lull you into sedation. Beautifully harmonized melodies float amid crescendoing guitars and drum rolls, enveloping everything until culminating in a hazy state of peace and happiness. The duo maintains a mystery, depth and richness akin to Olivia Tremor Control, but with a stronger pop backbone and a song structure that is more simple and eloquent. (K.S.)


Oasis


Fri., Dec. 19, 7pm. $53.50-$73.50. With Ryan Adams + Matt Costa. Susquehanna Bank Center, 1 Harbor Blvd., Camden, N.J. 856.365.1300. www.livenation.com

Oasis--led by those two twatty Gallagher brothers Noel and Liam--hasn't put out anything resembling a good album since their second LP, 1995's (What's the Story) Morning Glory?. Just-released seventh album Dig Out Your Soul continues the slow slide into suckitude, although the general critical consensus seems to be that it's "better than expected." Of course, it's probably better to get rotten ham and broken glass on rye when you were expecting a shit sandwich, but given the choice most would rather starve. There is, however, a silver lining here--country rocker Ryan Adams is also a twat, but he typically puts on a stellar show, and fellow opener Matt Costa (who's not at all a twat) blends moody Britpop and sunny '70s SoCal pop-rock to quite fetching ends. (Michael Alan Goldberg)


Surefire Broadcast


Sat., Dec. 20, 9pm. $8. With St. Solitude + Padre Pio + Laughing Man. M Room, 15 W. Girard Ave. 215.739.5577. www.themanhattanroom.com

It's pure, blissful power pop. Velocity Girl reincarnate, even--down to lead singer Lisa Zeuner-Ibarra's stark, pure vocals � la Sarah Shannon. Simple, catchy tunes dominate as Zeuner-Ibarra and bandmate/husband Rodney Ibarra trade off vocal duties and man the bass and guitar, respectively. Suddenly, you're back in high school, crushing on that out-of-reach upperclassman. You write songs, make mixtapes and life is full of exciting possibilities. This is the soundtrack--the good parts. The fallout from your embarrassing display of affection and vulnerability never enters the picture. (K.S.)


Ghosts in the Valley


Thurs., Dec. 18, 8pm. $8. With the Sobriquets + Sports. M Room, 15 W. Girard Ave. 215.739.5577. www.themanhattanroom.com

Local trio Ghosts in the Valley very often remind me of the excellent early '90s D.C. band High Back Chairs, which featured ex-Minor Threat drummer (and Dischord co-founder) Jeff Nelson. Why? Because like HBC, Ghosts clearly have a soft spot for (and musical roots in) East Coast hardcore-punk--you can hear it in the busy basslines, the angular and crunchy guitars, the particular chord progressions, the semi-snotty vocals, the call-and-response choruses--but they've tempered those sonics with a healthy dose of power-pop to wind up with a bright, catchy sound that doesn't sacrifice volume or potency. (M.A.G.)

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