Weekend Ideas: August 21, 2014


August may be winding down, but this weekend’s just winding up — at least on Friday. The two biggest shows couldn’t be more different. Swedish electro-pop princess Robyn teams with Norwegian electronic duo Royksopp at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion for separate sets as well as a collaborative finale based on their joint EP Do it Again. Expect sweeping, pulsing soundscapes with alluring vocals and some questionable play clothes. Then, over at the Sinclair, the Strypes invigorate garage R&B/rock that’s far beyond their years. The Irish teenagers tore up Great Scott in March, even adding a Ramones cover. They’ll probably be only better this round, and the time after that, and the time after that. Hell, they’re impressive now.

Also on Friday, ex-Bostonian rockers Hooray for Earth get loud, dark and synthy for the Wavelength series at the Institute of Contemporary Arts on the waterfront. And local rock icon Peter Wolf brings his Midnight Travelers to Lowell’s Boarding House Park (not sure if Wolf will serve this bluegrass twist on one of his J. Geils Band nuggets) while New Wave survivors Martha Davis and the Motels (with old sax man Marty Jourard also aboard) assume total control at Johnny D’s Uptown in Somerville.

On Saturday, local folk-blues journeyman Chris Smither plays Prescott Park in Portsmouth, N.H., celebrating his fine career retrospective Still on the Levee. And Sunday presents another mixed bag of returning veterans of different stripes. It’ll be the last return for Motley Crue, which rocks Mansfield’s Xfinity Center with all their metal hits, plus a drum solo on an overhead rollercoaster and a fire-shooting guitar and, hell, you get the idea. At the opposite end of the spectrum, New Age-y keyboard guru Yanni gets orchestral at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion. Also, ’80s synth-rock fans can check out the Retro Futura show at the Wilbur Theatre, featuring Howard Jones, the Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey and ex-Ultravox singer Midge Ure, who also helped spearhead Band Aid (“Do They Know It’s Christmas?).

Finally, for my Thursday Throwback, with the original X back to resurrect its vital roots/punk at the Sinclair next Tuesday (and frontwoman Exene Cervenka likely toning down her political conspiracy views), here’s X in its commercial heyday.

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