Yes, “Roadrunner” deserves to win the (slow) race to become our state rock song. Yet its author, Jonathan Richman, has shied from that fray. In fact, the chances are pretty much nil that you’ll hear that Modern Lovers classic if you squeeze into the Middle East Upstairs for Friday’s last (early) show of Richman’s three-night stand. The singer/guitarist remains far from that fare in his long-pursued folky troubadour phase with drumming foil Tommy Larkins. However, the odds are good that you’ll hear “Let Her Go Into the Darkness” or “I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar.” Here’s a recent snapshot of Richman’s casual club act. Also on Friday, Southern alt-country rockers the Drive-By Truckers fire up House of Blues on a smart pairing with Oregon’s Blitzen Trapper.
Keb’ Mo’ is about to release a new album called Blues Americana, and that pretty much fits his smooth, folky take on the legacy of the blues that he’ll be offering at the Wilbur Theatre on Saturday. On a grander scale, the orchestral rock outfit Typhoon rouses the Sinclair on both Saturday and Sunday in the wake of this rousing Brighton Music Hall show. And you can jump to my recent interview with Typhoon’s Kyle Morton here. Bonus: Typhoon’s supported both nights by Brooklyn-based Maine native Aly Spaltro’s primal folk-rock as Lady Lamb the Beekeeper.
Also on Saturday, local hip-hop veteran D-Tension airs out the ’80s rock fantasies of his new album Secret Project with a Middle East Downstairs cast that includes cameo singers Aaron Perrino (the Sheila Divine), Ad Frank, Jason Dunn (the Luxury) and Liz Enthusiasm (Freezepop). Finally, on Sunday, MS MR invades the Paradise Rock Club with its dark-edged, dramatic and danceable indie-pop – and who knows what color singer Lizzy Plapinger’s hair will be tinted.
Speaking of theatrical, for my Thursday Throwback, in honor of Kate Bush’s announcement of her first concerts in 35 years this August/September in London, here’s the stage-shy, ethereal singer live on Swedish TV in 1979.