A wonderful little grab-bag this weekend, starting with Friday shows by New York’s Phantogram, the surging electro-rock project of singer/keyboardist Sarah Barthel and singer/guitarist Josh Carter, at the House of Blues, and Colorado’s Yonder Mountain String Band, giving a fresh spin to traditional five-piece bluegrass instrumentation at the Paradise.
But Friday’s also a fine night for local upstarts. The theatrical Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys, glam-rocker Goddamn Glenn’s new edition of Parlour Bells and electro-pop outfit UsLights highlight Keep Safe Boston, a benefit for Fenway Health at Somerville’s Thunder Road to toast a 30-song digital benefit compilation by those bands and others. And psychedelic rockers Ghosts of Jupiter resurface at the Lizard Lounge to celebrate their second album The Great Bright Horses, which shifts from beefy riffs to more keyboard-rooted tones that evoke Traffic, Procol Harum and Pink Floyd as well as modern purveyors like Tame Impala and Fleet Foxes. In Ghosts’ re-tweaked lineup, the Ryan Montbleau Band’s Jason Cohen adds keyboards to let singer/songwriter Nate Wilson dip into flute and second guitar over the remaining core of guitarist Adam Terrell, bassist Tommy Lada and drummer Tom Arey, who also serves with Peter Wolf and the J. Geils Band.
Saturday brings LA indie-rockers Local Natives (pictured) to House of Blues, bolstering their warm, yearning sound with more synthetic textures on their recent album Sunlit Youth. And Sunday shines with Darlingside—another locally bred combo that hones its harmonies and string work on new album Birds Say—at the Sinclair.
Tip ahead: Tuesday’s a busy date with Elvis Costello solo at the Orpheum and St. Lucia at House of Blues, but it’s a special night for jazz-rock fans when ’70s fusion icons Brand X reunite at Arlington’s Regent Theatre. The band was best known as Phil Collins’ drumming side-project to Genesis, but he found fleet-fingered foils in fretless bassist Percy Jones (whose spidery touch complimented Collins on early Eno albums) and soaring guitarist John Goodsall. Both are still aboard, along with drummer Kenwood Dennard, who appeared on 1977’s stage-born Livestock, the last of Brand X’s first three albums, all to be featured on this long-awaited tour.