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Posted at 4:39 PM ET, 01/12/2006

Music to Mark on Your Calendars


What am I looking forward to in the music world in 2006? Well, I'm looking forward to not knowing what I'm looking forward to, if that makes sense. I'm excited about being blown away by some heretofore unknown opening band, or discovering a random, great song on one of the many MP3 blogs I frequent. I'm eager to hear what in the world Bob Dylan will play on his XM radio show. But there are also a few shows I'm anticipating. So here are five happening in the next couple of months. Feel free to chime in with a few that you're psyched to see.

Jan. 17 -- Dave Burrell at Millennium Stage. Pianist Burrell is a minor legend in jazz circles. He's an extremely agile player who covers a variety of styles, from blues to gospel, but is most revered in free jazz circles, in which he's been a major player for 40 years. He's not nearly as "difficult" as many in that genre, though, as his fluid and unique style can be appreciated by anyone who just likes good music. This performance is a tribute to Jelly Roll Morton, who Burrell claims as a major influence. It's at Millennium Stage, so you know what that means -- free.

Jan. 28 -- Indie rock throwdown. It will be interesting to see where the allegiances fall when three indie favorites hit the area on the same night. Robert Pollard -- who was the frontman for as-drunk-as-they-were-prolific garage pop luminaries Guided By Voices -- plays the 9:30 club on his first post-GBV solo tour. Down the street at the Black Cat, one of the most buzzed-about bands of 2005, Deerhoof, will deliver its unique brand of spiky but sweet weirdo rock. And over at the Birchmere, Colin Meloy, the hyper-literate lead singer of nautical indie rock darlings the Decemberists, plays a solo show.

Feb. 1 -- The Hold Steady at the Black Cat. There are plenty of shows I'm looking forward to in the first few months of 2006, but this one stands above the rest. And not just because Hurley from "Lost" loves them. The Brooklyn-via-Minnesota quintet does record for an independent label and play rock music, so technically it can be called indie rock. But there's nothing arty about what the group does. It plays straight-ahead, fist-pumping, beer-swilling, chain-smoking bar band rock, and does it better than anyone else. Singer Craig Finn is a storyteller who gets into the down-and-dirty details of gutter punks, hoodrats and people with nicknames like One Hour Photo and Circuit City. A lot of comparisons to "Born to Run"-era Springsteen get thrown out, and they are pretty apt, but this is far less sentimental fare. It's just down and dirty.

I don't smoke, but I'm making an exception for this show; in fact, a few weeks ago I was driving around listening to this album at an ungodly loud volume and for some reason, stopped off and bought a pack of cigarettes so I could smoke one while listening to it. It just seemed like the right thing to do. I don't really drink much, but I've already bought an extra ticket for my designated driver to take me to and from the Black Cat. I apologize in advance for smashing into you as I rush the stage when the group breaks into "Your Little Hoodrat Friend." And for vomiting on you after the show. Sorry. The Hold Steady made me do it.

Feb. 13 -- Wu-Tang Clan at 9:30 club. For a while this was being billed as "A Tribute to ODB," which seemed a little odd, considering Big Baby Jesus went to the big Brooklyn Zoo in the sky more than a year ago. But as of now the entire Clan is scheduled to be there, and that might actually make it worth the very, very steep $50 admission price. A $20 show with just Ghostface Killah and Raekwon would probably be a better value and a better performance, honestly. But still, it's the entire Wu-Tang, and Wu-Tang Clan ain't ... well, you know.

March 2 -- Coldplay with Fiona Apple at MCI Center. Mainly interested in this one if J. Freedom du Lac reviews the show, because his last one ignited so much controversy. Maybe he can go after Fiona Apple this time. Speaking of, do you think Fiona is Chris Martin's daughter's favorite performer?


By  | January 12, 2006; 4:39 PM ET
Categories:  Music  
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Comments forgot RJD2 @930 club! of the best studio DJ's in the world! Don't Sleep!

Posted by: Terrance | January 12, 2006 8:27 PM | Report abuse

J. Freedom du Lac gets on my nerves. It takes so much less effort to be mean about something than to be nice, and he seems to take such pleasure in the meanness.

Posted by: irritated subscriber | January 24, 2006 10:23 PM | Report abuse

mean critics are a lot more fun to read. kick-asses over kiss-asses!

Posted by: duh | January 25, 2006 3:03 PM | Report abuse

you mentioned that you read mp3 blogs. I read a bunch myself and am always looking for more, specifically ones that aren't just trying to throw out anything they think will be the next "big thing". Any thoughts?

Posted by: Just curious | January 27, 2006 10:23 AM | Report abuse

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