Upcoming concerts and tours of note

I’d meant to see a concert or two over the long weekend, but was unfortunately sidelined by the flu – so instead you’re getting a look at some upcoming concerts and tours that I think are worth checking out.

Bettye Lavette – one of my favorite voices on the planet and a consummate performer, Bettye has a few dates scheduled in Australia (Byron Bay, Sydney, Melbourne), Cape Verde, and the U.S. (Pittsburgh, NYC, DC, Chicago). If you haven’t heard her before, click here to listen to one of the performances that made her famous.

Marc Ribot – probably my favorite musician on the planet in terms of live performance. He has lots of great shows coming up: a concert with David Hidalgo in Burlington, VT on Jan 26th; a Ceramic Dog concert in Brooklyn on the 29th; and in February and March he’ll be all over Europe with both solo sets and a Ceramic Dog tour. Here’s a clip of him playing one of his own compositions with Chad Taylor and Henry Grimes:

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band is touring all over the U.S. from February until May – including a visit to Brooklyn Bowl where I had such a good time seeing them last summer. If you get a chance to see them at a standing and dancing kind of venue, don’t miss it! I’m honestly not sure about other kinds of venues – I saw them at Boston Symphony Hall and it was kind of underwhelming, but I think it was in large part due to some sound problems they were having that night.

The Underscore Orkestra – who I’m recommending simply because I saw them one time and it was so much fun – are currently doing an Australia/New Zealand tour, and will be doing a U.S. tour in March. Listen to some of their music here. I remember their live performance as being much more exciting than the studio tracks would indicate, though.

Sean Rowe, a deep-voiced singer-songwriter who impressed me when I saw him perform an opening set a few months ago, is currently touring the UK; he’ll be doing a sixteen-date U.S. tour from west coast to east coast in March. Here’s a video from his latest album:

John Zorn, my favorite composer (a word that doesn’t do him justice), is putting together a very special series of concerts in 2013 in a number of countries in Europe and the Americas. If you’re into unusual music and like hearing new stuff, you can’t do much better than checking out one of his marathon concerts, if there’s one near you. He doesn’t really have a regular website, but this Facebook page is updated regularly with concert listings.

Local Boston/NYC:
Brian Carpenter mentioned on Facebook that he’s got a Confessions gig scheduled on February 7th at Precinct in Somerville. The Confessions have become one of my very favorite local bands, they have written some excellent songs and are a talented group of musicians – definitely a major cut above what you’d expect from a local band still working on their first album.

Klezwoods, mentioned in my last concert review, is playing on Sunday, January 27th at Atwoods in Cambridge, and they also have shows scheduled at Lilypad and the Belmont Library at the end of March. I recommend checking out their Lilypad show as it also features the highly entertaining Underscore Orkestra (mentioned above). If you missed it in the last post, click here for a sample of their music.

Local favorite Cirkestra, also mentioned in my last review, is doing a few shows on the road as well; they’re in Brooklyn, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania this week, and will be playing City Winery in Manhattan on May 19th. (Once again, if you missed the last post, click here to hear some of their music.)

Zion80, a large, funky, and fabulous band whose genre I’ve stopped attempting to classify, is playing a show at the Jewish Music Cafe in Brooklyn on January 30th as well as a series of concerts at the Stone in April. Have a listen to a live cut from last summer:

And speaking of The Stone, in April 2013 they will be completely changing the way they book shows. Instead of having one or a team of curators book a variety of shows each month, they are giving each musician or group a week to play their own material. There are some extremely talented and interesting artists on the roster, it’s worth checking out their calendar to see what’s going on. I am personally looking forward to seeing if Cyro Baptista’s Beat the Donkey can perform there in May without breaking either the law or the floor… :-)

Got any recommendations for concerts I should check out, or upcoming tours the world should know about? Let me know in the comments!

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