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SEVEN IN SEVEN: Chris Young, The Who among this week’s best bets

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COLUMN 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 March 4:
Butcher Babies – March 11 at Reverb
Hailing from Los Angeles, the Butcher Babies put to rest the long out-of-date theory that women have no place in metal. Frontwomen Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd offer redemption from the overplayed underground, exorcising demons with a primitive sound matched only in scope by their explosive stage show, which flexes its muscle in no small part due to guitarist Henry Flury, bassist Jason Klein and drummer Chris Warner. Their second album, “Take it Like a Man,” came out last summer and juxtaposes brutal, aggressive riffs with beautiful melodies that wail with anguish and hope.
Old Soul Revival – March 11 at World Café Live Upstairs
Made up of a mixture of some of the best and hardest working musicians in the Philadelphia area Old Soul Revival does the music of The Allman Brothers Band, while also blending songs of the Grateful Dead, and blues, funk, and reggae style classics depending on the occasion. Each of the respective players has multiple projects currently both original and not, but have formed a bond over the songs that influenced them, paying close attention to detail of all of the original music, while also incorporating the fire of our own improvisational musical contributions to create a tangible experience between the band and the audience.
Chris Young – March 12 at The Electric Factory
Country superstar Chris Young has accomplished more in his 30 years on this planet than some artists do in a lifetime. Already a Grammy-nominated recording artist, he’s also a dynamic live performer consistently in demand, an international ambassador for his genre, a talented songwriter with six number ones to his name – four of them which he wrote – and a known charmer to boot. November saw the release of his fifth album, “I’m Comin’ Over,” which further showcases Young’s his classic baritone wrenching balladry.
MC Lars – March 12 at Milkboy
Northern California rapper MC Lars dropped his fourth full-length studio album, “The Zombie Dinosaur” LP, earlier this winter, having returned home to the Bay Area after living in Los Angeles for a few years, and self-produced the new album with help from friends in Berkeley and San Francisco. In the ten years since his debut release, The Laptop EP, Lars has independently produced and released three other solo full-length albums, four EPs, and a number of mixtapes, collaborated with KRS-One, mentored and helped develop the career of fellow Stanford alum K.Flay, opened for Nas and Snoop Dogg, and played multiple summers on the Vans Warped Tour. Suffice to say, the MC isn’t going anywhere, and he’s doing it on his own terms.
New Order – March 12 at The Tower Theater
Having risen out of the ashes of incredibly influential post-punk outfit Joy Division, New Order went on to become one of the most important and essential new wave bands of the 80s. They never ended up sounding dated like so many of their then peers, most who have fallen off the map, content to play nostalgia tours. Last year saw the release of Music Complete, their tenth album, and while it was the first without the critical input of founding bassist Peter Hook, shows the band is as innovative as ever, breaking new ground and wowing listeners as they continue to push the envelope.
Greg Dulli – March 13 at First Unitarian Church
Greg Dulli is, hands down, one of the greatest songwriters of his generation. What makes him so solid is his ability to turn honesty into an affecting song, whether it’s in the confines of the beloved 90s outfit The Afghan Whigs, his Twilight Singers collective or partnership with fellow alt-icon Mark Lanegan in the Gutter Twins. Solo and stripped down, he incorporates all of his projects into one show, a simmering display of heart-on-the-sleeve lyrics that come from the deepest recesses of his weathered heart. At times he’s been called “too honest,” mainly by egotistical males who don’t want it to be known a) they can be complete jerks in a relationship and b) that they have a vulnerable side. In the end though, it’s those traits which make Dulli so appealing.
The Who – March 14 at The Wells Fargo Center
Look, we’ve all fallen for this one before: “The Who is going to call it a day.” “There won’t be anymore big tours.” “This is the last time – don’t miss it!” The first time was in 1982, on the incredibly successful “Farewell Tour,” and the band did stick to their guns … for seven years. Since 1989, they’ve had a fair share of ups and downs, the worst being the 2002 death of bassist John Entwistle, but founders Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend soldiered on no matter what. Still, as one of the “big three” acts from the 60s, along with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, there comes a time when they just won’t be able to physically tour any longer. Will this indeed be the last time? Honestly, it could be.

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