Not since Public Enemy has a hip-hop group built a high-profile head of steam with both sonic and lyrical agitation as Run the Jewels, the politically charged duo of rappers Killer Mike and producer El-P (pictured). On the heels of its Christmas Eve release RTJ3—and before returning to town to upend Boston Calling on Memorial Day weekend—Run the Jewels take a triumphant dive into House of Blues on Friday.
But that’s the tip of diverse, heavy slate of shows this week. Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears bring their scrappy blend of blues, soul, funk and punk to the Middle East Downstairs on Friday. Here’s a jump to my recent interview with Lewis. The same night also brings Shaun Wolf Wortis’ Legendary Vudu Krewe (a band with Chandler Travis, Ken Field and Paul Ahlstand) to Somerville’s Once Ballroom for “Boston Stands: a Mardi Gras Benefit for the ACLU,” a local star-studded affair that adds guests like Dennis Brennan, Rick Berlin, Ad Frank, Jen D’Angora, Mike Gent, Andrea Gillis, Jittery Jack & Miss Amy, Yolanda Scott, Ed Valauskas and Russ Gershon.
You have Friday or Saturday to catch the haunting New York avant-garde vocalist, composer, choreographer and filmmaker Meredith Monk in a rare Boston visit with her vocal ensemble at the Institute of Contemporary Art, sharing a program and duet collaboration with activist poet Anne Waldman. The same two nights also bring crack Flecktones bassist Victor Wooten with his fusion trio boasting drummer Dennis Chambers and saxophonist Bob Franceschini at the Sinclair.
The stage and dance floor should be crowded when wily George Clinton brings his P-Funk crew to House of Blues on Saturday, while World Music/CRASHarts brings Paris Combo to the Somerville Theatre for a sly, seductive shot of French cabaret-pop and gypsy jazz. Over at Once, there’s the pride and underbelly of Allentown, Pa., in the post-hardcore band Pissed Jeans, harkening back to the heyday of the Jesus Lizard. And just to the north in Beverly on Saturday, there’s also “Shut the Folk Up and Listen,” an intriguing pairing of jammy multi-instrumentalist Keller Williams with virtuoso acoustic-guitar foil Leo Kottke at the Cabot.
Finally, on Sunday at Boston’s Wilbur Theatre, longtime Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett serves an appetizer of his underrated solo catalog before diving into a broad chunk of music by his former prog-rock outfit (before and after Peter Gabriel), with a focus on the 1976 classic Wind and Wuthering. Hackett’s impressive touring band includes ex-Kajagoogoo bassist Nick Beggs.