July's live music calendar is highlighted by visits from some Wu-Tang Clan members, Frank Black's newest band and African sounds new and old from Occidental Brothers Dance Band International and King Sunny Ade. Five here, 15 more after the jump.
"Young Hearts Spark Fire" - Japandroids (DC9, July 8)
This Vancouver duo creates an appealingly crunchy sound with a nostalgic streak ("I don't wanna worry about dying/I just wanna worry about those sunshine girls").
"Paper Bombs" (MySpace stream) - Lo Moda (Fringe Festival, July 10)
The Baltimore art-rock group plays quirky, low-key pop that on this track recalls the Vaselines.
"Staten We Go Hard" - Raekwon (Merriweather Post Pavilion, July 12)
Wu-Tang's Raekwon responds to Jay-Z's toast to Brooklyn by praising his own borough, and, of course, the Clan: "S-H-A-O-L-I-N, we kill again."
"The Quitter" - NOFX (Merriweather Post Pavilion, July 14)
The pop-punk torchbearers have been playing snotty, hook-filled songs for 25 years. That makes the band approximately twice as old as some of the kids who will be pogoing during the set at Warped Tour.
"Ermisinde" - Grand Duchy (Black Cat, July 16)
The Pixies may have just announced another batch of tour dates, but don't miss out on Frank Black's newest band, in which he indulges some vocoder-pop urges with his wife.
"Circle Circle Circle" - Occidental Brothers Dance Band International (DC9, July 16)
Between this band and Extra Golden we've got a great trend going -- American rockers teaming with African musicians to create an irresistible blend of the best of both continents. Here's your perfect soundtrack to summer.
"John Ali" - King Sunny Ade (9:30 club, July 17)
Or maybe here's your perfect soundtrack to summer, courtesy of the Nigerian master of the juju genre. It doesn't matter if you've never heard of it -- you'll certainly fall for the rolling rhythms.
"AXTXTXIXUXDE" - Lovvers (Comet Ping Pong, July 17)
Look out lo-fi scene -- the British are coming to take over your genre. Lovvers is less scuzzy and more catchy than most of the new breed, which makes this show at Comet a must-see.
"Arming Eritrea" - Future of the Left (DC9, July 19)
And here we have my vote for Best Rock Band of 2009. Furious guitars + gut-punching rhythm section + acerbic wit and sharp pop acumen = the total package.
"Ventilator Blues" - The Mick Taylor Band (Jammin' Java, July 26)
Taylor was the Rolling Stones guitarist on early '70s classics such as "Sticky Fingers" and "Exile on Main Street." He co-wrote "Ventilator Blues" (from "Exile"), and it will surely be part of his set at Jammin' Java. This is a live version from a 2005 performance.
"Wrong" (YouTube video) - Depeche Mode (Nissan Pavilion, July 28)
The synth-pop masters have plenty of classics to choose from, but this track from new album "Sounds of the Universe" is good enough to leave "Never Let Me Down Again" for another mixtape.
"Deathbed Confession" - Chain and the Gang (9:30 club, July 30)
The irrepressible Ian Svenonious is at it again with his latest project of throwback gospel/soul. In this dirge the song's narrator confesses to killing JFK and faking the moon landing, among other things.
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