6 Concerts to Catch This Weekend


Mo Mojo

Recorded at Suma and mastered at Cauliflower, this local band's new album, We All Got the Same, features more up-tempo party tunes. Album opener "Love Lorna" sounds like the punk band X doing a zydeco number as the back-and-forth vocals have some real spunk to them, and the song benefits from some bluesy guitar riffs. "Marry a Northern Girl" is a rollicking instrumental that you can dance to. The live shows are always a good time. (Jeff Niesel) 9:30 p.m., $5. Brothers Lounge.

Marcus Alan Ward

Swarming with dense soundscapes that swirl like cosmic nebulae, Marcus Alan Ward’s latest album, Last Year I Grew Tentacles, is a unique and singular experience. The bleeding between tracks and overarching pulsing make it a living and breathing organism. The single "You Do" offers Ward at his best. A slow-but-moving electronic rendering of R&B, it soars with a sensitive sexuality surrounded by glistening jazz harmonies. Ward's voice enters the musical texture as if it were an accompanying instrument. The vocals stay behind the beat to allow the free-flowing textures room to breathe, then strengthening their presence in the verses to move the song into sensual intimacy. "Shy" emphasizes Ward's desire to present R&B in a manner that's less about male-domination and more on honest passion and insecurity. (Patrick Stoops) 9 p.m., $5. The Euclid Tavern.


Flamin' Groovies

To say Cyril Jordan and his band the Flamin' Groovies have had to wait for their just due as rock legends is an understatement of monumental proportions. Born and bred in San Francisco, the Groovies have weathered many a storm over the past 48 years. Jordan's integrity, which kept the band firmly rooted in the classic rock 'n' roll of the '50s and '60s, has meant that fame and fortune eluded him in an era in which jumping on the latest band wagons of psychedelia, album-oriented rock, punk and new wave may have allowed him an easy path to status and stardom. But it appears that time may be finally on their side. Jordan, original bass player George Alexander and charismatic lead singer Chris Wilson recently reunited after three decades, and the ground swell of interest in their rebirth has already reached international proportions. (Mark Horn), 9 p.m., $25. Beachland Ballroom.

Skinny Puppy

As the unsung godfathers of industrial metal, Skinny Puppy is still spitting out aggressive and technically spellbinding music. Their past few albums (like Mythmaker and Weapon) have successfully bridged the band’s current form with their original creative conception. Thankfully, they’ve resisted the bass-drop EDM graft that’s infected so much of the industrial scene. While the band might have more tech tools at its disposal than in the ‘80s and ‘90s, these guys are still dabbling in the experimental vein first opened by cEvin Key in the days of new wave. There’s something raw and visceral about the band’s best stuff. A friend in high school once told me he wasn’t a fan by any means, but he could “appreciate” them for what they were doing. And that’s the thing that can’t be denied: Skinny Puppy’s got (a very dark, mechanical) heart. (Sandy), 8 p.m., $12 ADV/$30 DOS. Agora Ballroom.


Blind Boys of Alabama

On their cover of Tom Waits’ “Way Down in the Hole,” the Blind Boys of Alabama layer gospel vocals over a gritty guitar riff, putting their distinctive stamp on a tune about keeping the devil “way down in the hole.” The song, the theme to the HBO series, The Wire, still finds its way into the band’s live sets. We think of the group, which first formed in 1944, as a true American institution. Acts such as Keb Mo, Carly Simon, Warren Haynes and Vince Gill have collaborated with the band over the years. In 2013, the band collaborated with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, who produced I'll find a Way. "Our manager was behind that," says band leader Jimmy Carter. "He came to use one day and asked us if we wanted to do an album with Justin Vernon. I said, 'Fine. Who is he?' After we met and got to talking and listened to his material, which was good, we did the recording at his house. He had a studio in his house in Wisconsin and we recorded in the bitter cold in November. You can imagine how cold it was, but he had a warm house and a warm house so everything went well." On its most recent album, last year’s Talkin’ Christmas, it offered up original Christmas tunes that benefited from a collaboration with Taj Mahal. (Niesel), 7 p.m., $43.50. Trinity Cathedral.

Vanessa Carlton

With her new studio album, Liberman, Carlton takes a sharp left turn and embraces a sound that’s even further removed from whatever you might hear on the radio. The sparse album, Carlton’s fifth full-length, represents a change of pace from the poppy material she’s written and recorded in the past. Earlier this year, she offered a sneak peak of the new album with the EP Blue Pool, which included moody tracks “Take It Easy” and “Blue Pool,” both of which ended up on Liberman. 7 p.m., $25 ADV, $28 DOS. Music Box Supper Club.

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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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