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May 4th, 2012

Go See It This Weekend: Spacin’, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Eric Carbonara, Willie Nelson And Family, Meek Mill’s 25th, Daughn Gibson, Future Islands, And The Cranberries

We-Were-Promised-Jetpacks

Friday, May 4

Spacin’
Released by Richie Records/TestosterTunes, Deep Thuds is the debut album by Philadelphia’s Spacin’. Led by guitarist/vocalist Jason Killinger (Birds of Maya), this new band includes bassist Sean Hamilton (Acid Kicks), guitarist Paul Sukeena (ex-Spooks) and drummer Eva Killinger (who shares Jason’s last name ‘cause they’re married). While Birds is all about rammin’-the-Valiant-into-the-wall, Spacin’ is all about coastin’ with the top down in the Millenium Falcon. Tunes like “Empty Mind” and “Wrong Street” certainly thump, but Spacin’ prefers chillin’. On “Some Future Burger,” which is probably about a sci-fi quarter pounder, they get lost in a fuzzy sonic warp zone of spaceship clanks and heavenly astral drift. And, when I say that “Chest of Steel” sounds like a bizarro combo of Genesis’ “Misunderstanding” and Jackson Browne’s “Somebody’s Baby,” that’s a sincere compliment. -Elliott Sharp

9:15pm. $12. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. johnnybrendas.com

Saturday, May 5

We Were Promised Jetpacks
There’s always a chance the guys in We Were Promised Jetpacks could be total terrors away from studios and stages, burning away their tours by carelessly ravaging drugs, hotel rooms and groupies. But going by the nature of the Scottish quartet’s music alone, they might be the most considerate and well-mannered underdogs in all of rock ’n’ roll. “It’s Thunder and It’s Lightning” off 2009’s These Four Walls provides key evidence in this argument. This slow-burn delight has vocalist Adam Thompson leading a potential romantic partner in either a dance or a her-arm-on-his-shoulder drunken walk home before he realizes (and reveals) his affections. All the while, the tuneful indie rockers’ instruments build and build, eventually channeling the natural phenomena in the song title. Even with the mysterious refrain “Your body was black and blue,” Thompson’s pleas are so good-hearted and earnestly delivered that you root for him to win the girl. It’s all very akin to the original Karate Kid, except with more sparkly guitar lines and less climatic crane kicks. -Reyan Ali

8:30pm. $15. With Breton and Fort Lean. Union Transfer, 1024 Spring Garden St. utphilly.com

Eric Carbonara
Philly’s Eric Carbonara casts spells on acoustic and electric guitars (not to mention the 22-string upright chaturangui), drawing on varied folk influences and ethnic traditions to arrive at a homespun experimental style. The Paradise Abyss, his compelling nylon-string recital, boasts track titles like “The Abortion of Autumn.” Sixty Strings, a duo outing with harpist Jesse Sparhawk, is thick with Indian drones and sonorities. That should sit nicely on a bill with Brooklyn’s Alexander Turnquist, known for his spiraling 12-string minimalism. Another draw: Jeremy Young performing under the name szilárd—i.e., genius physicist Leó Szilárd, who decried the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (there’s a lunar crater named for him, too). -David R. Adler

8pm. $6. Highwire Gallery, 2040 Frankford Ave. 215.426.2685. museumfire.com/events

Sunday, May 6

Willie Nelson & Family
Yes, the great Willie Nelson will turn 80 next year, but that doesn’t mean anyone should be sizing up the pot-smokin’, braids-and-bandana-rockin’ outlaw-country icon for his coffin or prepping his hologram for a Coachella headlining gig. Willie looked and sounded terrific in Austin, Texas, on April 20 (4/20 … uhhh huh huh) during the unveiling of a new statue built by Philly sculptor Clete Shields to honor the legendary singer, as he performed his crowd-pleasing new ditty “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.” Truly, we don’t want to envision a world without Willie Nelson, so we won’t. We’ll just revel in another local appearance tonight—certain to include most all the tunes you’d ever want to hear, and maybe some of those reggae numbers he recorded a couple years ago, too—and look forward to many more years of Willie roaming the earth. -Michael Alan Goldberg

7:30pm. $69.60-$75. With Drake White. Keswick Theatre, 291 Keswick Ave., Glenside. keswicktheatre.com

ALSO THIS WEEKEND: Union Transfer’s got a birthday banger for Meek Mill’s 25th on Sunday night (we can only imagine what’s going to go down here), R5’s got some goodies lined up with Old Man Gloom (with Rosetta, James Plotkin, and the Argonauts) at the Church tonight, Daughn Gibson’s first show is at Ortlieb’s with Randall of Nazareth and Tom Guycot tonight, plus Future Islands on Sunday night at the Church, the TLA’s got The Maine on Sunday night with Lydia and The Arkelis, Johnny Brenda’s has got Swift Technique, Lady and First Capital Funk on Saturday night, Vince Gill is at the Keswick tonight, and tomorrow night the Cranberries will be at the Electric Factory.

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