Thursday, April 27
Ladytron, The Presets
Berbati’s Pan, 9:30 p.m. $15, 21+
Ladytron have always seemed sexier and cooler than they actually are. Despite songs that are theoretically catchy, there’s something forced about their execution. And while last year’s The Witching Hour was hailed as the group’s first emotional album, I still found them as icy as ever. But with that said, it’s quite possible their icy Kraftwerk-esque electronic music sounds amazing live.
Friday, April 28
Ice Cube, Dogg Pound, Clipse
Roseland Theater, 8 p.m. $20, all ages
I’m recommending this show because of openers the Clipse, whose mix tape We Got It 4 Cheap Vol. 2 was one of the best rap albums of last year. Twin brothers Pusha T and Malice not only have incredible flows but lyrical skill to match. And while they do rap almost exclusively about selling crack, they don’t sound nearly as joyful about is as rappers like Young Jeezy and Juelz Santana.
Scout Niblett, The Blow, Faerie Talk, Everything is Fine
Berbati’s Pan, 9:30 p.m. $7, 21+
On Devendra Banhart’s Golden Apples of the Sun compilation, Scout Niblett sounded like Joanna Newsom’s kid sister. Apparently, that has all changed, with Niblett adding loud, crunching guitars to her weird folk music. Portland’s Faerie Talk would have fit well on the Golden Apples comp, with their delicate, woodland folk, but they ultimately lack personality.
Saturday, April 29
Alan Singley and The Pants Machine, Point Juncture, WA, Please Step Out of the Vehicle
The Artistery, 8 p.m. $5, all ages
Alan Singley is a pussy, and this is coming from someone who doesn’t even like to use that word for fear of offending females. But seriously, the guy makes Conor Oberst sound like Ted Nugent. Good music, like good drama, requires conflict. To paraphrase Nick Cave, a love song without doubt is a hate song. But hey, Point Juncture are pretty cool.
People Under the Stairs, Time Machine, Psalm One
Ash Street, 9:30 p.m. $12 adv., $14 DOS, 21+
People Under the Stairs walk that thin line between hip-hop and downtempo, sometimes sounding like electronic artists and sometimes sounding like old school rappers. Producers first and rappers second, the duo are never going to be A Tribe Called Quest, but that’s probably a good thing.
Amnesty International Celebration: Collective Soul, Suzanne Vega, MarchFourth Marching Band, Brandon Boyd, Mike Einzinger
Roseland Theater, 8 p.m. $40, all ages
Dear Amnesty International, I am trapped in the Roseland Theater. Receiving your note made me believe there is hope. The music here is awful. That guy from Incubus can’t keep his shirt on and Collective Soul seem to think people still care about them. I begged Suzanne Vega to whistle "Tom’s Diner," but she refused. With your note I now believe I may one day escape this awful, awful benefit concert.
Sunday, April 30
Blue Oyster Cult, Moonshine Hangover
Roseland Theater, 7:30 p.m. $25, 21+
I really want to make a "Don’t Fear the Reaper" joke, but people are sick of those. Concerning Blue Oyster Cult, people have been sick of them since the late ’70s. But you’ve got to feel a teeny bit of sympathy knowing every show contains one jerky heckler demanding "More cowbell!" Whatever their sins, that seems like punishment enough.