With school starting again, a homecoming theme seemed fitting. I’ll admit it: September’s artists are only loosely connected. But all are worthy of your attention—whether they incorporate a search for “home” into their music, they are Harrisburg natives returning home, or they are coming back to a “home away from home.” So, take advantage of cooler temperatures and take in a show this month.
NAHKO AND MEDICINE FOR THE PEOPLE, 9/4, 7PM, ABBEY BAR, $18/$20
Born into a mixed Apache, Puerto Rican and Filipino ancestry, Nahko struggled to find his true identity growing up. However, music proved to be the medicine he needed, and he now uses his songs to help others find themselves. This is not to say that a Nahko show doubles as a self-help seminar. Nahko and Medicine for the People are dynamic performers playing spirited music that at times touches on heavy subjects. But it is refreshing to see a performer with such a positive long-term view. It’s a perfect show for fans of Ben Harper or Jon Butler Trio.
KOJI, 9/5, 7PM, LITTLE AMPS DOWNTOWN, $5 SUGGESTED DONATION
Koji is certainly one of Harrisburg’s most musically successful native sons. It’s fitting then that The Native Sound label is re-releasing Koji’s album, “Some Small Way,”on vinyl. Koji has always combined his musical talent with an activist spirit, melding a positive message with upbeat folk- and punk-influenced songwriting. His shows are friendly affairs, with a high level of crowd interaction. But, with Koji returning to his hometown, this show is sure to be even friendlier than usual.
GOLD LIGHT & ELIM BOLT, 9/23, 7PM, LITTLE AMPS UPTOWN, $5 SUGGESTED DONATION
This is the second time Gold Light and Elim Bolt, both from the Carolinas, are playing in Harrisburg. They are coming back for the warm, inviting atmosphere of our city’s music scene, which, in a way, makes me feel like someone who is slow dancing at homecoming with a girl way out of my league. Both bands play stripped-down rock, interpreted through the hazy hum of worn, analog instrumentation. Gold Light’s music has a lazier cadence, while Elim Bolt performs a more upbeat, surfy rock. However, both bands are a real treat and will provide a perfect transition from the warmth of summer to the crispness of autumn.
Mentionables: Enemy Planes, HMAC, 9/4; Zach Deputy, Abbey Bar, 9/10; Kilmaine Saints, FedLive, 9/12; Rosco Bandana, Abbey Bar, 9/20; Ian Fitzgerald, Midtown Scholar Bookstore, 9/20