Live Music

A Storm of Light, Easy Action, The Shots, Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, Felipe Salles, Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Rufus Wainwright + Martha Wainwright

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Martha Wainwright + Rufus Wainwright

Sat., Feb. 14, 8pm. $40. Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Broad and Spruce sts. 215.893.1999. www.kimmelcenter.org

Think it was weird growing up in the Wainwright house? Imagine brother and sister Martha and Rufus trying to outdo each other with more and more tortured, vampy piano balladry. And even forgetting sibling rivalry, there's mom/songwriting icon Kate McGarrigle and dad/happy-go-folkie Loudon Wainwright III. Granted, Rufus' fans probably know his pops more from his bit parts in Judd Apatow movies than from his enormous back catalog of songs. Is it creepy that brother and sister are playing together on Valentine's Day? A little, maybe. Blame it on their upbringing, but don't hold it against the music. (Jeffrey Barg)


The Shots

Sun., Feb. 15, 9pm. $8. With Bojibian + Sugar Canyon. M Room, 15 W. Girard Ave. 215.739.5577. www.themanhattanroom.com

Bag of Songs blogger and longtime Philly-music champion Tom Szwech has been spotlighting tons of excellent up-and-coming bands with his weekly "Bag of Songs Presents" concert series at the M Room in the past year. Szwech especially seems to dig the guitar-rock, and the Shots certainly fit that bill. Living up to their name, the local trio's all about big, loud, chewy bar-band riffage, plus ragged power-pop hooks and a smattering of classic R&B/soul songcraft. Sometimes there's an early Brit Invasion vibe to their grooves; other times they evoke the sound of the Black Crowes back when they were young and hungry. (Michael Alan Goldberg)


A Storm of Light

Mon., Feb. 16, 8pm. $8. With Rosetta + Monolith. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St. 215.291.4945. www.kungfunecktie.com

Fronted by Neurosis' visual designer Josh Graham, A Storm of Light is a somewhat unsuccessful stab at the long-form art-metal universe Neurosis practically invented. (Just try to walk around without sticking your toe in the eyehole of one of their imitators.) The ingredients are all there: lengthy, hyperdramatic tunes with bellowing, harsh vocals, nautical-themed artwork and very serious lyrics that aspire to literary accounts of fear, despair and loss. At times they pull it together and some memorable bits stick up out of the mire, but more often their stuff is lost in the very Irish bog that inspired the lyrics in the first place. (John Cramer)


Revolutionary Snake Ensemble

Mon., Feb. 16, 8pm. $12. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. www.worldcafelive.com

Don't be fooled by the masks, pharaoh headdresses and street-party antics, the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, from Boston, are a seriously skilled band of improvisers. Ken Field, who co-founded the group in 1990, has a long discography of experimental jazz solo releases. Still, he loves old New Orleans-style funeral marches, and his band is authentic enough to win repeat invitations from the Crescent City's Krewe of Muses Mardi Gras parade. Last year's Forked Tongue figured on nearly a dozen jazz-centric best-of lists, surely the only all-instrumental disc of 2008 to cover both Billy Idol and Ornette Coleman. (Jennifer Kelly)


Felipe Salles

Sat., Feb. 14, 7pm and 9pm. $12.50-$25. Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine St. 215.925.9914. www.paintedbride.org

Hailing from the melting pot of S�o Paulo, Brazil, saxophonist-composer Felipe Salles is one of a number of artists mixing native traditions with the jazz modernism of New York, his adopted home. His latest CD, South American Suite, is an ambitious canvas for an octet, surging with choro, bai�o, frevo, afox�, rasta-p� and maracatu rhythms, colorfully conceived orchestration and an edgy approach to improv--something Salles has learned from masters like Dave Liebman and George Garzone. The influence of Hermeto Pascoal, the quirky Brazilian genius and Miles Davis collaborator, is also strong. Augmented with violin, trombone and percussion, Salles' ensemble is finely polished, with a wild streak. (David R. Adler)


Easy Action

Thurs., Feb. 12, 9pm. $8. With the G + Dave Smallen. Khyber, 56 S. Second St. 215.238.5888. www.thekhyber.com

You're probably too young (and impressed by douchebags like Pete Wentz) to know about the Laughing Hyenas (let alone Negative Approach), and that's too bad because John Brannon is hands down the best vocalist in rock music. Period. This guy is a national treasure. It's practically impossible to contain the weight of his voice on record, and that's why there's no better reason to catch him live. These guys produce short, huge bursts of Detroit garage-rock done just right. Best of all, listening to Brannon's guttural howl is like getting punched directly in the groin over and over again. What sweet pleasure. (J.C.)


Mostly Other People Do the Killing

Wed., Feb. 18, 8pm. $5-$10. Chris' Jazz Cafe, 1421 Sansom St. 215.568.3131. www.chrisjazzcafe.com

The band name is an actual quote from inventor Leo Theremin, trying to explain why Stalin wasn't so bad. Apart from that, there's nothing political about this loopy jazz quartet, powered by bassist Moppa Elliott, drummer Kevin Shea and two frightfully good horn players: trumpeter Peter Evans and alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon, 2008 winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk Competition. The group's latest, This Is Our Moosic, a loving takeoff on Ornette Coleman's 1960 classic, sounds like a 21st-century punk-jazz update of the "freebop" ideal--open tonalities, zig-zagging yet catchy melodies, irreverence and respect for tradition all at once. Coleman covered Gershwin; these guys cover Billy Joel's "Allentown." (D.R.A.)

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