Your Live Music Bets for the Weekend of March 23 through the 25th

by on March 23, 2012

Another weekend, another tassle of great live shows. And you don’t need to miss those fleeting glimpses of sunshine to catch ‘em. Win, win, we say.

Tonight (Friday, March 23):

Kronos Quartet @ The Neptune. $50 (plus fees) day of show. Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm.

Avant-everything foursome Kronos Quartet was formed in 1973, and for nearly forty years they’ve pushed the outer boundaries of classical stringed instrumentation, recording everything from Shostakovich to Jimi Hendrix and working with artists as disparate as poet Alan Ginsberg and David Bowie. They’re stunning musicians who continue to indulge their muse : Try summoning up the list of classical musicians covering Sigur Ros (and covering them well).

Kaiser Chiefs @ Showbox at the Market. $18 at the door. Show at 7pm.

In the mid 2000’s, an explosion of British pop bands inundated the scene. Most of  ‘em borrowed from one post-punk rulebook. But amidst the lock-step grooves of Franz Ferdinand and the Futureheads,  The Kaiser Chiefs pounded out a dizzying array of great tunes. They could be as jumpy as Franz (“I Predict a Riot“), but also excelled at Smiths-style balladry (“Love’s Not a Competition (But I’m Winning)”) and jangly sixties pop (“I Can Do it Without You“). And while they’re not as image-stylish as some of their contemporaries, the Kaisers possess a terrific frontman in bounding rapscallion Ricky Wilson. Tonight’s show is a reschedule from their October 2 date, and all tickets for the original show will be honored.

Loch Lomond, Lemolo, Dinosaur Feathers @ The Tractor Tavern. $12 at the door. Show at 9:30pm.

Ritchie Young’s unearthly tenor voice lends a dreamlike cast to this Portland ensemble’s pop. If you love The Zombies and/or wish The Decemberists possessed a singer whose voice soars more than it drones, you need to hear these guys. Super-special bonus: Local dream-pop thrushes Lemolo open.

En Vogue @ Jazz Alley. $45 advance. Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm.

See Sunday, March 25 for the deets.

Saturday, March 24:

Nada Surf, An Horse @ Showbox at the Market. $25 advance, $30 day of show. Show at 8pm.

We’ll make no bones about our love for indie stalwarts Nada Surf (SunBreak staffer Chelsea Nesvig fills in all the blanks here, in case you missed it the first time). Matthew Caws writes some of the best classicist pop you’ll hear, and the band’s new full-length, The Stars are Indifferent to Astronomy, continues their decade-long winning streak of releases. They’re bound to break out some tracks from their daisy-fresh new EP, too.

White Rabbits, Gull @ The Crocodile. $13 advance. Show at 8pm.

Percussion Gun” is so powerful, it almost dwarfed the rest of this Brooklyn six-piece’s output (cue fawning over said track here). But White Rabbits’ great new full-length, Milk Famous, proves they’re not one-hit wonders. It’s packed with the requisite variety of galloping Spoon-style piano pop and dance-rock tracks. The first single, “Heavy Metal,” definitely leans towards the latter, with a sleek slacker groove that’s unsettling and sexy at equal turns.

mr. Gnome, The Redwood Plan, Clutch Douglass @ The Sunset Tavern. $8 advance, $10 at the door. Show at 9pm.

No, that’s not a typo–you spell mr. Gnome with a lowercase m, thanks. You don’t often get batshit-crazy and ethereal beauty in equal doses, but this Cleveland, Ohio duo manages to straddle that tightrope gracefully. With their trippy lyrics, odd tempo changes, and Nicole Barille’s creamy raincloud of a voice, they sound like the spirit of Syd Barrett taking Cat Power down one twisty scary-beautiful multihued path. Seattle quartet The Redwood Plan, by contrast, throw down pogo-worthy new-wave-tinged pop–sorta like The Gossip gone spiky-haired–with an absolute fireball of a frontwoman (former Ms. Led founder Lesli Wood) at the epicenter. 

En Vogue @ Jazz Alley. $45 advance. Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm.

See Sunday, March 25 for the deets.

Sunday, March 25:

En Vogue @ Jazz Alley. $45 advance. Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm.

One of the biggest superstar acts of the 1990’s finishes out an intimate four-day stint at that class joint, Jazz Alley. Yeah, it’ll be a total wallow in nostalgia, but most of the original line-up remains intact, those brassy harmonies are still in place, and they’ve got some of the era’s most addictive soul-pop tunes in their arsenal. Try not to sing, “No, you’re never gonna get it,” over and over again now, for the duration of your work day.

Sharon van Etten, The War on Drugs @ The Neptune. $15 advance. Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm.

Singer/songwriter Sharon van Etten’s connected with the world in a big way. Maybe it’s that dusky alto voice, or maybe it’s the wistful quality of her songs, which possess the relatability and warmth of a shoebox full of faded family photographs. Her set at Bumbershoot last year was one of the Fest’s surprise hits, so the Neptune will likely pack up.

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