Coming Attractions in Rock: January 2013

As we leave the holidays behind us and begin the New Year, it’s time to get out of Mom’s house and back into the clubs! The students are back, and along with them come some fantastic shows to kick off 2013.

By Kathleen Burke.

Choose to Find. At the Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge, MA , January 7, 8 p.m. 18+ $10.

Choose to Find — inspired by film soundtracks.

Not many instrumental rock shows come to The Middle East, but Boston-based Choose to Find has decided to fill the void. Self described as “somewhere in between the post-rock and jazz genres,” this four-piece includes bass, guitar, drums, and keys. Pianist and main songwriter Todd Marsten says he has been greatly influenced by film soundtracks and views the music he writes as the soundtrack to his life. The members of Choose to Find see themselves as musical storytellers, but they leave interpretation of their yarns up to the listener. Their most recent album, Songs Without Wordswas released just last month on Auxetic Records. Check out the “making of” documentary here.

The Idan Raichel Project. At the Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA, January 16, 7:30 p.m., ticket prices vary, $30-$65.

The amazing musical story of Idan Raichel begins in Israel, in a suburb of Tel Aviv. At the age of nine, intrigued by Gypsy music and the tango, he began learning to play the accordion. During his adolescence, he studied jazz and keyboards while studying Ethiopian culture and music. In 2010, at the age of 33, his band was named musical group of the decade in Israel, and their song Mi’Ma’amakin” was chosen as Best Song of the Decade.

Truly a multicultural musical experience, The Idan Raichel Project has performed worldwide, including, among other cities, Hong Kong, Sydney, South Africa, and Singapore. In 2011 The Idan Raichel Project released Traveling Home, their first live album, which quickly attained double platinum status in Israel. This month they bring their eclectic, international pop to the Berklee Performance Center. Learn more here.

The Toasters. At The Met Cafe, Pawtucket, RI, January 18, 8 p.m., all ages, $10 in advance, $13 day of show.

Ska pioneers The Toasters perform in Pawtucket, Rhode Island this month at The Met Cafe. Together since 1981, The Toasters’ humble beginnings in New York has led to a 30 year career including multiple tours around the world. (Amazingly, the group is closing in on its 5,000th live performance.) The Toasters enduring music has been used in television, movies, and in commercials. Check out the discography and band merch online.

Widowspeak, Quilt, Murals. At Great Scott, Allston, MA, January 27, 9 p.m., 18+, $10.

If the holiday season has left you stressed out, head to Allston and Great Scott on the 27th and decompress with Widowspeak, local band Quilt, and Murals. Quilt, a 2012 Boston Music Award Nominee, is all about shoegaze, sleepy, 60’s inspired, art rock. The other bands on the bill, Widowspeak (NYC) and Murals (KY), follow suit, rounding out what will be a laid back evening of jangly guitars, heavy reverb, and a generous dose of chill.

The Ryan Montbleau Band

Ryan Montbleau. At Club Passim, January 28–30, 8 p.m., $28 in advance, $30 day of show.

New England favorite Ryan Montbleau closes the month with a three-night stint over at Club Passim in Harvard Square. His jammy, positive folk rock will be a welcome pick me up as we make the frosty transition into February. His latest album was recorded down in New Orleans, but the six piece Ryan Montbleau band is back on tour this year. See Ryan perform solo and acoustic at Passim and check his website for full band shows in a city near you.

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