Musicians plan concerts in low-priced venues

Matilda Swartz

Somewhere between fall break and Christmas, the weather takes a cold and wet turn, and the gross Saturdays at outdoor sporting events and late night walks down the Main Line lose their appeal.

Thankfully, the latter half of fall semester is stocked with a satisfying mix of Philadelphia-bound musicians, offering live shows at prices that are sure to provide a cozy harmony between stuck indoors students and their collegiate wallets.

Check out these upcoming shows, all promising great music at even better cheap prices for the poor college student in all of us.


Devendra Banhart

Electric Factory, Nov. 24

Banhart is touring in honor of the Oct. 27 release of his newest album “What Will We Be” (two tracks can now be previewed online-“Baby” and “Walillamdzi”). The Texan has been gaining steam since his last album, 2007’s “Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon,” which spawned a Bollywood-inspired dance video featuring his then-flame Natalie Portman as well as a track on the much-hyped soundtrack of “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.” Banhart’s fusion of English and Spanish, folk, funk and rock is sure to provide for a varied, albeit amusing evening in one of Philly’s favorite venues.


Imogen Heap

Theater of Living Arts, Dec. 1

Heap is also celebrating a new album, “Ellipse,” her long awaited sophomore record. Her first album “Speak For Yourself” rocketed in the UK and US; hits such as “Goodnight and Go,” “Speeding Cars” and “Hide and Seek” can be found on soundtracks to primetime soap operas, Zach Braff-produced soundtracks and most females’ iPods. Her ethereal voice continues to impress on “Ellipse” and is sure to engross the crowd in the intimate space that is the TLA.


Joshua Radin

and The Watson Twins

Trocadero, Nov. 10

Radin’s acoustic-folk crooning has also found success in the world of television and movie background music (try “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scrubs”). With only two albums in his repertoire, bank on live versions of favorites including “Star Mile,” “Closer” and “I’d Rather Be With You.” Accompanying Radin is the (identical) female folk duo the Watson Twins. Chandra and Leigh Watson are no strangers to indie-folk stardom, having recorded an album with the musically-esteemed Jenny Lewis, “Rabbit Fur Coat.” Their 2008 release of “Fire Songs” may have flown under the radar, but the opportunity to hear their homegrown harmonies live is not to be overlooked.


Wu Tang Clan’s Raekwon

First Unitarian Church, Nov. 10

While the Wu Tang has disbanded, reunited and split up over time, its individual members from Method Man to Ghostface Killah have each found solo success. Raekwon, affectionately known as “The Chef,” released his latest LP this September, “Only Built For Cuban Linx Pt. II” (part I debuted in 1995), produced by Busta Rhymes and co-Wu member RZA. Expect live versions of Wu-Tang standard “C.R.E.A.M.” and Raekwon’s “Criminology.” Even for the not-so diehard fans, Wu-Tang members are notorious for their always entertaining and sometimes comical stage antics, making for nothing short of a good time.


Julian Plenti

First Unitarian Church, Nov. 27

Plenti is the alter ego of Paul Banks, lead singer of Interpol, the gang that brought you “Slow Hands” and “Heinrich Maneuver.” After three Interpol albums, Banks has ventured solo with 2009’s “Julian Plenti Is … Skyscraper”: half synthesizer and amps, half folksy woodsman, all glued together by Banks’ distinct vocals. “Fun That We Have” and “Games For Days” are two powerful bites off of the vivacious album and are sure to be performed with the sweat and lung power any proper live performance mandates. A night with Julian or Paul or whichever self he embodies that day, crammed in the basement of First Unitarian, is green well spent.