Todd Rundgen (pictured) got robbed when he missed the cut for this year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction. He deserves that recognition for his soulful solo work as well as for launching bands from the Nazz to Utopia, producing artists from Patti Smith to Meatloaf, and being a video/tech pioneer. And he’ll share a broad glimpse of that history on his Individualist Tour—part of a hybrid concert and book-signing tour where he plays the Berklee Performance Center on Friday and Saturday nights while appearing at Barnes and Noble in the Pru between 2 and 4 on Saturday behind a new memoir. And his touring band includes an all-star assemblage of bassist Kasim Sultan (Utopia), keyboardist Greg Hawkes (the Cars) and drummer Prairie Prince (the Tubes).
Amanda Palmer doesn’t shy away from much, and she’ll be an open book in both music (she just released her first album in seven years, There Will Be No Intermission) and conversation at her first Orpheum Theatre concert as a solo artist apart from the Dresden Dolls on Friday. Here’s a jump to my recent interview with Palmer. Another worthwhile Friday destination would be House of Blues, to catch Foals, a British rock group that’s known for its dreamy, percussive and visceral impact, particularly when frontman Yannis Philippakis ventures into the crowd. Country outlaw Kris Kristofferson, now 82, spins his classics at Medford’s Chevalier Theatre, while guitarist Adrian Belew (King Crimson, Frank Zappa, Talking Heads) brings his band to Fall River’s Narrows Center for the Arts that same night.
Rundgen’s not the only one pulling Friday/Saturday double duty. Jazz saxophonist Chris Potter leads his robust, grooving Circuits Trio with drummer Eric Harland and keyboardist James Francies in a two-night stand at the Regattabar. And the Rock & Roll Rumble revs into its semi-finals at Once Ballroom on Friday and Saturday with four deserving local bands each night, listed here in the Rumble schedule.
Saturday also brings Buffalo Tom singer/guitarist Bill Janovitz back to the Burren Backroom Series for a special acoustic show of songs from his solo career, Buffalo Tom and choice covers – with a little help from his friends (Tanya Donelly’s said to be dropping by this round). English iconoclast Robyn Hitchcock delves into his own world as a solo artist at the Center for the Arts in Natick the same night. And neo-classical metal guitar pioneer Uli Jon Roth performs Saturday at the Tupelo Music Hall in Derry, N.H., delivering a full set of material from his old outfit Electric Sun and another from his original band the Scorpions in a multi-media show.
On Sunday, World Music CRASHarts brings tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain and his Masters of Percussion to Berklee. In addition to comrades from India, Hussain’s ensemble will include drummer Eric Harland, who’s apparently sticking around Boston for the whole weekend after his Regattabar shows with Chris Potter.