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Monday, August 20, 2012

Out Every Night: The Best Shows From August 13 to 19

Posted By on Mon, Aug 20, 2012 at 12:24 PM

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Ocean Rivals Fri., 9:00 p.m. August 24 w/ Great Isaac, The Great Grandfathers @ Blueberry Hill - $7 By Christian Schaeffer There's something comforting about Ocean Rivals, a no-frills quartet that plays peppy, straight-ahead rock & roll without pretension or preening. There are no ponderous piano ballads to show sensitivity, no mournful fiddles or plaintive banjos to add rustic color, and no attempts to reinvent the two-guitar sound that has worked admirably and dependably across five decades of rock music. On the eight-song Summer's Dogs, Ocean Rivals rips through several strains of six-string-fueled fervor -- some Southern rock, a little British invasion and the faintest traces of new wave all pop up -- but folds all the styles into the band's easygoing swagger. Singer and guitarist Daniel Hecke inhabits these songs well without too much flash or bravado; he puts the right amount of strain on his pipes to sell the yearning in the bilingual "Isla de Amor" while retaining both jaunty energy and sober melancholy for the title track.

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Lyle Lovett Sat., 8:00 p.m. August 25 @ Peabody Opera House - $52-$72 By Steve Pick Ironic distance is a good weapon in the arsenal of a songwriter, but when it's used too much, listeners develop some pretty good defenses. Lyle Lovett has mastered irony to such an extent during his career that it's now a reflexive habit to be suspicious of anything he delivers. Does it mean exactly what it says, or is there something else we're supposed to think about this song? For the most part, this isn't that serious of a problem. Lovett's tales of marital battles and traveling on down the highway are pretty easy to understand. You take the stories at face value, and then you appreciate the ironic commentary. Lyle Lovett's concerts remain exceptional events, full of musical thrills that don't leave enough time for worrying about if he means it, man.

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Murphy's Law Sat., 8:00 p.m. August 25 @ Fubar - $12/$15 By Daniel Hill Legendary New York hardcore band Murphy's Law has been playing punk rock party anthems for thirty years, led by singer and lone founding member Jimmy Gestapo, who has played with a staggering who's who of backing musicians since the band's inception -- literally over fifty names. In this way, Murphy's Law can be seen as the unlikely link between bands like the Misfits, the Slackers, Thursday, the New York Dolls and about a billion more whose musicians have lent a helping hand over the years. Murphy's Law's live show is a non-stop party, with huge sing-a-longs, impromptu songs written on the spot about audience members, and Yagermeister that flows like water -- mostly into Gestapo's face. Back With a Bong: This show is the band's rescheduled appearance following the cancellation of its June 25 date. No Skarhead this time though.

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Purity Ring Sun., 8:30 p.m. August 26 @ The Firebird - $12 By Christian Schaeffer Don't pick up Purity Ring's debut full-length Shrines expecting to hear a rainbow of sounds; the Montreal duo of Megan James (vocals) and Corin Roddick (instrumentation) practices a glitchy electronic minimalism that favors just a few pet sounds. But the pair's exploration of those tones -- pinging synthesizers, chopped-up vocal bursts, dubby bass -- make for an engaging listen that's too busy for chillwave and too fractured for dance music. "Cartographist" gets cavernous with big swaths of reverb, while the next track "Belispeak" turns James' already high vocals into a sped-up drum machine pattern. But while the palette may change, it is James' high and guileless voice that offers Siren-like guidance through the LP. Blog Buzz Grows Up: If you fell for Purity Ring when its first salvo "Ungirthed" was making the blog rounds last year, you'll find some of that song's breathless, chirpy charm in the rest of the tracks, though the band is wise not to push the sugar rush too far.

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