Your Weekend Live Music Picks

Get your fill of live music this weekend--you can't go wrong with any of the following acts.


Neil Young and Wilco, 7 p.m. at the Wachovia Spectrum. $20-$250.

This is the obvious choice for Friday. Neil Young, whose deeply personal songwriting has spanned four decades, pairs up with Wilco for an evening of folk classics. For the Philly faithful, this show is one of your last chances to catch a live performance at the Spectrum, which will be torn down in 2009.

My Brightest Diamond, 8 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church. $12.

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Shara Worden’s My Brightest Diamond combines elements of folk, chamber music, opera and rock. Expect to hear harps, clarinets, French horns, vibraphones and more at the church, which is one of the top spots in Center City for live music these days.

Meat Puppets, Adam & Dave’s Bloodline, 9:30 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s. $15.

Meat Puppets have gone through various incarnations, but they’ve been around for decades—long enough to have influenced a generation of indie bands, including Nirvana. They’ll perform new material live at Johnny Brenda’s, along with Adam & Dave’s Bloodline, a rock-duo that fuses rock, folk, country and punk.


Baffle the Cat, 9:30 p.m. at Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar. Free.

Even if the live band at Ray’s sucked, you’d still have a damn good time—it’s just that kind of place. But thankfully, Baffle the Cat is one of the most fun local acts to catch live these days. The jam band offers up a little bit of everything—rock, country, jazz, folk, blues… and Saturday at Ray’s, they’ll be playing two long sets starting at about 9:30 p.m.

Pretty & Nice, 9 p.m. at The Fire. $7.

Boston-based Pretty & Nice probably isn’t the kind of band you’d think would have such a name. They’re an almost Pixies-esque pop band, the kind of act that relies on an electric drum and catchy hooks that you’ll be singing in your head, over and over. At the Fire, they’ll focus on tracks from their new album, Get Young.

Photon Band, Audible, Brown Recluse Sings, 9:30 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s. $8

Support local psychedelia indie rockers the Photon Band, known as one of the city’s most energetic, longest-lasting live acts (they’ve been around for more than a decade). Along with, Audible and Brown Recluse Sings, two favorite local pop acts, this is a show you should be sure to hit up if you’re in Fishtown Saturday night.


Avi Wisnia, 7 p.m. at World Café Live Upstairs. $13.

Opt for a change of musical pace with Avi Wisnia Sunday evening. Originally from Philadelphia, Wisnia’s a singer-songwriter who plays his own brand of bossa nova, inspired by bands like Wildo and The Eels. This holiday show at World Café Live will be full of special guests on instruments like the mandolin and saxophone.

You, Me & T-Rex, Kill You in the Face, The Lopez, 8 p.m. at the M Room, $8.

The M Room’s Sunday night show is a bill full of bands with awesome names. Headliner You, Me & T-Rex is nonstop fun. Kill You In the Face constantly receives praise from the local media, and The Lopez, which is often compared to another Philly act, the Victor Victor Band, offers up a kind of dismantled pop-rock that’s the perfect completion to this weekend-ending trifecta.

Ted Leo, Cole Parks, 6:30 p.m. at the Barbary. $10.

This show has been sold out for weeks—and you shouldn’t be surprised. A chance to catch Ted Leo, the front man of immensely popular indie Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, performing solo at the pint-sized Barbary doesn’t come around often. Start looking for your Craigslist scalped tickets, um, now.

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