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minus the bear
URSA MINOR: Minus the Bear adds Tim Kasher at the Rio.

Music Calendar

October 20 - 27, 2010

Wednesday | 10/20

Acorn Project

It's the saxophone that makes the Acorn Project more than a standard prog-rock ensemble, but to be honest, very un-saxy things are going on in this group. Give a woodwind a little license and it starts to think it's an electric guitar, but rather than locking hornblower Sam Lax into a closet with Kenny G, his five bandmembers roll with it and make a hybrid sound that does credit to jazz everywhere. Their lyrics, more akin to prose than catchy rock jingles, also raise their share of eyebrows, and with an album titled Generation Debt, the Project promises plenty of steak along with the sizzle. Moe's Alley; $5 adv/$8 door; 8:30pm. (KJ)

Thursday | 10/21

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey

A heady amalgam of avant-garde jazz, interstellar twang and jam-band rock, the four-piece Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey is a powerful mix of swinging grooves, experimental bombast and instrumental ambition. Keyboardist Brian Hass, drummer Josh Raymer, upright bassist Jeff Harshbarger and lap-steel guitar player Chris Combs form a quartet the whole of which far exceeds the sum of its constitutive parts. Since 1994, the restless outfit has experimented with multiple permutations, ranging from a trio to an ambitious eight-piece. As a quartet, this group gives the subtleties in the playing a chance to shine, offering the most refined incarnation of the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey to date. Kuumbwa; $15 adv/$18 door; 7pm. (Paul M. Davis)

Tim Kasher & Minus The Bear

Hitting the road with emo-punk goofs Minus the Bear may allow Tim Kasher to let loose and lighten up in ways that would be unthinkable in his main band, Cursive. With Kasher, lightening up is a relative term: Cursive is one of the most emotionally pummeling bands of the past decade, and his solo work follows suit. Yet it also allows Kasher to shuck off some of the extra baggage that the band's leaden arrangements lend the songs, revealing the melodicism hidden within. Minus the Bear is an odd yet fitting tour mate for Kasher, specializing in winking, amped-up punk with an ever-morose heart. Rio Theatre; $18 adv/$20 door; 8pm. (PMD)

Friday | 10/22

Cat Power

Chan Marshall has come a long way since her discovery in 1994. The wispy ingenue, whose live shows were once a thing of shambling, unhinged legend, has grown much more polished and assured in recent years, despite considerable personal turmoil. It's difficult to square the spare, tentative sound of Marshall's early indie rock years with the ambitious '60s Memphis-inspired takes on the rock and soul standards that now characterize her sound. But even if Marshall has grown far more assured and mature with time, there remains an elusive sense of mystery to her performances that is infinitely compelling. Rio Theatre; $30; 8pm. (PMD)


Even though it's all but an anachronism in the age of pro-quality audio on bottom-of-the-line laptops, lo-fi has enjoyed an unlikely resurgence in recent years. In 2010, adopting this kind of sound is more of an aesthetic choice than the necessity it was once for cash-strapped musicians, but its elusive charms persist. Women lashes Nuggets-era garage-pop to a modern sensibility and buries it all in reverb and the warped majesty of shitty tape-recorded sound, lending the band a timeless quality that signifies its members would have been just as comfortable banging out four-chord testimonials in 1971. Crepe Place; $8 adv/$10 door; 9pm. (PMD)

Saturday | 10/23

Mickey Avalon

Checkered pasts rarely leave rock stars alone, and Mickey Avalon's tails him like a gaggle of coked-up geese. It's mostly his own doing; he's combined his drug abuses and historic prostitution stint into his lyrics and slathered his music in imagery that leaves little to the imagination. Although he's got the history of an '80s rocker, he just brought his first album to the shelves in 2006. A life of turmoil has made his sound what it is, a jab at growing up in Hollywood and all the sex, drugs and plastic that go with it, an account as trashy and intriguing as only L.A.'s one-and-only glam rapper could make it. Catalyst; $25; 9pm. (Kate Jacobson)

Sunday | 10/23


Living legend MC Murs has made a career out of confounding his fans and the industry, bounding between polished radio-ready hip-hop and longer, experimental song suites. It's unusual for a contemporary MC to have such scope and range at a time when hip-hop's more eccentric traits have been submerged, but Murs proves that it's still possible to be an iconoclast in 2010. While he treads a dangerous line—going mainstream and aggravating underground heads, then alienating mainstream fans with experimental, personal albums—it's refreshing to see an MC willing to follow his muse, career consequences be damned. Catalyst; $15 adv/$19 door; 8pm. (PMD)

Monday | 10/25

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy

Bonnie "Prince" Billy, a.k.a. Will Oldham, has built a career out of inscrutability in lyrics, career moves and interviews. The folk singer—though he'd likely rankle at being saddled with the term—belongs to a long line of old, weird American songwriters that traces back to Bob Dylan, the Louvin Brothers and countless forgotten folk troubadours. Oldham's latest, The Wonder Show of the World, finds him pairing with an unusually traditional backing band, the Cairo Gang, and indulging in musical excursions that touch upon folk, jazz, country and even rock but could not be adequately pegged as belonging to any specific genre. Don Quixote's; $15 adv/$17 door; 8pm. (PMD)

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