The Reader's Soundboard page has a collection of shows you should know about while making weekend plans. There's XXYYXX at Schubas on Friday; Joe Diffie at the Congress Theater, Eels at the Vic, and Shofar at Heaven Gallery on Sunday; and Painted Palms at Schubas and Shofar with Josh Berman & Jason Stein at the Hungry Brain on Sunday. Fans of Americana should check out Dunn Dunn Fest, which began yesterday at the Tonic Room and wraps up tomorrow night. Read up on some more recommendations from our writers after the jump.
"'Take a Walk,' the opening track from last year's nearly perfect Gossamer (Columbia), is all you need to hear to understand why Passion Pit dominates the still-thriving subgenre of 'quirky indie pop with lots of falsetto vocals,'" writes Kevin Warwick. "I'm sure much of Passion Pit's success has to do with their technical wizardry—they're impressively talented players, decorating their intricate, vibrant melodies with cartoonish electro zaps and squeals—but just as important is Angelakos's skill with forlorn, evocative lyrics that balance out the band's playfulness and sometimes fantastical candy-coated sheen." Matt & Kim and Icona Pop open.
NYC rapper Roc Marciano was on track to be remembered as just another dude who filled out Busta Rhymes's Flipmode Squad until his belated 2010 studio debut, Marcberg, made him a new favorite of rap fans who dig 90s boom-bap. Marciano has since been releasing new music with greater frequency. "Last year he turned up on Action Bronson's 'Pouches of Tuna' to drop one of the best guest features of 2012, derailing Bronson's dense syllabic clusters to recite what sounded like a bunch of random phrases off the top of his head, delivered with an unhurried, pimpish insouciance," writes Miles Raymer. "His second solo LP, last fall's Reloaded (Decon), is like that verse expanded to album length."
"In the five years since percussionist Sunny Jain formed this nine-piece 'dhol 'n' brass' ensemble in Brooklyn, it's undergone some serious road testing," writes Peter Margasak. "Red Baraat's new second full-length, Shruggy Ji (Sinj), is their tightest and most propulsive yet: fluid, fat-toned brass and sinewy reeds combine Punjabi melodies with Mardi Gras ebullience, and the three-man rhythm section (Jain on the two-headed dhol, Tomas Fujiwara on standard kit, and Rohin Khemani on percussion) buoys the rollicking horns with the frothy, funky polyrhythms of bhangra and second-line marches."