upcoming shows you should check out
NEXT UP IN AVANT GARDE
Given Colin Stetson’s inspiration to take up sax was Men at Work’s “Who Can It Be Now?” it makes his ascension to the top of the avant garde jazz world seem all that much more unlikely. The Arcade Fire and Bon Iver sideman has nonetheless earned his place in the world of other-than-ordinary. Stetson’s style challenges the boundaries of his instruments, most notably on his latest LP, New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges. Recorded without overdubbing and in as few takes as possible, Stetson set up more than 20 mics in his studio at various distances to achieve his ominous, almost three-dimensional sound. He’ll perform at Durham’s Motorco Music Hall this Friday in a double-bill with another equally adventurous musical soul, former Battles vocalist Tyondai Braxton, who takes an almost polar opposite approach to orchestral prog through dense clusters of guitar and vocal loops. The show is presented by Duke Performances, and music begins at 8 p.m. and tickets are $15.
BLUES LEGEND COMES TO THE HIGH POINT THEATRE
If you were to put together a list of the living rock-and-rollers with the greatest longevity, British bluesman John Mayall’s name would be firmly entrenched near the top. For a good part of his 56-year career, Mayall’s Bluesbreakers were the incubator for some of the most revered musicians of post-British Invasion blues rock. It’s likely there wouldn’t have been a Cream or a Fleetwood Mac had it not been for Mayall’s influence over Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood, and Bluesbreakers apprenticeships by Don Harris and Aynsley Dunbar led to their notable contributions with Frank Zappa. While his current band — Rocky Athas on guitar, Jay Davenport on drums and Greg Rzab on bass — doesn’t quite possess the star power of its mid-‘60s heyday, the music they make is still Bluesbreakers rock in its purest sense. At 78 years old, Mayall’s hands are better suited for keys and harmonica than guitar, but there’s no dearth in quality among the current band. Ask Mayall and he’ll tell you it’s among the best he’s ever had. John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers will perform at the High Point Theatre this Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40, $30 and $25.
IT’S THE FUTURE, GET DOWN
No rapper worth their weight in codeine cough syrup ever comes out and says that they really just want to play for a few people here and there, maybe sell a few dozen albums along the way. It’s a go-hardor-go-home world, and Atlanta emcee Future is as serious as James Harden in the lane off the bounce when says he’s going to be a stadium rapper. He’s certainly got the arsenal thus far — his pre-major label discography includes a healthy mix of awful and awesome singles and mixtapes, all of which are written so that 4-year-olds can recite them. He’s got the momentum — Gary, Ind. rapper Future basically got the hell out of the way when he added “the Artist” to his stage handle to avoid confusion. For now, Future is still on the small stages, spinning his “wala, Magic,” and he’ll do it at Ziggy’s this Tuesday, March 27. Tickets for the show are $25 and doors open at 9 p.m.