Weekend Ideas: October 3, 2014


Another whirlwind weekend for live music, from the outdoors to the clubs, and local bands play the busiest dance cards. But Friday starts with two very different, emotive singers in stripped-down mode. Brandi Carlile usually rocks with a rootsy vibe, but she’s taking unplugged to the extreme on her Pin Drop Tour, performing without amps or microphones at Sanders Theatre with bandmates Tim and Phil Hanseroth plus cellist Josh Neumann.  Closer to this kind of gig (minus the mics). And over at House of Blues, Swedish singer Lykke Li grows from her electro-pop roots to get stark and minimalist with echoey power ballads on her third album, I Never Learn. Here’s one of those tracks live and here’s a jump to my recent interview.

It’s a trifecta weekend for Pipeline! at 25 presents: 50 Years of Boston Rock, as the series of historic local band reunions shifts to other rooms. The Middle East Downstairs is the place to be Friday for the roots-oriented Blood Oranges (led by mandolinist Jimmy Ryan) and Lazy Susan as well as the pop-aligned Fuzzy and veteran Robin Lane & the Chartbusters. Then Pipeline! goes heavy at the Middle East Downstairs with a Saturday hard-rock reunion night (excepting the oddly placed avant-chamber group Birdsongs of the Mesozoic) that includes sets by Quintane Americana, Kudgel, Crazy Alice and Orangutang. And the celebration moves to the Paradise Rock Club on Sunday with a broad bill that includes local pioneers Willie Alexander & the Boom Boom Band and the Atlantics’ Fred Pineau as well as rockers Tree, Shake the Faith and the night-closing ’80s favorites Heretix. Here’s the full rundown with set times (click on “see more” toward the top).

But the weekend’s biggest event is Sound of Our Town, a free music festival laced with local luminaries at the Lawn on D, the new outdoor experimental arts park next to South Boston’s convention center. Running from 3 to 10 p.m., Sound of Our Town includes rapper Dutch ReBelle (the recent Improper cover girl who wowed at the Middle East last week behind her new album ReBelle Diaries), dreamy psych-rockers Quilt, noisy indie-rockers Speedy Ortiz, R&B-schooled belter Eli “Paperboy” Reed and headliner the Both, featuring Ted Leo and onetime Bostonian star Aimee Mann. The celebration’s presented by the Boston Music Awards, which will announce this year’s nominations and kick off voting on site that night. Scroll down this page for all the acts and set times.

Yet that’s not all on Saturday! Indoor shows include Charli XCX (the English pop upstart who co-wrote Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” as well as this hit of her own) at Royale and charismatic rockers the Airborne Toxic Event at House of Blues. Tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain performs Indian classical music with veena player Jayanthi Kumaresh and violinist Kumaresh Rajagopalan at the Tsai Performance Center at Boston University, while roots music fans can get cozy with the Howlin’ Brothers at Atwoods Tavern in Cambridge. And Sunday, the venerable Neil Young opens a two-night solo stand at the Citi Wang Theatre. He was age 24 when he wrote this classic about an old caretaker.

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