It's the second time around for the Philly Music Festival, the weekend-long all-local bands, beer, and booze fest. It's again headquartered at the World Café Live but this year expands to two other venues in town.
The nonprofit fest founded by lawyer-slash-music fan Greg Seltzer kicks off Thursday night at Johnny Brenda's with a sold-out double bill of hard-core-punk-leaning Philly bands in Pissed Jeans and Soul Glo.
Then the PMF gets down to business with seven bands playing downstairs and up at the WCL on Friday, and another dozen on Saturday, followed by a tantalizing jazz jam on Sunday. Friday is also sold out, but tickets remain for Saturday and Sunday's shows.
Local breweries such as Saint Benjamin, Conshohocken and Victory will be featured, along with distilleries Stateside and Revivalist, and Federal Donuts will be unveiling and giving away a creation baked especially for the fest.
Last year, the PMF raise $15,000 for musical good causes such as Settlement Music School, Rock to the Future and the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts.
Besides those highlighted below, the fest has plenty of acts to look forward to in a variety of styles, from the keyboard-centered rock of Vita & the Woolf to the hip-hop soul of Hardwork Movement to the high-energy rock of Saturday night headliners The Districts.
Here's a list of 10 recommended acts, hyped in chronological order, starting Friday evening. A complete schedule can be found at the Philly Music Fest website.
Secret American. A bicoastal band led by Philadelphia-raised songwriter Derek Krzywicki, who formerly fronted local band Cheers Elephant. Since moving to Carpintieri, Calif., the singer-guitarist has focused on Secret American, working with his still-in-Philly bandmates on the impressively melodic new Warmth & Shelter, which was recorded in at Cambridge Sound Studios in South Philly. 8:25 p.m. Friday, upstairs at the World Cafe Live.
Waxahatchee. Katie Crutchfield has followed up last year's tumultuous Out in the Storm with a stripped-down six-song EP called Great Thunder. The standout songwriter still has deep connections to the Philly scene, but like her twin Allison, who now lives in Los Angeles, she's left the 215 behind, and has moved back to her native Birmingham, Ala. So instead of two, we now have no Crutchfield sisters living in Philadelphia. Sad! 9:05 p.m. Friday, downstairs at the World Cafe Live.
Low Cut Connie. The Adam Weiner-led ribald rock-and-soul group are riding a high: The band most recently heard from with Dirty Pictures (part 2) was praised to the heavens by Elton John during his recent shows at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philly, who, among other things, said, "Buy their records, go see them. Amazing." 10:05 p.m. Friday, downstairs at WCL.
Orion Sun. Singer and rapper Tiffany Majette – who goes by the stage name Orion Sun – distinguished herself as one of a handful of Philly artists given the chance to shine at the Made in America festival this month. On her debut release A Collection of Fleeting Moments and Daydreams, Majette moves confidently from heartfelt singer-songwriter folk to toughened-up, jazz-inflected hip-hop. 4:50 p.m. Saturday, upstairs at WCL.
Kingsley Ibeneche. Camden native Kingsley Ibeneche was a dancer – he has a degree in ballet performance from the University of the Arts – before he was a singer and rapper. His 2017 debut Chi combines soul and hip-hop, and the son of African-born parents proudly "roots himself in the traditions of Nigerian dance and rhythm." 5:30 p.m. Saturday, upstairs at WCL.
Hurry. Matthew Scottoline's jangly trio, whose 2018 album Every Little Thought works wonders as it daydreams its way through 10 catchy, yearning songs that will be bittersweet music to the ears of power pop fans. 6:25 p.m. Saturday, upstairs at WCL.
Man About a Horse. A rising bluegrass quartet with traditionalist chops and a "newgrass" urge to experiment, Man About a Horse's PMF gig follows a series of shows the band played this week in Raleigh, N.C., at the International Bluegrass Music Awards gathering. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, upstairs at WCL.
Ruby the Hatchet. Fronted by singer Jillian Taylor, Ruby the Hatchet bring most welcome heaviness to the PMF. They're a '70s-style hard-rock band with thundering drums and high-volume riffage in songs like "Pagan Ritual" and "Symphony of the Night" on their 2017 album Planetary Space Child. 8:10 p.m. Saturday, downstairs at WCL.
Palm. Philly's own math-rock heroes turn their songs inside out. Bass and drums are out front, while guitars maintain the rhythm. On this year's Rock Island, songs like "Composite" mine experimental art-rock territory, while also captivating with haunting Beach Boys-ish vocals and frenetic energy. 9 p.m. Saturday, downstairs at WCL.