Photo Credit: Jessica Lehrman
South Carolina native Nikki Lane’s an outlaw country singer in the best sense, from her vintage-hillbilly fashion sense to a sound that echoes indie-rock and girl-group sass, all delivered with cool no-BS attitude. Her 2014 release All or Nothin’ proved one of that year’s best albums and Lane’s followed it with another solid effort in Highway Queen as her road winds back to the Sinclair on Friday.
But that’s one of many options on a bustling Friday. Wayne Coyne and his merry marauders in the Flaming Lips take over House of Blues for one of their mood-tweaking trips with balloons, confetti, streamers and electro-psychedelic rock. English counterpart Robyn Hitchcock’s own long trip winds toward a more folky direction in a primarily solo show at Somerville’s Once Ballroom with Australian vocal foil Emma Swift (and reportedly Al Kooper for a Dylan tribute). Meanwhile, jazz fans would do well to discover Union Square’s Third Life Studio for the chance to catch local saxophone stalwart Charlie Kohlhase’s first reunion of his fabulous quintet with now-widely-acclaimed drummer Matt Wilson in two decades. And the Supremes’ Mary Wilson sings at Scullers Jazz Club both Friday and Saturday.
The Villa Victoria Center for the Arts in Boston’s South End might not be on everyone’s radar, but World Music/CRASHarts brings two fine concerts to the church-like, 400-capacity venue this weekend. Chilean activist and guitar hero Nano Stern and his trio serve a brash blend of rock, folk and jazz with a nod to that country’s nueva cancion movement on Friday, while Saturday offers the string wonderment of Mali’s kora virtuoso Ballake Sissoko and French cellist Vincent Segal.
Sunday yields another dazzling duo with local roots when jazz-vibraphone dean Gary Burton, now 74, gives his last Boston concert in a pairing with his longtime duet partner Makoto Ozone on piano at the Berklee Performance Center. And guitarist Adrian Belew—a sonic sculptor who’s served with David Bowie, King Crimson, Frank Zappa and Talking Heads—leads his power trio at the Sinclair. Expect a chunk of his Crimson repertoire and possibly a nod to Bowie as well.
And looking ahead to a real spring-into-summer weekend, Boston Calling just announced that single-day tickets are on sale now for the festival’s Memorial Day weekend debut at the Harvard Athletic Complex fields in Allston with headliners Chance the Rapper (Friday), Mumford & Sons (Saturday) and Tool (Sunday).