Friday, January 17, 2014

This week's hot concerts

Bettye LaVette
Friday  8 p.m. Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St., $32-$35,
The 67-year-old rhythm & blues singer’s rollercoaster career and 2005 comeback (which wasn’t a traditional comeback, since few remembered her `60s and `70s work) was ripe for an autobiography. Accompanied by the book, her latest album is hailed as some of her best work.

Farewell Drifters
Friday  8 p.m., Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St., $12-$14,
The Nashville roots-pop group previews material from its third album, "Tomorrow Forever," which is set for a January 28 release. The group relies heavily on sunny `60s and `70s pop, but remains traditional enough to make the bluegrass charts and play Merlefest.

Mickie James
Friday  8 p.m., Tremont, 400 W. Tremont Ave., $15-$35,
If you’re a fan of WWE and you haven’t caught Charlotte’s own PWX indie wrestling yet, here’s your chance to cheer (and you will) our excellent up and coming talent at pre-concert matches and catch the former WWE Diva-turned-country-singer. Wrestling starts at 6 p.m.

Math the Band
Friday  9 p.m., The Milestone, 3400 Tuckaseegee Rd., $5-$10,
With its Kickstarter-funded album, "Stupid & Weird" (which more than doubled its goal) scheduled for 2014, this coed, retro, synth-punk duo returns with more of its outrageously fun, videogame music-inspired, hardcore bleeps. Imagine Matt & Kim without any brakes.

Lucy Kaplansky
Saturday  8 p.m., Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St., $17-$19,
It’s been decades since the NYC folk singer (and Shawn Colvin’s former musical partner) returned to music after pursuing a career as a psychologist. She brings empathy as well as a unique alto and a gift for detailed storytelling to the songs on her latest record "Reunion."

Molly Gene One Whoaman Band
Tuesday  10 p.m., Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St., Free,
Like the wayward daughter of Robert Johnson and Donita Sparks from`90s female hard rock quartet L7, this Missouri musician plays the kind of gnarly blues where you can hear the metal slide rub against steel strings while operating a drum kit with her feet and singing mean, pained, sexy, Delta blues songs.

Crunk Witch
Wednesday  9 p.m., The Milestone, 3400 Tuckaseegee Rd., $6-$8,
Neither rap nor goth (although closer to the latter), the curiously yet fabulously named duo actually makes synth-pop that sounds like the violently beautiful collision of early Depeche Mode, disco, techno, and dubstep, but with plaintive vocals (think Peter Murphy meets Fitz) and meaningful lyrics.

New Politics/Sleeper Agent 
Thursday  7 p.m., Amos’, 1423 S. Tryon St., $15,
With its catchy single “Harlem” everywhere from Disney’s “Frozen” to commercials for Taco Bell and Windows 8, spots on “Fallon” and “Conan,” and an opening slot with Pink, breakdancing, Brooklyn-based, Copenhagen-bred trio New Politics is poised to break big. Kentucky's Sleeper Agent rocks like the ornery love child of the Donnas and the Strokes. Its sophomore album is out in March.

Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires
Thursday  9 p.m., The Milestone, 3400 Tuckaseegee Rd., $5-$7,
The Alabama Southern rockers, who recently signed to Sub Pop Records, is likely the best live band you haven’t seen yet. While touching on country-soul, folk, punk, and rock, Bains and his equally enthusiastic band come across as the Allmans meet the Stooges with the live intensity of early Avetts.