Live Music

Heartless Bastards, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Amy Lavere, High Places, Rumpelstiltskin Grinder, Goblin Cock, Henry Grimes, Lyle Lovett + John Hiatt

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Lyle Lovett + John Hiatt

Fri., Feb. 6, 8pm. $40-$50. Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Broad and Spruce sts. 215.893.1999.

It's unlikely either Lyle Lovett's or John Hiatt's back porch looks like the inside of a cello. But no matter. If anyone's up to turning starchy Verizon Hall into a dusty ol' down-home bootstomp, it's them. These two kindred country spirits, who'll share the stage in this acoustic duel, complement each other nicely: Hiatt's brusque Nashville twang up against Lovett's gentle-as-a-rainstorm Texas-twilight croon. It might be frigid outside, but let their swapping of stories and songs take you down to a Southern summer evening. Dirt not included. (Jeffrey Barg)

Goblin Cock

Tues., Feb. 10, 9pm. With Warship + Wizard Eye. $10. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684.

Whenever I see or hear the name Goblin Cock, I automatically think of one of those silly frat-dude T-shirts with some cartoon monster grasping a beer bong and grinning wickedly while a half- naked co-ed kneels in front of him. Thankfully, Goblin Cock the band isn't nearly as silly and juvenile. Oh wait, they are! Led by "Lord Phallus" (aka Pinback's Rob Crow), the quintet is fond of dressing in druid robes onstage; playing doomy, Sabbath-mocking, Spinal Tap-channeling orc-metal; and delivering songs like "Kegrath the Dragon Killer." "Goblin Cock is not a joke band, goddammit!!!" the band protests on their MySpace page, but we know better. Somehow, it's still a fairly entertaining joke. (Michael Alan Goldberg)

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

Sun., Feb. 8, 8pm. With Brown Recluse Sings + the Depreciation Guild. $10. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St. 215.291.4945.

Don't look too hard, you might break them. Fey and fragile as tissue paper, Brooklyn's the Pains of Being Pure at Heart resurrect the lo-fi jangle of British twee, sounding like Belle & Sebastian awash in flurries of fuzz comparing pained memories with Morrissey. They composed an ode to "Kurt Cobain's Cardigan" for chrissakes, with the chorus, "Don't tell me it's the last night of our young lives." Richard Jewell wasn't this innocent. Sweet, wan boy/girl vocals course over a supple rhythm section, solid like an aqueduct, channeling shimmery, gentle major chord elegies dipped in distortion. Pretty, though extended exposure could lead to diabetes. (Chris Parker)

Rumpelstiltskin Grinder

Wed., Feb. 4, 9pm. $5. With Gloominous Doom + La Resistance. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684.

Any band with a release titled Raped By Bears deserves a listen. That includes a thrash revival band with the worst name in the business, period: Rumpelstiltskin Grinder. Touring behind their latest Living for Death, Destroying the Rest, these local boys have brought thrash right into the new millennium with solid, reliable material. Don't get too caught up in the Troma-Photoshop goofiness of their artwork; these guys are for real. And yes, your ears aren't fooling, those are guitar harmonies creeping around in the mire. With the bible of extreme metal Decibel Magazine behind the festivities, how can you go wrong? (John Cramer)

High Places

Thurs., Feb. 5. 8:30pm. With Soft Circle, Kyle H. Mabson, Hermit Thrushes, Reading Rainbow + King King Ding Dong. Danger! Danger! Gallery, 5013 Baltimore Ave.

High Places, a duo of Mary Pearson and Rob Barber, filters calypso's warmth through a Vaseline-smeared lens, its double-dutch skipping beats dissolving into dream-sequence masses of looped voices. Live, you'll get to see how much work it can be for two people to make all these sounds--with both Pearson and Barber multitasking knobs, pedals, mikes, instruments, toys and bits of alternative percussion. Yet somewhere in the flurry of activity there are clouds floating by, schoolyards peacefully at play and the world's prettiest banana slug in mid-hermaphroditic fling. (Jennifer Kelly)

Heartless Bastards

Thurs., Feb. 5, 8:30pm. $25-$27. With Patrick Sweany + the Black Keys. Electric Factory, 421 N. Seventh St. 215.627.1332

If Chrissie Hynde's voice made you want to hump your record player back in the early '80s, the entrancingly husky vocal talents of Erika Wennerstrom--lead singer of the Cincinatti-based Heartless Bastards--will have you wearing their new CD The Mountain like a cock ring. Show off your appreciation for their fuzzy guitars and soaring vocals that Pitchfork compares to "a tornado through a trailer park" when the band brings their own brand of straightforward, bluesy garage rock to town along with fellow Fat Possum label mates the Black Keys. (Tim McGinnis)

Amy LaVere

Fri., Feb. 6, 7pm. With Joe Pug. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400.

Music industry sexism doesn't just infect cock rock with its blistering bullshit. It's a sore subject even in the WXPN realm. Witness the relative success of Jason Mraz, the Jack-off (as in Johnson) whose resort-reggae lite is inescapable while Amy LaVere toils in near obscurity. LaVere writes darkly atmospheric, uncliched Americana, plucks the upright bass and looks like Judy Garland would have at 30 if she'd jogged instead of drank. LaVere portrayed Wanda Jackson in Walk the Line, and wrote one of 2007's best songs ("Killing him didn't make the love go away"). She's playing for $8 at World Cafe; Jason Mraz opened for the Rolling Stones. Total bullshit. Close the gender gap with your dollars and hollers, please. (Tara Murtha)

Henry Grimes & Rashied Ali

Sat., Feb. 7, 8pm. $20. Gordon Theater, 3rd & Pearl Sts., Camden (next to BF Bridge) 856.225.2700

Drummer Rashied Ali knows something about duos: in 1967 he sat down with John Coltrane to record Interstellar Space, which even skeptics of late-era Coltrane acknowledge as a masterpiece. This week Ali joins bassist Henry Grimes, who, after making history with the likes of Thelonious Monk and Albert Ayler, disappeared from the early 1970s until 2003, when a social worker found him living anonymously in Los Angeles. He�s been playing nonstop ever since. In 2007 Grimes and Ali recorded Going to the Ritual (Porter), a stormy set of extended free improvisations, with Grimes on bass, violin and spoken-word. (David R. Adler)

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1. tommyg said... on Feb 9, 2009 at 04:15AM

“Does any know the band American Speedway? They rock! And they are playing a free show at FYE on Friday Feb 13- American Speedway FYE - Broad St 4:30pm They are giving away free merch too! Apparently it's the last live show that FYE will be putting on - but I'm not sure”


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