WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
For Digital First Media
Welcome to ‘Seven in Seven,’ where each Friday we’ll be taking a look at shows coming to the region over the next week. Whether your musical tastes are rock and roll, jazz, heavy metal, singer-songwriter or indie, there’ll always be something to check out in the coming days.
Here are seven of the best for the week beginning April 10:
Sufjan Stevens with Cold Specks – April 9 and 10 at Academy of Music: Sufjan Stevens might be the headliner, but don’t miss out on the opener Cold Specks, who has returned two years and a world map of tours to support 2012’s brilliant I Predict a Graceful Expulsion. Hailed as a masterful and wholly original debut, the follow-up Neuroplasticity is radically expanded. The 26 year-old Canadian singer, aka Al Spx, began work on the record while holed-up in a cottage in England during the winter two years ago. Contributions to Ambrose Akinmusire’s new record for Blue Note and the latest Swans album To Be Kind, resulted in partnerships which left a significant impression on Neuroplasticity. The indomitable Swans founder Michael Gira appears midway through on “Exit Plan,” and Akinmusire shows up on the intense closer “A Season of Doubt” as well as permeating most of the record with trumpet lines of an anguished, cracking frailty.
The Tings Tings – April 10 at Union Transfer: When UK boy/girl duo Jules De Martino and Katie White decamped to Ibiza to write record their third album, last October’s Super Critical, they had become obsessed with the idea of a lost night-time history, pre-EDM, stadium house, the Vegas-ization of the beat — even before acid house — and started to imagine the possibilities of a party through the prism of the past. Word began spreading about a newer, friendlier incarnation of their band The Ting Tings, one with a backbone of pure disco pizzazz. Katie and Jules were flown to LA on the back of one playback of the album’s first single, “Wrong Club” which has led to and early career resurrection.
Lez Zeppelin – Tribute to Led Zeppelin – April 12 at Sellersville Theater:
Whoever said “girls don’t rock” needs a crash course in the world’s first she-incarnation and leading purveyor of the music, power and magick and of legendary British rock group, Led Zeppelin, Lez Zeppelin. Founded in 2004 by New York guitarist, Steph Paynes, it wasn’t long before the group’s reputation for playing Zeppelin’s music with a kind of passion and force beyond anyone’s expectations began to attract major interest from press and industry. Part of it is because it’s a novelty, part of it is because people go see tribute bands when they real thing is no longer available, but in this case, it’s mostly because these women can rock with the best of them.
Walk the Moon – April 13 at the Theatre of Living Arts: Formed in Cincinnati by singer/keyboardist Nicholas Petricca, Walk the Moon built up a devoted following on the strength of their ecstatic live show and their infectious single “Anna Sun” and comparisons like “Talking Heads meets Passion Pit.” The band quickly graduated from Ohio club scene favorites to international stars. Live, it’s an interactive celebration of life and love, a communal commitment to joy and living in the moment. Onstage, Petricca leads audiences in a mass exorcism of the things that bring them down, casting out the demons of doubt and insecurity with hands raised to the sky. The single “Shut Up and Dance” could’ve been a contender for the jam of 2014 had it not been released so late in the year, but it’s still one of those songs that you can’t get out of your head once it gets in there.
Monophonics – April 14 at World Café Live Downstairs: There’s nothing quite as special as seeing a band live on the day their new album is released, which will be the case when Monophonics drop Sound of Sinning before taking the stage at World Café Live. Raised amid the rich musical culture and history of the San Francisco Bay Area, the band proudly carries the torch of the region’s psychedelic soul into today’s musical landscape. On Sound of Sinning they started venturing beyond, to the groups that were inspiring those soul acts to embrace the psychedelic sound of the 60’s and 70’s. Bands like The Zombies, The Beatles, Beach Boys and Pink Floyd. Even with the experimentation of new musical territory, they still display the sound that people know and loved about them in the first place.
All Time Low – April 16 at The Sands Bethlehem Event Center: Chart-topping, award-winning pop punk band from Maryland All Time Low is one of those acts who put in the time on the road and have gotten huge. Their sixth studio album Future Hearts came out April 7, and as MTV.com premiered the song “Runaways,” it delivered 100 million impressions across TV, social media, web and mobile. After selling out London’s famed Wembley Arena on March 20, the band has returned for the spring to do a headlining North America tour.
Weedeater – April 16 at Kung Fu Necktie: The infamous sludge outlaws known as Weedeater finally return with their long-awaited fifth full-length Goliathan, which is due out May 18. It marks the crossroads where true Southern rock and metal meet raw humor, old religion, as well as standards like weed and whiskey. They’ll be previewing cuts off the record at Kung Fu Necktie, all of the songs embodying the band’s trademark shuffle and swagger at their fullest. Syrupy slow riffs buoyed by canyon-deep bass and some ridiculously hard-hitting drumming reminiscent of The Sword and Japanese outfit Boris.