OPEN-HEART SURGERY: Clinic rock the Middle East downstairs on March 10
If this winter’s concert scene were a crazy tag-team wrestling match, rock would be the ass-kicking king of the ring. From the emo of Fall Out Boy to the punk heroics of Mission of Burma to the made-for-TV schlock of Rock Star Supernova to Dropkick Murphys’ (already sold-out) annual St. Pat’s throwdown to classic acts like Everclear and Bob Seger, the sheer number of heavyweight rock shows is, well, heavyweight.
The only real contender in the knockdown battle of the genres is world music, with Paco De Lucía kicking off a stellar flamenco festival in February plus a tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim, the Gyuto Monks, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
There’s also some great blues gigs, Toby Keith’s arena-sized country, and a week of live film-soundtrack performances by Boston’s own Alloy Orchestra.
Latin soul-funk-rock heroes WAR kick the season off next weekend, January 5-6, at Scullers Jazz Club (400 Soldiers Field Road, Boston). More than 30 years into their career, they still hit a groove like an A-bomb, dishing out new slabs of their hybrid sound along with their classics “Low Rider,” “Why Can’t We Be Friends,” “Cisco Kid,” and “Slippin’ into Darkness.”
On the 13th, Chicago punk-pop-emo dudes FALL OUT BOY play Avalon (15 Lansdowne St, Boston) with NEW FOUND GLORY, the EARLY NOVEMBER, and PERMANENT ME; the next night the same tour heads to Lowell’s Tsongas Arena, while over the river at Somerville’s Johnny D’s (17 Holland St), MONSTER MIKE WELCH blasts out git-tar blues.
The annual BOSTON CELTIC MUSIC FESTIVAL plays Club Passim (47 Palmer St, Cambridge) January 12-13 featuring MATT & SHANNON HEATON, MEG HUTCHINSON, KEITH MURPHY, and more. The festival, which runs through the 14th, includes other venues in Cambridge and Medford and a wealth of performers; visit www.bcmfest.com. Indie songstress ERIN MCKEOWN celebrates a CD release at Passim January 16-17; she’s followed by former Incredible Casuals frontman CHANDLER TRAVIS on the 19th.
RODFEST V is a benefit for the Greg Moynahan Memorial Scholarship Fund, which was named in memory of a former Stonehill College student who died in a car crash. It’s organized by THREE DAY THRESHOLD’s Kier Byrnes, Moynahan’s cousin, and on January 19 at the Paradise (967 Comm Ave, Boston) this year’s version will feature Byrnes’s band plus CASSAVETTES, BEAGLEPUSS, KALVIN KOOLIDGE, and the Russ Myers–sounding GIRLS, GUNS & GLORY.
Finnish folk-rockers VÄRTTINÄ play the Somerville Theatre (55 Davis Square) on the 19th, touring behind their ambitious new Miero on Peter Gabriel’s Real World label. Across the street at Johnny D’s, Boston (the classic-rock band) singer BRAD DELP’s pet project BEATLEJUICE hold court the 19th and 20th. That Saturday, however, most diehard local rockers will be at the Paradise for alt-rock pioneers MISSION OF BURMA. The same night, Portuguese singer-songwriter SARA TAVARES brings her guitar to the Berklee Performance Center (136 Mass Ave, Boston), playing pop rooted in her native Cape Verde. MARK EITZEL of American Music Club plays the Middle East upstairs (472 Mass Ave, Cambridge) January 22 — one night after molasses-sweet duo the WOOD BROTHERS visit Club Passim.