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By Andy Argyrakis
Weekend Report: Dance tunes from La Roux, Motown from down under
Friday, January 29, 2010
When Smokey Robinson endorses a group covering Motown tunes, it's a hands down guarantee they're pretty darn good. Though Human Nature may hail from Australia, there's plenty of soul in the foursome's steps, impressing even the likes of Celine Dion and the late great Michael Jackson on tour. Even outside of the covers world, the pop act scored five top 10 singles and 17 top 40 hits in the land down under. (Worth a shot - Friday at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino- Hammond, IN: www.thevenuechicago.com).
He's generally considered a harmless college rocker/acoustic popper, but even without much street cred, Howie Day's songs are undeniably catchy. With plenty of sing-a-longs in order (plus some shrieks from the Old Navy-clad girls), it's sure to beat the same old frat party scene, though fans should be sure to arrive early for the slightly more sophisticated stylings of Serena Ryder. (Fan club only - Saturday at House of Blues- Chicago, IL: www.ticketmaster.com).
Electro pop duo La Roux hails from the UK, and not unlike Yaz, Heaven 17 or The Human League, the female-fronted troupe is loaded with sugary synths and icy keyboards. Though not a household name in America just yet, "Bulletproof" earned some early iTunes love as a "Discovery Download" and the group's saturated the club rounds ever since. (Worth a shot - Monday at Lincoln Hall- Chicago: www.lincolnhallchicago.com).
Street Week: Griffin goes to church, The latest Bowie live
Monday, January 25, 2010
Considering David Bowie's last studio CD bowed in 2003 and there's been no peep of the chameleon heading back to the studio, all faithful have to look forward to is this A Reality Tour (Sony Legacy) double disc affair culled from that record's subsequent tour. While it can't eclipse the worldwide event of a proper Bowie album, it certainly makes a case that The Thin White Duke still could crack out a killer concert across a cherry picked 33-song set culled from every famous (and infamous) era. As a result of this exhaustive flashback through Bowie's genius, it builds curiosity all the more for what, if anything, will come next.
Critically celebrated troubadour Patty Griffin has recorded roots music, Americana and alternative country throughout her decade-plus career. Now, after a recent tour with Emmylou Harris and Buddy Miller, Griffin is preparing to release a gospel album featuring both of those spiritually-provocative performers, along with Mike Farris, Julie Miller and Shawn Colvin as guests. Downtown Church (ATO) was recorded without any overdubs during sessions at Nashville's The Downtown Presbyterian Church, (where Griffin sang from the pulpit).
British singer/songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae is one of today's most accomplished but underrated neo-soul sirens. Throughout The Sea (Capitol), she once again exposes her soul throughout a multitude of emotions, including loss, hope and everything in between. Though not as popular as Alicia Keys or India.Arie, expect Rae to give both of those stars a run for their money in the immediate future.
Jan. 11 - 15
Jan. 4 - 8
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