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ryan’s forecast

by Ryan Snyder

upcoming shows you should check out

MORE THAN JUST A GRATEFUL DEAD TRIBUTE

For the last three years, the American Beauty Project has paid tribute to two landmark albums from the Grateful Dead canon: Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty, both of which mark the band’s monumental musical shift away from jammy psych rock towards an earnest folk and country sound. On Friday it comes to Duke University’s Page Auditorium for a night featuring interpretations of some the Dead’s best work by an outstanding crew of well known players. The project is led by Ollabelle, the bluegrass and Americana outfit of Levon Helm’s daughter Amy, and features a revolving door of world-class accompaniment. In this case, it includes North Carolina’s own Jim Lauderdale, blues singer Catherine Russell and Crooked Still vocalist Aoife O’Donovan. It’s two sets of Dead bliss, and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $32, $26, and $18.

BOB DYLAN, LIVE AND IN CONCERT

The last time I saw Bob Dylan was in 2004 and his voice was pretty much shot then. That was six years ago, so it’s safe to say it hasn’t gotten much better in that time. Still, it’s Bob freakin’ Dylan, the most influential American musician who ever lived, and a creaky throat is no excuse to write off his show on Saturday at the newly resurgent Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Well, it’s not just a little creaky, it sounds as if he were shouting the greatest lyrics ever written through a broken McDonald’s drive-thru speaker. Add that to the fact that he’s not really interested in making any kind of connection with the crowd these days, and one has to wonder if it’s worth dropping $50 to see the Man and His Band on their Never Ending Tour in concert. With the recent death of the last great soul man Solomon Burke, you have to take the opportunities to see the greats when they arrive. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $53.90.

NIGHT OF THE LIVING BASSHEADS

Sometimes a show is worth seeing based on a performers reputation alone, and the LTJ Bukem and MC Conrad show at Greene Street Club this Sunday is one of those times. As one of the major innovators of drum and bass, Bukem slowed down the tempo from the assaultive beats that were common to the genre in the early ’90s and created a more soulful kind of electronic music that was reminiscent of the early Detroit techno sound. The Brit regularly plays before tens of thousands all across Europe with dancehall and dub vocalist MC Conrad, so it’s a rare treat to see such a massively popular artist in the comparatively small Greene Street Club. For a Sunday, it’s going to be a late one with doors opening at 10 p.m., but it’ll be worth it. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door.

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