Live Music

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Portugal the Man
Sat., Aug. 11, 3pm. $10-$12. With PlayRadioPlay!, Photo Atlas + Only Children. Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.LIVE.

Although last month's release of Church Mouth finds Portugal the Man shying away from the experiments in sonic trickery showcased on last year's Waiters: "You Vultures!", the Alaskan trio manage to retain an impressive level of their original captivating lyricism. Eschewing underwater bass effects and drum machines for a more organic blues explosion, Portugal have not only transformed their genre-bending sound yet again, but also groomed a stable of new songs that translate live much better than the older material. Perhaps not as daring as Waiters, Church Mouth perfectly captures the essence of a band in the throes of a renaissance. (Joshua Valocchi)

Public Record + Sonic Liberation Front
Fri., Aug. 10, 9pm. $13-$16. With Budos Band + DJ Botany 500. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400.

Genre fusion comes in all shapes and sizes. On Philly label High Two alone, there's Sonic Liberation Front's boundless tributaries of free jazz and world music as well as Public Record's bouncy instrumental tweaking of U.K. dub, funk and soul. Each band boasts at least six members and manages a wizardly alchemy of circuitous jamming and percussion-mad party power. SLF's Change Over Time took their Afro-Cuban workouts to insane new heights last year, whereas Public Record's demo EP is a little ephemeral in the middle, but bookended by dense, dynamic bouts. A proper full-length by Public Record is on the horizon, and expectations are already sky high. (Doug Wallen)

Girls Rock Philly Showcase
Sat., Aug. 11, 6pm. $5. Girard College, 22nd St. and Girard Ave. 215.789.4879.

Having grown tired of the media praise piled upon 98 Degrees and LFO, and having deemed the Spice Girls too crotchety, the ladies at Girls Rock Philly take matters into their own hands this weekend. Following six grueling days of making friends and playing music, the attendees of the first Girls Rock Philly Band Camp take the stage to duel it out with one another in the ultimate grrl rock showcase showdown. After being divided into groups on opening day, the campers spend the week writing and rehearsing original songs in preparation for the final show Saturday. (J.V.)

Manhattan Transfer
Fri., Aug. 10, 8pm. $35-$45. Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside. 215.572.7650.

Hitting their stride in the mid-'70s, this coed foursome revived the overlooked jazz tradition of vocalese--putting lyrics to swing-era shout choruses, bebop solos and such. But the group met with crossover success tackling pop and even a bit of disco. Fourteen Grammys later, they're still at it, and two of them--Janis Siegel and Cheryl Bentyne--have broken out as solo artists. Eclecticism remains a priority: The latest Transfer CD Vibrate balances jazz numbers with the Beach Boys' "Feel Flow" and a pair of Rufus Wainwright covers. A bit commercial perhaps, but can you croon a flawless four-part harmony? (David R. Adler)

Fri., Aug. 10, 9:30pm. $10. With White Rabbits + Boggs. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684.

The Cribs' wafer-thin guitar-pop gets a bit more substantial on their major-label debut Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever thanks to the knob-twiddling of Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos. As Ryan Jarman urges on his two bandmate brothers with chugging hooks and cagey wit, the trio document messy British boy/girl relations better than Arctic Monkeys, despite a total Strokes-lite vibe. (Tunes this catchy can be forgiven such sins.) Best of all is when Lee Renaldo drops by on "Be Safe," an ominous duet between his chalky spoken word and Jarman's rainy-day refrain. It's a rare pit stop for a band that otherwise sprints through songs like their feet are on fire. (D.W.)

Los Campesinos!
Sat., Aug. 11, 10pm. $10. With Metronomy. Transit, 600 Spring Garden St. 215.925.8878.

If you can't get enough of that giddy large-ensemble, cartoon-colored, boy/girl pop by the likes of the Go! Team, Architecture in Helsinki and I'm From Barcelona, you'll want to check out the Welsh MySpace phenoms known as Los Campesinos! (Their exclamation point, not ours.) This seven-piece kitchen sink orchestra won a deal with Arts & Crafts and an opening slot on the Broken Social Scene tour on the strength of rinky-dink keyboards, outsized beats, nonsensical shout-along choruses and a promise to throw parties rather than knives. No need to duck, then, is there? (Jennifer Kelly)

Birds of Maya
Sun., Aug. 12, 10pm. With Homeblitz + Gay River. Tritone, 1508 South St. 215.545.0475.

In the "sounds like" section of their MySpace page, Philly's hometown heavies Birds of Maya use this brilliant line: "A G.G. Allin demo played through a megaphone." Possibly, but in truth, Allin was, despite tiring histrionics, a bit more of a clown than the Birds could ever dream of being. To hear them is to hear the sound of the blues being beaten within an inch of its miserable life, and then writing a blues song about it. This is heavy metal without any actual metal at all. But never fear--the Birds are as heavy as you could possibly want them to be, and then some. (John Cramer)

Deviled Leggs
Fri., Aug. 10, 9pm. $5. Adventure Island, 3217 Collins St.

Deviled Leggs isn't a band--it's an evening of "revolutionary and experimental dance music" curated by Evan Lipson and sponsored by Bowerbird, a Philly avant-garde music series. The site is the North Philly warehouse where the zany DIY dance squad Club Lyfestile make their headquarters. While Bowerbird's offerings run the gamut, here it's electronica all the way. Probably until dawn. Performers include the noise-thrashy Mincemeat or Tenspeed, the ambient-psychedelic Unisex Starship, the veteran sound-sculptor/beatmaker Charles Cohen of Coqui and the drummer Mike Pride, whose "iSHIT" is a project for solo laptop and voice. Also included are DJ sets by Andrew Gaspar, Jason Willet and the aptly named Awesome Party. (D.R.A.)

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