City and Colour
Are Pink and Green a new fashion statement? Don't judge Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter Dallas Green on his affiliation with pop wash-up Pink. The former frontman for the Canadian hardcore band Alexisonfire supported the "Get the Party Started" singer on her U.K. tour last year, and they collaborated on "What Makes a Man" from Green's 2008 album Bring Me Your Love, which he recorded under the alias City and Colour. Green left Alexisonfire a few months ago to focus on his solo project, and it's sounding more and more like a wise move. On the surface it may appear that Green is part of the new wave of alt-folkies, but his bleeding heart's pop buoyancy separates him from most of his contemporaries. "Fragile Bird" and "Natural Disaster" — from the new City and Colour album Little Hell — are two of his best songs, which he should play when his tour hits House of Blues this weekend. At this pace, he's likely to be the fashion statement next year. — Peter Chakerian
With Hacienda. 8 p.m. Sunday, November 27. House of Blues. Tickets: $27.50, $25 in advance; call 216-523-2583 or visit houseofblues.com.
Post-hardcore? Screamo? Does it really matter? Thursday gleefully defy most genre trappings and conventions. While many of the bands that rose from the same scene a decade ago could be unrelentingly misanthropic, the New Jersey band — particularly singer Geoff Rickly — looked intensely inward. Their breakthrough album, 2001's Full Collapse, was an immediate hit among emo and post-hardcore fans. War All the Time, their major-label follow-up from two years later, further fanned the flames with the searing anthem "Signals Over the Air." The albums since then have gone on to explore the band's musical and lyrical complexities as well as their primal catharsis, giving way to this year's No Devolución, which means "no return" — a fitting title, given Thursday's refusal to waste away their strengths as they get older. It's an intricate and jarring work, and a solid example of why you'll find fans from shoegaze to hardcore music at their shows. — Norm Narvaja
With Maylene & the Sons of Disaster, Zechs Marquise, and Native. 6 p.m. Monday, November 28. Grog Shop. Tickets: $22, $20 in advance; call 216-321-5588 or visit grogshop.gs.
Nearly two months after John Doe revisited X's timeless punk catalog with his old band at the Beachland, he returns to the club in another musical persona: solo performer. His new album, Keeper, unfolds with many of the same elements that have filled his previous eight releases: a gritty Americana gumbo that stirs together alt-country, folk, honky-tonk blues, and rock & roll. But the angry young man of his past has been replaced by a 57-year-old singer-songwriter whose latest set of songs comes from a place of deep happiness and satisfaction. Doe moves past the dark corners and inner turmoil by penning a batch of tunes that goes beyond the usual schmaltz found in such blissful moments. Check out "Don't Forget How Much I Love You," "Sweetheart," and "Lucky Penny" for proof. Still, "Handsome Devil" and "Jump Into My Arms" cling to the notion that those insecure and yearning demons of his past won't leave so easily. — John Patrick Gatta
With Whiskey Daredevils and Robert Ellis. 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 29. Beachland Tavern. Tickets: $12; call 216-383-1124 or visit beachlandballroom.com.
The Los Angeles hip-hop duo the Knux drew tons of comparisons to OutKast with their 2008 debut, Remind Me in 3 Days ... The two Lindsey brothers pretty much did everything on the album, steering them far away from the genre's usual trappings. All that effort resulted in the dreaded "hipster rap" label. So they expanded on their second album, Eraser, which came and quickly went in September. They still use live instruments, and they still have a frame of reference that stretches beyond hip-hop's typical borders. But they're more pop-minded this time around, reaching out to guests (most notably Kid Cudi) for the almighty hook. It certainly works in songs like "Run" (the cut with Cudi), "Razorblade," and "She's So Up," which hit the clubs with equal doses of electronic bounce and new-wave guitar crunch. There's not much focus to Eraser, and its second half is forgettable, but there's an elastic snap to it that's missing in most contemporary hip-hop. — Michael Gallucci
With Jordy Towers and Vanity Fair. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 29. Peabody's. Tickets: $12, $10 in advance; call 216-776-9999 or go to peabodys.com.
Running only 33 minutes, Beirut's recently released third album, The Rip Tide, consciously maneuvers past most of the widescreen melodic mayhem that defined the band's other records, dropping a bunch of overdubs and emphasizing hummable tunes over instrumental grandeur. But this newfound immediacy doesn't make the songs feel any smaller. In fact, by trimming some of the fat and beefing up the production, frontman Zach Condon unearths more emotion on The Rip Tide than on the rest of his catalog combined. "East Harlem," with its sighing trumpets and creaky piano chords, is as self-consciously cute as a Grizzly Bear track wrapped in a neon-pink bow, but Condon's ache-filled lyrics pull gloriously at the heartstrings. Now touring as a relatively trim six-piece group, Beirut still have plenty of nimble hands on deck, but there's a smaller chance of a band member getting lost in a thicket of accordions these days. — Ryan Reed
With Perfume Genius. 8 p.m. Monday, November 28. House of Blues. Tickets: $30, $27 in advance; call 216-523-2583 or visit houseofblues.com.
Under the Radar
Leave it to a Brooklyn group to revive the dance-punk genre, which apparently still has a little life left in it. Friends is led by a 23-year-old singer who sounds positively European in her occasional detachment from the music. But once the polyrhythmic beats kick in, the quintet manages to thaw even the coolest of vibes. Fittingly, they play the Happy Dog on Tuesday. — Michael Gallucci
Under the Radar
What's a Canadian National Fiddle Champion doing at a jazz club? April Verch didn't earn that title by just playing bluegrass and folk music on her instrument. She's a versatile performer who works in a bunch of different sounds — yes, including jazz — during her energetic shows. It's old-timey music infused with a current of modern electricity. Verch and her band play Nighttown on Wednesday, November 30. — Michael Gallucci
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