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Let’s Get Weird: Keep On Moving

Finally… there’s a month with a full calendar of upcoming dates listed in advance to preview. Anyways just a quick heads up to those sending me your shows and releases, because of recent deadlines changes, I need to know AT LEAST a month and a half in advance when it comes to plugging stuff. Thanks and the email address to send stuff is, as always, at the bottom. So now, let’s get weird!

GrandEvolution — Glow

GrandEvolution has had a remarkable run as a band. In the last fifteen years they’ve put out six full-length albums (I’m not sure there is anyone locally that can match that) and probably played hundreds of shows around New England. Their latest and greatest album, Glow, is more delicate and introspective compared to the 90’s grunge rock superkicks of their first few albums. Singer/guitarist Sarah Kenyon is really great at weaving different elements into her songwriting. A tune like the opening “Finding Beauty” the rails down the heartbreak hill of learning to accept some dreams disintegrate with a crazy “Freebird” like guitar solo.  “Shattered,” “In Ruins,” and “Nightmare” are all dreamcore rockers. My favorite is the title track, for both the message of overcoming gossip shysters and the hook swaying in the reverb. Glow is available on all streaming services as well as CDs and vinyl at www.grandevolution.com.

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Charlie Greene — Talk To The Old Man EP

The frontman of Less Than A Felony, Charlie Greene, has released his solo debut, Talk to the Old Man, which is available now on all streaming services. The EP kicks off with the title track and about minute long blues intro before hitting its stride somewhere between the riffing of the Stones and the bounce of The Undertones. I was disappointed that “Open Your Heart” wasn’t a cover of the Madonna song but I’ll live — also it’s a sweet folk ballad. My favorite here, “Never Made It to Graceland,” comes off as an underdog western ballad that somehow still rocks thanks to Greene’s guitar work. More Than A Felony, on Talk To The Old Man, Greene goes off on a full on sonic crimewave. 

Jesse Malin — Sad and Beautiful World (Wicked Cool Records)

Go big or go home in an alternative universe could be the story of Jesse Malin’s new double album, Sad and Beautiful World. In truth, the followup to Malin’s Lucinda Williams-produced breakthrough, Sunset Kids, is a double album because Malin, like the rest of us, had to go home last year. The first record, called the “roots rock” album, showcases his mellower singer-songwriter material. The second album is “radicals” showcasing Malin’s rock ‘n’ roll heart. I guess it isn’t all that different from what Deer Tick did a few years ago when they entered their condiment era.  My favorites on the “roots rock” side are “Before You Go” and “State of the Art.” “State of The Art” could really have been on either side tempo wise and has a great lyric in the chorus with “living in the state of the art, while everything is falling apart.” Some of my favorites on the “radical” side are “A Little Death”, a homage to Blondie’s disco era, and “Dance with the System” which is like Goat’s Head Soup era Stones rearranging Cheap Trick’s “Taxman, Mr. Thief.” My favorite tune from both albums comes from the “radical” side in the waltzing stomp “The Way We Used To Roll,” with lyrics like “I wrote a great story about all I could be, Tony Montana has nothing on me” showcasing the influence films have on Malin’s tunes. 

Guided By Voices — It’s Not Them. It Couldn’t Be Them. It Is Them! (Rockathon Records) 

Depending on how you count side projects (with the same members just recording under a different name), It’s Not Them. It Could Be Them. It Is Them is either Guided By Voices fifth or sixth full length album since the dawn of the pandemic. Technology and the fact that singer/songwriter Robert Pollard is the most prolific writer in the history of rock ‘n’ roll makes this possible. On the new album, “Flying Without A License”is like stoner rock for aliens. “High In The Rain” doesn’t sound anything like stoner rock as it rocks like a classic GBV pop with a touch of prog with the keyboards. “I Wanna Monkey” is an indie rock dance epidemic complete with horns. “Black And White Eyes In A Prism” and “I Share a Rhythm,” like much of the album, apparently have some magic power which grow on you the more they’re played — the louder, the more severe the condition. 

5 Shows that Don’t Blow

Titus Andronicus 

It feels like things are getting back to normal when Titus Andronicus bring their inventive indie rock stomp back to town.

Titus Andronicus will rock The Met Cafe on November 4th. 

Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express

Chuck Prophet is one of my favorite modern day songwriters with gems like “Bad Year for Rock and Roll” and “High as Johnny Thunders.” This is going to be a special night! 

Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express will rock the Narrows Center For The Arts in Fall River on November 4th. 

Vapors of Morphine 

Vapors of Morphine performs the music of “low rock” pioneers Morphine, utilizing the ethereal, hypnotic and expansive sounds popularized by the group in the nineties. 

Vapors of Morphine will perform at the Columbus Theatre on November 5th. 

John Cafferty and The Beaver Brown Band

Rhode Island Rock Royalty with this show, get out those old Eddie and The Cruisers soundtracks to pre-game!

John Cafferty and The Beaver Brown Band rock The Met Cafe on November 6th. 

Jets Can’t Land, Tall Teenagers, Joy Boys, and Jesse The Tree

This is the perfect local rock show for people that grew up listening to WBRU in the 80’s and early 90’s while taping 120 Minutes every Sunday night.

Jets Can’t Land, Tall Teenagers, Joy Boys, and Jesse The Tree will rock Askew on November 13th.

Even More Great Shows This Month!

The Mallett Brothers Band play The Met Cafe on November 5th. 

The FIXX and Fastball play the Narrows Center For The Arts on November 5th. 

The Wallflowers will be at the Greenwich Odeum on November 7th.

Dustbowl Revival are at the Narrows Center For The Arts on November 11th. 

Cheap Trick will rock the Providence Performing Arts Center on November 13th. 

Greg Hawkes (from The Cars) and Eddie Japan perform the music of The Cars at The Met Cafe on November 13th. 

Vanessa Carleton plays the Columbus Theatre on November 19th. 

The Mummies and Thee Fabulous Itchies will rock Askew in a garage rock show for the ages on November 21st.

The Schemers rock The Met Cafe on November 24th. 

Deer Tick will play the Columbus Theatre on November 24th and 26th.

The Silks and The Z-Boys at Askew on November 26th.

Anthony Green will rock The Met Cafe on November 26th. 

Bob Dylan brings the Rough and Rowdy Ways Tour to the Providence Performing Arts Center on November 26th. 

Email music news to mclarkin33@gmail.com

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