Trying to untangle the knot of founding, past, and current members of the Michigan post-hardcore band Chiodos can leave you dizzy. But here's what you need to know right now: The group playing some shows this summer (including a stop at Peabody's this weekend) is the same one that was around in 2009, before everyone got all pissed off at each other. They're calling it a reunion, since singer Craig Owens — who was kicked out of the band three years ago — is back; so is drummer Derrick Frost. Chiodos' third album, Illuminaudio, was released in 2010 with a different singer, so you probably won't hear anything from that record on this tour. Which is fine with fans, who are way more into 2005's All's Well That Ends Well and 2007's Bone Palace Ballet anyway. And we're guessing they're going to tear through their set with all the ferocity and vein-popping intensity that they left off with three years ago. The Peabody's show on Friday is the first of the tour, so things may be a little rocky at first.
ChiodosWith the Most Dangerous Animal and Bell Historire. 6 p.m. Friday, August 10. Peabody's. Tickets: $20, $17 in advance; call 216-776-9999 or visit peabodys.com.
Sonny & the Sunsets
Bay Area garage rocker Sonny Smith is all about high concepts. A couple of years ago he curated an art project in which he dreamed up a hundred different band names and singles. Then he enlisted some pals to actually record some of those fake songs. The new album by Smith's band Sonny & the Sunsets, Longtime Companion, is a country album, complete with a lazy twang and soft-weeping instruments. Hopefully, he'll remember to plug in and rock out a few times at this weekend's show at Mahall's.
With Tim Cohen's Magic Trick. 8 p.m., $8 ADV, $12 DOS. Mahall's 20 Lanes.
Taj MahalVeteran bluesman Taj Mahal has been making records since the late '60s, and many of them explore the different shades of the Delta blues. But the 70-year-old singer and guitarist – who was born Henry Saint Claire Fredericks in Harlem – usually works his way through other types of music to get to this place. Traces of rock, soul, reggae, jazz, and world music have snaked their way into his songs over the years. While Mahal still makes new albums — his latest came out in 2008 — it's the material from his prolific peak years that nets and deserves the most attention. A new record gathering some odds and ends from this period, The Hidden Treasures of Taj Mahal, comes out in a couple weeks. The double-disc set focuses on unreleased studio recordings and live performances from 1969-1973. Plus, there's a whole concert from 1973 from the Royal Albert Hall on there that's never been available. Mahal's show in Akron this weekend will undoubtedly flow along a similar current of old favorites and new takes.
Taj MahalWith the Juke Hounds. 7 p.m. Saturday, August 11. Lock 3 Live, Akron. Tickets: $10; call 330-375-2877 or visit lock3live.com.
It's been three years since Maryland rockers Clutch released their last album, Strange Cousins From the West. But they recently put out a new single, "Pigtown Blues," which combines beefy organ fills, ringing acoustic guitars, and a shuffling Dead-like beat. It sounds like the quartet is all set for a marathon, and totally chill, jam session in the middle of the night. It's a nice fit with their stoner rock-leaning material, so it should get heavier onstage. Expect a career-spanning set when they play House of Blues.
With Monster Truck and Lionize. 8 p.m., $20 ADV, $25 DOS. House of Blues.
This Orange County rap-rock crew has been kicking around for 15 years now, and they haven't changed one bit. Their 13th album comes out next week, and like all the others (which they've released pretty much on average of one per year), you can check off: 1) an illustrated and slightly offensive LP cover 2) a punny, reefer-stenched title – it's Mile High this time and 3) a bunch of songs about being high, getting high, or thinking about getting high. It doesn't get any deeper or clearer than that (cough, cough).
With Big B, Prozak, and Moonshine Bandits. 7 p.m., $17.50 ADV, $20 DOS. Peabody's.
Jackson BrowneJackson Browne's songs don't need much accompaniment. Which is why we're not complaining too much about his solo acoustic tour that rolls through town this week. The 63-year-old singer-songwriter has written plenty of classics ("These Days," "The Pretender," "Running on Empty," and "Somebody's Baby" are just starters) that don't need much more than a guitar or piano to see them through. Of course, Browne's string of hit records in the '70s are made all the more awesome by the ace Los Angeles studio musicians — especially longtime guitarist David Lindley — who played and toured with him. But Browne's solo readings of his catalog, which he's mixing up nightly on the latest leg of this tour, open up revealing new perspectives of tunes you've probably heard hundreds of times. So there may not be as much muscle behind "Here Come Those Tears Again," and the epic "Late for the Sky" may leave you wishing for some band interplay, but the heart and soul of these songs will certainly take center stage.
Jackson BrowneWith Sara Watkins: 8 p.m. Wednesday, August 15. Cain Park. Tickets: $35-$75; call 800-745-3000 or visit ticketmaster.com.
Hot Club of Detroit
Unlike all of those other bands with "hot club" in their monikers, this Michigan combo doesn't sound so old-timey. In fact, their gypsy-jazz swing can be quite forward-thinking at times. The big news surrounding their latest album Junction (which comes out next week) is that the previously all-instrumental group – horns, accordions ... that sorta thing – is joined by a singer on a few cuts who just happens to be from the same town in Belgium where gypsy-jazz godhead Django Reinhardt was born.
7 p.m., $20. Nighttown