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Stage Buzz: Mundy, Boys Noize, and Zongo Junction

Mundy

The ears of anyone holding onto a worn copy of the soundtrack to William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (ours is collecting dust alongside taped episodes of the truncated first season of “My So-Called Life”) should perk up at the mention of Mundy. The brooding Irish singer-songwriter scored a coveted spot on the uber popular compilation with “To You I Bestow,” a jangling number overflowing with youthful bravado. Just as Leonardo DiCaprio shed his squeaky voice and padded his jutting cheekbones in the intervening years, Mundy (proper name: Edmond Enright) traded in a puffed-out chest for serene humility. While not as combustible as Glen Hansard, moody as Damien Rice, or as quick with winking couplets as Bell X1’s Paul Noonan, Mundy shares his fellow countrymen’s ability to get the girl upstairs on charm and six strings alone. On last year’s Shuffle, a collection of covers from his favorite American scribes, the troubadour teams up with Gemma Hayes to turn Warren Zevon’s “Reconsider Me” from a loner’s desperate plea into a buoyant pledge of rekindling and inserts a sly twinkle into Bob Dylan’s already mischievous “Buckets Of Rain.” (Saturday@FitzGerald’s with Jess Klein.)

— Janine Schaults

Boys Noize, the pseudonym of star German electronic producer and DJ Alexander Ridha, takes those reverberating bass sounds inundating every corner of popular music to a more aggressive, yet sophisticated place on Out Of The Black. With a rough and raw edge, the album (the third from Boys Noize) is meant to shoot out of speaker systems (whether from a MacBook Pro or a three-story rig) at deafening volume. The tracks on Out Of The Black crescendo into adrenaline-pumping dance parties as each sound interlocks like a LEGO set with misplaced instructions. Robotic lyrics and infectiously gyrating rhythms lull to make room for the breakdown and slow build (and a chance to catch a breath) only to blow it up again, a pattern used to great effect in “Ich R U.” “Reality,” “XTC,” and “What You Want” play directly to the house/techno demographic, but Boys Noize retains an unbelievably experimental drive. The heavy metal vibe on “Rocky 2″ takes this electronic track to a darker place, while “Circus Full Of Clowns” introduces a rap dynamic with a guest star turn from Gizzle. And let’s not forget Snoop Dogg. One of the most influential rappers meets one of the most influential electronic artists. (Saturday@The Aragon Ballroom.)

The 11-member Zongo Junction can induce the sweats just by listening (i.e. sitting down in a stationary position) to the collective’s 2010 release Thieves! The distinct West African sound living at the core of its every rip-roaring song overworks even the most intuitive eardrums. A staple of New York’s Afrobeat scene, these Brooklynites treat every show as a scene out of Contagion (minus all the icky symptoms) where just minor exposure to band’s contagiously danceable tunes takes over the entire body. With jazzy keyboards, electrifying guitars, and one of the most soulful horn sections of this generation, expect only the onset of painful leg spams to cease your groove. A new album is scheduled for 2013 and the band released a live, one-take, edit-less peek at that forthcoming material. See “The National Zoo” below. (Friday@Empty Bottle with SoulJazz Orchestra.)

— Mary Scannell

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