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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Upcoming live acts give plenty of reason to leave the house

Published: January 26, 2007
Section: Arts, Etc.

Staying indoors during the winter is a must for many, so what better way to do so than to take in a few of the many upcoming concerts in the Boston area? Students wishing to see their favorite bands or just great live acts have plenty of choices in the next few months. Perhaps the kicker is that many of these concerts are dirt cheap with artists full of talent.

For those students who are looking for something to do this upcoming weekend, perhaps check out Camera Obscura, a critically acclaimed indie pop band who bring Belle and Sebastian to mind and are playing at the Paradise on Saturday night.

For those students too lazy or without the time to leave the campus itself, the Punk Rock and Roll club are bringing the indie rock band the Wrens to Chums coffee house, Saturday, February 3. The under-publicized but critically acclaimed group, known for their rousing live shows, will appear here at Brandeis absolutely free.

Another group that has shown great promise that should be relatively easy to see in Boston is Midlake. Hailing from Texas, the group is coming off their successful second album, released last July. They have been noted for their ability to write whimsical lyrics and combine classic rock with synthesizers. They will perform of February 10 at the Middle East.

For those who really want to see a great show, Akron/Family (no, not Akon, the rapper, by the way) will also perform the following Tuesday at the same venue. The New York based band has employed many various and outright weird techniques to make their music, including recording a creaking chair, thunderclaps and even the white noise of a television to accompany their psychedelic and experimental rock sound. The band is known for using improvisation, while each member plays several instruments and also sings.

For fans who prefer a more straightforward lo- fi relaxing sound, the Apples in Stereo hit the Paradise Boston on February 17. Known for their sunny and catchy lyrics that hearken back to the Beach Boys and the Velvet Underground, this could provide ample entertainment over February break.

Just two days later comes British sensation Lily Allen, who will play the Axis. At just 21 years of age, Allen has already scored a UK number one single along with MySpace fame and will release her debut album in the U.S. on January 30. This might be perhaps the best chance to see Allen before she becomes a household name.

The following week will bring the Boston based alternative rock band, the Lemonheads, who are on tour after releasing their first album in over nine years. The same weekend, self- loathers will unite as the legendary Bright Eyes will also perform in Somerville.

Other legendary acts such as the Blues great B.B. King and the radical Irish punk group the Pogues come to Boston in March, although both are more expensive options.

Badly Drawn Boy is another live act similar to Akron/Family in terms of sheer unpredictability, as the group has a tendency of telling stories for long periods of time rather than performing their work. Regardless, the outfit is listed by British music magazine Q as one of 5 Bands To See Before You Die. Badly Drawn Boy presents an irreverent and rousing kind of indie music and will appear in Somervile in early March.

In what could be the best bargain yet, the quirky Of Montreal will perform coming off the release of their latest album, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? Front man Kevin Barnes has been said to also be quite the crowd pleaser, while tickets are a miniscule $16.50 at the Avalon.

There are several other groups worth seeing over the next couple of months, if one has the extra time. Among them include the experimental and Brooklyn based rock band, Grizzly Bear, and Jazz trio the Bad Plus (who even perform a Jazz rendition of the Nirvana anthem Smells Like Teen Spirit). Both will be playing at the Museum of Fine Arts. Finally, Strokes singer- songwriter Albert Hammond Jr., Scottish post- punk the View, and Grammy winning hip hoppers the Roots will all come to Boston soon.

Rather than paying at least ten dollars for a movie ticket to the next Rocky or Wayans Brothers movie, perhaps try to check out some of these live shows in the greater Boston area. There are certainly plenty of opportunities to do so.