Sonic Youth unfortunately fell into indefinite limbo after Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon’s marital separation. But perhaps the most fruitful surprise in the aftermath is Last Night on Earth, a new album by Moore’s guitar foil Lee Renaldo and his band the Dust, which includes Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley. The record includes its fair share of roiling Sonic atmospherics, but in the service of intriguing song forms. Renaldo even proves affecting as a lead vocalist. Here’s a shot of where the band takes its sound live, as it will on Friday at Brighton Music Hall.
Jake Bugg can crank on electric guitar, be it a Neil Young cover or new millennial punk-rock a la the Arctic Monkeys – as he does on his new Rick Rubin-produced Shangri La. But the young British upstart weaned himself on acoustic guitar, from sensitive ballads to folky proto-rock that nods to the Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly. Expect both sides when Bugg – still amazingly only 19 years old — slides into House of Blues on Saturday. He’s getting a quick education on a large stage. Plus you can jum to my recent interview piece here.
Saturday also boasts the annual Hot Stove Cool Music concert at the Paradise Rock Club, and the lineup is stacked with heavy hitters as usual, all to benefit Theo Epstein’s Foundation to Be Named Later. Befitting its theme, the event has lined up the Baseball Project, an all-star group featuring Steve Wynn of the Dream Syndicate, Mike Mills and his R.E.M. associate Scott McCaughey and Fenway Park organist Josh Kantor that crafts songs having to do with our national pastime. They’ll join Howie Day, Trigger Hippy (a band with Joan Osborne and the Black Crowes’ Steve Gorman and Jackie Greene, also playing the Brighton Music Hall on Sunday), Kingsley Flood, Kay Hanley and the Gravel Pit. Cap that with Peter Gammons & the Hot Stove All-Stars, featuring Epstein, Bill Janovitz, Tanya Donelly and Little Feat’s Paul Barrere, along MC Mike O’Malley.
Singer/songwriter Amanda Shires rounds out the weekend at Great Scott, where she’ll draw from her sweetly gripping new album Down Feel the Dove, armed with her fiddle and ukelele. And don’t be surprised her husband Jason Isbell tags along to add backup before he heads off on his own dates in support of his 2013 standout album Southeastern. Here’s a recent date where they combined forces.