Thomas Dolby cultivated a mad scientist schtick that still persists decades after his quirky 1983 hit "She Blinded Me With Science." Back then, he was something of an electronics/synth pop/multimedia pioneer whose influence eventually surpassed his own hits. Dolby had another reasonably large hit with "Hyperactive" in 1984, followed by an increasingly lower profile while scoring films as well as working as a producer and session musician with artists ranging from Joni Mitchell to Prefab Sprout to George Clinton. Resurfacing after a two-decade-or-so hiatus, he's mixing the sci-fi stuff with a vintage Indiana Jones look while dragging along on tour a 1930s-ish trailer dubbed the Time Capsule in which fans can record "a personal video message to the future." While words of wisdom are preserved for subsequent generations, Dolby presumably will deliver songs from last fall's Map of the Floating City, whose eleven tracks are divided into three divergent sections: the dark, electronica-dominated "Urbanoia," roots-oriented "Amerikana," and breezy, ethereal "Oceanea." With swinging London horns flitting about, retro synths, and well-crafted, mostly traditional songcraft, it's primarily a case of back to the future.
Tue., Oct. 23, 8 p.m., 2012