Weekend Ideas: January 15, 2015


A real grab bag of styles and settings grace this week’s concert options. LA collective the Dustbowl Revival blows into the Brighton Music Hall on Friday with horns, fiddle and accordion in tow, nodding to the early 20th century with its playful blend of folk, jazz and roots originals and covers. From earth to space, an opposite experience might be the late French composer Gerald Grisley’s “Le Noir de L’Etoile,” a contemporary classical piece for six percussionists and electronics that echoes the rhythmic effect of a pulsar. It’ll be presented by local outfit Sound Icon in a free concert at Somerville’s Arts at the Armory, with the musicians surrounding the audience. More spectacular is “The Long Count/The Long Game,” an abstract multi-media piece at the ICA featuring vocalist Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), guitarists Aaron and Bryce Dessner of the National, and Kelley Deal from the Breeders, inspired by the Mayan book of creation. Also on Friday, bluesman Joe Louis Walker fires up his guitar at the Regattabar, David Lowery does annual double duty with his slyly rocking Cracker (pictured) and Camper Van Beethoven at the Middle East Downstairs, and veteran ska favorites Bim Skala Bim call the gang back to town for a rousing late show at Johnny D’s Uptown.

Saturday brings the wry old-school country crooner and guit-steel ace Junior Brown to Johnny D’s. However, acoustic-string fans might start their day early with “Extraordinary Afternoon of  Guitars,”rdquo; a 1 p.m. show at Club Passim with fingerstyle virtuoso Shun Ng (who just tackled a one-man version of “Bohemian Rhapsody”), harp guitarist Dan LaVoie and Trevor Gordon Hall, who plays a guitar fitted with a kalimba. Saturday’s big event is skyrocketing pop singer Sam Smith, holding court with fans who want to stay with him at Agganis Arena — a huge jump from his Sinclair gig last year. Just down the street the same night, the Vaselines, the resurrected Scottish pop group once revered by Kurt Cobain, play the Brighton Music Hall. And the cozy Plough & Stars between Harvard and Central squares presents the reunited Dirt Merchants – back for an encore after rocking one of the better sets in last fall’s wonderful Pipeline! anniversary series – with the Thalia Zedek Band.

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