COLUMN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
For Digital First Media
Welcome to “Seven in Seven,” where each Friday 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 Jan. 22:
The Band of Heathens – Jan. 22 at World Café Live Upstairs
The term “Americana” was practically invented to describe the approach of the Band of Heathens, which has mutated almost as much as the genre to which they’re identified. And while the Rolling Stones and The Beatles remain touchstones on songs like “Sugar Queen” and “Deep Is Love,” respectively, influences as diverse as Sly and the Family Stone and Latin music also rear their heads. Last week, the Austin, Texas outfit released its fifth album, Duende, marking their tenth anniversary as a group.
Dashboard Confessional – Jan. 23 and 24 at The Theatre of Living Arts
Few bands defined the emo-era of the early 00s like Dashboard Confessional. From their mega-hit “Screaming Infidelities” to a legendary MTV Unplugged 2.0 performance which had the devoted audience singing along to every word. Fifteen years later, they still resonate, obvious in the instant sell out of the first show at the TLA necessitating the addition of another, which also sold out promptly. It’s definitely a show worth checking back to see if any are released the day of each show.
The Brains – Jan. 24 at The Voltage Lounge
Montreal psychobilly act the Brains have never been ones to follow the rules, deciding instead to make a point of utterly destroying every one of them with each album they release and every show they play. The hardworking road warriors have brought their live shows to the four corners of the globe. The band has played packed houses throughout Europe, Canada, Mexico and the United States, alongside acts like Rancid, the Offspring and the Reverend Horton Heat among others.
Eric Church – Jan. 25 at The Wells Fargo Center
Eric Church is wasting no time bringing music to his fans this year as he embarks on his “Holdin’ My Own Tour” in 2017. The Nashville superstar will be playing more than 60 cities in North America and will be without any opening acts for the entire tour. Church is still riding high on the surprise 2015 release of his fifth album, Mr. Misunderstood, which he dropped in late November to an unsuspecting fan club before the general public got it the next day. It garnered positive reviews across the board and took home a Country Music Award for Album of the Year, boosted by the hit singles “Record Year,” “Kill a Word” and the title track.
PHOX – Jan. 26 at World Café Live Downstairs
It was in Baraboo, a city outside of Madison, Wisconsin, that six unlikely musicians attended high school together – some playing on the soccer field, others on video production sets – got together and decided to form a band. The result became the folk pop sextet PHOX, who in 2014 released a self-titled album showcasing a mix of simple songs swimming amidst a chaotic whirl of rock, psychedelia, and soul. The bad news is this tour is titled “Goodbye (For Now),” as the group has announced an indefinite hiatus as its members pursue other opportunities in and out of music.
Austra – Jan. 27 at Union Transfer
Led by Katie Stelmanis, Canadian synthpop act Austra have just released their third effort, titled Future Politics. Inspired by her time living in two cities – Montreal and Mexico City – and propelled by economic and philosophical texts she was reading throughout the album’s creation, Stelmanis was driven to face the world’s ailments with positivity, purpose, and engagement, rather than detachment or despair. Inspiration also came from European club culture and artists like Objekt, Peter Van Hoesen, Lena Willikens as well as the likes of Massive Attack; in all, artists who understand the dancefloor as a source of radical ideas and radical joy.
Lukas Graham – Jan. 27 at The Theatre of Living Arts
There’s a community in the center of Copenhagen called Christiania. In the 30-block radius, there are no cars, streetlights, or police. A personal toilet and running water were considered luxuries in the early nineties. That’s the town where Lukas Graham grew up. After spending six months in Buenos Aires to clear his head and get away from the darker side of his hometown,
Graham brought that sound back to Christiania in 2010 where he joined forces with his writing team Future Animals, made up of Stefan Forrest and Morten Ristorp. Writing lyrics first and telling stories, the soulful style defined his 2012 self-titled LP, which would go quadruple-platinum in Denmark and yield three smash hits; “Drunk In The Morning,” “Better Than Yourself” and “Ordinary Things.” That led to a deal with Warner Bros. Stateside, and the release of another self-titled effort in 2015, which is commonly referred to as Blue Album.