Boston’s pop music scene in November has an international flair. Multiple groups from the UK who specialize in folk and electropop join bands from Spain and Ireland in coming to Boston this fall. While the picks for this month all have roots abroad, these acts make the Fall months of Boston that much more inviting.
By Thomas Samph.
Every once in a while, a song comes along that’s so catchy it just has to be played on the radio . . . despite the fact that that song may have a lot of curse words in it. Unfortunately, in cases like this, the song is butchered with overdubs and gaping holes in lyrical sections in order to be deemed suitable for radio play. While Mumford & Sons is no Cee Lo Green (think “F*** You”), their song “Little Lion Man” fell victim to the same sensory chopping block. These songs just don’t sound the same. In any case, that hasn’t stopped the UK folk quartet, who alternate turns with instruments like stand up bass, mandolin, and accordion on stage, from getting plenty of air time on the radio. And who doesn’t like literary references sung in catchy, four-part harmony?
When Robert Moog invented the Moog Synthesizer in 1969, he couldn’t have known his machine would give birth to a completely new sound of music in the 80s, then make way for a revival of that sound at the turn of the century with a new genre called electropop. Forty-one years after Moog patented his machine, people still can’t get enough of synthesized sound. One case in point is UK duo La Roux. Led by frontwoman Elly Jackson’s striking visual androgyny yet undoubtedly feminine vocals, the group takes its name from Jackson’s appearance: short, red, spiky hair translates to Le Roux, masculine and La Rousse, feminine, in French. Above all, the London-based group has become synonymous with electropop.
While fame and superstardom may be new to Hawaiian-born singer Bruno Mars, the spotlight feels just like home. Mars grew up impersonating his favorite singers and performing with his father’s band in venues and clubs around Waikiki. He even landed a role as “Little Elvis” in the 1992 film Honeymoon in Vegas with Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicholas Cage. Today, it’s more common to see Mars on stage with collaborators Travie McCoy, Flo Rida, and Cee Lo Green. Multitalented as a singer, producer, and writer, Mars has two Billboard number one songs with “Nothin’ On You” and “Just the Way You Are.” One day he might even get to sit next to Oprah and the Queen.
Villagers – Nov. 4 – Great Scott
Les Savy Fav – Nov. 5 – Royale
Bonobo – Nov. 7 – Paradise Rock Club
The Weepies – Nov. 7 – Royale
Sara Bareilles – Nov. 9 – House of Blues
The Toots and the Maytals – Nov. 10 – Paradise Rock Club
Sufjan Stevens – Nov. 11 and 12 – Orpheum Theatre
Kings of Leon – Nov. 14 – TD Garden
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Nov. 14 – Royale
Justin Bieber – Nov. 16 – TD Garden
Ben Folds – Nov. 17 – Orpheum Theatre
Kate Nash – Nov. 18 – Paradise Rock Club
Ila Mawana – Nov. 19 – Middle East
Delorean – Nov. 20 – Middle East
Michael Buble – Nov. 27 – TD Garden