Shows to see: Ane Brun, Lee Ranaldo, Alejandro Escovedo, and more | Bleader

Shows to see: Ane Brun, Lee Ranaldo, Alejandro Escovedo, and more

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Ane Brun
With the number of shows happening in the city, we have to make hard decisions about what exactly to cover on Soundboard, and sometimes good bands don't make the cut. So while I have your attention, let me recommend that you check out Icky Blossoms tonight at Schubas opening for Fool's Gold. Their debut album comes out in July on Saddle Creek; it's produced by Dave Sitek from TV on the Radio, and like almost all of Dave Sitek's productions it sounds wonderful.

After the jump, four shows that did make the cut.

Tue 5/22: Lee Ranaldo at the Vic
Sonic Youth's artsiest and most avant-garde member is also its most accessible melodist, and his self-described "first rock album," Between the Times and the Tides, consists of "comfortably conventional rock-pop, apparently drawing on influences that include R.E.M., Blue Oyster Cult, and Neil Young," according to Peter Margasak. He opens for the comfortably conventional M. Ward.

Tue 5/22: Ane Brun at Lincoln Hall
The Scandinavian singer's new album, It All Starts With One, draws on unexpected lyrical influences, notes Peter Margasak. "Inspired by the Arab Spring, 'One' references a grassroots movement in nearly every verse, but it could be describing personal determination as easily as a populist revolution. Brun is just as effective when her purpose is plain, especially when she's singing about dying love."

Wed 5/23: Alejandro Escovedo at Lincoln Hall
Peter Margasak (again!) calls the rock 'n' roll troubadour's latest effort, Big Station (produced by the legendary Tony Visconti), a "mixed bag," but it still contains some masterful moments: "'Sally Was a Cop' is a wrenchingly powerful story about the Mexican drug war, which has turned into a military disaster terrorizing an innocent population: 'Thirty-five bodies lying in the highway / Children forced to dig the graves of their fathers.'"

Wed 5/23: Mythic Birds at the Hideout
In an apparent attempt to challenge themselves, three of the four members of this improvising group chose to rely on the bass clarinet, which I can tell you as a former bass clarinetist is a challenging instrument indeed. Peter Margasak (jeez) says the group clears that self-imposed hurdle with flying colors: "They do an excellent job pushing against the conventional limits of their instrumentation, with upper-register squalls that shatter into jagged split tones and serendipitous unison notes that create a surprisingly plush, velvety bottom."

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