For Your Ears
El-P, Killer Mike
Sunday, August 4; doors at 7 p.m.
While Kanye’s “Yeezus” and Jay-Z’s “Magna Carta Holy Grail” have both created a bit of noise this summer, underground hip-hop heavyweights El-P and Killer Mike quietly released their collaborative album, “Run the Jewels.” This free mixtape meets somewhere in the middle of El-P’s synthesizer tendencies and Killer Mike’s southern rap, making for an exciting collision of sounds.
For Your Consideration: Killer Mike kicks the proverbial door down right at the start of “Job Well Done.” Words propel from his lips with an alarming sense of direction.
Every Time I Die, Terror, Territory, Old Wounds
Tuesday, August 6 at 7 p.m.
Southern quintet act Every Time I Die backs up its tough-guy image with its equally tough sounding music. The band’s dual guitars teeter back and forth between chunky chords and needling guitar lines, while the howls of vocalist Keith Buckley churn the band forward.
For Your Consideration: “Drag King” is a hard-hitting roller coaster of a song, with Buckley shouting like hell one moment and singing a catchy melody the next.
We the Kings, Breathe Carolina, T. Mills, The Ready Set, Keep it Cute
Wednesday, August 7; doors at 6:30 p.m.
Some concerts tend to have audible checks and balances. On one end is We the Kings, a bubblegum pop-punk band which has probably listened to New Found Glory’s self-titled album one too many times. On the other end of the spectrum is Breathe Carolina, a crunk-core band known for its paper-thin beats, overbearing Auto-Tune and laughable screams.
For Your Consideration: We the Kings’ “Check Yes Juliet” was one of the big pop-punk songs in 2008. Sure, the song’s lyrics are pretty boring, but the chorus can still pack a punch.
Jayke Orvis & The Broken Band
Low Spirits Bar and Stage
Monday, August 12;
doors at 8:00 p.m.
Low Spirits has a knack for attracting excellent folk artists, and Jayke Orvis & the Broken Band is no exception. This Wisconsin folk act is not shy about its strings, as each song is carried by an up-tempo gust of guitar and violin.
For Your Consideration: “Lead Me Astray” is a bustling tune and tale of a night of sin, accompanied by an encouraging violin and well-plucked guitar and bass.
Cold War Kids
Monday, August 19; doors at 7 p.m.
Cold War Kids’ lead singer Nathan Willett was made to sing the blues. There’s a slight shake to Willett’s voice, reverberating to a higher degree when certain words find more urgency than others. Willett brings a little bit of gospel optimism to the band’s sometimes melancholy blues.
For Your Consideration: “Miracle Mile” starts with a running piano line and steady percussion, as Willett quickly catches up with the tune with a confident croon.
Downfall of Gaia, Black Table, Distances, Pepper Griswald, Hollow Tongue
Thursday, August 29; doors at 7 p.m.
Post-rock outfit Downfall of Gaia plays tunes that match the band’s ominous name. The guitar riffs are rough around the edges and the vocals are convincingly menacing. Following in the tradition of most other post-rock bands, Downfall of Gaia’s angst is often heated to a light boil for countless minutes on end.
For Your Consideration: “In the Rivers Bleak” is a trudging eight minutes of gang vocals, distortion pedal and pounding drums.