8 Concerts to Catch This Weekend



Fri., Dec. 12

John Brown’s Body

Elsewhere in this humble rag, we referred to John Brown’s Body and their 20-year career arc as “magnetic,” and that’s a huge part of their reputation. On one hand, they’re like a roots reggae farm team. They breed fine New England musicians, who then go into the world and create other, similarly awesome bands. On the other hand, the sort of music John Brown’s Body puts out there — “future roots music,” as it were — is an enticing blend of dub, dubstep, electronic and hip-hop. Plus plenty of reggae, of course. It could be argued that the band’s seminal peak rests in 2003’s Spirits All Around Us, which captures frontman Elliot Martin’s vision in each of its 14 cuts. If you’re into roots reggae, this is a mandatory album. Still, 2013’s Kings and Queens keeps the pedal on the floor, if only perhaps with more pressure from the electronic sides of the band. 9 p.m., $12 ADV, $15 DOS. Beachland Ballroom. (Eric Sandy)

Charles Hill Jr. & the Cleveland Country Band

An ardent fan of old-school country, local singer-songwriter Charles Hill Jr. counts country icon George Jones as one of his biggest influences: His grandfather used to play Jones’ tunes on an old guitar. That love of a bygone era permeates Hill’s new album, Shootin’ Man, a terrific collection of tunes that sound like they came out of a different decade. “This is Where I’ve Ended Up” is a tender ballad that benefits from a touch of slide guitar. Hill shows off his smooth vocals on the mid-tempo “Achin’ Breakin’ Heart” and the twangy “Like They All Let Me Down.” Hill adopts a baritone for the somber “The Best Efforts” and lets his band really jam on the careening “Mouse Island.” The songs here sound so familiar, they suggest singing and songwriting comes naturally to Hill. 10 p.m., $5. The Euclid Tavern. (Jeff Niesel)

Nate Jones Band

For singer-songwriter Nate Jones, a Cleveland native who recently moved to San Francisco, the time spent playing and recording in Northeast Ohio was essential to his development as a musician. His new album, The Nate Jones Band EP, is a fine collection of diverse songs that shows off his incredible range. He alternately evokes smooth operators such as James Taylor and more contemporary neo-soul guys like Amos Lee. Jones grew up listening to classic singer-songwriters such as Paul Simon and James Taylor. Those musical influences come across on the EP, a nice showcase for his naturally soulful voice. On the album’s first single, “Another Night, Another Town,” he sings with a bit of drawl, giving it an alt-country feel. The organ riffs in the song also give it a roots rock vibe. But he doesn’t necessarily think his music fits into the alt-country mold. 8:30 p.m., $8 ADV, $10 DOS. Beachland Tavern. (Niesel)

Sat., Dec. 13


Founder of the longest running burlesque festival, as well as winner of countless awards, the Italian Stallionette (aka burlesque queen Angie Pontani) is as entrepreneurial as she is entertaining. Her crowd-pleasing and crowd-teasing acts will get you into a special kind of holiday mood this evening. Hosted by illusionist Albert Cadabra, a “professional, award-winning, comedy sideshow magician who delivers powerful, amazing and devilishly wild magic,” tonight’s show should be over-the-top as Cadabra will eat razor blades, hammer his face with spikes and electrocute himself. Yet he’ll somehow emerge unscathed. 8:30 p.m., $17 ADV, $20 DOS. Beachland Ballroom. (Niesel)

The Lighthouse and the Whaler

Things started to snowball for the Lighthouse and the Whaler after the 2008 EP, A Whisper, A Clamor. A track from that record eventually showed up on a sampler CD that Paste magazine released in 2009, and it helped generate national attention. The band followed the EP a year later with their self-titled debut album, which created even more buzz, but also led to some line-up changes. With the release of its latest album, 2012’s This Is an Adventure, an indie pop effort that still has traces of the band’s folk rock roots, the band should find its way onto the playlists of anyone who listens to acts like the Shins and the Decemberists. The band spent most of the year touring and didn’t play much in town, so this special Christmas show is a real treat. Expect to hear songs from the band's forthcoming studio release. 8 p.m., $12 ADV, $15 DOS. Grog Shop. (Niesel)

Patrick Sweany Band

A Massillon native who cut his musical teeth playing the indie rock clubs in Northeast Ohio, singer-songwriter Patrick Sweany came through town last year to promote the fifth anniversary of Every Hour is a Dollar Gone, the terrific roots-rock album that paired him with Black Keys singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach. Last year, he released Close to the Floor, another terrific album of gritty garage blues, so expect to hear songs from it at this show. (Niesel) 9 p.m., $12. Musica.

Steel Panther

Back in the ’80s, Sunset Strip clubs such as the Troubadour and Rainbow Bar and Grill were the proving grounds for rock acts such as Van Halen and Motley Crue. Those days are over but don’t tell Steel Panther. The L.A. band pays tribute to that era on it latest album, last year’s All You Can Eat. The album comes off as a hearty send-up to the era. “Pusswhipped” starts with acoustic guitars before the heavy guitars and shrieking vocals kick in. “Party Like Tomorrow is the End of the World” draws equally from Def Leppard and Andrew W.K. 8:30 p.m., $29.50-$43.50. Hard Rock Rocksino. (Niesel)

Sunday, Dec. 14

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Wild & Swingin’ Holiday Show

This swing band from Southern California has been going strong since the swing revival started in the late ’80s. Though enthusiasm for the genre has waned a bit, that hasn’t stopped these guys from continuing to play a lively Christmas show. They take tunes such as “Blue Christmas” and “Jingle Bells” and turn them into dance floor fodder. 7:30 p.m., $35-$75. Tangier Cabaret. (Niesel)


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