Weekend Ideas: December 4, 2015


As cozy Johnny D’s Uptown winds into its final months, the Davis Square landmark has become a favorite stop for Martha Davis and the Motels to share early ’80s hits like “Total Control,” “Only the Lonely” and “Suddenly Last Summer.” Last time through town, Davis and her crew helped mentor opener Ruby Rose Fox, and on Friday, they’re back with another great local pop opener, Eddie Japan, at Johnny D’s.  At the Berklee Performance Center the same night, World Music/CRASHarts presents pioneering jazz drummer Jack DeJohnette, centering a trio with saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and electric bassist Matt Garrison, whose fathers both played in the John Coltrane Quartet. Here’s a live clip of the band and here’s a jump to my recent interview with DeJohnette.

Also on Friday, Colorado-based “polyethnic Cajun slamgrass” jammers Leftover Salmon – who formed in 1989 – still kick it at the Paradise Rock Club, and the best of punk evolutionists old and new also surface on Friday. HR, who mixed hardcore punk and reggae as singer of the legendary Bad Brains, play Union Square’s new club Thunder Road. And New York’s combustible indie-rockers Parquet Courts fire up the Middle East Downstairs behind new EP Monastic Living, which downshifts into new terrain as noisy experimentalists, or — as Spin Magazine, which named them 2014’s Band of the Year, puts it in a new review — “avant Krautrockers.”

Sunday presents two eccentric pop personalities at different ends of the spectrum. Miley Cyrus gets risqué (she’s good at that) and psychedelic with Wayne Coyne and his Flaming Lips comrades in her Dead Petz band at House of Blues. And orchestral harp-playing siren Joanna Newsom (above) starts her first American tour in four years in another World Music/CRASHarts show at the Orpheum Theatre. Her acclaimed new album Divers may be more controlled than psychedelic, but it’s rich in literate layers and musical mysteries.

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