Phish tickets go on sale Friday for the jam kings’ annual summer tour, which kicks off July 1 at the Xfinity Center (Great Woods). But in the meantime, Phish fans can see bassist/singer Mike Gordon’s solo band play House of Blues on Friday. The Sudbury native has tightened his musical bonds with guitarist Scott Murawski (Max Creek) on his new album Overstep and current tour, on which Gordon is sprinkling a few Phish nuggets, including that band’s long-shelved “Spock’s Brain.” Also on Friday, Grammy-winning songwriters Steve Earle and Shawn Colvin team up at the Berklee Performance Center for “Songs and Stories: Together Onstage,” a showcase for swapping tunes and duets that’s likely to contrast his alt-country verve with her more impressionistic pop-folk. Here’s Earle performing one of his songs that Colvin often covers. And alto sax prodigy Grace Kelly toasts her 10th anniversary of playing Scullers Jazz Club. Expect bebop with some slight pop flavor.
On last year’s standout album The Silver Gymnasium, Austin indie-rockers Okkervil River struck a bit of an ’80s E Street Band tone behind singer/songwriter Will Sheff’s poetic waxing about his small-town youth in Meriden, N.H. The band had some trouble conveying that storytelling sprawl at Boston Calling last year but should be more in its element when Sheff leads Okkervil River in the small-club environs of the Sinclair on Saturday. Over at House of Blues Saturday, comedian/rapper Donald Glover (Troy on NBC’s Community) lets his musing music flow under his stage name Childish Gambino. And on Sunday, Asif Ali Khan & Party carry on the devotional Sufi tradition of his Qawwali mentor, the late, great vocalist Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, at Boston University’s Tsai Performance Center, a World Music/CRASHarts booking.
Finally, for today’s Thursday Throwback, seeing the young Irish lads of the Strypes at Great Scott last week made me think of catching the first tours by U2. Before they return with a full new album’s worth of hype, here’s a glimpse back at when the U2 guys were just beyond their teens.