STORY WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
For Digital First Media
Welcome to “Seven in Seven,” where each Friday we take 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 Dec. 4:
Q102 Jingle Ball – Dec. 7 at Wells Fargo Center
It’s that time of year when radio stations from coast to coast present some of the top-selling pop artists of the year in a mini-festival format dubbed the Jingle Ball. Philadelphia has a pretty solid lineup this year, with Q102 bringing the likes of Ellie Goulding, Shawn Mendes, Diplo, Tove Lo, Lukas Graham, Charlie Puth, DNCE, Fifth Harmony and Alessia Cara to the Wells Fargo Center. Nearly all of the artists are top-tier when it comes to pop music, making for a great grab bag – of gift bag – for those who want small portions of each left in their stocking this year.
Peter Murphy – Dec. 7 at Sellersville Theater 1894
Goth icon, troubadour, chameleon and lead singer for the legendary Bauhaus, Peter Murphy is a man who needs no introduction. His current tour is something special for longtime fans though; “Stripped” features scaled down versions of some of Murphy’s best known songs, covers and tracks he did while a member of the now defunct Bauhaus. It’s a testament to his music how the songs not only fit well in an acoustic setting, but that they thrive in it.
Reverend Horton Heat – Dec. 8 at Theatre of Living Arts
Thirty years ago, Reverend Horton Heat exploded on the scene by playing gigs around their hometown of Dallas, Texas, mixing elements of surf, country, punk, big band and rockabilly to create a genre that took the world by storm. Since then, the Rev has continued to garner the support of both the underground rockabilly/psychobilly scene and mainstream critics. It’s been two years since the trio released their highest charting album REV, making this trek one to keep all the pistons firing.
Jai Wolf – Dec. 9 at Union Transfer
Born in Bangladesh, Sajeeb Saha – the force behind the indie-electronic Jai Wolf project – bounced around quite a bit before finally settling in New York City. Regardless of his changing environments, he kept his music studies consistent, earning a spot in the New York All State Orchestra. Having gone as far as he wanted to with the violin, Saha began performing under the moniker No Pets Allowed. Within a few years, his mashups and bootleg remixes began to generate attention, quickly rising within the internet music community. That momentum took him to diving head first into the Jai Wolf project. Saha’s journey from classical music to electronic music makes it exciting to see what comes next.
The Mystery Lights – Dec. 9 at Kung Fu Necktie
The explosive live shows put on by the Mystery Lights have become the stuff of legend, as the Salinas, Calif., quintet won their following one fan at a time in dives from Brooklyn to the Bowery. Organically unfolding over the nights months and years, the Lights’ sound has evolved into a fuzz-fueled, hopped-up new millennia take on 60s garage rock, and artful 70s punk, that they’ve made their own. This summer, following the success of their single “Too Many Girls”/“Too Tough to Bear,” the Lights released their self-titled debut LP on Daptone Records.
Holiday Doo Wop – Dec. 10 at The Keswick Theatre
Doo-wop has always been popular in the region as Philly, Baltimore and Washington D.C. were just a few of the East Coast cities where the genre really took off in the 1940s. One of the latecomers to the party was the Duprees, who came up in the 60s when doo-wop experienced a revival. The North Jersey outfit quickly turned into one of America’s best loved singing groups recording and performing great love songs for over 4 decades. At the Keswick, they’ll be joined by Jay Siegels Tokens, Brian Hyland, The Mystics, The Fireflies, Lenny Dell & The Dimensions.
Thievery Corporation – Dec. 10 at The Fillmore
Washington, D.C.-based duo Thievery Corporation, made up of Eric Hilton and Rob Garza, have spent nearly two decades creating boundary-warping, complexly crafted electronic music partly inspired by bossa nova’s intricate rhythms and lush textures. Over the years, the DJ collective have given nods to their bossa-nova influence on individual album tracks, slipping those quietly enchanting songs into recordings that reveal their careful studying of everything from Jamaican dub reggae to punk to vintage film soundtracks to psychedelic space rock. The musical exploration is the very definition of the chill-out genre and taking it in live is a perfect way to spend a cold December evening.