8 Concerts to Catch This Weekend

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FRIDAY, FEB. 17

COIN


Before playing Bonnaroo and some other major festivals this summer, Nashville upstarts COIN will hit small clubs in support of its 2015 debut album. The band seems poised for a breakout this year. The first hit “Run” got heavy alt-radio airplay, and new single “Talk Too Much” recently hit 10 million streams on Spotify. Both songs make use of glossy guitar, melodic synth lines, danceable kick-drum backbeats, and anthemic vocals. Their brand of high-energy evokes comparisons to other indie pop-rock bands like Two Door Cinema Club or The 1975. Keeps, a psych-rock duo (also from Nashville), and Kid Runner, a pop punk group from Columbus, will open. (Johnny Cook), 9 p.m., $12 ADV, $15 DOS. Grog Shop.

Echostep CD Release Party

A veteran on the local electronic music scene, James Young, who performed with the local act Shadow Saints before forming his latest “adventure,” Echostep, self-released a new Echostep album earlier this year. The EP includes four original tracks and two remixes of the title track by Interface and Coldlink. The effectively eerie “Pictures in the Sky” features hushed vocals and pulsating synths, and the piano ballad “I’m Okay” has a subtle intensity to it. Expect to hear the tracks at tonight’s release party. (Jeff Niesel), 8 p.m. The Symposium.

SATURDAY, FEB. 18

High School Rock Off Round 4


When the annual High School Rock Off launched some 20 years ago at the Odeon, the promoters at the locally-based Belkin Productions (now Live Nation) saw it as a way to reach out to area high schools and provide students with the kind of outlet that they might not have. Two decades later, the event, which takes place again this year at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, continues to thrive. This year's incarnation of the event will feature 41 acts. There will be a total of 156 band members and seven solo artists from four states. In all, the performers will represent 62 schools. Expect the competition to be fierce. (Niesel), 6 p.m., $10. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

July Talk

When Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay, the two singers who front the Canadian punk/alternative act July Talk, formed their band, they immediately knew they had no interest in being a “folk Simon-and-Garfunkel-type of duo.” Rather, they wanted to have a rock ’n’ roll band that was “loud and dynamic and something like Crazy Horse.” That sentiment certainly comes across on their new LP, Touch. Expect songs from it to make up the bulk of tonight's show at the Grog. (Niesel) 8:30 p.m., $12 ADV, $14 DOS. Grog Shop.

SUNDAY, FEB. 19

Darkest Hour


Formed 20 years ago in Washington D.C., Darkest Hour remains one of the heaviest acts circulating in the metal core world. Produced by Kurt Ballou, its latest effort, Godless Prophets & the Migrant Flora, might be its heaviest album yet. As its title implies, the songs reflect the current conflicts between humanity and nature. The intensity that runs through the songs on the album should translate to one helluva live show. (Niesel), 6:30 p.m., $15 ADV, $18 DOS. Agora Ballroom.

Martin Sexton

The word prolific is often thrown around when talking about singer-songwriters, but with Martin Sexton, it’s no exaggeration. He got his start in Boston, playing open mics and busking in subways and on street corners. He’s released numerous albums, received awards for his music and reaped praise from the likes of John Mayer and Dave Matthews. Sexton’s music is difficult to categorize due to his fusion of country, soul, folk rock, gospel, jazz and other genres, but he blends them all seamlessly. Fan favorite “Glory Bound” highlights how his poetic lyricism and his vocal range compliment each other. During his live show, he utilizes his guitar and voice to play rhythms, melodies and percussion all at the same time, showing off his one-of-a-kind talent. (Cook), 7 p.m., $25 ADV, $28 DOS. Music Box Supper Club.

Southern Avenue

When Israeli-born blues player, Oriole's Naftaly first came to the states with his own band in 2013. He saw a Tierinii Jackson YouTube video and asked her to audition. She brought her sister Tikyra Jackson into the fold, and Southern Avenue evolved from there. In the first two weekends of playing together, the band wrote several of the songs that appear on its forthcoming self-titled debut. The self-titled release features soulful originals such as "Don't Give Up," "What Did I Do," "It's Gonna Be Alright," "Love Me Right" and "Wildflower." "Don't Give Up" features a spiritual vibe thanks to its souful vocals and gritty guitars. In addition, the group pays tribute to its roots with a rousing rendition of the Ann Peebles' Memphis soul classic "Slipped, Tripped and Fell in Love." It's spirited stuff. 7 p.m., $15. Nighttown.

Yesterday Once More — A Musical Celebration of the Carpenters

This concert courtesy of local jazz singer Helen Welch aims to celebrate the band’s career with storytelling and renditions of Carpenters classics such as “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “I Won’t Last a Day Without You,” “Yesterday Once More” and “Close To You.” According to the press release announcing the performances, she'll relate “lesser-known stories and fun facts about the Carpenters.” (Niesel) 7 p.m., $18 ADV, $20 DOS. Music Box Supper Club.

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