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On Friday, Morlot and Mix-A-Lot will share the stage for orchestral versions of “Baby Got Back” and “Posse on Broadway.” The orchestrations were arranged by Gabriel Prokofiev (yes, Sergey’s grandson), who also happens to be a DJ and who will also world premiere a Mix-A-Lot inspired composition at this Friday night concert. “Classical music, orchestral music, it’s not just a stuffy thing,” says Morlot, who is now my favorite conductor for signing off on a concert like this. Which leaves me pondering -- Tell 'em to shake it (Shake it!) Shake it (Shake it!). Shake that healthy butt! – does that sound better rapped to strings or to horns? Local band Pickwick is also a special guest on this bill.
If you go: Sonic Evolution, Benaroya Hall, June 6. ($19-$35) — F.D.
Mark Oliver Everett — some call him “E” — is the mastermind behind Eels, and he isn’t one to shy away from his inner weirdo. He imbues his brand of alt-rock with ominous, intelligent flair and delivers his lyrics in a deadpan drawl that could go pound-for-pound with Beck. While many Eels songs are sedate, they insinuate just the right amount of fuzz and distortion. Their music isn’t as lo-fi these days, but it’s still definitely inspired by those sounds. Known also for his eclecticism, Everett’s songs also turn to violins, keys or even glockenspiels when the occasion warrants it. Eels is touring behind its latest LP, “The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett.”
If you go: Eels, The Moore Theater, June 6 ($27). — J.S.H.
Guided by Voices
This band is perhaps best known for amassing a discography that most groups couldn’t achieve in two lifetimes. They have somewhere in the neighborhood of 21 full-length LPs, 17 short EPs, a handful of collaboration albums, seven soundtracks and God only knows what else floating around in record stores and on websites. If you’ve ever listened to them, you’ll know this prolific urgency is extremely present in their music. Guided by Voices are seasoned masters of the two-minute punk blitzkrieg, and it’s truly amazing to see lead singer/principle songwriter Robert Pollard go that crazy on stage as he pushes 60.
If you go: Guided by Voices Showbox Market, June 8 ($35). — J.S.H.
The Mountain Goats
Several years ago, I saw Mountain Goats front man John Darnielle do a solo performance in Meany Hall. I had no idea who the Mountain Goats were, but his songwriting floored me. It’s the near-extinct kind of heart-on-your-sleeve confessional writing that isn’t maudlin. It’s kind of like the way many in my generation felt about Blink-182 when we were 12, and it’s nice to feel it again as adults. The Mountain Goats has progressed from lo-fi to folky poprock in the last two decades, and Darnielle’s bittersweet turns of phrase (“I’m going to make it through this year if it kills me”) get under one’s skin now more than ever.
If you go: The Mountain Goats, Showbox Market, June 10 ($22.50). — J.S.H.
Crosscut's arts coverage is made possible through the generous support of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.
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