LUCERO @ BLUEBIRD THEATER After a decade together, Lucero's starting mixing things up a bit with the addition of a horn section on 2009's 1372 Overton Park. That album -- the Memphis band's only with Universal -- sparked the tired debate amongst followers about what happens when a group signs a major-label deal and perhaps grows a bit tired of the same stylistic structure that has dominated its past albums. On the band's new album, Women & Work, Lucero takes more of a country-soul route a la Gram Parsons and Sticky Fingers-era Rolling Stones. Ben Nichols and company kick off a two-night stand at the Bluebird tonight, in addition to an in-store at Twist & Shout and a special acoustic performance at Illegal Pete's.
THE GREYBOY ALLSTARS @ OGDEN THEATRE When the Greyboy Allstars released their debut, West Coast Boogaloo in 1995, they were lucky enough to have legendary trombonist Fred Wesley, who had a long stint with James Brown, on the album. The album helped the San Diego soul jazz act pave the way for a gradual climb to bigger venues until frontman Karl Denson and keyboardist Robert Walter took breaks to pursue solo projects. Nearly a decade later, the band reformed and released What Happened to TV? . Almost twenty years after originally forming the Greyboy Allstars return to their roots somewhat by performing West Coast Boogaloo in its entirety with Wesley on board as well.
FLIPPER @ LION'S LAIR Flipper got its start in 1979 in the creatively fertile arts and music scene in San Francisco. Formed after the break-up of Negative Trend and including two former members of that band, Will Shatter and Stephen DePace, Flipper didn't set out to be the godfathers of grunge or to write music that was pretty much the antithesis of the hardcore movement that crystallized after the turn of the decade. Rather, Flipper charted its own trajectory with dark, sometimes brooding, electrifying songs sometimes reflecting an exuberant desperation and a worldview cynical in so much as cynicism meant a skepticism of the rhetoric perpetrated by the Ronald Reagan administration and his notion of "morning in America." Continue reading our Backbeat Q&A with Stephen DePace of Flipper.
RAEWKWON @ FOX THEATRE Raekwon, a Brooklyn native and one-ninth of the infamous Wu-Tang Clan, is a gritty-voiced lyricist who sheds light with his distinctive descriptions of ghetto life. Quickly carving out his lane among the rest of the clan as the resident wordsmith and slang ambassador, Raekwon solidified his underground constituency with his solo release of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. Fashioning himself as "Lex Diamonds" and "The Chef," he built a cult following with tales of criminal activity and the illegal trade, crafted with a lyrical fervor unmatched by any other rapper. In concert, a Wu medley is inevitable, but it's the Chef's own stature that will bring down the house.
BLACKALICIOUS & PHIFE DAWG @ CERVANTES' As his handle suggests, Blackalicious' Gift of Gab is among the fraternal order of MCs included in most conversations that address the infamous "lyrical lyricist" canon. With highly mathematical rhyme schemes and syllable-packed lines, Gab has been able to effectively graft his technical, yet uplifting style to any beat put before him. The group's other half, producer Chief Xcel, has provided a quality assortment of approachable sample-flips and Cali-soul instrumentals over the years that has been as integral to their sound as Gab's crisp delivery. Look forward to classics like "Alphabet Aerobics" (which is roughly the lyrical equivalent of a gym rat cranking out one-armed push-ups on stage for the fuck of it) and singing along to "Deception" ("Dee-da-da-da-dee-da").
SAY ANYTHING @ SUMMIT MUSIC HALL On March 13, Say Anything, the indie rock band that came of age in the 2000s, released its sixth album, Anarchy, My Dear. The band soon launched its tour, which will hit the Mile High City this Friday, March 30, at the Summit Music Hall. In advance of the show, we spoke with frontman Max Bemis about evolving beyond the band's genre. He name-checked his influences and talked about the album he's recording with his wife, Sherri Dupree-Bemis.