Twice monthly, my blog 30 Days Out spotlights upcoming music shows and events of note, shining a light into some less well-lit corners, where some fascinating artists schedule performances. I do my best to give ample advance notice so that you can adjust your budget and calendar in a way that lets you get to the show.
Laid-back jazz improvisation, rave/trance, real psychedelic rock (Japanese-style) and sleazy riff-rocking are the focus of this edition of 30 Days Out.
Artist: Kikagaku Moyo
Venue: The Mothlight
Date: Thursday, Nov. 3, 9 p.m.
Door: $10 advance / $12 day of show
Kikagaku Moyo (Japanese for “geometric patterns”) is the real deal: a modern psychedelic band. The group’s latest release, 2016’s House in the Tall Grass, is an exemplar of that spacey, widescreen sound that psych bands nearly always aim for (but rarely achieve). Influenced by the hypnotic vibe of krautrock, the group never loses sight of melody, and that sets it well above others in the genre. There’s plenty of shade and light in the arrangements, and listeners may detect hints of Pink Floyd and Hawkwind in the music of this Tokyo-based quintet. You probably won’t understand the lyrics, but the group’s vocals serve just as well as another element in its rich sonic palette. Mendocino opens.
Artist: Wayne Krantz
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Tuesday, Oct. 18, 8 p.m.
Door: $15 advance / $20 day of show
Oregon-born Wayne Krantz is a jazz guitarist, but you might not reach that conclusion from listening to his most recent release, Good Piranha / Bad Piranha. On that album, Krantz takes four well-known tunes and uses each as the foundation of an improvisational performance. He leads two different trios through that set, ending up with eight songs. One might not think that MC Hammer’s 1990 hit “U Can’t Touch This” would make a good jumping-off point for jazz improv, but Krantz makes it work. His current “Undercover Pop Tour” follows on from that concept with what he calls “respectful re-imaginings” of tunes from Sonic Youth, Talking Heads and more. Do be warned that these aren’t generally fiery versions; Krantz’s approach here is decidedly low-key. King Baby opens.
Artist: The Orb
Venue: New Mountain
Date: Sunday, Oct. 23, 9 p.m.
Door: $20 advance / $25 day of show
Legends of the ambient house subgenre, The Orb (currently founder Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann) are purveyors of an unabashedly dancefloor-focused sound. The group released 14 albums of sample- and beat-heavy music since its 1991 debut, and The Orb’s live show is visually arresting … to a degree. The light shows and whatnot are fascinating to a point, but if one looks at the stage itself, what they’ll find is a couple middle-aged white guys standing silently, near-immobile in the shadows, in front of some turntables and laptops. I suppose that misses the point, but concertgoers should know that, aside from The Orb’s massive sound, once you’ve taken in a few minutes of the light show, there really isn’t anything to look at.
Venue: One Stop
Date: Friday, Nov. 4, 10 p.m.
This Brooklyn-based group makes riff-heavy music that equally recalls ’70s rockers like Thin Lizzy and any number of thrashy-yet-melodic punk-leaning groups (Replacements, Fleshtones). Music like this isn’t aimed at (nor destined for ) the big time, but the YeahTones’ music does effectively capture the abandon and mayhem at the heart of true rock ‘n’ roll. Their latest single, “A Real Song” is nothing more than a catchy guitar riff played over and over, with some largely indecipherable vocals tossed in, but for hard rock fans, there’s nothing wrong with that. On another single, “Find My Baby,” the group takes a blues foundation and plays it in a style reminiscent of Alex Chilton’s shambolic Like Flies on Sherbert [sic]. American Gonzos opens.
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