WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
For Digital First Media
Welcome to ‘Seven in Seven,’ where each Friday we’ll be taking a look at shows coming to the region over the next week. Whether your musical tastes are rock and roll, jazz, heavy metal, singer-songwriter or indie, there’ll always be something to check out in the coming days.
Here are seven of the best for the week beginning April 3:
Coal Chamber with Filter – April 4 at the Torcadero Theatre: Coal Chamber and Filter hit the peak of their success in the mid-90s, the former with hits like “Loco” and “Big Truck,” the latter with the songs “Hey Man, Nice Shot” and “Take a Picture.” It’s clear that the nu-metal and angst-ridden industrial guitar sounds that both bands employed are a thing of the past, but that doesn’t necessarily mean this will be a nostalgia show. Both are reaching back to their roots with upcoming albums, with this tour a preview of material for Coal Chamber’s Rivals, out May 19 and Filter’s as yet untitled LP that recording began in early February.
Cody Simpson – April 5 at World Café Live: Cody Simpson is like the Australian Justin Bieber, albeit with better songs and less bad tattoos. Ok, other than the cheesy bubblegum pop songs that tweens love, they are pretty much nothing alike. Still, it seems that the 18-year-old Simpson is heading down the right path musically with a show at World Café as opposed to egging his neighbor’s house.
José González – April 6 at Union Transfer: José González has been far from idle in the seven years since the release of his last solo record, “In Our Nature.” Besides making two Junip albums and touring the world both solo and with the band, González has been active in the studio in various contexts, including critically acclaimed original contributions to the Ben Stiller film “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” which also featured him covering John Lennon’s “#9 Dream.” This February, González dropped “Vestiges & Claws,” consisting of years’ worth of musical sketches that in other hands might naturally sprawl wildly in sound and style, but instead the Swedish indie singer-songwriter has created a collection of songs that cohere just about perfectly, ensuring his position as one of the most important artists of his generation.
The Decemberists – April 7 at Academy of Music: With successful albums like “The Crane Wife” having provided the ability to work at their own pace, indie folksters in The Decemberists return from a long hiatus with this year’s “What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World,” arguably the band’s most varied and dynamic work, both musically and emotionally. Since their earliest recordings more than a decade ago, the Portland, Oregon natives have always been known for their sense of scope and daring — look no further than “The Tain,” a sprawling eighteen-and-a-half minute 2004 single based on an Irish myth. This time though, without a deadline, the Decemberists were also able to explore every song to completion.
Damien Rice – April 8 at Academy of Music: Speaking of returning from hiatus, it’s been an incredible eight years since Damien Rice has released an album of new material. November finally saw the release of his third album, “My Favourite Faded Fantasy,” and the highly anticipated tour has made its way to the region. The Irish singer-songwriter has long made it known of his disdain for being in the media spotlight, preferring instead to let his music and performances do the talking. Live, no matter how big the venue, Rice has an innate ability to make it seem like he’s in your living room, spinning off yarns about relationship failures, broken hearts and musings on life that few can deliver with such authenticity.
Rhonda Vincent – April 9 at Sellersville Theater: Famously crowned as “The New Queen of Bluegrass” by the Wall Street Journal, in 2000 and quickly becoming the most decorated artist in that field, Rhonda Vincent’s music incorporates savvy contemporary touches while drawing deeply from the authentic traditions of classic bluegrass, with a flawless band that can execute break-neck instrumentals to heart wrenching ballads. Her latest project, last year’s “Only Me,” was Vincent’s third consecutive number one album on the Bluegrass charts. With more than 100 awards to their name, Rhonda Vincent and her backing band the Rage are easily the most celebrated band in bluegrass.
The Soft Moon – April 9 at Boot & Saddle: Fans of The Soft Moon’s 2012 sophomore album “Zeros,” with its echoes of Depeche Mode and Kraftwerk infused with more modern views on the bleak like those espoused by Silk Flowers and Cold Cave, were left bummed out when the mastermind behind the curtain, Luis Vasquez, announced that it would be his final solo release. Thankfully, a move to Venice, Italy last year — where he was a victim of the stranger in a strange land syndrome — reinvigorated those feelings of isolation, leading to a new LP, “Deeper,” which came out last Tuesday. The show at Boot & Saddle will be extra special as it’s the kick-off date of the tour.