January always seems like a slow month gig-wise, but things are starting to pick up the pace. Ok, so there might be a snowstorm – deal with it, and consider how lucky we’ve been this winter as it is. Regardless of what the elements have in store, you’ll be well rewarded for any efforts made this weekend (although 8 inches of snow is enough to justify that netflix marathon, granted).
5) Lame Drivers, Half Sour, Romantic States, Summer Saints at Alphaville
Formed in 2003, after a succession of EPs, Lame Drivers finally released their rather lovely debut album, Chosen Era, in October, and I can’t help but feel like Peter Buck or Robert Pollard should be knocking down their door trying to play with them. Boston trio Half Sour are set to release their album, Tuesday Night Live, on the 29th, so expect plenty of fresh sounding power-pop. Baltimore’s Romantic States also have some new music to show off in the shape of a 7″, Take My Hand and Run. The evening starts off just a tad more aggressively with Summer Saints‘ set to pummel Alphaville’s PA. Friday 8pm
4) Those Darlins, Idle Bloom at Baby’s All Right
Nashville’s Those Darlins are set to embark on an “indefinite hiatus“, and you have a (possibly) final chance to see them this Saturday at Baby’s All Right. Formed in 2006, the band’s last album was 2013’s Blur the Line, and while you can play records whenever you want, the band’s powerful live shows will be missed. There is never a shortage of good bands from Nashville though, and Those Darlins are bringing one along with them on this tour in the shape of psych-rockers Idle Bloom. Saturday 8pm
3) Plus / Minus (+/-), Great Lakes, Shannon McArdle at The Rock Shop
“Big in Japan” is a phrase that went somewhat out of fashion years ago, but Plus/Minus do have a very devoted fanbase out there. The Baluyut brothers have quite the discography between them with Flower, Versus and Plus/Minus all featuring the family stamp. What’s most relevant here is Plus/Minus’ last album, 2014’s Jumping the Tracks, is their most consistent and focused to date. Friday 7:30pm
2) Market Hotel re-opening parties!
As mentioned last week, Market Hotel is officially re-opening for regular shows after 5 years, and kicks off this weekend with two opening parties. Friday night features a headliner that is yet to be announced, but with Via App, Kill Alters, Dreamcrusher and Malory on the bill, it’s a decidedly electronic opening. Saturday will see A Place to Bury Strangers take to the stage alongside Guerilla Toss, PC Worship and Pill. Friday and Saturday 8pm
1) Milk ‘n’ Cookies, B Boys, EZTV at Baby’s All Right
It’s fair to say that Milk ‘n’ Cookies should have been huge, sharing stages in New York with the likes of The Ramones, Blondie, The Runaways and Talking Heads in New York in the 70s. The band’s perfect power-pop somehow never sold the millions of units it should have, but has gained a cult following and influence over the years (they broke up in 1977 and have only played a handful of shows since 2005). Captured Tracks are about to issue a CD/3-LP set and we are being blessed with a pretty rare show to celebrate. Sunday 8pm