9 Concerts to Catch This Weekend

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FRIDAY, OCT. 17

Bassnectar

Bassnectar's latest album, Noise vs. Beauty, features a bit of everything. Hip-hop numbers like “Now” and “Lost in the Crowd” have a classic, g-funk feel to them and suggest his old school influences. He also dabbles in downtempo and dubstep. For the current live show, he plans to mix visuals and audio in a way that’s distinctly his own. He’s got his own special set up that enables him to transform venues into immersive environments. “Combining the audio and the visual together is something that’s been a long journey,” he says. “Last year, we unleashed this Ultimate Nerd Server system that syncs up my samples and songs with video imagery and with video content. I can control the video show from the same computer that I control the music from. It’s really interactive and allows me to be spontaneous and improvise but to have every song I play have some kind of video. You can dazzle people’s nervous systems or send them messages with video.” (Jeff Niesel) 9 p.m., $43. The Agora Theatre.

Dead Winter

Tapping the vein of alt-country and bluegrass, Dead Winter Carpenters have launched onto the scene with a knack for harmony and high-energy live shows. The band's Dirt Nap EP, released in January of this year, is still getting passed around as they make their way on the road from northern California to points more eastern. Opener "Long Arm of the Law" introduces the band as an incredibly tight, strings-driven outfit. Singer Bryan Daines croons an adventurous yarn, which is contrasted in style by "Colorado Wildfire," in which Jenni Charles rolls out smooth, dynamic vocal lines. "The band is made from five songwriters, and we all do the fine-tuning to make these songs the best that we can make them," Charles says. (Eric Sandy), 8:30 p.m., $8 ADV, $10 DOS. Beachland Tavern.



Empires

Their early U2-inspired sound on their new album, Orphan, is decidedly more polished than past recordings as they cater to a more mainstream-radio sound. That’s not necessarily an all-bad thing, though, as tracks “How Good Does It Feel” and “Orphan” take synthy backgrounds and a midtempo beat and add in vocals touched by euphoria as they ramp up to the refrain. “Please Don’t Tell My Lover” and “Shadowfaux” have hints of late ’80s new wave with heavier guitar than what’s heard on the rest of the album. Overall, they aren’t incredibly groundbreaking but they’re pretty solid and worth a night out. Expect to hear a lot of new stuff tonight. (Liz Trenholme), 9 p.m., $8. Musica.

An Evening with Bruce Hornsby

At the moment, singer-songwriter Bruce Hornsby is on the road promoting a new collection called Solo Concerts that goes far beyond the usual scope of a traditional live album that might simply collect a series of tracks from various concerts. Instead, with Solo Concerts, Hornsby paints a very distinct narrative and the way that the material is laid out, sans any sort of dialogue between the songs, makes it clear that Hornsby had an aim to assemble something that would play properly as an album, taking its listeners on a specifically curated journey. If you catch tonight's return visit to the Kent Stage, you'll see that’s what it’s all about — an evening of music that aims to offer a bit of education while triggering a wide range of emotions. Light-hearted stage conversation from Hornsby in between each song ties it all together and the unpredictable nature of each show makes it a night on the town that’s well worth venturing out to see. (Matt Wardlaw), 8 p.m., $55-$68. The Kent Stage.

Glenn Tilbrook

One half of the phenomenal songwriting duo that made up the Brit group Squeeze, Glenn Tilbrook has amassed an impressive catalog of solo material since Squeeze called it a day (although the group still reconvenes for the occasional tour). His latest album, Happy Ending, is a terrific collection of quirky pop songs. Though it's an acoustic album, you wouldn't know it from listening to the album as it includes a range of instrumentation (kazoos, sitar, Indian harmonium, ukuleles, bongos). Tilbrook loves to play the Beachland (he even wrote a song about the club) so expect a vigorous show. And yes, he does play some of Squeeze's biggest hits. (Niesel), 8 p.m., $20. Beachland Ballroom.

SATURDAY, OCT. 18

An Evening with Henry Rollins

If you happened to have seen Black Flag back in the days when the group performed with Henry Rollins as its frontman, you know just how intense the burly dude can be. Often shirtless, Rollins would scream his goddamn lungs out while madly stomping. He’d have a microphone chord wrapped around his arm like it was some kind of leash designed to keep him from attacking the audience. These days, Rollins has simmered down, though he channels his frustration into books, columns and spoken word shows. Expect to hear his take on the trouble in the Middle East and stories from the Black Flag days at tonight's show. Rollins is really articulate and knows his stuff so it'll be more like a history lesson than a diatribe. (Niesel) 9:30 p.m., $27. Masonic Auditorium.

Leo Kottke

Acoustic guitarist and fingerpicking master Leo Kottke has been around for awhile, advancing his instrument well below the contemporary radar. In the early 2000s, he broadened his recognition in teaming up with Phish bassist Mike Gordon for Clone, a dynamite album that showcased the best of both musicians. Cuts like “Collins Missile” and the title track brought Kottke’s interesting style to the hordes of fans willing to pick up anything even tangentially related to Phish. But Kottke’s history traces a 40-year arc across syncopated acoustic odyssey (a sonic predecessor to the likes of Keller Williams, let’s say). When he’s in his element and soaring across the melodies of “Airproofing II” or “Peckerwood,” for instance, he’s mesmerizing. (Sandy), 8 p.m., $35 ADV, $40 DOS. Music Box Supper Club.

Travis Larson Band

Guitar Player magazine offers this kind of praise for guitar hero Travis Larson: "Silky bends, sweet legato lines, and tuneful shred characterize Larson's playing... instrumental rock fans should catch this guy." Larson himself has described his latest album, last year's Shift, as a "heavier album" and the guitar work is so intricate, it often recalls the Dixie Dregs/Steve Morse Band. Larson and his two bandmates can make a helluva racket. The group hails from Southern California and doesn't make it out to these parts often. Should be a killer show. (Niesel), 9:30 p.m., Free. Grillers Pub.

Uno Lady CD Release

Uno Lady, who counts Roy Orbison, Laurie Anderson, Freddie Mercury, Mary Ford, the Shangri-Las, and the Shirelles as her influences, played her first show at Pat's in the Flats in 2007 and has been a steady force on the local scene ever since. "I went from recording in my living room with no plans beyond that, to being asked to play shows, and slowly learned how to perform live," she says. Her new album, Amateur Hour, commences with "Dear Wes Anderson (You should Hear This Song)," an atmospheric tune characterized by soft vocals that make it sound like a veritable choir is singing. It's one of the more unique albums you'll ever hear. "I wanted to take unfinished songs that were worth finishing, re-record and fine tune them, and couple those with a new material," she says of the new album. "It is meant to be a sort of wrap up, an ending of a chapter. Another thing I am excited about — this is the first Uno Lady release featuring other artists. I was lucky enough to have the Cross Brothers [from the local indie rock group Little Bighorn] lend their musical talents on a few of the tracks." 9 p.m., $5. The Euclid Tavern.

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