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February 11, 2016

Local concert picks: Lee Fields, Skeme Richards join Philly for Valentine's weekend

Laura Jane Grace, Amtrac & more appear

Valentine’s Day weekend is here, which means some over-the-top celebrations are going down all over the city. But if you want to skip the usual fancy date night — or if you forgot to make reservations — there’s no better alternative than catching some live music with your better half. 

As usual, Philly has a full schedule of concerts and DJ sets in play through the holiday. Check out our picks for the best shows of the weekend below.

All shows are 21+ unless otherwise noted. 

Thursday, Feb. 11

Hiroshi Hasegawa, Desiccant, Embarker: Boot & Saddle

Hiroshi Hasegawa is an accomplished veteran of noise music, having headed up the pivotal Japanese “bands” C.C.C.C. and Astro since the 1990s. Hasegawa is a practiced noisemaker with furiously inimitable chops on various synths. Thursday night, Hasegawa brings a noise set to Boot & Saddle with support from fellow solo acts Desiccant (Andy Borsz) and Embarker (Michael Roy Barker). 

Doors 8:30 p.m.; $10

Friday, Feb. 12

Beacon, Natasha Kmeto: Boot & Saddle

Beacon is the Brooklyn duo of singer Thomas Mullarney and producer Jacob Gossett, an outfit mining a darkly frenetic brand of R&B for the last few years. Beacon released its debut full-length, "The Ways We Separate," in 2013, an effort followed by the just-released album "Escapements." Friday night, Mullarney and Gossett bring their new record to Boot & Saddle and bring Portland singer Natasha Kmeto along for the ride.

Doors 8 p.m., Show 8:30 p.m.; $12

Skeme Richards: Trestle Inn

Skeme Richards and The Trestle Inn are a perfect match: quiet, understated cool is a hallmark for both. Richards, a simultaneously slept-on and celebrated local DJ, can be hard to catch up with in his hometown. (Richards is perpetually on the road and a regular in Japan and throughout Europe.) 

Thankfully, Richards still makes time for the hometown crowds, and Friday night, folks can catch a night of his specialties on deck: funk, soul and R&B. Plus, it’s free!

Show 10 p.m.-2 a.m.; Free

Amtrac, Hotel Garuda, Chris B: Coda

Nearly a decade into his career as a DJ and producer, Amtrac is showing no signs of slowing down. After releasing his debut album, "Came Along," in 2010, the Kentucky artist has made his name remixing music for the likes of Ellie Goulding, Alesso and more. On Friday night, Amtrac arrives at Coda and is joined by Indonesian DJ/producer duo Hotel Garuda and Chris B of WKDU. 

Show 11 p.m.; $17-$30

Craig Dash: Medusa Lounge

Philly’s own Craig Dash is spinning a healthy mix of dance-friendly classics at Medusa Lounge Friday night for his HOT-N-FUN! party. Expect a night of hip-hop and R&B mixed in with bits of dancehall, future bass, New Orleans bounce and more. No cover!

Show 10 p.m.-2 a.m.; Free

Saturday, Feb. 13

Laura Jane Grace and The Devouring Mothers: First Unitarian Church

Laura Jane Grace is the fearless leader of celebrated punk outfit Against Me!, a band that has beautifully channeled some of Grace’s most jarring pain and anxiety. The group’s 2014 release "Transgender Dysphoria Blues" dealt head-on with Grace’s own transgender identity. 

Fans are still waiting on another Against Me! album, but Grace is on the road with The Devouring Mothers for a little bit of a detour from the usual program. The pairing is joined by David Dondero on Saturday night at the First Unitarian Church. 

Doors 7:30 p.m., Show 8:30 p.m.; $20 (all ages)

Gun$ Garcia, Katie Rex, Suga Shay (Factory Girls): The Dolphin

Factory Girls is a collective born out of necessity. “At one point it was just a weird idea about how to play music,” DJ Katie K Rex told PhillyMag a couple years ago. “I had just started DJing, and obviously no one would book me because I had nothing to show for myself. So I decided to make my own gigs.” The all-female core group of Rex, Gun$ Garcia and Suga Shay are still creating their own spaces in Philly and beyond, and this Saturday finds them at their best with the 4th Annual Galentine’s Day party scheduled for a late night at The Dolphin.

Show 10 p.m.; $5

Dave P. & Sammy Slice (Making Time): 714

Dave P. has built up one of the most trustworthy names on the electronic dance scene, and he’s an energetic organizing force in Philly music. Pianka’s latest venture is an ambitious warehouse space on Girard Avenue, where he’s been throwing parties like this Saturday’s edition of Making Time since 2015. You'll find him deejaying alongside his usual partner-in-crime Sammy Slice for a late-night blowout. 

Doors 9 p.m., Show runs until 4 a.m.; $10

Sunday, Feb. 14

Lee Fields & The Expressions: The Foundry

It’s hard to think up a more fitting time of the year to hit a Lee Fields concert than Valentine’s Day. Fields has been recording music for more than four decades, and his constant soulfulness has been his calling card for just as long. Fields, who dropped his first record in 1969, has experienced a veritable renaissance in recent years, releasing music like 2014’s "Emma Jean" for the Truth & Soul label. Whether he’s crooning for the single “Ladies” or the hand-holding couples in the crowd, this is the perfect show for the holiday. 

Doors 7 p.m., Show 8 p.m., $15