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September 14, 2016

Weekend Concert Picks: Jenny Lewis, Mykki Blanco, the return of The Fire & more

Music Weekend Concert Picks
Mumblr Colin Kerrigan/for PhillyVoice

Mumblr will be there when The Fire reopens on Saturday.

Thursday, Sept. 15

Mykki Blanco @ PhilaMOCA

A little more than a year ago, self-identified queer California rapper Mykki Blanco quit music to pivot into a career in journalism. At the time, last March, he shared a post on Facebook discussing his hopes to investigate queer life, “gender politics and patriarchy” around the world as a writer. In retrospect and with his debut album out Friday, Blanco’s pivot has morphed into a double-down, and his investigative bent is channelled just as smartly as a fearless emcee. “Mykki,” the album, finds its star reinvigorated and freshly in love with music itself.

Doors 8 p.m. / Show 8:30 p.m. | With NAH | $13-$15 | All ages

Gambles @ Kung Fu Necktie

A few years ago, in an interview with Stereogum, singer-songwriter Daniel Siskin summed up the recording of his debut album “Trust” as a pared-down affair, the product of “using one channel, one take, no overdubs.” “You just sing it and that’s what happens,” he added. Siskin’s songs, which he releases under the name Gambles, are amplified by this simplicity, and the discomfort he channels is more pronounced without frills. Trust, after all, is always about vulnerability.

Doors 8 p.m. | With Roger Harvey and Anika Pyle | $8-$10 | 21 and over

Friday, Sept. 16

Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins @ The Grand Opera House

Jenny Lewis is a decade removed from her breakout as a solo artist, and she’s spent the year celebrating with appropriate nostalgia. Early in 2016, Lewis reissued that breakout vehicle, her 2006 debut solo album “Rabbit Fur Coat,” and launched a tour to match. Like the record itself, the tour is a gratifyingly collaborative effort, and it helps that some of the original players are on the road with her. The Watson Twins, central figures in Lewis’ post-Rilo Kiley career, share the bill as the tour comes to a close.

Show 8 p.m. | $44.50 | All ages

Saturday, Sept. 17

Owen @ PhilaMOCA

Last month, after more than a decade of radio silence, emo band American Football announced a new album. The former college group is wading into dangerous waters, shattering its lone footprint with a reinvention of sorts. And while fans have been clamoring for new American Football music since 1999, Mike Kinsella’s solo side project Owen has been pumping out records reliably for almost as long.

Doors 4:30 p.m. / Show 5 p.m. | With Birthmark | $20 | All ages

Friends & Fam @ Kung Fu Necktie

DJ Matthew Law, a West Philly native and perpetual dot connector, is the architect of a quiet staple of a monthly dance party called Friends & Fam. Law, formerly known as DJ PHSH, invites an esteemed guest DJ each month to help drive a family style get-down hosted by another local in emcee The Bul Bey. After bringing out a crew of international curators last month, the latest Friends & Fam event folds in a familiar face in Philly head DJ Lean Wit It.

Doors 10 p.m. | With DJ Lean Wit It and The Bul Bey | $5 | 21 and over

Mumblr @ The Fire

The Fire, a Girard pub venue with an eclectically curated stage, celebrates a reopening this weekend with a full day of outdoor music. Headlining the special occasion is the about-to-be-touring Philly quartet Mumblr, a familiar and quietly influential force within the city’s indie scene.

Show noon-8 p.m. | With Potty Mouth, Chalk & The Beige Americans and more | Free | All ages

Sunday, Sept. 18

Blood Incantation @ Ortlieb’s

“You’ve probably heard that the sickest heavy metal is just modern classical composition meets distortion?” guitarist and vocalist Paul Riedl of Denver death metal outfit Blood Incantation recently said in an interview. “Put the two together, watch the riffs come pouring.” “Starspawn,” the group’s official debut album released in July, is a testament to this approach in which Riedl and company dive deep into metaphysical exploration. Whether it’s the repetition of a guitar line or the force with which they play, there’s something spiritual and even meditative to the record.

Show 8 p.m. | With Nucleus, Outer Heaven and Moros | $10 | 21 and over