Wednesday, March 5: Eternal Summers
Roanoke, VA band Eternal Summers have been on our radar since 2010, when their debut record, the punky, straightforward Silver, first dropped. Since then, they've become an underdog fave, winning our love with sparkling guitar pop and hazy charmers. Formed in 2009 by Nicole Yun and Daniel Cundiff, of Roanoke's infamous Magic Twig Community, the band expanded to include Jonathan Woods in 2011, and released their sophomore record, Correct Behavior, in 2012. Last time we wrote about ES, we spotlighted killer single "Millions," which (in our own words!) is liable to insight "office workers across the country to fling their papers into the air with abandon, and burst out the front door." Since then, millions of papers have been flung, and the band is now touring behind their third record, the darker and more complex The Drop Beneath. (Check out first single "Gouge" here). We <3 Eternal Summers for their formidable sense of melody, DIY spirit, and nonexistent sense of entitlement that seems to plague many younger bands. "As a band I think we have really tried to make our thesis this idea that nobody owes us anything, and we owe ourselves everything," says Yun in a recent interview. "We['re] just… excited that we get to write and perform music." We excited we get to hear it.
8:30 at Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St., $8–10. Tickets available here.
Friday, March 7: John the Conqueror
Philly blues trio John the Conqueror formed in late 2010, but their roots as a band go much deeper. Pierre Moore and Michael Gardner grew up together in Jackson, MS, where they were weaned on diet of Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, and blues and blues-tinged psychedelia. They later re-located to Philly, where they joined forces with drummer Ryan Lynn and formed John the Conqueror: a rollicking, whiskey-fueled rock unit, whose retro-inspired melodies draw from both their childhood blues and the punk and rock tunes they love now. Over the past three years, they've slowly built a name for themselves, winning attention with solid songwriting, a rousing live show, and Moore's passionate vocals—and are now ready to release their sophomore record The Good Life. Inspired by both childhood nostalgia and the realities of post-college life, The Good Life is a searing collection of jammers with surprising bite, that the band will celebrate live this Friday. Before you go: stream The Good Life in full via CMJ, and check out the band covering Randy Newman's "Let's Burn Down the Cornfield" below.
8:30 at Milkboy Philly, 1100 Chestnut St., $8–10. Tickets available here.
Saturday, March 8: Lorde
In some ways, it's sorta unbelievable that Lorde is just 17 years old—already, the Auckland native seems wise beyond her years, penning tunes that criticize materialism in the music biz, or finding love in a cynical world. In fact, her 2013 single "Royals" (which earned her a "Song of the Year" Grammy win) was penned when she was just 13 or 14—the same age at which I was listening to Spice Girls and crushing on middle school boys (perhaps why she's a major star, and I'm not). A genius since youth, who reportedly proofread her mother's master's thesis at age 14, Lorde rose to the top precisely because of her smarts, and dark, quirky style (if only the goth look was cool in 1998 suburban Jersey!)—then quickly shed her outsider status to make Big pop songs that appealed to an entire generation, while still retaining her unique essence. Her debut record, Pure Heroine, is a playful and confident treatise on youth and love, that's not afraid to explore divergent emotions or opinions—and which has sold, literally, millions of copies worldwide. She now brings her clever tunes to the Tower Theater for her first Philly performance ever—we hope you bought tix in advance, because this bad boy is long sold-out.
9:00 at the Tower Theater, 6900 Ludlow St., sold out.
Saturday, March 8: Cold Fronts
Philly rockers Cold Fronts are one of the city's best kept secrets. For three years now, Craig Almquist and Al Smith (plus friends) have been writing pizza- and beer-fueled rockers right under your nose, playing living rooms and dingy DIY spots, and heading out on tour armed with little but a lust for life and a beat-up Dodge Ram Primetime, winning fans with their energy and enthusiasm. Among those struck by their live show was Seymour Stein, Sire Records founder, who signed the band to his label in May of last year; they're now working towards their major label debut, guaranteed to be a real party soundtrack. This Saturday marks their first ever headlining show—and possibly your last chance to catch them in a small venue for a while (we have a feeling that once the new LP hits, they're gonna explooooode.) In the meantime, soak up tunes from their Pretty American EP for free, then chow down on some pizza to get yourself in the mood.
9:00 at Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., $10. Tickets available here.