We totally understand if you’re more than a little busy this week. Between Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and going out drinking with your nearest and dearest, your schedule is probably pretty darn full. But if you need a respite from all the holiday hullabaloo, consider checking out any of the following concerts and music events happening over the next few days (and even on Thanksgiving itself).
And there are plenty of other gigs happening around the Valley this week, all of which can be found in our extensive online concert calendar.
Holly Golightly - Monday, November 23 - Valley Bar
As long as there has been music, there have been dance crazes. There were those stemmed in ’60s R&B, like “The Locomotion,” that were brilliant, and there were duds like the “Hokey Pokey” and “Macarena.” Holly Golightly and The Brokeoffs would like to introduce “Karate,” the newest craze that’s “putting the other dances down.” This raucous track from Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda is a perfect example of the fun songwriting style that Golightly has been known for over two decades.
Better known to American audiences as the singer on the closing track of White Stripes’ 2003 album Elephant, she is having a prolific year. In the spring, she released Slowtown Now, a solo album with musicians from her home country of England. Her latest album with The Brokeoffs, her collaboration with Texas native Lawyer Dave, has a uniquely American feel. In addition to tracks about jigs named after styles of self-defense, there are songs about whiskey, religion, firearms, and love. The result is an album that feels uninhibited and rowdy, with innuendos that fly enough under the radar that the album wouldn’t be out of place at a youth event at a Southern Baptist church. JASON KEIL
Lucero - Monday, November 23 - Crescent Ballroom
Since its inception, Lucero has just gotten bigger and bigger — not only in popularity, but also in the actual number of members in the band. What started as a four-piece rock band on The Attic Tapes evolved into an impressive musical production with horns, keys and steel guitar by the time of 2009’s 1372 Overton Park, the band’s major-label debut. That album features a huge sound and slick production that alienated some of the group’s early fans. But Lucero’s latest, All a Man Should Do, is a return to its early sound, with acoustic-based laments familiar to those original supporters. The song “Went Looking for Warren Zevon’s Los Angeles” finds singer Ben Nichols introspectively wandering back to old haunts, reflecting on where he’s been and questioning where he (and his band) are going next. ANDY THOMAS
All That Remains - Tuesday, November 24 - Marquee Theatre
With the sudden demise of MTV's Headbangers Ball in 1995, metal had nowhere to go but underground. The scene fractured, the sound intensified, and shares of Aqua Net plunged. Since then, a legion of back-to-basics core whores like Massachusetts's All That Remains have pumped life back into the genre that media forgot. Whether you call it metalcore or melodic death or simply Satan on a stick, the music greases all the necks of those whose heads come mounted on a hinge. Even after all these years, All That Remains still bludgeons with ferocious growling, extreme shredding and power chords, like a soundtrack to homicide. Yet lead singer Phil Labonte occasionally takes the chainsaw out of his throat to remind audiences how lovely his singing voice is. The formula works. Their show at the Marquee Theatre on Tuesday, November 24, will also feature Devour the Day, Audiotopsy, and Sons of Texas on the lineup. R. KELLY LIGGIN
Family of the Year - Tuesday, November 24 - Crescent Ballroom
Family of the Year, a four-piece L.A. indie pop group that's as tight-knit as their name suggests, make songs that are ludicrously, preposterously catchy. The familial camaraderie of their name comes from guitarist Joe Keefe and drummer Sebastian Keefe, brothers who left both Boston and their previous bands to form the group. The act became fully realized when bassist Jamesy Bucker and keyboardist Christina Schroeter came on. They didn't take things all that seriously at first, but that's all changed.
Family of the Year specialize in the kind of jangly, hook-driven pop that's the perfect opening foil for acts such as Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Mumford & Sons. The were hand-selected by Ben Folds to play a show with Folds and the Boston Pops Symphony just two shows into their career. Their lyrics aren't particularly deep — sometimes quite the contrary — but it's music for folks who like their melodies strong and memorable. K.C. LIBMAN
A Silent Film - Tuesday, November 24 - Valley Bar
A Silent Film is an alternative band who hails from the other side of the pond and have been at it since 2005. Their sound is a piano-heavy rock not unlike Coldplay, but without so much sappy lethargic sentiment. Singer Robert Stevenson's voice hearkens to a simpler time (the '80s) and calls to mind the greats of New Wave, or perhaps just Brandon Flowers of the Killers. Check 'em out. BRANDON FERGUSON
Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys - Wednesday, November 25 - Rhythm Room
Rockabilly's endurance continues to defy those who regard the genre's resurrection as more of a fashion statement than a musical movement. While you'll probably see less gingham and grease in local clubs these days, interest in rockabilly's rabble-rousing sounds remains solid. Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys are a fine example of why this music continues to please: The Southern California outfit led by the amiable, appealing Big Sandy (né Rusty Williams) approaches it with a dexterity and musicianship that makes the stuff look easy. While Sandy's sound — a kind of retrobilly fused with a big-band flair, peppered with occasional excursions into country, swing and even calypso — is certainly rooted in nostalgia, there's a timeless quality to it. It could be the band's smooth, almost seamless delivery, or the way the tunes make you want to take to the dance floor. Then again, maybe it's just Big Sandy's big ol' smile. LAURA BOND
Butcher Babies - Wednesday, November 25 - Pub Rock
Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd, frontwomen for Butcher Babies, first gained notice on YouTube performing Pantera's "Fucking Hos-tile," wearing leather pants and electrical tape over their nipples as an ode to Plasmatics singer Wendy O. Williams, whose band, the Plasmatics, had a song called "Butcher Baby." Channeling Alice Cooper, the Babies offer an awesome display of brutal power and a compelling blend of thrash, punk and stage antics, while Harvey and Shepherd exude a confident aura that is at once mesmerizing, penetrating and sexy. LAUREN WISE
RedMonkey - Thursday, November 26 - Monarch Theatre
Pete "SuperMix" Salaz is planning to lay out an impressive spread for his nearest and dearest on Thanksgiving, although its gonna be a feast that's more audio than edible. The godfather of local house music has been rocking record decks for more than two decades, and he and a slew of special guests will dish out a sumptuous T-Day buffet of beats and four-on-the-floor treats during his annual RedMonkey: Work That Turkey dance party on Thursday, November 26, at Monarch Theatre.
It's the eighth time that Salaz has thrown the Thanksgiving night event, which gives house-heads the chance to hit the dance floor and work off the calories they ingested hours earlier. This year’s special guests include such house DJs as Joaquin "Joe" Claussell and Bekieu, as well as a live performance by Porangui. The digital artists of Gestalt Theory will provide visual wizardry in the form of projections. The party runs from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
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