Arts Fuse critics select the best in film, dance, visual art, theater, music, and author events for the coming weeks.
This is a classic Brattle double feature. The 1933 American pre-Code monster adventure film with Fay Wray and ranked by Rotten Tomatoes as the fourth greatest horror film of all time and the 33rd greatest film of all time plays with the great 1946 Beauty and the Beast, directed by French poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau.
January 3 -9
Brattle Theater in Cambridge
Director Errol Morris’s controversial but stylistically brilliant interview with Steve Bannon. This film is not, as is often claimed, a pro-Bannon profile. On the contrary, the guy is given plenty of rope with which to hang his troubled reputation. Morris, always an engaging apologist for his films, will be present following the 7 p.m. screening on January 3. Arts Fuse review.
January 3 -9
Brattle Theater in Cambridge
Peter Strickland (The Duke of Burgundy and Berberian Sound Studio) directs this haunting and surreal ghost story, an excursion into comic-horror set against the backdrop of a busy winter sales period in a department store. The protagonist: a cursed dress, which we watch pass from person to person, with devastating consequences.
January 9 at 7:30 pm
Museum of Fine Arts in Boston
Artist and filmmaker Matthew (The Cremaster Cycle) Barney’s feature unfolds as a series of hunts in the wilderness of Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains. The characters’ actions resonate with a mythological narrative — the story of Diana and Actaeon in Ovid’s Metamorphoses — told through dance. As usual with this director’s film work, Redoubt is without dialogue; its story line depends on visuals, sound, and dance. Anette Wachter, a real life long-range sharp shooter champion, decked in camouflage suits and weapons, plays Diana, the Roman goddess of hunting and nature.
The Components of Love
January 12 at 11 a.m.
Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline
The Components of Love is the (often) tragic love story of Sophie and Georg. When they meet, Sophie is pregnant and has been abandoned by the child’s father. After hitting it off, the pair begins a relationship, with Georg raising the child as his own. In fragmented scenes, which all take place in front of the same apartment building in Berlin, the film draws an elliptical portrait of a modern patchwork family, their sorrows and longings glimpsed between walls and pillars, and in parking lots. A laconic look at the irrationality of modern love.
The Boston Festival of Films from Iran
Museum of Fine Arts in Boston
Iran is renowned for producing some of the most spectacular and groundbreaking films in the world. Show times and complete descriptions at the link above.
Cold Sweat: January 16 at 7:30 pm and January 19 at 1 p.m.
When the Moon Was Full: January 17 at 5 p.m.and January 18 at 2:30 p.m.
Filmfarsi: January 17 at 8 p.m.
The Warden: January 19 at 3 p.m.
Old Men Never Die: January 23 at 5:30 p.m. and January 26 at 1 p.m.
Just 6.5: January 23 at 7:30 p.m. and January 25 at 2:30 p.m.
Untimely: January 24 at 5:30 p.m. and January 25 at 12:30 p.m.
Orange Days: January 24 at 7:30 p.m. and January 26 and at 3 p.m.
— Tim Jackson
December 31 at 9:30p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA
Freddy Cole, the younger brother of Nat “King” Cole, is a formidable pianist and singer in his own right — with the requisite vocal charm, swing, and sense of the blues — and a good choice for New Year’s Eve. His band includes his son Lionel — whose credits as pianist and producer include stints with Mariah Carey (and a co-writing credit for her 2002 hit “Through the Rain”).
Louis Hayes: Serenade for Horace
January 4 at 8 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.
Call drummer Louis Hayes’s contribution to the hard-bop strain of jazz “foundational” — going all the way back to his work with John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley, his own bands with Woody Shaw and Junior Cook, or, the subject of this tribute, Horace Silver, with whom he began playing as a teenager, and the subject of a 2017 Blue Note album Serenade for Horace.
January 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Lilypad, Cambridge, MA.
Drummer Eric Rosenthal continues his adventurous .01 Percent series of creative improv with a program called simply Trio + Quartet: that being the trio of pianist Pandelis Karayorgis, trombonist Jeb Bishop, and drummer Luther Gray, followed by the quartet of Bishop with saxophonist Seth Meicht, and drummers Rosenthal and Matt Crane.
Nina Ott Quartet
January 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Peabody Hall, Parish of All Saints, Dorchester, MA.
The Detroit-born keyboardist Nina Ott fronts an impressive quartet as part of the Dot Jazz Series (a collaboration between Mandorla Music and Greater Ashmont Main Street): bassist Christopher Lopes (Jeff Parker Trio, Astronomico), drummer Dean Johnston (Club d’Elf), and Grammy-winning percussionist Eguie Castrillo on congas. The quartet will dig into “experimental original music with deep roots in jazz and Afro-Cuban traditions.”
The Harriet Tubman Band
January 9 at 8 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club
This avant-jazz-rock power trio, which has been together for more than two decades, features the gifted guitarist and producer Brandon Ross (here on guitar, banjo, and vocals) with bassist Melvin Gibbs (whose credits extend from Ronald Shannon Jackson’s Decoding Society and Sonny Sharrock to the Rollins Band and Arto Lindsay), and drummer J.T. Lewis.
— Jon Garelick
Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter. Photo: courtesy of the ICA.
When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art
25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston MA 02210
Through January 26
Borrowing its name from Somali-British poet Warsan Shire’s poem “Home,” this exhibit presents work by 20 artists from a myriad of countries, on the subject of migration and displacement. Currently witnessing the global movement of peoples on an unparalleled historical scale, artists like Kader Attia, Tania Bruguera, and Reena Saini Kallat respond to this exodus with highly diverse artwork, from poetic meditations to detailed individual accounts.
Holly Roddenbery, “A Few Drops of Compassion,” 2019. Wood, Silver, Stone, Acrylic. Photo by Melissa Lovingood.
Human Impact: Stories of the Opioid Epidemic
Fuller Craft Museum
455 Oak Street, Brockton, MA 02301
Through May 3
This exhibit brings together 11 invited artists, who share perspectives on the opioid crisis from the viewpoint of those who are closest to the subject. Working in collaboration with families deeply affected by opiate use, these artists create works that communicate stories of pain, hope, and courage. Jodi Colella’s “Once Was (Remembrance)” is a towering, monolithic poppy field, a monument to the lives lost to this epidemic, while another piece, John Anderson’s “Sacrificial Lamb,” an altar of prescription pill bottles and cage-like wire, illustrates the chaos unleashed by the force of addiction. The Fuller Craft Museum presents this show in cooperation with the District Attorney’s office, Brockton Hospital, High Point Treatment Center, and Stonehill College, which advocate for the spread of awareness and information on this subject.
Yayoi Kusama, “Love Is Calling,” 2013. Photo: courtesy of the ICA.
Yayoi Kusama: Love Is Calling
Through February 7, 2021
ICA Boston, 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston MA 02210
Premiering in Japan in 2013, and recently acquired as part of the ICA’s permanent collection, “Love Is Calling” is one of Kusama’s 20 infinity rooms. A darkened space, lined with mirrors and interspersed with repetitive, brightly colored sculptural forms, generates a kaleidoscopic effect that surrounds viewers as they traverse the visually crowded space. The experience is accompanied by a sound recording of the artist reciting her poem “Residing in a Castle of Shed Tears” in Japanese. This vibrant environment explores such themes as love, life, and death. It promises to be a remarkable experience.
Photo Revolution: Andy Warhol to Cindy Sherman
Worcester Art Museum
55 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA
Through February, 2020
In the 1950s, once consumerism, television, and image-sharing became commonplace, a new era of photographic experimentation commenced. Photo Revolution presents a wide range of works at the center of this transformation, featuring a wide range of mediums, from artists whose work centered on photography, such as Chris Burden, Nan Goldin, John Baldessari, and many more. These artists used photography and video to make social and political statements, turning what was seen as a practical, secondary medium into the inspiration for new movements in art. Easy access to photo and video production led to a diversification of format, which stirred artists to not only make work using photography, but to make work about photography.
Andy Goldsworthy, “Watershed.” Photo: courtesy of the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.
Andy Goldsworthy: Watershed
DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
51 Sandy Pond Road, Lincoln, MA 01773
This permanent, site-specific structure is installed in a hillside near the museum and pays structural homage to the homogeneous architectural style of New England. The granite stone installation is the latest in Goldsworthy’s many works that explore the nature of water, weather, and related natural occurrences that affect a particular landscape. Because it emphasizes and utilizes the impact of groundwater runoff in the vicinity, visitors can see and hear the structure being activated and, over the years, altered by the water flowing through it when it rains. Arts Fuse review
–- Rebekah Bonner
Karl Baden, “Harvard Sq.,” 2017.
Mass Ave, Cambridge: Photos by Karl Baden
Through February 20, 2020
At Cambridge Arts’ Gallery 344, 344 Broadway, Cambridge, MA
“Mass Ave, Cambridge began with a conversation between photographer Karl Baden and Lillian Hsu, Cambridge Arts’ Director of Public Art and exhibitions. In recent years, Baden has developed a particular interest in the people, the serendipity, and the visual forms found along our streets and sidewalks. An idea for an exhibition sprung from what seemed like a simple objective: Karl could spend a year and a half recording life along Mass. Ave. from Arlington to the Charles River. But, of course, Mass. Ave. is vividly complex.
“Baden’s resulting Mass. Ave. photos mix objective documentation and personal interpretation. The pictures show people walking down the street, people dancing, people stepping out for a smoke, people bundled up against falling snow, people out in summer shorts. There are smiles and pain and love. You’ll recognize icons of the avenue—the Charles River, Out of Town News, Porter Square. There are dogs and buses, advertising signs, reflections in windows. Side by side, the photos add up to a portrait, unique to our time and place, of the jostle and jumble and life of the thoroughfare.”
— Bill Marx
Roots and World Music
Boston’s First Night has been sadly reduced to a tiny handful of Copley Square events, but the spirit of a family-friendly community arts celebration is still alive in the MA suburbs. Needham is presenting the stirring gospel of Meeting Across the Water and jazz/funk flute master Lance Martin. Rockport offers gospel pioneers the Bullock Brothers, the reggae of Jah Spirit, and the wonderfully named sea shanty collective Three Sheets to the Wind.
Ward Hayden and the Outliers
Dec 31 and Jan. 1
Lizard Lounge, Cambridge MA
Sensitivity to the #metoo movement has made honky tonk heroes Girls, Guns and Glory change their name. Happily, they’ve kept their tradition of celebrating Hank Williams’s New Year’s Day passing. The first two shows are already sold out, so a Jan. 1 evening show has been added.
Masters of Hawaiian Music
Club Passim, Cambridge< MA
The beautiful, subtle sounds of Hawaiian slack key guitar are alive and well thanks to masters George Kahumoku Jr., Led Kaapana, and Kawika Kahiapo.
City Winery Boston
The veteran Afropop singer, guitarist, and drummer has long been one of the most unique exponents of the Senegalese mbalax sound. While his music is always danceable, it’s also infused with an underlying spirituality drawn from Lo’s Sufi Islamic roots. It’s been way too long since he’s played Boston, and he’s here now because of Global Arts Live.
— Noah Schaffer
Juan de Marcos & the Afro-Cuban All Stars
January 11 at 8 p.m.
At the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA
Presenter Global Arts Live has come up with a rhythmically rambunctious way to welcome in the New Year: “After gaining international fame for reviving classic Cuban music, tres master Juan de Marcos has turned the Afro-Cuban All Stars into a sensational showcase for Cuba’s most prodigious young musicians. Long revered as a founding member of Cuba’s great revival band Sierra Maestra, de Marcos is perhaps best known as founder of the Buena Vista Social Club.”
— Bill Marx
The Christmas Revels: An American Celebration of the Winter Solstice. Directed by Patrick Swanson; Megan Henderson, music director. Staged at Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, through December 29.
The 49th annual Christmas Revels brings it all back home. “From bluegrass and Appalachian running sets to Gospel and spirituals, from swinging Second Line brass bands to the twang of the African-American banjo, from play songs of the Georgia Sea Islands to the raw power of the blues, from ecstatic Shaker melodies to the bony shape-note hymns, this year’s Christmas Revels will be a toe-tapping celebration of the diversity of our country’s musical traditions.” Arts Fuse review
Fade by Tanya Saracho. Directed by Tatyana-Marie Carlo. Staged by Trinity Repertory Company, 201 Washington Street, Providence, Rhode Island, through January 5, 2020.
A new play about “Culture, class, and the price of ambition.” The plot: “Lucia is understandably nervous. It’s day one at her first TV writing job. As a Mexican-born novelist, she may actually be the ‘diversity hire’ she’s heard whispers about. Uncertain whether she can make a place for herself in cutthroat Hollywood, at least she feels less alone when she meets Abel, the Latino janitor. They form a bond and share stories, but it turns out that what Lucia gains from their friendship is not what Abel expects.”
A Christmas Carol, an adaption of the Charles Dickens story by the Underground Railway Theatre. Directed by Debra Wise. Produced by Underground Railway Theater & The Nora Theatre Company at the Central Square Theatre, Cambridge, MA, through December 29.
A celebrated local production of the oft-produced chestnut, that, I suspect, knowing the company, doesn’t skimp on the social concern. “Immerse yourself in the swirling spectacle of London’s yesteryear and present day as we propel you through Ebenezer Scrooge’s famous journey. See this tale like never before–resurrected by intimate storytelling, hilarious puppetry, lively music, and jovial dancing! This theater-in-the-round adaptation of Dickens’ 1843 classic showcases vibrant performers and heartfelt holiday cheer.”
Sailor Moon Shoujo Spectacular at Oberon, 2 Arrow Street, Cambridge, MA, December 29 at 9 p.m.
Too strange a holiday entertainment not to mention. “Fighting evil by moonlight, winning love by daylight” this show is back for its seventh year. “Join kawaii curators Mx Macabre and Jade Sylvan for an evening of performance dedicated to one of the most influential and long-lasting animes of all time — Naoko Takeuchi’s Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon! Let out your inner magical self as you see your favorite characters brought to life on stage. Dress to impress for our costume contest with fabulous prizes!”
Oliver!, book, music and lyrics by Lionel Bart. Directed and choreographed by Michael J Bobbitt. Staged by New Rep on its MainStage Theater the Mosesian Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA, through December 29.
Let’s hope something invigorating is done to this chestnut of a musical. “Still relevant today, this Victorian-era tale explores the contrast between the rich and poor, the struggles of the Industrial Revolution, and the results of an absent middle class and no upward mobility.” Well, yes — but this version is a sentimentalized version of the Dickens novel. And how about Fagin and anti-Semitism? Arts Fuse review
Moby Dick: A Musical Reckoning, based on Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. Music, Lyrics, Book, and Orchestrations by Dave Malloy. Developed with and directed with Rachel Chavkin. Music Direction and Supervision by Or Matias. Choreography by Chanel DaSilva. Produced by the American Repertory Theater at the Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge, MA, through January 12.
“An epic musical adaptation of Herman Melville’s iconic American novel. As the egomaniacal Captain Ahab drives his crew across the seas in pursuit of the great white whale, Melville’s nineteenth-century vision of America collides head-on with the present. Note: This production contains strong language, weapons, blood, depictions of violence, strong lights, haze, fog, and strobe. Arts Fuse review
Thumbelina, Book, Music, and Lyrics by Julia Riew. Musical direction, orchestrations, and arrangements by Riew and Ian Chan. Choreography by Ryan Kapur. Directed by Emma Watt. Staged by the American Repertory Theater at the Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge, MA, through December 31.
Harvard University undergraduate Julia Riew wrote and composed the music for this show, which revises the fairy tale in a way that makes it a celebration of literature. Sounds good to me. Thumbelina is “no longer just a little victim of her circumstances,” Riew says in an interview. “Instead of her story being determined by a Prince who comes to the rescue, my Thumbelina is a voracious reader. Despite being sheltered in her mother’s garden, she spends her time gaining expertise through books, and reading adventure novels that fill her with curiosity and desire for her own journey.”
All Fall Down by Lila Rose Kaplan. Directed by Melia Bensussen. Staged by the Huntington Theatre Company at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, 527 Tremont Street, Boston, MA, January 10 through February 15.
“This new comedy is about family and tradition, as well as the hang-ups and surprises that, no matter who you are or where you come from, seem to sneak into all of our family gatherings. Linda and Saul Stein still live in the Westchester home where they raised their two beautiful daughters. But when Saul unexpectedly retires, Linda summons the family to celebrate Passover for the first time in decades. Linda tends slightly toward the theatrical (okay, a lot), and their family has never been particularly religious (okay, not at all).” Hilarious complications ensue — I hope.
The Cake by Bekah Brunstetter. Directed by Courtney O’Connor. Staged by the Lyric Stage Company at 140 Clarendon Street, Copley Square, Boston, MA January 10 through February 9.
“Conflict collides with confection when Della, a traditional Southern baker who’s preparing to compete on The Big American Bake-Off, reunites with her deceased best friend’s daughter, Jen, in preparation for Jen’s wedding. Della is forced to question her strongly-held beliefs when she is asked to bake Jen’s dream wedding cake for her and her future wife. Questions of morals, judgment, and family swirl around them all.” Arts Fuse review of the 2018 Barrington Stage production.
Maytag Virgin by Audrey Cefaly. Directed by Eleanor Holdridge. Staged by Merrimack Repertory Theatre at the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre, Liberty Hall, 50 East Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA, January 8 through February 2.
“When unflappable Jack moves in next door to sweetly neurotic Lizzie – two fortysomething school teachers, both widowed — the two bond over being lonely and feeling stuck. As they get to know each other, they find themselves searching for an answer to the same question: how do you know when you’re ready to live, and love, again?”
Pass Over by Antoinette Nwandu. Directed by Monica White Ndounou, Co-produced by SpeakEasy Stage Company and The Front Porch Arts Collective at the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St. Boston, MA, January 3 through 25.
In this New England premiere, “Moses and Kitch chat their way through yet another aimless day on their local street corner in a mash-up of Waiting for Godot and the Exodus saga. Crafting everyday profanity into poetic and humorous riffs, the friends share their dreams of deliverance, until an ominous stranger changes their world forever.”
Pike St. written and performed by Nilaja Sun. Directed by Ron Russell. At Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street, Hartford, CT, January 9 through February 2.
“Sun vividly brings to life three generations of a Puerto Rican family on New York’s Lower East Side. Evelyn, a mother struggling to hold her life together with both grace and humor as she cares for her immobilized daughter and supports her womanizing father, relies on money from her brother who is serving abroad in Afghanistan. When he comes home, suffering from PTSD, Evelyn fights for her family’s healing, redemption and survival in the face of a threatening storm – both natural and man-made.”
The Effect by Lucy Prebble. Staged by the Mad Horse Theatre Company at the Hutchins School, 24 Mosher Street, South Portland, ME, January 9 through 26.
A script from an interesting thirtysomething British playwright. “When two volunteers for an antidepressant clinical trial start to feel the tell-tale signs—sweaty hands, thumping hearts—they know they’ve fallen for each other hard. Or are their bodies processing a chemical romance? The question at the heart of this script is one for our medicated time, is love the sum of our chemical selves or something more?”
— Bill Marx
Boston Artists Ensemble presents: Mozart x 2
January 3 at 8 p.m.
At Hamilton Hall, 9 Chestnut Street, Salem, MA
January 5 at 3 p.m.
At St. Paul’s Church Brookline, 15 St. Paul Street, Brookline
The all-Mozart program includes his String Quintet in G minor, K 516 and String Quintet in E-flat, K 61.
Boston Chamber Music Society
January 5 at 3 p.m.
Sanders Theatre/Harvard University, 45 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA
On the program: Franz Schubert’s Sonata in A minor for Viola and Piano, D. 821, “Arpeggione” (1824); Anton Arensky’s Quartet in A minor for Violin, Viola, and Two Cellos, Op. 35 (1894); Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50 (1882).
Concord Chamber Music Society presents: Julliard String Quartet
January 12 at 3 p.m.
At Concord Academy Performing Arts Center, 166 Main Street, Concord, MA
On the program: Mozart’s String Quartet in B-flat K. 458 “The Hunt”; Dutilleux’s String Quartet “Ainsi la nuit”; Brahms’s String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor Op. 51.
— Susan Miron
New Year’s Day Sale
January 1 from 1-5 p.m.
Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA
“It’s our annual New Years Day Sale! Make the most of your gift cards. Get started on a resolution. Pick up that book your friends and family neglected to give you over the holidays. Everything in the store (aside from the hold shelf, electronics, and a few other things) is 20% off in celebration of 2020.”
Howard Axelrod in conversation with James Parker
The Stars in Our Pockets
January 7 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner, Brookline MA
“What shapes our sense of place, our sense of time, and our memory? How is technology changing the way we make sense of the world and of ourselves? As we navigate the rapid shifts between the physical and digital realms, what traits are we trading without being aware of it? The Stars in Our Pockets is a personal and profound reminder of the world around us and the worlds within us–and how, as alienated as we may sometimes feel, they were made for each other.”
Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything
January 8 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA
“Based on twenty years of research and Fogg’s experience coaching more than 40,000 people, Tiny Habits cracks the code of habit formation. With breakthrough discoveries in every chapter, you’ll learn the simplest proven ways to transform your life. Fogg shows you how to feel good about your successes instead of bad about your failures. Whether you want to lose weight, de-stress, sleep better, or be more productive each day, Tiny Habits makes it easy to achieve.”
Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent and Navigating the New Masculinity
January 10 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA
“Drawing on comprehensive interviews with young men, psychologists, academics, and experts in the field, Boys & Sex dissects so-called locker room talk; how the word “hilarious” robs boys of empathy; pornography as the new sex education; boys’ understanding of hookup culture and consent; and their experience as both victims and perpetrators of sexual violence. By surfacing young men’s experience in all its complexity, Orenstein is able to unravel the hidden truths, hard lessons, and important realities of young male sexuality in today’s world. The result is a provocative and paradigm-shifting work that offers a much-needed vision of how boys can truly move forward as better men.”
David Meerman Scott and Reiko Scott
Fanocracy: Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans
Jan 14 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner MA
“David Meerman Scott and his daughter Reiko are very different – one is a baby boomer business strategist, the other a millennial medical student. But both noticed that the kind of enthusiasm they once reserved for pleasures like the Grateful Dead (David) and Harry Potter (Reiko) now extends to all sorts of companies and organizations. So they teamed up to explore a big question: Why do some brands, even in supposedly boring categories like car insurance and enterprise software, attract not just customers but raving fans?”
— Matt Hanson
Rock, Pop and Folk
In 2015, Abbie Barrett was nominated for Singer-Songwriter of the Year — which she won — and Female Vocalist at the BMAs. These were the first of two consecutive nominations in the latter category and four straight in the former. Her three LPs have earned her the praise of Vanyaland‘s Michael Marotta (“one of Boston’s finest songwriters”), Boston Herald‘s Jed Gottlieb (“a contender for best live act”), and The Arts Fuse‘s own Paul Robicheau when he wrote for Improper Bostontian (“gorgeous vocals…soaring crescendos”). On January 9, Barrett and her band will join 2014 New England Music Awards Best Pop Act winners The Hats and Boston-based duo Bearmonster, who released an EP called Confidence Man in 2019, on a killer triple bill at ONCE.
The Jam was the most popular British band of the late ’70s and early ’80s. However, the Paul Weller-led trio gained nowhere near the renown or commercial success in America that their contemporary fellow Brits The Clash and Sex Pistols did. Still, they were popular enough that a tribute band from Boston called All Mod Cons (named after The Jam’s third album) has been able to regularly perform for enthusiastic audiences in the US and UK (where they played five shows last October) since 1989. The band has announced that it will call it a career after a January 10 show at ONCE. That the show has been moved from the upstairs Lounge to the much larger downstairs Ballroom in order to accommodate demand is proof enough of their ongoing appeal.
Blues guitarist Paul Nelson won the Best Blues Album Grammy in 2014 for his production of the late Johnny Winter’s final album, Step Back. This was one of the three albums that Nelson produced and/or played on for Winter, with whom he also toured in the last few years of the legend’s life. His playing has been described as “amazing” by Winter, “fantastic” by Sonny Landreth, and “great” by Buddy Guy and Warren Haynes. The onetime Berklee student has performed on records and stages with dozens of other top rock and blues acts, but North Shore residents need look no further than Beverly’s 9 Wallis to see him live on January 11.
The 2000s has witnessed an odd trend in which a given word appears in the name of several bands that arrive in clusters. Musical herds have included Deerhoof, Deerhunter, and Deer Tick. Among the lupine-inspired sobriquets are Wolf Parade, Wolfmother, and Wolf People. Finally, there are Beach House, Beach Slang, and Beach Fossils, the last of which will perform at Commonwealth Ave’s best-known rock club on January 15. This is the first show of a 16-date tour of the Eastern Seaboard that is happening sans new material from the Brooklyn trio. No worries, though, as some of the best songs on 2017’s Somersault are fine examples of jangle pop in the tradition of the genres’ most important practitioners, and the group has two other comparably good albums from which to select. (BTW, Beach Slang will release a new album on January 20 and play Brighton Music Hall on April 17.)
— Blake Maddus