Thursday, July 18
Not gonna lie, but learning in January that The Mars Volta had broken up kind of shook the foundations of my universe (and prompted a few Jonah Hill-style freakouts). But former Volta guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’s new band, Bosnian Rainbows, is pretty good. Prog gods they’re not, but this is solid psych-rock led by a killer frontwoman (Teri Gender Bender, formerly of Le Butcherettes) and Rodriguez-Lopez’s unmistakable touch. Tonight, come hear them play tracks from their self-titled debut album. Bonus: the two opening bands (Sacramento psych-rockers Sister Crayon and one of my favorite Boston bands, Velah) are both excellent.
52 Church St, Cambridge | 8 pm | 18+ | $18 day of show
Friday, July 19
Sexy art-rock in an air-conditioned tent? Hell yes. Let Jaggery and Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys serenade you on the Common with their Looking Glass Revival show. The event is part of Boston’s Outside The Box Festival, which runs until Sunday. Check the schedule for a full list of free performances that run from noon into the night, including The David Wax Museum (July 18th at 6:30 pm on the City Hall Plaza Main Stage), Boston Circus Guild’s Speakeasy Circus (July 19th at 8:30 pm at the Tremont St. Speiegeltent in Boston Common) and Shye Ben Tzur and The Rajasthan Gypsies (July 21st at 4:00 pm on the City Hall Plaza Main Stage).
Tremont St Speiegeltent @ Boston Common | 8 pm | 18+ | Free
Saturday, July 20
This weekend is the Somerville Arts Council’s annual ArtBeat festival, which takes over Elm Street in Davis Square with arts and crafts, food, and live performances. This year’s theme is “micro,” so expect some themed art and activities for kids in the plaza opposite the Holland St. T station entrance. The craft fair and majority of performances take place outside on Saturday (rain date Sunday), but Friday night’s acts are worth checking out, especially the experimental Animal Hospital Ensemble and jazzmasters Either/Orchestra.
Elm St, Davis Square, Somerville | 11 am-6 pm | All ages | Free
Sunday, July 21
Check out these retro cuties, Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside. Lead singer Ford has been described as “a cross between Ella Fitzgerald and Tom Waits,” with a hipster-bespectacled band that could only have come straight outta Portland, Oregon. Boston’s own Thunderbloods, who croon and wail some dapper ‘70s-influenced blues rock, open the show.
1222 Commonwealth Ave, Allston| 9 pm | 18+ | $14 day of show
Monday, July 22
If Depeche Mode were taken over by a woman, it might sound something like The Floating Heads’ song “Beautiful Girls.” Even if you disagree, it’s hard to deny that there’s something cool and instantly catchy about Jessica Sun Lee and Leo White’s new synthpop group, The Floating Heads, who released their debut EP in March. Strangeways is also an intriguing group—you can definitely hear the My Bloody Valentine and Guided by Voices influences in their music. Catch them both tonight at Rockpalast, with DJ Rory Stark spinning before and after the live bands (performances start at 10).
10 Brookline Ave, Cambridge | 8:30 pm | 18+ | $8
Tuesday, July 23
Oh my, it’s another killer weeknight at TT’s! The three opening bands alone would make for a stellar show. You’ve got the slow stoner rock of Cloakroom, grunge jams from Sneeze, and noisy shoegaze courtesy of Infinity Girl. But hold on to your horses, we’ve got
Slowdim and Earthquake Party on the bill, and there you have it—not such a terrible Tuesday after all.
10 Brookline St, Cambridge| 8:30 pm | 18+ | $8
Wednesday, July 24
I’d be thrilled to see any of these bands on a bill. Skinny Bones’ experimental “folk rock through electronic production” is mesmerizing (and sounds pretty cool live, I would imagine). If you want to hear the funkiest lo-fi surf-pop version of the Grimes song “Oblivion,” look no further than Polaroids’ cover. The Groove’s Moons’ debut EP is still forthcoming, and I can’t wait to hear them rock out. The rough mixes remind me of the Beatles and Beach Boys. Finally, Nervous has got their own breed of irresistible gloom-rock. All together, it should be a great show.
3 Harvard Ave, Allston | 9 pm | 21+ | $7