by Ryan Snyder

Upcoming shows you should check out

The major hip-hop concert you probably can’t get into

Twenty-five of the world’s most important fashion tastemakers are sitting around an agarwood conference table with burnished copper inlay in an underground Swiss bunker. An image pops up on a hologram projection pod in its center. It’s Macklemore; most of the onlookers gasp as the man seated at the head of the room says, “Gentlemen, we have a problem.” “There’s gold in them thar bins,” is the spirit of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s inescapable hit “Thrift Shop,” and it would appear from Macklemore’s unmistakable appearance that he’s a devotee of his own advice. Yet, he somehow pulls off looks with leopard prints, feather boas, high-heeled boots and mesh shirts for no other reason than just because. The song itself has basically been a self-defeating prophecy for anyone looking to follow in his footsteps; the sheer uptick in people on the 99-cent come-up has fleeced them of anything worthwhile. It still makes for a good song, even to private-school kids whose student union wields the kind of endowment with the leverage to secure not just a Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performance, but also arguably the other hottest emcee right now in Kendrick Lamar. It’ll happen this Friday at Wake Forest’s Davis Field (weather permitting, with Wait Chapel as the inclement weather venue) as a part of WAKEstock, because if there’s anything that private schoolers relate to besides slumming it in second-hand gear, it’s rap songs about economic disenfranchisement. Being a Wake event, tickets will be tricky to come by for the public — especially if it’s moved indoors (2,100 cap.) versus David Field (4,000 cap.), either way it could turn out to be the Cartmanland of hiphop shows — but postings at suggest that information on public purchase may be made available sometime this week.

Ya boy George is ready to Strait kick it

One of the biggest stars in the history of American music says he is hanging up his spurs, but not before one final farewell (or at least the first of many). George Strait’s Greensboro stop on Saturday night is — for the time being — among the last half dozen performances on his Cowboy Rides Away tour, his stated farewell to touring — and why not? Strait has made a mint on the down-home everyman image that countless singers have sought to emulate, so it’s reasonable that the 60-year-old singer wants to spend his golden years however he wants. After 59 No. 1 singles and another 40plus in the Top 10, he’s put together a catalog that’s on par with no one else’s. His status as the King of Country is undisputed thanks to the extended hibernation in which Garth Brooks is ensconced, but Strait is so engulfed in the country music machine that it’s hard to give him full credit for his successes. Of those hit songs, he’s written approximately zero, but where he does succeed his selecting the right songs for him to play in front of the Ace in the Hole Band, one of the best in country music. But that voice — the oaky baritone with more notes than Balcones whiskey — is what makes him a legend. He’ll be joined in Greensboro by another country icon in Martina McBride. Show time is 7:30 and tickets start at $72.50.