This week's top arts and entertainment picks around town, from the guy who's paid to pick them:
For a soul singer, Springfield native John Legend
isn't very soulful. But he does possess one of the most laid-back voices in pop music these days, and his latest album, Once Again
, is perfect for candlelit canoodling. He plays the Akron Civic Theatre tonight. Be sure to get there early for Corrine Bailey Rae
, whose "Put Your Records On" single (from her self-titled debut) netted tons of spins on our iPod last year.
Tuesday: Yo La Tengo
is the consummate rock-snob band. For more than two decades, the Hoboken trio has made dreamy, guitar-drenched indie rock that has kept music critics poring through their thesauruses. Their latest album is also their most excellently titled: I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass
. They play the Beachland Ballroom.
Wednesday: Charlotte Puckette and Olivia Kiang-Snaije
found some of the world's best Asian food . . . in France? The Ethnic Paris Cookbook
, which the pair co-wrote, shares stories and recipes from some of their favorite French eateries. They also share stories and recipes at Joseph-Beth tonight.
Columbus-raised producer RJD2
was part of the Definitive Jux label, spinning and crafting hip-hop tracks that were as ethereal and as space-filling as any of his labelmates'. His new CD, The Third Hand
, is poppier than his previous records, but it's his best yet. He plays the Grog Shop.
Opera Cleveland launches tonight with a performance of Richard Strauss' Salome
. Two groups -- Cleveland Opera and Lyric Opera Cleveland -- merged last year to form the brand-new company. The century-old Salome
merges groundbreaking music and an Oscar Wilde play about the world's first dysfunctional family. See it at the State Theatre. -- Michael Gallucci