July 06, 2016
“My ideal sound scenario would be that the bass would be really big, and my voice would be high, thin, and weird to counteract it,” Jessy Lanza told Fader in April. “Making music makes me anxious, but I need it.” “Oh No,” the Canadian singer-songwriter’s recently released sophomore album, strikes that balance between miserable jitters and self-assuredness. Lanza has put the sophisticated musicianship of her earlier work into a more daring creative context here, churning savvy house rhythms and brilliant synth work into fantastic R&B. In more ways than one, her voice has never sounded so good.
Doors 8 p.m. / Show 9 p.m. | with DJ Taye & Ed Christof | $13 | 21+
Not many DJs can muster up the focus to design an intricately themed setlist. At first glance, DJ Spinna’s tribute to Stevie Wonder might seem like a low-stakes endeavor for a veteran, but Spinna isn’t the type to take the easy way out. Originally released more than a decade ago, the Brooklyn DJ and producer’s famous “Wonder Wrote It” mix is a masterfully patched-together deep dive. The mix itself became popular enough for Spinna to launch the traveling and appropriately named Wonder-Full party on its back; a few years ago Stevie himself popped up at a DC installment in a now-legendary surprise appearance. The singer himself probably won’t be there, but tonight Spinna brings the next best thing to The Foundry.
Doors 9 p.m. / Show 10 p.m. | $10 | 21+
After years of driven wandering, the French-born duo The Dove & The Wolf have finally settled down in Fishtown. Childhood friends Paloma Gil and Lou Hayat released their first EP in 2012 and have slowly crept into various local indie scenes with their successive records. Last month Gil and Hayat shared a new EP called “I Don’t Know What To Feel.” In my interview with the duo around the time of release, they talked about their emotional response to the terrorist attacks that shook Paris last November. The new songs, anchored as usual by the pair’s unified guitars and voices, confront the distress head-on with serene catharsis.
Show 8 p.m. | with Nail Polish & In Place | $10 | 21+
Nicky Palermo, the lead singer and guitarist for the Philly band Nothing, has poured his various troubles into music for years. After a two-year stint in prison in the early aughts, Palermo reconciled his hardcore past into new territory alongside Brandon Setta, a fellow guitarist that helps form the brain trust of Nothing. Despite Palermo’s history and the Relapse label on which they release their music, the band is decidedly not metal, instead venturing into emotionally heavy shoegaze. “Tired of Tomorrow,” released in May, is Nothing’s second album, a strong follow-up to their 2014 debut “Guilty of Everything.” The subject matter remains grim — Palermo wrote the album’s first song while in a hospital bed after suffering a random attack in California — but the band has churned a fantastic album out of the pain. A couple months late, Nothing celebrates the release with a cast of local musicians at Union Transfer and a free afterparty at Ortlieb’s.
Doors 7:30 p.m. / Show 8:30 p.m. | with Citizen, Culture Abuse, Mary Lattimore & Jeff Zeigler | $15 | all ages
For better or worse, the internet has stoked Cam’ron’s penchant for saying and doing whatever he pleases. The Harlem MC and Diplomats frontman has always been a fantastic rapper — his flippant and awkward flow never quelled the quotables — but his fame grew as much because of a larger-than-life character and zany ambitions. In the last couple years he’s sold a line of designer ebola masks, toyed with the idea of releasing his own toilet paper, and frequently popped up in viral Internet sketches and clips. But years after his prime (and after he made it cool for rappers to wear pink), Cam’s contributions to hip-hop can’t be taken for granted.
Doors 7 p.m. / Show 8 p.m. | with The Underachievers, G Herbo & Smoke DZA | $28 | all ages
For several years at least, Billy Joel has been almost exclusively a stadium performer. In aNew Yorker profile published in 2014, writer Nick Paumgarten painted the famed piano man as a bit of a hermit, a guy who creeps out of his luxurious shell by helicopter to put on magnificently large shows at the Madison Square Garden. The supreme oddity of Joel’s stardom though is his recent lack of musical output. “Some people think it’s because I’m lazy or I’m just being contrary,” he told the magazine. “But no, I think it’s just — I’ve had my say.” Even if he complains quietly about playing the same songs over and over again, the audience never knows the difference; onstage at least, Joel rarely has an off-day.
Doors 6:30 p.m. / Show 8 p.m. | $49.50+ | all ages
Founded by industry veteran Lyor Cohen, digital-forward record label 300 Entertainment boasts a roster of Internet heavyweights including Fetty Wap, Young Thug, and Kevin Gates. Tate Kobang, a young Baltimore rapper, has been a case-study in the way the imprint strikes gold. Last year Kobang’s “Bank Rolls,” a sparse and snappy track unfettered by a chorus, became an organic hometown anthem. A couple months later, 300 snatched up the young artist and doubled down on the song with a remix and a new video, propelling several more mixtape-anchoring hits for one of Baltimore’s fastest rising stars.
Show 6 p.m. | with Phene, PANDA & Corey O | $15-20 | all ages
The Coathangers have come a long way over the past nine years. In April the Atlanta punk trio released its fifth album in “Nosebleed Weekend,” a record that continues a trend of trading in some of angsty exuberance for a more polished approachability. Still, The Coathangers continue to make effective punk rock and their progressively measured sound has yielded higher doses of exposure along the way.
Doors 8 p.m. | with LA Witch, Cheerbleeders, & Louie Louie | $13 | 21+