Brooklyn synthpop duo Great Good Fine Ok met one evening in 2013, and the song they wrote together the next morning, “You’re the One for Me,” went on to hit number one on Hype Machine twice in the same month. Another single, “Take It or Leave It,” scored over ten million plays on Spotify. Featuring Jon Sandler’s disco-pop falsetto over Luke Moellman’s paisley space-age instrumentation, their headline appearance at the Irenic June 4 follows opening slots for everyone from Tove Lo to X Ambassadors, Betty Who, and Joywave. Expect them to arrive bearing silk kimonos, triggered lights, and ’70s-inspired keytar solos that veer from ironic to iconic, with Sandler and Moellman backed in concert by drummer Danny Wolf and guitarist Carey Clayton.
Confrontational Atlanta garage-rockers the Black Lips have a new studio album produced by Sean Lennon, Satan’s Grafitti Or God’s Art?, much of which they’ll likely play at the Belly Up on June 21. Founders Cole Alexander and Jared Swilley have fronted the flower punk band since 1999, currently backed by returning guitarist/singer Jack Hines (an off-and-on member since 2002) and two new recruits, drummer Oakley Munson (replacing co-founder Joe Bradley) and jazzy new sax player Zumi Rosow (of K-Holes).
The Birch Aquarium at Scripps transforms its Tide Pool Plaza into an outdoor music venue with panoramic ocean views on June 21 for the Green Flash concert series with Cracker, described fairly accurately in tour announcements as “an alt-rock Americana group with elements of insurgent-country, punk, and classic rock.” Over a dozen members have come and gone since their 1990 debut, with only singer/guitarists David Lowery and Johnny Hickman remaining from their original incarnation, alongside a trio of support players picked up in 2014. Admission includes parking and access to all aquarium exhibits, with proceeds benefiting exhibits and educational programming.
Boston-born, Northeast-based prog rockers Dopapod have played over 150 shows in the past four years, with the jazzy jam quartet due to hit the Casbah on June 25. All four members attended Berklee College of Music, making for mathematically precise arrangements that wouldn’t sound out of place on a King Crimson album, melded with free-flowing jam explorations à la Spirit and likeminded sonic explorers. Fans love their unexpected live covers (like the Rugrats cartoon theme), and you can sample hundreds of the band’s previous concert recordings via a Bandcamp app for iOS and Android.
Named after an exit near the band’s Arizona home, Phoenix quintet Jared & the Mill is promoting their latest EP Orme Dugas with a July 30 appearance at Blonde Bar. The EP, produced by Grammy Award–winning Ryan Hewitt (Tom Petty, Dixie Chicks), showcases their usual brand of banjo pickin’, Telecaster teasin’, and Beatlesque harmonies, all of which should be on display at the former Mission Hills home of Bar Dynamite.
British retro rockers Royal Blood play Observatory North Park on August 15, but fans will be able to listen to the album they’re touring behind (How Did We Get So Dark?) in June. Coming three years after their self-titled debut, it’s anybody’s guess whether U.S. label Warner Brothers will finally get yanks interested in the band’s bluesy oh-so-Zepplinesque brand of U.K. radio rock. Stateside listeners have mostly ignored their well-publicized anointment as heir apparent by Jimmy Page when the graying god handed them a 2015 BRIT Award as Best British Band, and Howard Stern fans tended to mock the band’s bewildered appearance on his program. It does seem a little soon into their career for an upcoming sophomore LP to supplement the usual digital, CD, and vinyl formats with a “super deluxe vinyl set” and even a limited cassette edition, but a support tour with the Foo Fighters may have banked them enough cred to fill up the Observatory’s 1100 seats.
Hispanic heartthrob Enrique Iglesias teams up with hip-hop provocateur Pitbull at Valley View Casino Center on October 22. Iglesias has sold more than 150 million albums worldwide, including dozens of number-one singles, and he holds a Billboard world record for “Bailando,” which spent 42 weeks at number one on the Hot Latin Songs chart, more than any other track in history. The music video for “Bailando” has earned over 1.9 billion YouTube views. Armando Christian Perez, aka Pitbull, sells vodka and signature fragrances, as well as pitching a Norwegian cruise line and providing voiceovers and occasional music for animated films such as Epic and The Penguins of Madagascar.
It’s been three decades and 20 albums since Blues Traveler formed around the hyperventilating sound of John Popper’s harmonica, and three of the five founding members will be at House of Blues on November 19 for the final date of their 30th anniversary tour. As per their usual fan-friendly policy, tapers are welcome to bring recording equipment without needing to hide the gear from bouncers, as anyone is welcome to document their shows as long as recordings are circulated for free. Pretty much every note and burp they’ve ever uttered onstage is chronicled on websites Live Music Archive and eTree.org. Currently in the studio recording their 21st album, the band’s merch booth will offer an on-site instant CD generator, enabling attendees to purchase the show they just saw within minutes of the encore (though orders for the concert CD have to be paid within the first half hour of the band’s set).
The San Diego Opera announced its 2017–2018 season, with highlights to include Laura Kaminsky’s As One (a chamber opera exploring transgender identity) and Ástor Piazzolla’s sultry tango opera Maria de Buenos Aires. Of note is the final event of the series on May 5 at the Balboa Theatre, “One Amazing Night,” featuring soprano Lise Lindstrom and tenor René Barbera performing a selection of opera favorites and romantic duets with the San Diego Symphony. Lindstrom is known around the world for her performances as the original frozen princess Turandot, a role she has sung over a hundred times, while Barbera is making a name for himself as one of the top bel canto singers on the international circuit.