Weekend's best live bets: Signal Path, ManCub, Rockie, Best Coast, Jolie Holland and more

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Ah, yes, welcome to the weekend! Been a long week, and now you're about to get to enjoy a long weekend. As always, a plethora of enticing options this weekend and it's another good mix: Tonight, a trio of local release parties featuring Signal Path, ManCub and Rockie kick things into gear, along with a fresh batch of compelling imports, including Lee "Scratch" Perry, Best Coast, Horse Feathers, Jolie Holland and Robby Krieger's Roadhouse Rebels. Page down for the full rundown on the weekend's best live music bets.



See Also: (Profile) All signs point to go for Signal Path

When Signal Path first started out, over a decade ago, the goal was to bring elements of the jam scene into the realm of electronic music. While the notion of fusing those two sounds may not seem all that novel now, at the time the hybrid was quite a groundbreaking concept. The two styles ultimately proved to be a natural match for the the men of Signal Path, a lot like their own creative partnership, which found Ryan Burnett, who had developed a proclivity for electronic music, merging his sensibilties with Damon Metzner, who was immersed in funk, having grown up in New Orleans (continue reading full profile).


See Also: (Profile) Meet Alex Anderson, the man behind Mancub.

Mancub's last record, 8 Bit Crush, was released in January 2011. The record is filled with catchy melodies, layers of noise and up-tempo analog drum patterns that pulse near the sonic confluence of stylish acts like LCD Soundsystem, the Rapture, Hot Chip and Ratatat. Bright synths crash into walls of distortion, juxtaposing the structure of dance sequences with the chaos of noise and punk influences. The act takes a more conscious approach on its new record, Business Dogs, whose release is being celebrated tonight. Whereas sheets of noise previously blanketed entire sections of songs, now they are used more sparingly and to better effect, building a chaotic emphasis for the climactic moments. The other sounds are more studied this time around, too. Synthesizers are cleaner, and the totality of textures is more cohesive.


See Also: Rockie wants to tell you all about his Gold Dreams

Last winter, Rockie released Censored, a project that gave the MC the chance to say everything that he didn't get to say out of the gate: He talked about the bitches, the money and being a single father in a city where damn near everyone is a rapper. Amid the club hits -- "Don't Stop" is still banging down the doors of the club -- was the Flight Facilities-sampled "Gold Dreams," in which Rockie let loose and turned each line into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Based on the popularity of that song, Rockie brought Midnite and Team Green Productions back into the studio for the second installment of the Censored series, Gold Dreams 2.0. The release features Rockie's best material to date, and the project, which drops tonight on the rapper's 23rd birthday, marks not only a time of growing up, but a celebration of his being at his most creative and dynamic.


Whether Lee "Scratch" Perry got his nickname through some association with the Devil or because he's well known for being more than a little crazy and likely to lash out like a feral cat is up for debate. Regardless, that ornery disposition may be the reason he's outlived almost all of his fellow reggae legends. Along with King Tubby, Perry is one of the original purveyors of the slow, echo-haunted, bass-driven form of reggae known as dub -- a style that influenced acts like the Clash and PiL, who heisted the style and created their own unique blend of prog, reggae and nihilism. Every bit as influential as his Jamaican contemporaries Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff, Perry continues to release new, fascinating material and tour at the venerable age of seventy.

Check out our newly revamped concert calendar for a complete listing of all of tonight's shows. Page down for rundown of tomorrow night's best bets.


BEST COAST @ FOX THEATREAs a founding member of Pocahaunted, Bethany Cosentino had a direct hand in that act's ability to bring together spooky drones and what can best be called "outsider funk." In 2009, she parted ways with the band and began to write the kind of sunny pop songs heard on Best Coast's debut, Crazy for You. With the spate of acts rediscovering the Beach Boys and Phil Spector these days, Best Coast might be dismissed as following a trend. But Cosentino and her bandmates can really play, and while most of the act's songs are about romance and longing, they are refreshingly free of the fashionable kitsch and irony rampant in a lot of modern music.

HORSE FEATHERS @ BLUEBIRD THEATERIn 1932, the Marx Brothers released one of their classics, a movie called Horse Feathers. The music of the Portland, Oregon group of the same name may not possess the inspired zaniness and slapstick of the Marx Brothers, but the band's earnest pastoral sound could have been created long ago on non-electrical instruments. But it also wouldn't be accurate to call what this outfit does "chamber pop," because despite incorporating classical instruments in its palette of sounds, the songwriting skews closer to the folk tradition than to pop. 2010's Thistled Sping, released on Kill Rock Stars, is filled with the kind of contemplative songs that give the impression that the bandmembers have spent a lot of time in the Midwest. On this year's Cynic's New Year, the group finds itself expanding its sound with large instrumentations and lush arrangements based around songs written by singer-songwriter Justin Ringle. Introspective, dreamily deliberate, Horse Feathers is clearly haunted by the ghost of Nick Drake.

JOLIE HOLLAND @ THE WALNUT ROOMWhen many people think of folk music, they envision acoustic-guitar-wielding mopes who pick at their fractured relationships like apes searching for ticks. In truth, the style is as big as the planet, and if Jolie Holland hasn't explored every square inch of this creative territory to date, give her time. She's personally covered a lot of territory during her career -- although born a Texan, she's been part of music scenes in San Francisco and Vancouver -- and her compositions are equally wide-ranging. Catalpa, her 2003 debut, and Escondida, which followed the next year, were impressive, but they were surpassed by 2006's Springtime Can Kill You, which was musically dense (jazz and country are just two of the approaches represented) and lyrically timeless. Indeed, Holland tunes such as "Crush in the Ghetto," about a romance that makes the narrator feel "like a queen on this sunny city bus," are effortlessly poetic, yet so concrete that some listeners may feel like eavesdroppers. If there were more folk artists like Holland, the genre would have a much more interesting reputation.

Check out our newly revamped concert calendar for a complete listing of all of tonight's shows. Page down for rundown of tomorrow night's best bets.



See Also: The Doors' Robby Krieger on playing with the Roadhouse Rebels and his new album

While The Doors guitarist Robby Krieger has performed as the Roadhouse Rebels with Particle keyboardist Steve Molitz and Oingo Boingo/Mutaytor bassist John Avila, they're also bringing on board Black Crowes' Rich Robinson and his drummer Joe Magistro for a few dates, including tonight's show at the Oriental Theater. Molitz says the group will be doing fresh takes on Doors songs, cuts from Robinson's Through A Crooked Sun, as well as classic soul and rock tunes from the '60s and '70s.

This week's Good Friday round-up compiled by Stacy Ward

Check out our newly revamped concert calendar for a complete listing of all of tonight's shows.

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