by Ryan Snyder

Upcoming shows you should check out


For an artist who has shown enormous promise since he was first discovered at a New York City open-mic night nearly 20 years ago while rooming with Beck on the Lower East Side, Paleface seems to be interminably on the come-up. Chalk up his failure to launch to reasons both self-inflicted and externally induced; the master tracks of his second album were erased by the producer soon after recording, and Paleface nearly self-destructed via massive alcohol consumption during a tour with the Breeders in 1997, nearly dying as a result. He emerged healthy a year later and began his most prolific songwriting period, during which he steadily rebuilt his promising career. Flash forward to today and he’s made Concord, NC his label home and base of touring operations, which most immediately will bring him to the Blind Tiger on Thursday. He’ll be supported by Matty Sheets & the Blockheads, whose much-anticipated first album should be ready aaaaaany week now. The show starts at 10 p.m., and tickets are $6 in advance and $8 at the door.


It would take a true titan of terrible to outdo last week’s Trinidad James set in Visions Entertainment Complex’s Wackest Rappers of 2013 showcase series, and the only capable emcee is on deck this Friday night. Chicago rapper Rhymefest called Chief Keef the poster child for the prison-industrial complex, and rightfully so. His glaring lack of writing and rhyming skills are complicated by the fact that his approval is mostly contingent upon his icy demeanor; yes, there was a sense that predecessors like Waka Flocka Flame and Gucci Mane were thugs on the outside, yet still real people possessed of real sympathies. Keef doesn’t exactly give off that vibe. He got a lifetime ban from Instagram for posting himself in graphic, compromising situations, dumped from 50 Cent’s label for blowing off a video shoot with Wiz Khalifa and has been alleged to have financed a hit on a neighborhood kid — all before turning 18. When he hits Greensboro this Friday night, he legally won’t even be old enough to come in the front door of the club he’s playing. If there’s a single positive contribution that he’s made to hip hop since his arrival last year, it’s inspiring “Love Soda,” the outstanding parody video to his latest single “Love Sosa”. With the original shot in his grandmother’s living room while under house arrest, it’s more than ripe. The Official Chief Keef Love Sosa Extravaganza hits Visions at 10 p.m. on Friday, with tickets priced at $20.


Sure, R. Kelly was just in town. Yes, we made a big-effing-deal about it. Yes, his performance this Sunday night at Ziggy’s is a whole other big deal, and only in a small way because it’s his birthday show. No, it’s not actually his birthday-proper; that’s Jan. 8 and it even prompted David Bowie to release his first song in a decade to commemorate. No, a six-week gap between visits is not oversaturation (no pun intended), especially when the first was a stunning, slightly batty and way sold-out incursion into 20 years of breathless sex jams. Like watching the “Trapped In the Closet” series from top to bottom, seeing Kells live is akin to lobotomizing the King of R&B himself and gazing down into the chaotic abyss within. The abyss certainly gazes back at you, which clearly made a lot of people uncomfortable when the show’s announcement was made last week. Folks on the Facebook comment thread seemed downright pissed off (again, no pun intended) that it wasn’t Edwin McCain, or Candlebox, or Sugar Ray, or whomever else is on the construction-paper ticket stubs they’ve been saving for 15 years. The haters started their engines, and a deluge of bad pee jokes ensued. Their loss, because an hour with Kells on stage is a win for the soon-to-be sold-out crowd on Sunday. Tickets are $35 and $55, and the show starts at 9 p.m.