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Four days to St. Patrick’s Day!

| March 13, 2012 | 0 Comments

They started reminding us how close it was way back in September — we can’t take it any longer! Neither can Anti-Flag, Grimes, Tyga, or Dave Barnes.

The General Strike (Sideonedummy) makes you want to get up and break shit, though it’s hard to ignore the conservative dismissal of Occupy Wall Street in your mind as it plays. Though Anti-Flag separate themselves from the hooligans who ran riot in England last summer — they don’t want no PS4 — their list of solutions doesn’t amount to much. “What is it that defines you?” “Step out!” “What are you waiting for?” Bellowing against conformity and corporatocracy has its merits, but comparing protests in Washington to what went down in Tunisia last year doesn’t. Anti-Flag’s ferocious attack hasn’t lost any steam even as it incorporates elements of more recent Against Me, it be nice if they gave their arguments as much bite. (Tuesday@Reggies with The Flatliners and Have Nots.)

You might argue Claire Boucher didn’t fancy her chances at notoriety when arriving upon a pseudonym (Grimes) or the cover art of her new album. But here the Canadian sits with one of the most talked-about indie records of 2012, the psychotropic wonder with a spot-on title: Visions. At its most accessible, it recalls Lykke Li loaded with Michael Jackson vocal overdubs. But what defines it are the consistent left turns at varying intervals. Either the result of a nightmare or a bad trip, Visions sees something new every time it blinks, and offers challenges without feeling indulgent. (Wednesday@Empty Bottle with Born Gold.)

At first it seemed like Tyga didn’t know what to do with a mixtape, then he snuck his biggest hit to-date in one, and now his Cash Money/Young Money breakthrough sounds like the most expensive one ever recorded. (There’s a reason it comes with a price tag.) Careless World brings you every side of the former pop/rap (and Pete Wentz bud) MC, and then repeats them. And once more for good measure. As such, it’s hard to figure out what he brings. His flow is average and his lyrics rough, and he doesn’t do the sensitive-guy shtick as well as labelmate Drake. Yet there’s something admirable (or it could be agitating) about someone so eager to please. Maybe his character is still in development, but for now he remains in the YMCMB shadows of Lil Wayne, Drake, and Nicki Minaj. (Thursday@Metro with Y.G.)

Dave Barnes is a songwriter who’s distinguished himself in the Christian country/pop world, and takes his groove-acoustics further into Jason Mraz or Gavin DeGraw worlds through electronic flourishes on Stories To Tell (Razor & Tie). Rather symbolically, Barnes took a recording project out of Nashville and landed in Nashville. Whether the change of scenery had a legitimate effect is neither here nor there, because, despite some poppier moments, this is still the to whom Barnes his fans have grown accustomed. (Thursday@Lincoln Hall with Andrew Ripp.)

— Steve Forstneger

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Category: Stage Buzz, Weekly

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