[Updated] Arts Fuse critics select the best in music, theater, and film that’s coming up this week. A new feature!
By The Arts Fuse Staff
Roots & World Music
When the current generation of indie folks acts started touring, they tended to hit standing room rock bars rather than Boston’s legendary listening room Passim. Recently that’s changed, as evidence by this hip bill, which pairs New Mexico’s unnerving Handsome Family with upstate New York troubadour Sean Rowe.
Paulie’s NOLA Jazz & Blues Festival
Keystone Plaza, Worcester, MA
From its humble origins as a local block party, Paulie’s fest has risen to become one of New England’s premier celebrations of Louisiana music. Its sixth edition is by far its most ambitious with a lineup that features New Orleans’ enduring soul queen Irma Thomas, the final area performance of Papa Grows Funk, and swamp-blues treasures Lil’ Buck Sinegal and Meters bassist George Porter Jr.
Few rockabilly acts can combine swagger and twang like Marti Brom. The worthy successor to Wanda Jackson is criminally unknown outside of rockabilly circles, but those who’ve seen her live will know that this rare local date at Jamaica Plain’s beloved dive bar is a can’t-miss. Jittery Jack and Miss Amy and Easy Ed’s Record Hop round out the bill.
This blind duo’s electrifying presence has made them one of the most popular musical exports of Mali, a country with no shortage of excellent musicians. That crossover potential was highlighted by last year’s Folia album, which included cameos from Santigold and TV on the Radio, along with the sound on their new remix EP Mali Meets Latin America.
Phil Spector had an army of musicians at his disposal when he created the Wall of Sound. But this young Winnipeg combo conveys the sweetness and sass of the girl-group era with just their voices and a percussionist.
The days a staunch traditionalist such as Yoakam moved to the top of the country charts are long gone. So he’s taken his cue from his honky-tonk heroes and become a year-round road warrior. Indian Ranch, the last survivor of the region’s once-thriving country music park circuit, is the perfect spot to see him. Out of necessity the current Indian Ranch management mostly books mainstream country and classic rock, but they’ve got another brilliant Americana act, the Mavericks, coming in August.
Berklee American Roots Series
Club Passim, Cambridge, MA
In recent years, the Berklee College of Music has introduced an American Roots program under the leadership of fiddler Matt Glaser. This three-night event gives some of the instructors a chance to collaborate with each other and, perhaps, some of their students. Wednesday’s show is particularly intriguing because it matches klezmer pioneer Yael Strom, bluegrass legend Bobby Hicks, and Texas master Jim “Texas Shorty” Chancellor.
The quintessential blue-eyed soul band, the Rascals charted mammoth 60’s hits like “Groovin’,” “Good Lovin’,” and “People Got to be Free.” After years of acrimony, they’ve reunited for a tour that follows them becoming stars of their own Broadway show. The curious format of the musical has the Rascals perform live in between taped vignettes about their story—imagine if Jersey Boys featured the actual Four Seasons. When the show debuted last winter, any shortcomings in the book were more than made up for by the original band’s powerful delivery.
— Noah Schaffer
Roger Miller (of Mission of Burma, Alloy Orchestra)
June 22, 7 p.m.
Milton Arts Center, Milton, MA
Mission of Burma and M2’s Roger Miller will be performing solo as part of a weekend celebrating his music and visual art. Miller’s Frottage Art exhibit will be on display at the center through Sunday June 23 and featured pieces will be available for purchase. Just added was an opening set by Cameron Keiber of the Beatings. Advance tickets for this unique and eclectic event are available for $20.
The Channel Reunion Concert to Benefit Right Turn Recovery
Featuring Jon Butcher, Lizzie Borden and the Axes, and more
June 23, 6:45 p.m.
Royale Night Club, Boston, MA, 21+
It’s a night of old school Boston rock with more than eight bands performing in the Channel Reunion Concert to benefit Right Turn, which assists creative people in substance abuse recovery. Performers will include Jon Butcher, Lizzie Borden and the Axes, The Stompers, and The Fools, among others. Also performing is Woody Giessmann, the CEO and founder of Right Turn. Tickets available for $20.
— Kathleen Burke
Provincetown International Film Festival
Through June 23
The five-day festival presents a wide array of American and international narrative features, documentaries, and short films. The event makes an effort to honor and preserve Provincetown’s rich and diverse history as an arts colony, Portuguese fishing village, and gay and lesbian mecca while also paying homage to the area’s original Native American inhabitants. Special programs include “Youth and Diversity” and Portuguese film sidebars, retrospective and archival programs, and breakfast panel discussions. Important to the festival is its “Filmmaker on the Edge Award,” this year’s recipient is Harmony Korine, the iconoclastic director of the controversial Spring Breakers, as well as films such as Gummo and Trash Humpers. John Waters is a ubiquitous presence at the festival. This year’s opening film is Lovelace, the story of adult film legend Linda Lovelace, who starred the in 1972 film Deep Throat and her relationship with her husband and “manager” Chuck Traynor.
— Tim Jackson
It is always heartening to see a company present a world premiere during the summer. And this play sounds intriguing, given our current obsession with whistleblowers and keeping our lives to ourselves: the script centers on the predicament of “a young female activist who brings an older man—a famous political hacker/journalist—home to her Brooklyn apartment to spend the night. But as they start to expose each other’s secrets, personal and political desires collide, testing the limits of privacy in the modern world.”
Never Far From Home: Love Songs About Leaving by Lydia Diamond.
The Cabaret Series presented by Central Square Theater
Through June 30
This is an ambitious project featuring oodles of hometown talent: “This summer, four friends gather to resume an old routine . . . but something—or someone—is missing from their harmonies. A bittersweet and hilarious love letter to leaving and being left, this charming and occasionally irreverent evening combines a collection of new songs by local composers, an original script by Lydia Diamond, and the vocal power of The Cabaret Series (Cheo Bourne, Jennifer Ellis, Brian Richard Robinson, and Kami Rushell Smith).”
— Bill Marx
Cuban music has long been a family affair, and that tradition continues this week as pianist Harold López-Nussa teams with his younger brother Ruy Adrian López-Nussa—a drummer like their father, Ruy López-Nussa—to fuse the rhythmically intricate classical, folkloric, and jazz elements that make the music of Cuba so rich and complex. Expect a remarkable evening (and watch for a Fuse review by Jon Garelick).
Joe is Mayor Curtatone, who developed a love of jazz playing trumpet in the Somerville High School jazz band. The current edition of the band opens the afternoon, which also includes a 2 p.m. set by saxophonist Brett Walberg and wraps up with a closing performance by those durable masters of spontaneous improvisation, the Fringe, that should leave the younger musicians wide-eyed. (Check out our 2013 jazz festival preview for more upcoming events.)
Proficiency on both drums and piano isn’t unknown—Jack DeJohnette and Joe Chambers come to mind—but it’s unusual and affords an ensemble considerable flexibility. McLaughlin has tapped another double threat, Gary Husband—who will share drum duties with India’s versatile Ranjit Barot—along with Cameroon’s Étienne M’Bappé, bassist with artists ranging from Salif Keita to Joe Zawinul. There may be occasional echoes of Shakti, but this is a full-on electric project a la Mahavishnu.
It’s sometimes forgotten that Hugh Masekela got his start in stealth jam sessions at the Manhattan School of Music in the early 1960s. He and Larry Willis met there and have been crossing paths from time to time ever since. This current tour is a follow-on to their four-CD set of jazz standards entitled Friends and will be a rare opportunity to hear the duo dig into the Great American Songbook.
— J. R. Carroll