ryanâ’€’™s forecast

by Ryan Snyder

upcoming shows you should check out


In the canon of awful albums by great artists, Let It Be Roberta: Roberta Flack Sings the Beatles is among some distinguished company. Velvet Underground’s Squeeze was so bad that it was left out of their boxed set Peel Slowly and See, which pretty much gave every other questionable album they made a pass. The Clash acted like Cut the Crap didn’t even exist in the documentary Westway, and even the spaghetti on the cover of Guns N’ Roses’ The Spaghetti Incident? looks unpalatable. All of the greats have a stinker, and like the Black Mountain-born soul diva’s album implies, Roberta should have just let it be. Flack goes beyond bringing nothing to the Beatles’ equation; she lends justification to an entire generation of kids who grew up hating the Fab Four with 12 of to most antiseptic, overproduced interpretations of Beatles songs ever laid forth. One legendary artist should realize that taking on another is likely doomed from the start, when all that can be hoped for is “just okay.” You pretty much figure out from the elevator-worthy cover of “In My Life” that kicks it off, however, that this album won’t even attain that. But believe that even if David Bowie promised a show where all he would play is Tonight, you wouldn’t be able to trade a firstborn for a ticket. Like Roberta herself, the songs work immensely better live, and she’ll have the opportunity to prove when she plays the Carolina Theatre on Thursday in a fundraiser for the historic venue. Tickets for the event range from $75 to $250, and upper tiers include admission to a dinner or cocktail party. The show starts at 8:30 p.m.


Between the firebrand, technically-obsessed guitarist and the offbeat, high-kicking pop genius of a front man, Van Halen had devised the perfect formula for ‘80s arena rock. David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen were the ‘80s incarnation of the Page/Plant dichotomy; all swagger and shred with just a touch of day-glo. Then for most of 22 years, allowed themselves to be defined by one of rock’s all-time putzes. Well, Van Hagar is no more, and Van Halen is back — to an extent. Diamond Dave as the toe-touching, spandex-clad of a singer has mostly aged out of that role, settling for more subdued shakes and shimmies. Roth’s boyish charisma may never fade though, and E. Van Halen’s snaky arpeggios still smolder enough for both of them. When Van Halen the band comes to the Greensboro Coliseum this Saturday, their setlist will thankfully be devoid of the Hagar tunes, feature a lot more instrumentals, and of course, heavy shares of Roth’s smiling face. Tickets range from $39.85 to $166.30 with fees, and the music starts at 7:30 p.m. with Kool & the Gang, of all people, opening.


There are more strains of groovy goodness in Keller Williams’ arsenal than a Humboldt County dispensary, and his latest release, Bass, fills in a small, but “crucial” gap. The solo loop master delves into conquers dub with luscious swaths of reverb, slaps and pops all coaxed, sampled and looped from a single bass, all reconstructed live on his current supporting tour. Williams comes to the Blind Tiger this Friday, a perfect complement to the stoneriest of all days. Tickets are $19 in advance and $25, and the music starts at 10 p.m.