Celebrate A Long Weekend
I love holidays that change the day of the week year to year. Having the 4th fall on a Friday, creates one huge weekend that starts Thursday and doesn't end until you stop partying on Sunday. Some may head to the beach (like me) and suffer through some crappy cover bands all weekend. Even though Philly is the city where our independence was declared, the pickings for a good show are light, but our nation's capital is happening, and there are a few shows elsewhere. So put down the fireworks and head to a show.
Kicking it all off Thursday is David Ford, who has been through this area recently more times than I can count. The best part is it's free, part of the WTMD First Thursdays. So get to West Mount Vernon Park early, Steve Hefter and Friends of Friends starts at 5:30.
Up in Philly, it's the latest tour of the Smoking Popes at Johnny Brenda's, with a new album in tow. Sure there will be new songs, but the classics are bound to come out. They are joined by two Philly bands, Restorations, making their performance debut (welcome to the scene) and Thinking Machines.
mp3: David Ford - Go To Hell
mp3: Smoking Popes - Need You Around
Not music related, but something just very offbeat, Thursday is wedding day for Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross. No, really, this is legit. Public ceremony 8 PM at Independence Hall.
Of course, Friday is our nation's birthday and it's usually celebrated by a cook-out and going to the park, listening to the symphony roll through the Sousa marches and the 1812 Overture and ends with watching some outrageous fireworks display. Well, add XPN sponsored Freedom Fest in the Marion Court Room in Lancaster, PA to that list. Headlining is former Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell, supported by 11 other regional acts, such as The April Skies and Kheris. Gates open at 3 and go until midnight.
If you are down in DC for the festivities, make a stop across the river to IOTA and catch locals The Sketches.
mp3: The April Skies - Here Comes The Rush
mp3: The Sketches - Dizzy
For the post-4th party hangover, Saturday has a great local bill at the Black Cat, featuring Wye Oak joined by Metropolitan, in what may be their last DC show in a long time, and Bellflur.
mp3: Wye Oak - Family Glue
mp3: Metropolitan - Homeroom
mp3: Bellflur - Volcano Song
To close out the weekend, pick your city, pick your genre. For a more Latin flavor, head to the Black Cat for Dengue Fever and Chicha Libre. They will also be in Philly on Monday at Johnny Brendas. Feeling a little retro? Get an '80s new-wave flashback with Void Vision in Philly at the Manhattan Room. And for the absurdist in all of us, The Two Man Gentleman Band is at the Metro Gallery in Baltimore. Think They Might Be Giants performing Americana and Bluegrass.
mp3: Chicha Libre - Indian Summer
mp3: The Two Man Gentleman Band - William Howard Taft