Weekend Music Ideas: March 1, 2019

Lisa Fischer, Monkees, Jacob Collier, Earl Sweatshirt, Robin Lane and more.


On the heels of this week’s death of Peter Tork, the two surviving members of the Monkees – Mike Nesmith (who didn’t tour much with the group in recent times) and Mickey Dolenz – hit Medford’s Chevalier Theatre on Friday on the latest stop of The Monkees Present: the Mike & Micky Show. They’re likely to pay tribute to both Tork and Davy Jones, their late bandmates in that ’60s TV show that turned into a music career (did you know Jimi Hendrix once opened for them?) with such hits as “Last Train to Clarksville,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday” and “I’m a Believer.”

Boosted by YouTube rather than TV, London-born Jacob Collier earned viral public attention through videos where he played all the instruments and sang, leading to one-man tours where he shuffled between piano and other instruments. Now Collier fronts a band behind his new project Djesse and plays Royale on Friday.

Lisa Fischer was 20 feet from stardom, singing backup for the Rolling Stones (her take on “Gimme Shelter” remains earth-shaking), Sting and Nine Inch Nails. But the past five years have seen a thrilling evolution for Fischer with her band Grand Baton (pictured). She represents the epitome of the voice as a musical instrument and is bound to enchant with covers and originals when she and Grand Baton settle into Scullers Jazz Club both Friday and Saturday.

Saturday, nonetheless, proves the weekend’s busiest night, including such hot options as rapper Earl Sweatshirt at the Paradise Rock Club, the horn-pumped Australian rock outfit the Cat Empire at Royale, and Mike Doughty performing his former group Soul Coughing’s Ruby Vroom at Brighton Music Hall. It’s also time for the annual Boston Mardi Gras Ball at Somerville’s Once Ballroom. Shaun Wolf Wortis will lead a Vudu Krewe where guests Andrea Gillis, Nat Freedberg, Peter Moore and Leon Beal Jr. join a band that includes Chandler Travis, Ducky Carlisle, Paul Ahlstrand, Ken Schopf and Mark Hickox. Proceeds from their night of New Orleans R&B go to RESPOND, Inc., working to end domestic violence.

Another local institution since the early ‘80s graces the Burren Backroom Series when Robin Lane and the Chartbusters (Scott Baerenwald, Asa Brebner, Tim Jackson and guest Billy Loosigian) reunite both Saturday and for a Sunday matinee in celebration of their new three-CD retrospective Many Years Ago.  Other Sunday highlights include the Alloy Orchestra playing live to a screening of its staple Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” at Somerville Theatre (another matinee), A Bowie Celebration (with rotating David Bowie alumni keyed by Mike Garson, Earl Slick and Carlos Alomar) at the Wilbur, and Marshall Crenshaw teaming with the Bottle Rockets at City Winery.

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