Let's get right into it, party persons:
Cold Showers, Rickshaw Stop, Wednesday
A while ago, this LA-based group cut a careening single called "I Don't Mind," a ennui-driven slice of alluring post punk that will have your legs moving under your desk in no time. The band's currently working on its debut full length, which means now's the time to check out this young band before its chops are found out by every music blog this side of the Prime Meridian. They open for La Sera, the Vivian Girls' bassist Kickball Katy's side project.
Bela Fleck, Regency, Thursday
The soothing banjo musings of Bela Fleck and transportive; listen to any of his masterpieces: “Rococo,” “Emperor’s Mare,” or “Carukesi” and you’ll be anywhere but where you are now. You may not be able to pin down exactly where his string instrument is trying to take you, but it’s clearly exotic and beautiful. His versatility and variety of range and mood may be the most impressive aspect of Fleck’s approach to song, able to touch on Eastern and Western motifs in one fell swoop. To see him live is to witness virtuosity at its free-est.
Vetiver, New Parish (Oakland), Thursday
San Francisco’s own Vetiver has been making the rounds since 2002, and their ascent into the wide world of mainstream fringe has been steady and assured. The Sub Pop seal of approval has certainly brought them into a new fold recently (their most recent two albums — Tight Knit (2009) and The Errant Charm (2011) were met with wider distribution), and the band has also made a bit of noise with some key placements in commercials. “Can’t You Tell,” from The Errant Charm, seems emblematic of the album’s title, charming in an almost incidental way. Call it organic chillwave.
Jimmy Buffett, HP Pavilion, Thursday
Forget the ubiquity of “Margaritaville.” Forget the poetry of “A Pirate Looks at Forty.” Forget the easy-going-ness of “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” At a Jimmy Buffett concert, the music is secondary. It’s about the experience. The Parrotheads. The theatricality. The stories of the last Jimmy Buffett concert fans attended. Put it on the bucket list, and cross it off this week.
Flogging Molly, Fox Theater, Saturday
Celtic punk is a thing, and it’s an angry drunk of a genre. Flogging Molly is one of the proud card-carrying members of said musical style, and they’ve been spreading their gospel since 1997. You might be surprised to learn they’re from Los Angeles, not Boston (how ya like them apples, dude?). Their recent albums have reached critical mass importance: 2011’s Speed of Darkness hit the 9th spot in the Billboard album charts, and 2008’s Float hit the No. 4 slot. So leave the fringe-y labels behind. Celtic punk is here to stay.
Saul Williams, Slim’s, Saturday
Art comes first for Mr. Williams. And that’s a good thing. He’s dabbled in poetry, acting, screenwriting, and more recently, the sonic arts. Williams’ words are his weapons, and he fires them at high volume (and volumes). Fans of TV on the Radio might find some similarities, but Williams comes from a somewhat more militantly sociopolitical school of thought.