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The guide to the week's concerts


This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: Rosie Ledet & The Zydeco Playboys, Seth Walker, The Spinners, Martha Reeves, Pollution, White Lung, Dexter Romweber, Countdown Quartet, Tom Russell

VS.: Ingrid Michaelson vs. Amy Cook

VS.: Dirty Dozen Brass Band vs. Dashawn Hickman

VS.: Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Surfer Blood vs. Disappears, Woven Bones


Rosie Ledet & The Zydeco Playboys
  • Rosie Ledet & The Zydeco Playboys


The Blue Bayou is still taking things one month at a time. And because of the kindness (read: financial contributions) of patrons and friends, the shows will go on for June. And that means not only weekends with the kind of local blues and roots bands that give the club its unique flavor, but also two visitors from Louisiana. Kenny Neal will have already hit town by the time you read this, but you can still catch Rosie Ledet, a crowd-wowing firecracker of a performer, and the latest incarnation of her Zydeco Playboys. Expect the Dance Gumbo crew to be out in force and on the floor. $14–$18/ 9:30 p.m. —Rick Cornell


North Carolina-raised Seth Walker started out heavily invested in the blues, and his first two records ('98's When it Rains it Pours and 2000's Meet Me in the Middle) carried, in his words, a "jump blues old-school vibe." But Walker is a big fan of Ray Charles and Willie Nelson. And just as Charles could hold court with a country and western song, and Nelson delights in moving in whatever circles he fancies, Walker likes to mix it up these days. His latest, Leap of Faith, continues to showcase his inventive guitar playing and soulful pipes, but the musical ground covered ranges from gospel to Brill Building pop. $15/ 9:30 p.m. —Rick Cornell


Examine the sing-along gene in anyone over 40, and you'll detect trace amounts of "(Love Is Like a) Heat Wave," "Nowhere to Run" and "Dancing in the Streets" by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. And while the near-novelty number "The Rubberband Man" might be the first song that comes to mind when you think of The Spinners, those post-Motown Atlantic years also featured "I'll Be Around," "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love" and "One of a Kind (Love Affair)." More trace amounts, more singing along—especially when you add The Contours' "Do You Love Me" to the mix. $35–$99/ 8 p.m. —Rick Cornell


New York hardcore has always seemed heavier, like the city's density manifests itself in slowed-down stomps and riffs as thick as shoulder meat. That tendency ought to account for the weighty, Neurosis-like fog that permeates Pollution's squealing brand of pissed. Their coed Canadian tour mates, White Lung, sound more excitable, smacking bored pop melodies over slashing guitars like Bikini Kill and Drunkdriver butting heads for fun. Double Negative brings the filth and fury, shearing sheets of noise like wool from Minor Threat's black sheep. Shards play hardcore like it's 1977; Thieves play it like it's the last thing they'll ever do. $7–$9/ 9 p.m. —Bryan Reed


The New Romans are the star-studded, big-band revue of longtime duo-half Dexter Romweber. The early garage and rockabilly inspirations of his Flat Duo Jets time seep into a framework built around old jazz and primal blues, recasting Romweber's weathered gruffness into the slinky, closing time moods of smoky pool halls and seedy night clubs. Recently rejuvenated Raleigh horn combo Countdown Quartet swings hard in the leadoff slot, reviving a spirited batch of originals that fit right in with its retro blend of jazz, funk, R&B and New Orleans brass band tunes. $7–$8/ 10 p.m. —Spencer Griffith


A journeyman singer/ songwriter once described Dave Alvin as the "perfect combination of Walt Whitman and Elvis Presley" before launching into the song "Blue Wing." Thing is, while Alvin did record "Blue Wing," it was written by fellow Californian and frequent collaborator Tom Russell. The description also fits Russell, especially the Whitman part. "Roots-rock poet laureate" would, too, given his knack for imagery and a poignancy that's central to his best work. He's also a master chronicler, with songs about Mickey Mantle, Edward Abbey and Jack Johnson—not to mention various kinfolk—highlighting his catalogue. Walt even makes a guest appearance. $20/ 8 p.m. —Rick Cornell

Friday, June 11


From: Staten Island
Since: 2002
Claim to fame: decent songs, good song placement

Yes, I get it. I don't like it, but I get it. You no longer discover your new favorite song by listening to the radio or hearing it in a record store (what's that?). It enters your life by way of a television show or commercial. If you're a fan of folk-leaning popstress Ingrid Michaelson, there's an excellent chance that you first heard her music on Scrubs, One Tree Hill or Bones. Actually, most likely it was Grey's Anatomy—the transistor radio of television programs—which is where Michaelson's best-known song, "The Way I Am," grabbed many ripe ears. With Matt Morris. At LINCOLN THEATRE. $14–$17/ 9 p.m.



From: Austin, by way of San Jose
Since: 1998
Claim to fame: better songs, not-quite-as-good song placement

Yes, I get it. I don't like it, but I get it. You no longer discover your new favorite song by listening to the radio or hearing it in a record store (what's that?). It enters your life by way of a television show or commercial. If you're a fan of Americana-leaning rockstress Amy Cook, there's a decent chance that you first heard her music on Dawson's Creek, Veronica Mars or The L Word. No word on whether that's where alt-country hero Alejandro Escovedo first heard Cook, but he did produce her fine new Let the Light In. At LOCAL 506. $8–$10/ 8:30 p.m. —Rick Cornell


Dirty Dozen Brass band
  • Dirty Dozen Brass band


From: New Orleans, La.
Since: 1977
Claim to fame: Funkifying traditional African-American funeral processions

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band stretches the idea of what it means to be a brass band—and what it means to be a dozen. There's as much James Brown soul or George Clinton funk as anything in this septet, which has played with David Bowie, Chuck D and Elvis Costello. In addition to the traditional trumpets, saxes and sousaphone, the lineup now includes electric guitar and a drum kit. The band is now busy getting back to its own roots: While it released an album this year, the Dirty Dozen is touring in support of the 25th anniversary of its first release, My Feet Can't Fail Me Now, playing the album in its entirety. At CAT'S CRADLE. $15–$18/ 9 p.m.


Dashawn Hickman
  • Dashawn Hickman


From: Mount Airy, N.C.
Since: 1981
Claim to fame: Funkifying traditional African-American church music

Inside his House of God church, DaShawn Hickman plays praise music. Hickman falls into the sacred steel tradition, using the bent notes of his pedal steel guitar to lament, repent and exalt. Outside of church, though, all-encompassing reverie quickly transforms into hypnotic groove. Gospel and soul are noticeable influences—or descendants—especially on slower numbers that ache with emotion. The 29-year-old joined his cousins as a member of The Allen Boys but is now working on his own quartet, Steel Moven. Drums and electric guitar chug ahead, creating a train of blues and country-fried Southern rock. Hickman's pedal steel cries out like the triumphant train whistle, holding all of these influences together. At PAPA MOJO'S. $8/ 9:30 p.m.—Andrew Ritchey


Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
  • Pains Of Being Pure At Heart


From: New York City, West Palm Beach
Since: 2007, 2009
Claim to fame: Hook-laden lambs roaring like lions

"Don't check me out," offers The Pains of Being Pure at Heart's Kip Berman on the band's breakthrough single, "Young Adult Friction." Given the sort of charming frenzy the band supplies behind him, though, it's hard to take his advice. The Pains proudly wear their twee pedigree on their sleeve, but like the groups whose lead they follow—The Field Mice and Heavenly, among others—their softer side belies the powerful punch their tunes pack. Florida's Surfer Blood carries a slightly bigger stick—their breakthrough single, "Swim," sounds like the good Weezer trying to rewrite "More Than a Feeling"—but their penchant for modest melodic grandeur makes them a perfect complement. With Hooray for Earth. At CAT'S CRADLE. $12–$14/ 8 p.m.


  • Disappears


From: Chicago, Austin
Since: 2008
Claim to fame: Waiting for the man, doing the standing still

Like their opponents, Disappears and Woven Bones are fitting tourmates. Taking their cues from canonical countercultural rock groups fond of protective eyewear—most notably the Velvet Underground, the Jesus & Mary Chain and Suicide—both Disappears' Lux and Woven Bones' In and Out and Back Again (the full-length debuts for both groups) feature dark, cavernous tunes drenched in bracing reverb and percussive clatter. If your tastes lean toward this sort of alluring clang and bang, then the choice is obvious. But with summer just over the horizon, a night full of manic pop thrills like those offered by Pains and Surfer Blood seems like the more appropriate plan. With Wild Wild Geese. At LOCAL 506. $8/ 9 p.m. —David Raposa

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