Upcoming shows you should check out
INTERACTIVE MUSICIAN GETS EVEN INTERACTIVER
Greenville, Sept.15, 2004. I took the advice of a friend to catch a show by a guy whom she couldn’t quite find the most colorful words to describe at what was then the Flying Salsa. “It’s going to be weird, but fun,” was the best she could muster. At the time, I couldn’t have imagined it being more strange than the show’s local draw, Art Lord & the Self Portraits, but I was surely mistaken. Dan Deacon was that musician, a chubby, bespectacled guy behind a pile of electronics who I could’ve sworn was Aspergian because of this uncanny vision he had for what he wanted his performance to be. There was no fourth wall between him and the few dozen crammed into the narrow performance space at the Salsa; Deacon was adamant in his demands to the crowd. Follow this step pattern, this half-clap while the other drops down low, all to a soundtrack that sounds like Saturday-morning cartoons on crack. It took a fully compliant crowd to make his ideas work, and they were. Today the book on Deacon is still being written, and when he comes to the Blind Tiger on Thursday, he’ll bring that interactivity into the mobile computing age. With an eponymous new smartphone application, he works even more psychedelic imagery into his live performances with spastic blasts of color straight from the hands of his ever-willing audience. Coincidentally, that Flying Salsa show included a Baltimore cohort named Height, the bastard child of License to Ill and Buhloone Mindstate, and Art Lord (and now Future Islands) producer Chester Endersby Gwazda, and both will join Deacon in support on Thursday. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door, and don’t forget to download the app.
SHORTY SWINGS OUR WAY
If there’s been a single gripe with the esteemed Shakori Hills Festival, it’s that the biggest “get” of the four-day, semi-annual event inexplicably falls on Thursday night. On one hand, it’s smart budgeting and ticketing strategy; it’s probably cheaper to get them and attendees will be more likely to buy four-day passes. On the other, it can be maddening for the festival-weary to endure another one in October. The good news is that’s not the case this weekend, when the Silk Hope, music festival hosts arguably the finest young player in all of New Orleans, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, on Friday night. Not to overstate his position, but Shorty is the culmination of the past 100 years of New Orleans music; he’s extremely deferential to the classics, but maintains an all-seeing eye on every of corner of the Crescent City’s capacious musical tradition. He’s steeped in hip hop to the degree that he’s supported Lil Wayne on tours without irony, he can elicit sounds sludgier than Down ever imagined and he can second-line as well as anyone. Shorty and his band Orleans Avenue join a lineup that includes Latin funk crew Suenalo, the Wailers and gorgeous folk orchestras Lost in the Trees and Elephant Revival. For the full lineup and ticketing info, check shakorihillgrassroots.org.
ANTHONY HAMILTON FOR THE GROWN AND GORGEOUS
For 18 years and innumerable collaborations, Queen City-born Anthony Hamilton has been that guy: the singer whom other artists enlist to give that soulful drop to tracks that need an extra bit of TLC. Buddy Guy brought him in to spar on a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay,” he rounded the edges on Chingy’s unexpectedly smart banger “How We Feel,” he’s smoothed out Christmas with Boney James and he hangs with Prince and the Rev. Al Green. Through seven of his own albums, Hamilton has weathered every ridiculous trend in R&B and stayed true to one of the finest Godgiven flows in popular music. His 2011 record Back to Love was an instant classic among the grown-up set; a real man dealing with real shit in the realest ways possible, and its accompanying tour rolls into the War Memorial Auditorium this Saturday in what has become a yearly affair with the Gate City. Hamilton will be joined by Brit pop-soul singer Estelle, who most will remember as the sugary counterpart to Kanye on “American Boy.” Opening is Cleveland soul newcomer Antoine Dunn. Tickets for the show start at around $60 and the show begins at 8 p.m.