Weekend Music Ideas: January 19, 2018

Too Many Zooz, Ballroom Thieves, Dead Prez, Alejandro Escovedo and more


The busking brass band Too Many Zooz (pictured) stirred up the New York subway in recent years with its engaging jazz-funk-house mashups, even snagging the attention of Beyoncé, who employed the trio on her Lemonade hits “Daddy Lessons” and “Formation.” Look for trumpeter Matt Doe, saxophonist Leo P. and percussionist King of Sludge to hang loose when they take to the stage of the Sinclair both Friday and Saturday.

Yeah, billboards touting “A Night with Janis Joplin” at the Boch Shubert Theatre on Friday and Saturday don’t seem accurate—the singer was, after all, a charter member of the (dead at) 27 Club. But Newton’s own Kelly McIntyre will do her best to recreate what a night with Janis would be like in this touring production that’s designed like a concert with a full band and some narrative dialogue, featuring nods to Joplin icons like Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Nina Simone.

Resurgent local singer/songwriter Antje Duvekot also plays the Back Room at the Burren on Friday, while Atwood’s Tavern oozes local blues on Saturday, first with a late-afternoon CD release party by guitar ace Peter Parcek, then a night show with acclaimed belter Julie Rhodes. The charismatic trio Ballroom Thieves, which just won a Boston Music Award for Folk Artist of the Year, tries a different setting with a show at the Old South Meeting House on Saturday. And other options that night include the tight, topical raps of the self-styled “revolutionary but gangsta” hip-hop duo Dead Prez at the Brighton Music Hall and folky jam-band  Strangefolk at the Paradise Rock Club. Finally, Sunday offers worthy picks in the venerable Texas songsmith/rocker Alejandro Escovedo (with Mitch Easter and opener Chris Stamey in his band) at City Winery and the indie-pop outfit Tennis, fronted by singer/keyboardist Alaina Moore, at Royale.

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