STORY WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
For Digital First Media
Welcome to “Seven in Seven,” where each week we take 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 Dec. 25:
River Oaks – Dec. 29 at The Foundry
Fronting the post-hardcore act Silverstein for the past decade and a half, Shane Told has stepped out on his own under the moniker River Oaks. This project is quite different from his main job, which requires blood-curdling screams during every song. River Oaks is stripped down entirely to Told and an acoustic guitar, where he pours his soul out onto the floor with lyrics like, “I can’t change it, I can’t blame you, all these mistakes have cost me years.” Basically, it’s an emo lover’s dream.
The Slambovian Circus of Dreams – Dec. 30 at World Café Live Downstairs
Formed in the village of Sleepy Hollow, New York at the tail end of the ‘90s, the Slambovian Circus of Dreams – also known as the Grand Slambovians – pioneered the alt-folk/Americana genre, staying on the fringes of the music industry and under the radar while producing several critically acclaimed studio albums. Dubbed the “Hillbilly Pink Floyd” by many, the group has been headlining major music festivals and venues across the States, Canada and UK, drawing in fans with their lively shows that have become the stuff of legend.
Guided by Voices – Dec. 30 at Underground Arts
Back in 1994, 38 year-old schoolteacher Robert Pollard and his merry band recorded Bee Thousand in a Dayton, Ohio basement on a 4-track cassette recorder. Improbably, it became rock classic as well as an enormously influential album, which has been hailed as one of the best records of the ’90s. This spring, Pollard released the 23rd GBV album, which sits nicely along his 24 solo efforts. Prolific and not just putting out junk, Please Be Honest stands right up amongst the best of the Guided by Voices catalog.
Cabinet – Dec. 31 at The Theatre of Living Arts
Cabinet is a band with roots firmly planted in the Appalachian tradition. They wear their influences like badges, honoring the canon of roots, bluegrass, country, and folk, weaving these sounds into a patchwork Americana quilt. But the Scranton, Pa. natives aren’t romanticizing or rehashing the past, choosing instead to makes it mark on today. The steady aim of their harmonies soar straight onto target each time, with vocals giving voice to the story of each song, while their music takes the long way home, treating its listeners like passengers on a ride through scenic back roads
David Wax Museum – Dec. 31 at Johnny Brenda’s
David Wax and Suz Slezak, the duo who lead “Mexo-Americana” outfit David Wax Museum, have roots that stretch back nearly a decade, all the way from New England to Mexico. Wax was a student at Harvard when he began traveling south of the border to study and immerse himself in the country’s traditional music and culture. Back in Boston, he met fiddler/singer Suz Slezak, whose love of traditional American and Irish folk music fused with Wax’s Mexican/American leanings into a singular, energetic blend that captivated audiences and critics alike.
Rubix Cubed – Dec. 31 at Sellersville Theater 1894
If you want a little bit of ‘80s nostalgia for your New Year’s Eve celebration, then catching the Rubix Cubed is the way to go. The collective is a full time warp back to the era of big hair and neon colored clothing. In complete costume, with stage props and decorations of the time, the Cubed cover all the major acts of the 80s. From Prince to Madonna to Michael Jackson – and all the one hit wonders in between, it’s a throwback you won’t regret. Also, note that there will be two shows on NYE, 7 and 10:30 p.m.
Kurt Vile – Dec. 31 at The Fillmore
There’s nothing better than catching a hometown artist done good to ring in the New Year. That’s exactly what’s going down at the Fillmore on New Year’s Eve as Kurt Vile – with the Violators in tow – end 2016 with a quick run of dates in Boston, New York and Philly. With six albums and a slew of EPs to his name, Vile has been a rising star since his early days as co-founder of the War on Drugs, another local act which he left to pursue his solo career.