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02.03.10

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Music Calendar

February 10 - 17, 2010


Friday | 2/12

HUUN HUUR TU and CARMEN RIZZO

In the race to come up with new musical sounds using electronic gadgets, computer programs and augmented instruments, a lot of musicians have forgotten about good old-fashioned human vocal cords. Correcting this oversight is producer and electronica guru Carmen Rizzo, who's joined with the Tuvan quartet Huun Huur Tu on an album of "Tuv-tronica" based on the ancient art of throat singing. Using traditional instruments like the igil, khomus and doshpuluur to complement the humming harmonies, the collaboration roams into trancelike electronic soundscapes guaranteed to place it among the strangest additions to any play list. Rio Theatre; $21; 8pm. (Curtis Cartier)

JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE

In most cases, the work of a famous musician's kid is nature's way of telling listeners to stay away. There's good reason for that: raised to the top via nepotism and name recognition, most children of notable artists have barely earned their stripes. Justin Townes Earle stands as one of the rare exceptions: estranged from his father Steve Earle for much of his youth, Earle made a name for himself in country music the hard way. This is evidenced in Earle's work—road-weary songs that draw from '40s and '50s folk and Western swing more than they do the family trust. Despite the brand, Justin Townes Earle is undoubtedly his own man. Crepe Place; $15; 9pm. (Paul M. Davis)

STEPHEN STILLS

Stephen Stills is one of the few household names of the '60s still touring. And while he's certainly earned the right to rest on his laurels—he stands as the only artist to be inducted twice into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, for Buffalo Springfield and for Crosby, Stills and Nash—he continues to challenge himself. In fact, it seems that the irrepressible guitarist can't be held down: in January 2008 he beat an early prostate cancer diagnosis.Instead of lying low, he's has hit the road and released two albums since then: Pieces, a collection of outtakes by his '70s outfit Manassas, and October's Live at Shepherd's Bush. Catalyst; $29 advance/$33 door; 8pm. (PMD)


Saturday | 2/13

THE MERMEN

It might seem an obvious comparison, but there are few better ways to put it: The Mermen's furious guitar riffs really do come with the rolling force of a tidal wave, with heavy swells of reverb that crash into one another to marvelous effect. The San Francisco trio has found a way to take that most economical of forms, surf rock, and tie it to its theoretical antithesis, psychedelia. On paper it shouldn't work, but over the past two decades the Mermen have proven that it can. Though the band performs regularly, it's far from prolific, and it's latest release, In God We Trust, is the first in a decade. A new album by this outfit is reason enough to celebrate, but the Mermen's special talents lie in the live serendipity of improvisation and scatterbomb guitar lines. Moe's Alley; $12 advance/$15 door; 9pm. (PMD)


JAMES MCMURTRY

When James McMurtry was 7, his mother gave him a guitar and taught him three chords. "The rest," he says, "I stole as I went along." The guitar-slinging Texan has been crafting insightful and illuminating songs ever since, bridging the human and the political, the subtle and the absurd. Twenty years and 10 albums have established McMurtry's place in the "roots and roll" scene and proven him to be a capable songsmith known for his astute and to-the-point lyrics. As he sings in "Too Long in the Wasteland," "I didn't mean to say it, but I meant what I said." Don Quixote's; $20; 8pm Sat; 7pm Sun. (Cat Johnson)


Sunday | 2/14

BASSNECTAR

Attention, consumers in the market for a new subwoofer speaker! There's an easy test to determine if a product will live up to the demands of the modern urban music environment. Simply insert an album by San Francisco freeform electro-crunk outfit Bassnectar into the home P.A. and note how long the potential woofer woofs before melting, exploding, or attracting the attention of armed authorities. If the door is indeed kicked in by a SWAT team and the speaker remains intact, buy it. If not, extinguish flames and return for refund. Either way, listeners and neighbors will witness severe abuses of low frequencies for which the only cures are repetitive hip gyrations and long-term counseling. Catalyst; $20 advance/$24 door; 8:45pm. (CC)


Monday | 2/15

DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND

It takes great force to shake the weathered pillars of New Orleans' fabled jazz and funk scene, where brass bands come cheaper than crawfish gumbo and names like Neville, Marsalis and Armstrong stand as monoliths of intimidation to would-be horn blowers hoping to leave their mark. So in 1977, when a church music program for disadvantaged youth produced the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the assumption was that it would go down as a heartwarming but ultimately forgettable musical endeavor. Instead the group, led by trumpet player Gregory Davis and featuring a rotating cast of musicians, installed itself as a premier horn act in a city carved from brass. Moe's Alley; $15 advance/$20 door; 8pm. (CC)


Tuesday | 2/16

THE ENTRANCE BAND

The latest incarnation of the artist formerly known as Entrance is a freak-folkadelic three-piece band that plays it slow and low with face-melting, stoner-rock grooves. The addition of Paz Lenchantin (bass) and Derek W. James (drums) to Guy Blakeslee's guitar and vocals allows the Entrance Band to create sonic landscapes that Blakeslee, who played for years as a solo act, could only dream of. Touring in support of its self-titled debut album, put out on Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace label, the power trio is rolling a thunderous sound across the country and up the mountain to Brookdale. Brookdale Lodge; $12; 8pm. (CJ)


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