The word “hodgepodge” sounds like something that keeps a toddler from hitting the bathroom regularly. But for the lead-in to this weekend’s musical acts, it’s the best way to describe their a-rockin’. Read on for Bedouin Soundclash, Tim Easton, and Lloyd Cole.
We say to you: Bedouin Soundclash. You respond: The Sharif, he . . . he like it! Entering their second decade, the Canadian reggae-poppers killed their buzz a little, undergoing the bloodletting of replacing some members and tainting the positivity they’ve lived and breathed. Light The Horizon, however, returns to the bright side, reviving a roots bounce that’s so constant it begins to feel like dub. The somewhat distancing effect on Jay Malinowski’s vocals should dissipate live, to make those vibes feel more real. (Thursday@Subterranean with Green Room Rockers.)
Until recently, Tim Easton has only sounded like Bob Dylan in the way most modern singer/songwriters do: guilty by (folksy) association. On Beat The Band, co-starring The Freelan’ Barons, he more or less says “screw it” and lets the Bobby Z-isms fly. The album will almost certainly disenfranchise those put off by such homage, but closer listening reveals a fundamental difference between the Ohioan and the legend: Easton’s a straight shooter. A little sneer twists the jibe behind “Did Your Mother Teach You That,” otherwise, the raucous collection reflects a man and his mile-a-minute living, unencumbered by the weight of metaphor and allegory. (Thursday@Beat Kitchen with Madison Square Gardeners and Jeremy David Miller.)
Lloyd Cole has managed to sound like just himself since the early ’80s, and it’s only brought him trouble. A literate, British folk-rocker as Commotions frontman, whatever momentum the band established was obliterated when Cole decided to carry on using just his name. Since then, he’s taken numerous, extended breaks, and even boosted Matthew Sweet’s nascent career, yet despite being as lyrically adept as Morrissey, Elvis Costello, and Julian Cope, he’s never expanded his audience beyond a niche. Case in point, last year’s Broken Record required his fans’ financial assistance, which ironically seems to be the sort of plea only cult artists can get a response to. Either way, he delivered something self-deprecating without self-loathing, meticulously produced without burying his songs. It’s actually almost a shame this record didn’t arrive earlier, though today’s musical landscape allows for new discoveries every day. (Friday@Lincoln Hall.)
– Steve Forstneger
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