Lovers Lane
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You got to hide your Soulive away

| November 17, 2010

Does the world really need another cover or an entire album of tunes made famous by the Fab Four? Soulive thinks so. Despite iTunes finally making The Beatles’ catalog available to consumers after years of legal trouble, the trio hopes fans will bypass the classic versions and turn a kind eye to its interpretations on Rubber Soulive (Royal Family).

Comprising 11 tracks spanning The Beatles’ illustrious career, the album often fits the bill of a karaoke backing track. This isn’t to say Eric Krasno and the Evans brothers aren’t capable of inspired moments, most notably on the guitar-busting “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and the smooth sailing of “Come Together,” but the songs suffer from their own storied position in rock’s pantheon. Even as instrumental tracks, anyone with access to a radio knows the lyrics to “Drive My Car” and “In My Life” and Soulive’s efforts to divert a listener’s attention away from mindlessly singing along are paltry at best.

“Help!” loses its pleading urgency in Evans’ lackadaisical organ, but the stars align for a cascading rendering of “Revolution.” Krasno’s delicate touch on the guitar adds an extra layer of sweetness to the already moving “Something” without going overboard, and the echo of “all of the lonely people” reverberates throughout “Eleanor Rigby.”

With already a decade under its belt, Soulive delivers the goods in a live setting time and time again and history shows that even a tepid recording doesn’t hold a candle to the magic concocted when the trio takes the stage. (Friday@Double Door with Nigel Hall.)

— Janine Schaults

The Red Bull-sponsored “Head To Head Producer Beat Battle” hits town the night before, for the national finals of Red Bull Big Tune. Each constestant — whose survival depends on the audience — got to spend time with both Just Blaze and DJ Premier this week in small mentoring sessions. According to the competition, the victor receives the opportunity to record in the Red Bull Studio in Los Angeles with an A-list MC of their choice from five rhymers — past winners have chosen Common, The Game, Ludacris, Lupe Fiasco, and Talib Kweli; last year’s winner, C-Sick, got to hear Nas talk about how great he is. (Thursday@Metro.)

Local stalwarts Ezra Furman & The Harpoons hold court at a benefit for pediatric cancer. Furman has taken it easy in the past year (his site needs updating as it links to his old blog; here’s the new one); perhaps he doesn’t want to take thunder away from where he’s playing. Kingsbury Hall might appear strikingly familiar to those of you who’ve wandered out of Crobar buzzing on E at 4 a.m. That’s because Crobar closed and reopened as a live music venue this past summer. It’s still getting its feet wet and shooing away curious cowboys straying over from Joe’s. (Friday@Kingsbury Hall.)

— Steve Forstneger

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