UPDATE: Phawker has two tickets to give away to the first reader to email us at email@example.com. Please include a daytime phone number. Good luck!
Five and a half years ago, before he was the darling of NPR, Josh Ritter walked onstage as opener to Erin McKeown at the TLA, and he did it unplugged. Not just acoustic, but completely unelectrified—so the always-rowdy bar crowd was miraculously hushed into silence to hear Ritter’s uncommonly beautiful Americana. From there, the room was hooked, many of them learning his soft lyrical twists and plaintive melodies for the first time. Since then, thousands of Triple-A radio spins later, he’s released two stellar albums, The Animal Years and The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter, the former of which Paste magazine just named No. 13 on its best-albums-of-the-decade list. But despite those heights, when Ritter returns to the TLA this week, the specter of the unknown seduces yet again: He’s wrapped up recording on a brand-new album, and with glowing early reviews of the new tunes, he’s likely to bust out a few for the always-friendly Philly crowd. Again we get to discover him for the first time; no word on if he’ll plug in this time or not. –JEFF BARG
With The Low Anthem, Wed., Dec. 2, 8pm. $20-$23. Theater of Living Arts, 334 South St. www.livenation.com