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May 11, 2016

Weekend Concert Picks: Foreign Exchange, Zhu, Laser Background and more

Music Weekend
Laser Background Natalie Piserchio/for PhillyVoice

Laser Background

Thursday, May 12

Laser Background, Leapling, Beth Israel | Ortlieb’s

Laser Background, the fast-rising psychedelic pop project of Philly musician Andy Molholt, just dropped “Correct,” an inescapably dreamy, full-length album filled with ambient electronic sounds. After a trio of shows in New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, Molholt celebrates the release of the new album back in town at Ortlieb’s tonight. Brooklyn trio Leapling, on the verge of releasing their own sophomore album “Suspended Animation,” open alongside Philly’s Beth Israel.

Show 8 p.m.; $8-$10

Friday, May 13

Tombs, Hivelords | Kung Fu Necktie

Since getting started in 2007, Brooklyn metal band Tombs has maintained a perpetually-morphing lineup. They’ve traded out drummers and guitarists, and on their latest record, a just-released EP called “All Empires Fall,” they’ve added a keyboardist and secondary vocalist in Fade Kainer. The sound remains essentially the same; “All Empires Fall” is another batch of experimental, in-your-face, black metal. On Friday, Tombs fills the small room at Kung Fu Necktie with their big sound. South Philly metal outfit Hivelords opens.

Doors 11 p.m.; $12

Dylan Carlson, Nick Millevoi | First Unitarian Side Chapel

Dylan Carlson is the sole constant in the band Earth, an instrumental metal band known to drone. More than an influential metal guitarist, Carlson is a bit of a mythical figure in Seattle, where he was born and built a friendship with Kurt Cobain. On Friday, Carlson is joined at The Church by experimental Philly guitarist Nick Millevoi, who stretches the scope of his instrument in both technological approach and virtuosic playing.

Show 8:30 p.m. (doors 8 p.m.); $20 (all ages)

Queen of Jeans, Ceramic Animal, Curtis Cooper | Bourbon and Branch


South Philly upstarts Queen of Jeans are back for the second installment of their month-long residency at Bourbon and Branch. The quartet, which released its eponymous debut EP in January, are the mainstay at the Northern Liberties venue on Fridays in May and are joined by a rotating cast of visiting bands. This week, fellow local psychedelic rockers Ceramic Animal share the bill to celebrate the release of their debut full-length. Curtis Cooper, who released his own debut, “Laughing in Line” in January, supports with an opening set.

Show 9 p.m. (doors 8 p.m.); $7-$10

Saturday, May 14

Zhu | Electric Factory

Steve Zhu is the secretive producer behind a growing catalog of dance hits. As Zhu, he found his first smash in 2014’s “Faded,” an infectious, deep house earworm. Zhu is both prolific and behind-the-scenes, an enigmatic figure who rarely shares much in the way of personal details but has made serious waves in the form of a Grammy nomination and syndicated catchiness (he soundtracked an episode of “The Pauly D Show”). On Saturday, Zhu hits the Electric Factory, where you’ll get to know the producer on his own terms: through the speakers and on the dance floor.

Show 8:30 p.m.; $30

Curren$y, Anyee Wright, Miles Chancellor, Marv Mack | Trocadero

Foxtail Fest is not the sprawling outdoor summer festival its name would suggest; instead, it’s a locally-organized, full-day, rap-forward concert bursting at the seams. What Scene?, the Philadelphia and Delaware-based arts and promotion collective, has been putting on the fest for the last few years, and on Saturday they return with a lineup that puts New Orleans stoner rapper Curren$y at the top of the bill. A handful of locals play supporting roles, including Anyee Wright, Miles Chancellor and Marv Mack, and plenty more.

Show 8 p.m. (doors 7 p.m.); $30-$40 (all ages)

Sunday, May 15

Foreign Exchange | Union Transfer

Foreign Exchange is the Grammy-nominated duo of rapper/singer Phonte and producer Nicolay. The duo is a sort of second act for Phonte, who earned acclaim as the de facto frontman emcee of the celebrated indie hip-hop group Little Brother and has long had a penchant for singing. Foreign Exchange is a vehicle for Phonte’s voice and Nicolay’s electronic R&B production. More than a decade after they first linked up on an online message board, the unlikely pair have since released half a dozen splendid albums, 2015’s “Tales from the Land of Milk and Honey” being the most recent. They’ll be supported by Philly’s own DJ Junior when they stop by Union Transfer on Sunday.

Show 8:30 p.m. (Doors 7:30 p.m.); $25 (all ages)