Holy crap! We have a shitload of killer shows in our area tonight!
Cut Copy, Foals, Holy Ghost! and The Naked & Famous at the Granada Theater
Australia's Cut Copy has been around for over a decade, but the band's sound would have fit right in during the '80s. Like legendary electropop outfits Depeche Mode and OMD, Cut Copy is all about the pulsating synths and soft, crooning vocals. Zonoscope, the band's recently issued third album, features songs like "Need You Now" and "Take You Over" that would have surely been in heavy rotation on MTV back in the day. England's Foals are (a bit) more rocking, but are also heavily indebted to new wave bands from two or three decades ago. Same goes for New York's Holy Ghost! Ironically, the opening act, New Zealand's The Naked & The Famous, may be the most original act on this crowded bill. Translation: Get to the venue early.
Freelance Whales and Sundress at The Loft
Despite the rather odd moniker, New York's Freelance Whales are actually a pretty normal indie pop band. The band came together in 2008 via ads on Craigslist and released their debut full-length, Weathervanes, two years later. Sounding like a more sedate version of Arcade Fire, Judah Dadone and crew have a tendency to be a bit too precious for their own good. Pompous lyrics may be part and parcel of most indie bands, but Dadone takes it to heights not seen since the first album from the Decemberists. However, the music of Freelance Whales is just charming enough to excuse the band's haughty pretensions. Just barely.
Fitz & the Tantrums and April Smith & The Great Picture Show at the Cambridge Room
Michael Fitzpatrick is the man behind Fitz & the Tantrums, an intriguing rock 'n' soul outfit out of Los Angeles. Even though the band has only been around a couple of years, they have a great reputation as a live act. Fact is, this style of music nearly always comes across better live, and Fitzpatrick is the kind of engaging frontman that pulls everything together on stage.
Hollywood Undead, 10 Years, Drive A and New Medicine at House of Blues
Although the rap-rock of Hollywood Undead can be, at times, comical and chaotic, this is another show where the best band may not be at the top of the bill. Knoxville's alternative metal act 10 Years isn't all that special, either. But Los Angeles' Drive A certainly is. Led by Bruno Mascolo, this quartet successfully fuses metal and punk without making a big deal out of it. Drive A's recently issued The World in Shambles may well end up being one of the best metal efforts of the year.
Sevendust, Rivethead and The Raven Charter at Trees
For 17 years, Sevendust has been doing their fiery version of metal and withstood challenges that would have ended lesser bands. In 2006, the band was basically bankrupt and being hounded by the I.R.S. Miraculously, Sevendust stuck it out and proceeded to make some of the best music of their career. Indeed, 2010's Cold Day Memory showed that these guys still had the mojo as Lajon Witherspoon sounded fresh and guitarist Clint Lowery played with a zest that he hasn't mustered in a decade. Dallas industrial rockers Rivethead and Denton prog-rock mavens The Raven Charter add diversity to a tasty triple-bill.
Titus Andronicus, Fight Amp and Soviet at Club Dada
Any band that takes its name from a play by Shakespeare and still manages to make music as raw and appealing as New Jersey's Titus Andronicus is alright by me. The Monitor, Titus Andronicus' 2010 sophomore effort, was a hell of a record, an ambitious concept album kind of about the Civil War. Featuring horns and keyboards amidst the usual lo-fi, punk blare, Titus Andronicus made an album that matters. Not an easy feat.
Stephen Marley at South Side Music Hall
On 4/20, we're all kind of the sons of Bob Marley. But Stephen Marley really is.
Nat Baldwin at Good Records
Given how intricate the music of New York's Dirty Projectors is, it's tough to imagine that there'd be much time for the band members to explore other musical paths. But, turns out, bass player Nat Baldwin has done just that. Tonight, before playing a house show at an undisclosed location in the region, he stops by Good Records to promote his upcoming experimental solo album, People Changes.