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Concert Calendar 

The shows you should see this week

The Wonder Years

What began as a college pastime has become a full-time career for Pennsylvania pop-punks the Wonder Years. Their 2010 album The Upsides was powered by punchy but angsty music that recalled OG emo bands like Promise Ring and the Get Up Kids. But if the Wonder Years are frustrated with their lives, at least they've got a sense of humor about it: "We're broke as fuck, but we can't complain," they sing on the 90-second song "Keystone State Dude-Core," from their 2007 debut Get Stoked On It! Last summer's Suburbia I've Given You All and Now I'm Nothing borrows its title from Allen Ginsberg's poem "America" and offers a nostalgia-tinged reevaluation of home and cherished illusions after a long year spent on the road. They not only explore more dynamic and nuanced arrangements here; they also sharpen their narrative-driven lyricism, sketching an entire suburban ecosystem of thwarted hopes and dyspeptic yearning. — Chris Parker

With Polar Bear Club, Transit, the Story So Far, and Into It Over It. 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 16. Peabody's. Tickets: $15, $13 in advance; call 216-776-9999 or visit

Zach Deputy

South Carolina singer-songwriter and occasional one-man jam band Zach Deputy has averaged somewhere around 275 concerts a year since 2008, playing just about any place that would have him. That work ethic and his super-spirited songs have made him a regular at summertime festivals like Bonnaroo, All Good, and Mountain Jam, where he's developed a fervent following among jam-band fans. But he's not about to be confined to that constricting label. On his latest album, last year's Another Day, Deputy expands his sound with a full-time group, which will join him onstage at House of Blues this week. He's more soulful these days on songs like "Sweet Rene" and "Remember," even getting downright funky on "Make It Right" and a little bit jazzy on "Sleep." Deputy takes the best parts of John Mayer, Amos Lee, and Ben Harper, and wraps them in a package that feels way more real in the end. — John Patrick Gatta

9 p.m. Tuesday, March 20. House of Blues. Tickets: $17, $15 in advance; call 216-523-2583 or visit


There aren't too many R&B artists these days with The-Dream's cred or his hitting streak. The dude has penned two indisputable classics over the past five years — Rihanna's "Umbrella" and Beyoncé's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" — and has recorded some of the freakiest, hookiest, and all-around best soul albums of the new millennium. His new one, Love IV MMXII, is due sometime this spring. It follows 1977, the free mixtape he released last year under his birth name, Terius Nash. That album was a bit of a stylistic departure from his usual pop-kissed bedroom jams, focusing instead on the breakup of his marriage. It's sorta like Marvin Gaye's Here, My Dear without all the bitchiness. The first single from Love IV MMXII, "Roc," finds The-Dream back in loverman mode, sweet talking some shortie into having sex with him. Pretty much business as usual. His three-week Kill the Lights Tour of smaller venues comes to House of Blues this week. See it with someone who looks good naked. — Gallucci

8 p.m. Wednesday, March 21. House of Blues. Tickets: $22.50-$40; call 216-523-2583 or visit

Saul Williams

MC, poet, and actor Saul Williams treads new territory with each of his albums, never settling in one place for too long. He launched his recording career with the 2001 rap-electro hybrid Amethyst Rock Star, which sported enough wordy pontificating to generate underground buzz. (Rick Rubin's production certainly didn't hurt things.) Rage Against the Machine's Zack de la Rocha and System of a Down's Serj Tankian showed up on Williams' next album, a self-titled record from 2004 that explored America's troubled psyche. His third album, 2007's The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust!, featured production by Trent Reznor, who helped Williams consolidate all of the freewheeling influences that floated around his previous records. His latest LP, last year's Volcanic Sun, begins with a dense meditation on mortality and life's restrictions before Williams falls into more pop-centric melodies. It's all part of his continued effort to frame his words in new sounds. — Dave Cantor

With CX Kidtronik. 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 21. Grog Shop. Tickets: $15; call 216-321-5588 or go to

The Black Keys

Dan Auerbach doesn't really have a whole lot to say. Like the old bluesmen he admires so much, the Black Keys singer and guitarist mostly writes songs about how some girl did him or his drummer bandmate Patrick Carney wrong. Or about how they're looking for a girl who will undoubtedly do them wrong sometime in the near future. The theme goes all the way back to when they were a scrappy duo making records in their makeshift Akron studio, and it continues all the way through to their latest release, El Camino, which led to a high-profile spot on Saturday Night Live and a sellout of Madison Square Garden in 15 minutes. What's attracted so many people to the Keys over the past few years, not so surprisingly, is the same thing that's attracted white music fans to all those classic bluesmen: a primal sense of emotional and physical release that comes with the pounding thump of drums and the electric surge of a six-string guitar. It's not too deep, but at a time when mainstream rock music's biggest players come off like happy hour with the bros, it counts for something. Two additional musicians will help expand that primal sound onstage when the Keys play the Q this week. — Michael Gallucci

With Arctic Monkeys. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 20. Quicken Loans Arena. Tickets: $34.50-$59.50; call 888-894-9424 or visit

Michael Gallucci

With Nü Sensae and Outer Space. 8:30 p.m. Sunday, March 11. Beachland Tavern. Tickets: $10; call 216-383-1124 or visit

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