HIGHER POWER: The Blind Boys of Alabama play Symphony Hall March 27.
If freezing your ass off builds character, music fans should prepare to develop way too much character over the next few months. Although the winter months traditionally signal a slight slump in the awesomeness index for concerts, 2009 is proving to be a great big exception to the rule. Legends, newbies, talents far-flung and homegrown, new spins, old tricks — this concert season's got it all. Sorry everyone, you're just gonna have to go out.
DAS EFX | HARPERS FERRY, 1.16
Don't get mad at Skoob and Dre for fumbling some lines at this past summer's Peace Fest on City Hall Plaza. As anyone who's ever tried to internalize the polysyllabic pontification on "They Want EFX" or any other early Das Efx joint well knows, these dudes pack mouthfuls. However, sources in New York report that the Brooklyn duo absolutely conquered a recent Knitting Factory show, which means their upcoming Harpers gig might even quell fans who want not just Yo! MTV Raps classics, but EFX from the deepest trenches of their catalogue.
RAKIM | HARPERS FERRY, 1.17
An easy way to shut down a conversation between an adolescent who believes Lil Wayne reigns supreme and a 20-something who thinks Nas is king is to say, "Both of you shut the fuck up – Rakim fathered every last one of them." There's a reason that Rakim packs the surname Allah: he's the undisputed king of this rap kingdom — always has been, and always will be. Anyone who dares contest that should hold his or her blog comments until the almighty street griot spins his timeless rhymes through Allston. If they still dissent, then, in the words of Rakim, they can stick a dick in their ear and fuck what they heard.
DEPARTMENT OF EAGLES | BRATTLE THEATRE, 1.18
If the bad news is that all these smooth-harmonizing, guitar-layering, scruff-having Blitzen Trappers, Fleet Foxes, and Bon Ivers might be fast turning us into our dads, the good news is when these bands play shows, there's a high likelihood we'll get to sit down the whole time. Hence, we're excited for this Department of Eagles date coming up. Not only will our backs, worn from years of hauling a messenger bag around for some reason, find relief in the sturdy seats of the venerable Brattle (a fitting venue for this band's often filmic glow), but we'll doubtless get to hear a good portion of In Ear Park (4AD) live. And won't that be something to tell the kids about? Uh-oh.
MISSION OF BURMA | SOMERVILLE THEATRE, 1.24
You may have heard, as we've been all bloggy about it, that the old Armory building, just outside of Davis Square on Highland Ave, is being transformed into a (dare we predict) rad community arts center by the folks who own the Middle East. In the spirit of swooping in and making this happen, evergreen indie heroes Mission of Burma will play a benefit blowout at the Somerville Theatre with the Neighborhoods (hoorah the past!) and Faces on Film (hoorah the future!). Probably want to grab your tickets for this, say, now.