There's a song on Train's latest album that's either the most brilliant or the most batshit-crazy you'll hear all year. It's called "You Can Finally Meet My Mom," and the narrative behind it goes like this: Singer Patrick Monahan tells the love of his life that when he dies and goes to heaven, he doesn't want to pal around with any famous people, including, but certainly not limited to, "Gilda Radner, Buddha, or the dude who had Pop Rocks and soda at the same time." Nope, he wants to hang with his girl. Plus, she'll finally get to meet his dead mother. It's filled with lots of namedropping and sentimentality that collide over four minutes and 40 seconds. Oh, and it's catchy as hell. The rest of California 37 is the usual Train ride of mainstream rock polished to gold standards with a few lyrical curveballs thrown in. Hopefully they'll play "You Can Finally Meet My Mom" when they come to town. You'll most definitely hear "Drops of Jupiter" and "Hey, Soul Sister," the most annoying song on the planet three years ago. — Michael GallucciTrain With Mat Kearney and Andy Grammer. 7 p.m. Thursday, August 16. Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica. Tickets: $35-$75. Call 800-745-3000 or visit ticketmaster.com.
Red Wanting Blue
The grassroots appeal of these Columbus throwback rockers (who channel everything you ever loved or hated about the safer side of '90s alt-rock) finally carried them into the mainstream last month when they played "Audition" from their latest album on David Letterman's show. Like Hootie & the Blowfish, the band they most sound like, Red Wanting Blue's heartland-approved mom rock is made for summertime patios and casual reunions for recently graduated college kids who don't want to grow up. — Gallucci
8 p.m., $12. Musica.
Low-fi indie-rock heroes Sebadoh had a pretty stellar year last year. They reissued a deluxe version of their best album, 1994's too-stoned-to-give-a-fuck classic Bakesale, and then went on the road, playing most of the songs from it and the almost as excellent followup album, Harmacy (which is still waiting for its own deluxe reissue). Frontman Lou Barlow even seemed to crack a smile through the frowns that were planted on his face through most of the '90s. Sebadoh are back on the road, playing their classics again. The band is opening for itself on this tour. Barlow will perform some solo songs, and the other two guys – Jason Loewenstein and Bob D'Amico – team up as Circle of Buzzards for a short set. Once the short tour winds down, Barlow's other group, Dinosaur Jr., will release a new album next month and then tour. Sebadoh have also laid down some tracks for a new album, which should be out sometime next year. For a guy once saddled with the "slacker" label, Barlow sure is doing his best to lose it lately. — GallucciSebadoh/Lou Barlow/Circle of Buzzards9 p.m. Friday, August 17. Grog Shop. Tickets: $14, $12 in advance. Call 216-321-5588 or visit grogshop.gs.
Our Last Night
New Hampshire punks Our Last Night smooth out some of their rougher edges on their third album, which comes out this week. That basically means that the pop side of the quintet's pop-punk equation is more prominent now, giving some songs (especially the title tune, the record's first single) more of a fighting chance with fans who may have been a little turned off by their more metalcore moments. But it's not all sparkles and glitter, as their ferocious live show will undoubtedly prove. — Gallucci
With Skies of December, Asyria, and Motives. 8:30 p.m., $8 ADV, $10 DOS. Grog Shop.
What's more remarkable? That the all-female Japanese trio Shonen Knife have been around for 30 years? Or that their recently released 18th album, Pop Tune, sounds exactly like their first one? We're not complaining. It's not like the Ramones – whom Shonen Knife paid tribute to last year with a covers album and who are the band's most obvious reference point – really mixed things up. So yeah, Pop Tune is filled with three-chord, three-minute blasts of catchy, if kinda repetitive, garage-punk. What of it? — Gallucci
8:30 p.m., $12. Beachland Ballroom.
Sharon Van Etten
Her fans might disagree, but beloved indie-rock It Girl/singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten has much in common with reviled indie-rock It Girl/internet-sensation Lana Del Rey. Their latest albums came out within a week of each other earlier this year, they both have New York/New Jersey roots, and they both make somber, moody songs about how much love can suck. But where Del Rey was viciously dismissed after a train-wreck of a performance on Saturday Night Live before her album even came out, Van Etten's album has been heralded as one of the year's best by nearly every music blog on the planet. And there are certainly moments on Tramp, which is her third record, where she gets into a groove that pulls all these songs of heartbreak into a place with some very dark corners. Van Etten plays the Rock Hall's free "Summer in the City" series this week, and we're guessing this one's going to be packed. So get there early. You should also get there early to check out the openers, jangly Kent folk-rockers Bethesda. — GallucciSharon Van Etten With Bethesda. 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 22. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Free. Call 216-781-7625 or visit rockhall.com.
The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
These Indiana-based shit-kickers made their name by hitting the road and staying on it until they couldn't play another note. Their albums — the latest, Between the Ditches, just came out — don't do their live shows justice. The trio —led by the Rev., a grizzly bear kinda guy — plays a bluesy mix of Americana and country that sounds like something you might hear in a juke joint you probably shouldn't be in after dark. But that's exactly what makes their concerts so damn exciting. You never know what might spill. — Gallucci
8:30 p.m., $8 ADV, $10 DOS. Grog Shop.