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Thursday 28
He’s got Grammys, he’s got Emmys, he’s got a velvet croon and a watch-out-for-your-girlfriend grin. This renaissance man-about-town is Harry Connick Jr., and he’s bringing Your Songs, his umpteenth collection of fancy-pants jazz as both composer and conductor, to Copley Symphony Hall tonight.... Pop producer Timbaland will appear right ‘round the bend at the House of Blues in support of his third solo do, Shock Value II, a follow-up collaborations collection to his platinum-selling Shock Value. The Grammy-winning producer’s currently got four singles off the 13-song collection in Billboard’s Hot 100.... If yer uptown and, let’s face, under a certain age, the gig to get to would be Dead Meat at Bar Pink. These bicoastal rockers are on a West Coast swing this month. The SanFran-slash-Miami band is a trio that plays provocative psychedelic sludge rock. Check ‘em out: myspace.com/deadmeatdredbeats. (Think they’ve tasted some Scratch Acid?) Black Hondo’s up first.... And alsos: indie-pop act Irradio’s at Soda Bar with Get Down! to Brass Tacks and Marquez...scatological locals the Bertos and Bay Area boy-girl band Slow Trucks pull into Radio Room.... And Ruby Room fills an odd-pop bill with Manuok, Confessions of a Corn Silo, and By Sunlight, who are down from Seattle to play a pair here this weekend.

Friday 29
NYC hardcore crew Agnostic Front will play a 30-year anniversary set at Brick by Brick Friday night with O.C. punx Death by Stereo and like-minded locals Systematic Abuse and San Deviants.... Detroit-born, Chicago-basted bluesman John Lee Hooker Jr. will rattle glasses at Humphrey’s Backstage Lounge. The pipes on this cat do Dad proud.... Skate-punk throwbacks Rats Eyes (ex-Locust, Sirhan Sirhan, Hostile Combover, and Bloodflowers) are playing a freebie at Whistle Stop. Grab the new seven-inch from the merch guy while you’re there.... Alt-rock supergroup the Midnight Rivals (ex-Lucy’s, Rocket, Convoy, and Louis) will be up the street at Bar Pink. They haul in Drowning Men to split this damn fine double bill.... The ever-touring Count Basie Orchestra checks in at Anthology for two nights. The brassy big band has been blowing since 1955! They’re touring with multi-Grammy vocalist Carmen Bradford.... The best of the rest: dramatic-pop act Transfer stops at Casbah behind their debut Future Selves. Hong Kong and Wire Pony canter in first...House of Blues has punk-pop hits New Found Glory and Saves the Day...the Helen Earth Band headlines an alt-pop bill at Soda Bar with the Cousins, Addison May, and aforementioned Seattleites By Sunlight...while Radio Room dials up a plethora of power pop, featuring SoCal kids Feel Free, Chasing Claymores, Crushed on You, and Red Devil Squadron, with lone Zonies Treasure Mammal.

Saturday 30
UCSD campus club Ché Café’s Ché Underground will host reunion sets at Casbah inviting back bands of yore Town Criers, Manual Scan, and a one-off by yet another supergroup, the Blues Gangsters (ex-Wallflowers, Rockin’ Dogs, Answers, and Everybody Violet). And check this out: unconfirmed rumors of the Unknowns throwing one down are confirmed right frickin’ here: cheunderground.com/blog/?tag=mark-neill.... Apparently there are early sets to catch, too, if you got zero else to do Saturday, as “Technicolor pogo punks” the Polysics from Tokyo take the place at 6p with garage-rockers the Beaters. The Beaters got some props from Stereogum last week: stereogum.com/archives/mp3/new_beaters. Go, Beaters!... Up at the Ché proper, it’ll be Vegas noise boys the Caravels with homers Weatherbox and Boomsnake, who are wrapping up a tour behind their latest release. Gig to look forward to has Boomsnake opening for the Thermals next week up at Belly Up.... Soda Bar sets up silky smooth chanteuse Mia Valentine (“Yea, obviously I pretty much love the key of F. So.”) with Flowerthief, the Mashtis, and Queen Guard.... And a couple of L.A. acts drop in on Bar Pink, as ambient experimentalists Normandie share the stage with the hard-rocking Night Horse. Talk about your odd couples...

Sunday 31
Casbah kicks down a 94/9 freebie Sunday night with the return of hard-rock hits Firethorn. Get with the takes off of 2008’s Pollution for the Fountain of Youth for a primer on these guys. (Where’ve they been since then?) Heavy Glow, Boyscout, and Nautical Disaster will set the Middletown stage, Lucha Libre will be dishing free eats, and the radio gang will be broadcasting from the Atari.... Greenville, SC, death-metal dudes Nile flow through House of Blues behind their latest soul-shaker Those Whom the Gods Detest. Immolation, Krisiun, Rose Funeral, and Dreaming Dead go first.

Monday 1
From Raleigh in the other Carolina, freak folkie friends of Devendra the Bowerbirds alight at the Loft at UCSD. The trio’s well-received sophomore set is called Upper Air and is out now on Dead Oceans.... Orlando ska quintet Supervillains are set to skank up an Anti-Monday meeting at Casbah after reggae-influenced acousticat Mike Pinto sets the stage.

Tuesday 2
Get out to Tower Bar Tuesday night for the homecoming of the Soft Pack. The indie-pop four-piece will play a CD-release show in support of their hotly anticipated s/t debut. More here: pitchfork.com/forkcast/13665-cmon/. And get to their Space for fun-times vid “Answer to Yourself,” shot at Del Mar Pizza. The Beaters will heat it up.... Belly Up books the Dave Rawlings Machine. Guitarist-singer Rawlings is a frequent second-fiddle to Gillian Welch and has been tapped by indie-rock icons Conor Oberst and Ryan Adams. The Machine’s first disc, A Friend of a Friend, an Americana collection in the Nashville sense, dropped last year to critical acclaim but commercial indifference. Fans of Monsters of Folk and/or Old Crow Medicine Show would do well to give it a spin.

Wednesday 3
Helluva hump night here, but I’m out of words, so real quick with the headliners: Canadian heavy-metal hangers-on Anvil will land on House of Blues. Anyone who saw the ‘08 doc Anvil! The Story of Anvil simply can’t not go.... If you missed that flick, let me recommend you see it, or: check out former Dead Milkman Joe Jack Talcum at Bar Pink...Rhett Miller and the Serial Lady Killers will be stalking the Belly Up Bettys...Brit-folk songstress Laura Marling visits Casbah...and Brooklyn psych-pop trio Ultra Violent Lights shines on Ruby Room.
— Barnaby Monk

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