Memory best sums up this month’s musical slate.
It reminds me of my childhood when “alternative” radio still felt like an alternative to something. It reminds me of when being a high school outsider meant getting together with a couple of other outsiders and working through the angst in the form of a few power chords. All of these bands are powerful doorways into memories of the past, either real or imagined. I think that’s what makes music so wonderful. And January’s offerings certainly prove the point.
BELLOWS, ESKIMEAUX & ADULT MOM, 1/16, 6PM, LITTLE AMPS DOWNTOWN, $5 SUGGESTED DONATION
NPR’s Bob Boilen recently named Bellows’ 2014 record, “Blue Breath,” as an honorable mention in his year-end, top-10 album list. The band is joined by Eskimeaux, who are part of the same musical collective, the Epoch. Based in Brooklyn, N.Y., Bellows’ spacey, roughly hewn, handmade psychedelic pop is deeply personal. Marked by sharp juxtapositions of soft, melodic lines and intentional cacophony, Bellows will be a perfect match for the intimate space of the downtown Little Amps shop.
THE WHIGS, 1/22, 8PM, THE ABBEY BAR, $7/$10
Formed in Athens, Ga., the Whigs have five albums under their belts, along with a number of performances on the late-night talk show circuit. A jangly three piece, they play the kind of stripped-down garage rock that finds its power in its simplicity. They are currently touring in support of their most recent release, “Modern Creation.”This is a band that pairs perfectly with a pitcher of beer, so make your way over to the Abbey Bar and take in this raw and impactful show.
10,000 MANIACS, 1/23, 8PM, WHITAKER CENTER, $29.50/$39.50
Remember when MTV Unplugged featured authentic, amazing and memorable performances? Nirvana, Neil Young, REM? And one of my all time favorites, 10,000 Maniacs. Although the current lineup is missing Natalie Merchant, these college radio darlings from the ‘80s and ‘90s haven’t given up the touring life. They continue to record with vocalist Mary Ramsey, who joined immediately after Merchant’s departure. With a repertoire that spans more than 30 years, the band certainly will feature plenty of familiar hits, along with a number of exciting new songs.
Mentionables: Flux Capacitor, 1/2, HMAC; Camela Widad, 1/10, HMAC; Bumperyachts w/Rivers, 1/23, Little Amps downtown; Spiritual Rez, 1/30, Abbey Bar; Pete & Maura Kennedy, Fort Hunter Centennial Barn, 1/31