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Dropkick if you’re down

| February 24, 2011 | 0 Comments

St. Patrick’s Day festivities are strung out this year like College Bowl season, so much that younger generations must have no clue when the big day really is.

Flogging Molly come on the 12th, The Tossers play their hometown on the 18th, and here Dropkick Murphys are nearly a month early. The Murphys have an ulterior motive to hit the road hard early, however, because a new album’s out on March 1st.

Going Out In Style will arrive on the band’s own Born & Bred imprint, a name that perhaps underscores the whole Irish thing to the point of overkill. No matter, because overkill’s what they do best on the new record. Brimming with fist-pumping, Celtic punk anthems and will come alive this tour stop in particular with the presence of Naked Raygun and Against Me as co-headliners on separate nights. (Friday and Saturday@Congress Theatre.)

Our other two weekend recommendations make slightly less macho impressions: Blair and Braids. The name Blair, of course, evokes the sassy flower of “Facts Of Life” lineage, though this one (a brunette) is decidedly less delicate. There are teenage emotions running amok on Die Young, but it’s more a record about discovery (“something to hold/something to break”) than any strict musical ideology. It feels slightly flip to compare her to Cat Power, though there are those unpolished surfaces that also put her in league with Shannon Wright. (Friday@Lincoln Hall opening for Say Hi.)

Braids moved from cattletown Calgary to cosmopolitan Montreal just out of high-school, and produced an album, Native Speaker, that shares that ambition. Mixing the empty expanses of central Canada with the urbane artiness of one of its oldest cities, the young band put no premium on goals and prefer to stretch out. Tracks stretch past eight minutes with minimal effort, recalling both Bat For Lashes and Esben & The Witch. There’s a certain preciousness in their precociousness, but overall it’s difficult not to be wowed by such a focused yet wide-ranging debut effort. (Saturday@Subterranean with, no kidding, Baths and Houses.)

– Steve Forstneger

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Category: Featured, Stage Buzz, Weekly

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