Thursday, November 12, 2009

THUR 11/12: Talk, Folk, Rock, Funk, Soul, Etc

Thursday usually has some interesting cheap options, and there are some really good one tonight. I have a hard time choosing a favorite.

Prof. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. received more publicity than usual this year. He could've filled Sanders Theatre before, but I assume tonight's free discussion about his memoir Colored People will be full. You can contact Harvard Book Store for more info.


THUR 11/12

6pm to 7:30pm
Fall Morris Gray Lecture w/ Michael Ondaatje
at Sackler Museum Lecture Hall, 485 Broadway, Cambridge (Harvard campus)

Although I know little about Michael Ondaatje (I greatly enjoyed "The English Patient"), I'm sure everyone in attendance will walk away with some new, stimulating notions rattling around in their heads.

THUR 11/12

Joel Plaskett, Adam Arcuragi
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
18+ $8

This show is like a tale of two singer-songwriters. They might be joined by bands, but I think it might be solo performances.

Joel Plaskett seems like quite a people-pleasing showman. His witty songs are super-catchy; if they were candy, you might eat the whole bowl and think about your next visit to the store. (He might push the limits with his 3-CD, 27-song concept album called "Three", but it's good stuff.)

Adam Arcuragi seems like the serious guy. He jokingly describes his sound as "death gospel". It's folky with generally slower tempos than Plaskett and sung in a baritone register.

They're not brothers who have to be compared, but I did it anyway...

THUR 11/12

Nneka, Afro DZ ak All-Starz, Keppie Coutts
at Cafe 939, 939 Boylston St, Boston (Back Bay)

It should be an interesting show with everyone mixing it up and touching on hip-hop, soul, R&B, jazz, and folk.

Strangely I discovered Nneka just a couple weeks ago on Hype Machine, and now she rolls into town. The Nigerian-German has been compared to Lauryn Hill, and it's more than just the hairdo. The soulful vocals are backed by a blend of African and hip-hoppy rhythms.

Rapper, poet, trumpeter Afro DZ ak leads a rotating group of All-Starz for what must be jazzy funk and soul that throws covers by Common, Sam Cooke, and Jill Scott into their set.

It's even more international with Australian Keppie Coutts who's currently studying at Berklee. From what I heard there's a bit of funk/soul in the mainly woman with acoustic guitar vibe.

THUR 11/12

John Powhida's International Airport (Midnight), Mercy James Gang (11pm), Logan 5 & The Runners (10pm), The Weisstronauts (9pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)

Mercy James Gang is celebrating the release of their "Best of" release that spans 17 years of recordings by Mercy James. There's nothing about their stuff, but I've never gotten too excited about the band. There is a lot to like -- and you might love it. I'm a big fan of Logan 5 & The Runners and John Powhida. It's going to be a rocktastic show with The Weisstronauts setting the mood with tasty instrumental rock.

THUR 11/12

Lovewhip, You Scream I Scream, Cathy Cathodic, #1 Dad & DJ Fred Mertz
at Church, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston (Fenway)
$8 / 21+

Lovewhip has a new longplayer, and it's a solid funkalicious delight that can appeal to the wallflower and bootyshaker alike. There will be a wave of good times with a riptide that will tickle your feet until you boogie down or drown. Lovewhip may be our answer to Prince, except it's a funky, electro-jam with female guitar-slinging mastermind.

It's going to be a freaky good time with Boston's premier "fem-cee" Cathy Cathodic, You Scream I Scream, and #1 Dad and DJ Fred Mertz.

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