Weekend Ideas


Women rule this weekend’s concert options, from traditional-steeped veterans Mavis Staples and Mary Black to pop-dressy upstarts like Kimbra and Rubblebucket. But Friday also starts intriguingly at Great Scott with the electro-organic rock of Zammuto, seen in this recent live clip, while you can jump to my interview here. And Memphis country-punk journeymen Lucero opens a three-night stand (that includes an acoustic set in each show) at the Sinclair. On the local front, the Lizard Lounge also has a great weekend with CD release parties for the Motown-tinged, increasingly rocking Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents on Friday and energized soul-rockers Old Jack (with Feints powerhouse Amy Douglas opening solo) on Saturday.

Saturday kicks in with the return of folk-rockers the Nields – led by sisters Narissa and Katryna — to Club Passim for afternoon and evening shows that should tease an upcoming album crowdfunded through PledgeMusic. Soul icon Mavis Staples, coming off her triumphant 75th birthday celebration at the Newport Folk Festival, brings her band to John Hancock Hall the same night. And after 25-plus years of performing, Irish singer Mary Black has embarked on a farewell tour that stops once more at the Berklee Performance Center with her daughter Roisin O.

Sunday explodes with tantalizing female-fronted bands. Topping the pack is New Zealand sparkplug Kimbra, aspiring to Prince-like pop with her flamboyant voice and fashion sense at the Brighton Music Hall. While she’s the center of attention, Kimbra also plays off a snappy band that includes some of the same musicians that first backed her on tour with Gotye as his famous duet partner. Just over at the Paradise Rock Club, another smart, danceable option for those who prefer horns in their funk. Both musically and visually, the Vermont-bred band Rubblebucket weaves fun, arty grooves behind enticing vocalist/saxophonist Kalmia Traver. And there’s yet another heady Sunday dance-rock party happening at Royale with the Montreal group Stars, featuring the vocal tradeoffs of Amy Millan and Torquil Campbell and bubbling with earthy textures and a disco sheen.

Finally, for my Thursday Flashback, with Stevie Wonder heading to the TD Garden next Tuesday to play his ambitious 1976 double album Songs in the Key of Life in its entirety, here’s a prime 1974 German TV concert. Granted, Wonder isn’t rocking it quite the same way these days, but he and his band remain a crack machine with heart and hits.

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