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SEVEN IN SEVEN: Bad Boy Records artists, Pet Sounds, Alice Cooper, Band of Horses in the mix

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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 Sept. 23:
Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour — Sept. 23 at Wells Fargo Center
Back in the mid-90s, Bad Boy Records was churning out hip-hop and R&B hits like crazy. Between the label founder Puff Daddy and Notorious B.I.G., it seemed like the music world was witnessing the arrival of a new Motown. While that never came to pass, there was some formidable talent came through the roster, and a host of its alum will be lighting up the Wells Fargo Center, including Puff Daddy, Mase, Lil Kim, The Lox, 112 and Faith Evans. At the very least, it’s a throwback to an era that held so much promise.

Brian Wilson — Sept. 23 at the Tower Theater
Beach Boy genius Brian Wilson is celebrating and performing the iconic album “Pet Sounds” for a final time in honor of its 50th anniversary. Originally released on May 16, 1966, the record is universally hailed as one of the greatest of all time. Wilson had been inspired by The Beatles’ “Rubber Soul” from the year before, leading him on a quest to create a masterpiece in line with the Fab Four’s wildly popular release. Interestingly enough, “Pet Sounds” was initially overshadowed by the Liverpool band’s next album on the charts, “Revolver,” though retrospectively has been recognized as the superior work. If this is indeed the last time Wilson intends to perform the album, this is a must-see event.

Buddy Guy — Sept. 23 at the Keswick Theatre
This past summer, Buddy Guy turned 80 years old. Like most of the members of club of blues legends, he’s celebrating the way he does every year, by performing on the road. The Chicago bluesman seriously is showing no signs of slowing down; last year he delivered Born to Play Guitar, which ended up winning a Grammy for Best Blues Album. He’s also the last of a dying breed of genuine articles, outlasting those he worked with back in the day, among them Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters. Live, his show is no snoozefest either, Guy gives it his all despite many of the songs being about a man ready to throw in the towel due to love gone wrong.

Frank Turner — Sept. 23 at Reverb
For three long and lonely years of life on the road, playing his brand of honest and passionate folk/punk, Frank Turner continued to rise to prominence with an ever increasing following. To break into the States, the British-born Turner received help from a punk rock legend, Bad Religion’s legendary guitarist Brett Gurewitz, who also happens to be the CEO of SoCal independent label Epitaph Records. Excited by what he had heard when Frank headlined LA’s notorious Viper Room, Gurewitz got in contact and soon enough plans were formulated and a worldwide deal was inked. That jump-started Turner’s career, and his brand of folk songwriting and catchy melodies continued with last year’s Positive Songs for Negative People, his sixth album.

Band of Horses — Sept. 24 at The Fillmore
This summer, South Carolina-based Band of Horses released their fifth studio album, “Why Are You OK.” To promote its release, the folk rock outfit embarked on a multi-city “indie retail tour,” including with an intimate set in the basement of the noted Grimey’s in Nashville. The back to the roots run landed “Why Are You OK” at the top spot of the Department of Record Stores chart. Playing sublime acoustic sets at some of the country’s premiere independent record stores shifted dramatically when Band of Horses played a main stage set at this year’s Bonnaroo festival. Now back into the proper-sized venues, it’s an opportunity for fans to see exactly what all the buzz is about.

Astronautalis — Sept. 25 at Union Transfer
Having started in music more than 20 years ago as a battle rapper, Astronautalis’ roots are planted firmly in hip-hop. However, the sounds and styles throughout his discography are an animal not so easily caged. At any point, he touches upon shoegaze-laced indie rock, pulsating electronic, swampy Southern-influenced blues, and more. This year’s release “Cut the Body Loose” may seem like Astronautalis’ most aggressive album to date, but to call it angry or pessimistic would be to miss the point. Named for an aspect of a traditional New Orleans jazz funeral when the music guides grievers from heavy, insurmountable suffering to a full-on raucous celebration in the streets, the record aims to be the sonic equivalent of that same liberating process.

Alice Cooper — Sept. 29 at Santander Arena
Having successfully wrapped up a tour with his supergroup Hollywood Vampires, which also features Joe Perry and Johnny Depp on guitar, the shock-rock legend Alice Cooper is back on a solo trek, featuring all of his notable theatrics and monster hits like “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and “I’m Eighteen.” At 68 years of age, he hasn’t lost a step, and still loves scaring the daylights out of his audiences.

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