THURSDAY JAN 23
Battlecross/Crimson Shadow: 7 p.m., $10.40. Agora Ballroom.
Bad Boys Jam: 9 p.m. Brothers Lounge.
Jon Batiste & the Stay Human Band: The artistic director-at-large of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, Jon Batiste is also a recording artist who earned universal praise for last year's Social Music. The exuberant 26-year-old singer and his group Stay Human mix together several genres of music including funk, hip-hop and rock. With a tuba riff leading the way, the album opener "Let God Lead" sounds a bit like the Dirty Dozen Brass Band but with a spiritual vibe. Other tunes such as "San Spirito" have a more traditional jazz sound to them. Should make for a good high energy show. 7:30 p.m., $26.50. E.J. Thomas Hall. (Jeff Niesel)
Ronnie Fiorentino: 8 p.m., $10. Nighttown.
Chris Hatton (in the Wine Bar): 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge.
The Honeycutters/Rachel & the Beatnik Playboys: There's something about a fine blend of country and roots music that complements road trips perfectly. The Honeycutters, based out of Asheville, N.C., and set to arrive in Cleveland tonight on their own road trip, take care of that need with aplomb. The band has a new album in the works, but 2012's When Bitter Met Sweet is a nice introduction to their music. Refusing to be pigeonholed by the constraints of more mainstream stabs at country music, the Honeycutters cover a lot of ground on the album. It's upbeat and reflective at every turn of the melody. "90 Miles (The Tennessee Song)," for instance, is a gentle ode to state lines close to Platt's heart (and far from Cleveland). It's a terrific little tune, featuring stellar vocals and just absolutely wonderful strings throughout. The rest of the album offers similar high points, much like tonight's show is sure to do. 8 p.m., $10. Beachland Tavern. (Eric Sandy)
Ignite the Soul: Music to Uplift and Inspire! featuring ZACH and special guest Samuel Salsbury: 7:30 p.m., $20. Akron Civic Theatre.
Jam Night with Tower City Blues: 8:30 p.m. Grillers Pub.
Man Man/Xenia Rubinos/Stems: 8:30 p.m., $14. Grog Shop.
Northeast Ohio Drum & Music Jam: 9 p.m., free. Beachland Ballroom.
Rusted Root/Donna the Buffalo: Years removed from their residency in dorm rooms across the U.S., Rusted Root is still writing and performing really great music. The band's latest album, The Movement, displays their penchant for catchy world melodies and often silly lyrical wanderings. Case in point: "Monkey Pants" will get stuck in your head, and you'll freely admit that that's not a bad thing at all. Scene spoke with lead singer and guitarist Michael Glabicki last year. He said that the band's focus is heavily bent toward the stage these days. "We had in mind the live show and what we felt the live show needed," Glabicki says of the writing process behind The Movement. Each song begins as a seedling of sorts, and eventually grows into a mighty redwood or a wise conifer. Mindful evolution is not only the band's modus operandi — it's also the natural state of affairs for the music. No worries, though: They'll probably bust out "Send Me On My Way" too. 8 p.m., $28 ADV, $32 DOS. The Kent Stage. (Sandy)
Walk Off the Earth/Parachute: Canucks Walk off the Earth are yet another band that's become a YouTube sensation. The band's cover of Gotye's moody "Somebody that I Used to Know" has received millions of views. There's a certain novelty to the video as the group huddles around a single acoustic guitar to play the tune. Given that video's popularity, it was only a matter of time before a major label came calling and Columbia Records signed the group last year and issued R.E.V.O., an album of uptempo pop tunes that features some great vocal harmonies. Album opener "Revo" has a bit of twang to it and the same goes for the Mumford and Sons-like "Speeches." 8 p.m., $20 ADV, $25 DOS. House of Blues. (Niesel)
FRIDAY JAN 24
Benefit Show for Matthew Anderson: 7 p.m., $10. Mahall's 20 Lanes.
Emancipator Ensemble/Odesza/Real Magic: Portland, Ore.-based electronic producer Emancipator — aka Doug Appling — wrapped up 2013 in a pretty cool way. He began touring with a four-piece band as Emancipator Ensemble. The Colorado shows were a huge hit, lending a very in-the-moment sense of musicianship to the otherwise full-on electronic shows. But take a stroll through Emancipator's discography to get an idea of how he approaches the genre.
Safe in the Steep Cliffs (2010) at times sounds like a collection of Andean hymns. It's super-chill stuff, and the live-band component of tonight's show should only serve to focus the music even more. ODESZA joins the bill, opening the show with frenetic tracks from their dynamic mixtapes. The duo self-released their newest EP late last year (My Friends Never Die), and it boasts a thick variety of sounds and moods — perfect for setting the stage as the show goes on. Check out "If There's Time" for a more subdued and equally enticing version of the guys' approach to music. 9 p.m., $17 ADV, $20 DOS. Beachland Ballroom. (Sandy)
Garmonbozia/Space Goblin: 7 p.m., $7.28. Agora Ballroom.
The Jimmy Jack Band: 9:30 p.m. Brothers Lounge.
Jazz @ the Civic presents Josh Rzepka: 8 p.m., $20. Akron Civic Theatre.
Krypton Monkeys: The press release for last year's Crush, the debut from the local prog rock outfit the Krypton Monkeys, boasts that the band makes the kind of music that was popular 30 years ago but still gets airplay today. That's an apt summary of the disc, which sounds like it was recorded during another era. It doesn't come as a surprise that Asia keyboardist Erik Norlander was the guy to encourage Krypton singer-guitarist Ron Redfield to put this band together. Songs such as album opener "Selfish Love" and "Last Refrain" feature the kind of breathless vocals you used to hear in Asia tunes. These guys can certainly play — the guitar work in "Save Me" is spectacular — but their approach sounds rather outdated. 9 p.m., $10. The Winchester. (Niesel)
Aaron Lewis/Drake White: Singer Aaron Lewis is best known as the frontman for Staind, the Springfield, Mass.-based band that formed in 1995 and was active up until this year. Lumped in with the nu-metal hard rock acts popular at the time, the group toured with acts like Limp Bizkit in 1999 and then broke through to the mainstream with 2001's Break the Cycle, an album that featured the moody power ballad "It's Been Awhile," a powerful break-up tune about trying to recover one's self-esteem. It became the group's biggest hit. Lewis made his first foray into country with the 2011 EP Town Line, a six-song collection of country tunes that hearken back to the time when country had yet to turn pop. He continued to explore his country roots with 2012's The Road. 9:30 p.m., $25. Thirsty Cowboy. (Niesel)
Residency Night with Istvan Medgyesi (in the Locker Room): 9 p.m., free. Mahall's 20 Lanes.
Russian Duo: 8:30 p.m., $15. Nighttown.
Sentients/Belle My Burial/Arson/Asyria/Telos/Binder: 7:30 p.m., $10. Grog Shop.
Emma Shepard CD Release/Zach/Shisho: 8 p.m. Musica.
Stone Sour/Pop Evil/Stolen Babies: 8:30 p.m., $29.50 ADV, $32 DOS. House of Blues.
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