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It may be winter in New England—slushy, raw, and utterly unpredictable—but you have no excuse not to get out of the house. Below is a list of some of the best music to be found in Boston-area venues over the next three months. Don’t forget to post your own suggestions in the comments section below.
Krill: Jan. 13 at Great Scott, Allston
Lurching time signatures and strangled vocals are the hallmark of the Jamaica Plain band, but they still manage to groove with a manic punk energy. Krill are gaining momentum even as they thrive in the city’s underground music scene.
Cate le Bon: Jan. 18 at The Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge
It’s been a big year for Cate le Bon, who released her album “Mug Museum” to critical acclaim, but the Welsh singer-songwriter still revels in the little things. Her gift is to turn intimate songs into the most exquisitely crafted guitar-driven rock.
The Deadly Gentlemen’s Ball: Jan. 25 at the Sinclair, Cambridge
In case you weren’t aware, Boston is a focal point for innovative acoustic music. The city’s own self-styled “grasscore” band the Deadly Gentlemen will host an evening of musical collaboration with bluegrass legend Peter Rowan, indie-pop stringband Joy Kills Sorrow, and virtuosic guitar duo Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge (featured in the video above).
Warning: This video contains adult language.
Ras Kass: Jan. 26 at The Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge
Though he operates below the mainstream radar, California-based rapper Ras Kass has been a renowned MC and lyricist since the mid-‘90s. His brand new album “Barmaggedon,” which features cameos from the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Ice T, is by turns goofy and smart, earnest and satirical, high-minded and crass.
Dirk Powell and Riley Baugus: Feb. 6 at Club Passim, Cambridge
Dirk Powell is a multi-faceted force behind roots music in America, with a long list of credits on high-profile albums and soundtracks and more than few Grammy nods. He is equally at home on fiddle, banjo, and accordion and in Appalachia or Louisiana. He and North Carolinian multi-instrumentalist Riley Baugus bring a certain magic to traditional tunes.
C.J. Chenier: Feb. 11 at Johnny D’s, Somerville
Let’s face it: you’ll probably never make it to Louisiana. But if you can manage to get to Somerville on Feb. 11, you can dance to some of the best Zydeco music in the country courtesy of the accordion-wielding Texan C.J. Chenier.
St. Vincent: Feb. 27 at House of Blues, Boston
St. Vincent is one of the most prolific and creative personalities in rock music today. Her performances are surreal, cathartic, and not to be missed.
Josh Ritter: March 5 at the Somerville Theatre, Somerville
Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter (pictured at top in photo by Brian Stowell) never seems at a loss for inspiration. His songs look fearlessly inward with poetry and grace.
Jess Tardy: March 24 at Club Passim, Cambridge
Jess Tardy sings like she’s from Nashville but makes Boston her home. At long last, she is releasing her first record in nearly 10 years, a soul-inflected take on a collection of country classics and a handful of originals.
Amelia Mason is a writer, musician, and bartender living in Somerville. She is a regular contributor to The ARTery. You can follow her on Twitter @shmabelia and Tumblr: http://thebestalbumofalltime.tumblr.com/
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