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Also playing Monday:
RADAR BROS., HOLLOY, KARIN TATOYAN at the Echo; THE PARSON RED HEADS, THE SHAKY HANDS at Spaceland; THE MOVIES at the Viper Room.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 22ABBY TRAVIS at the Hotel Café; RESTAURANT, THE BLOODY HOLLIES at Safari Sam's; MERLE JAGGER at Spaceland; POISON THE WELL, THE LOCUST at the Troubadour.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23
Kiddus I, Earl "Chinna" Smith at the EchoplexThat darned Dub Club just keeps bringing in astonishing live acts, and this bill ups their cannabis-fumed cultural ante even higher. With the presence of pioneering Jamaican ax-man Earl "Chinna" Smith, a.k.a. the High Priest of Reggae guitar (although Ernest Ranglin fans might argue about that), the potential for revelatory sonics goes far beyond recognizable boundaries. Smith's chugging, restrained and reliably mind-shattering fretwork has been featured on records with many of reggae's most significant stylists for decades — and he's also outlived such peerless collaborators as Prince Far I, Augustus Pablo and King Tubby, artistic titans with whom he both elevated and toughened up the music to a flabbergasting degree. He's paired with silky-toned vocalist Kiddus I, another veteran of the classic Scratch Perry/Jack Ruby JA studio era (and seen in the unforgettable smoke-out jam opening sequence of Rockers), for both an acoustic set and a dub-mad, full band session. It's sure to, as Far-I would say, leave you battered, flattered, shattered and scattered. (Jonny Whiteside)
Gallows at the TroubadourFurious five-piece Gallows, who appeared as if from nowhere at last year's South by Southwest, spew deliciously animal, authentic punk rock with intoxicating, gang-you-want-to-join gusto. Skipping a couple of punk's less-salubrious generations, they take starting points similar to its three-chord, cartoonish 1980s Brit bastardization and the mall-pop mutant that fizzed out of O.C.'s (double) garages a decade later — Black Flag's and Minor Threat's lean hardcore and the Sex Pistols' and the Clash's sneering discontent — yet avoid the dilution and uniformity that plagued the dark ages of the genre. Theirs is a truly 3D, visceral avalanche: solidly sincere and significant but twinkling with an almost At the Drive-In sense of sonic adventure. Front man Frank Carter comes on like a tattooed Thom Yorke after an electrifying Red Bull (and red hair) infusion, and, unlike his metalcore contemporaries, keeps his wits'-end, vein-straining London lilt (relatively) melodic and intelligible. Gallows' shows have left both band and fans bloodied — bring Band-Aids. (Paul Rogers)
Also playing Wednesday:
TREVOR HALL, SHATTO, MADAMN GRISLEE at the Derby; WAZ, MEIKO, BUDDY at the Hotel Café; DAVID GARZA at Largo.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 24
Jason Isbell at the Vault 350He gave up his spot in Georgia's Drive-By Truckers last year, but Jason Isbell hasn't lost his flair for the kind of tear-in-your-beer laments he contributed to the Truckers' last several albums. Isbell's touring in support of Sirens of the Ditch, his 2007 solo debut, on which he presented his melancholy character sketches free of the post-Skynyrd guitar heroics that make the Truckers such a thrilling live draw. That's not always a good thing: With its tasteful, NPR-approved country-rock vibe, Ditch could probably stand to be a little more dynamic (and a lot less polite). But Isbell's songwriting still ranks among the No Depression crowd's most thoughtful, and who knows how things might go after a few drinks tonight? Isbell shares the bill with rootsy singer-songwriters Will Hoge and Jeremy Fisher; they're scheduled to hit Spaceland next Fri., Jan. 25. (Mikael Wood)
Also playing Thursday:
MONEY MARK, HEY WILLPOWER at the Echo; JOHN WEST, PRISCILLA AHN at the Hotel Café; BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB at the Key Club; WATKINS FAMILY HOUR at Largo; TODD SNIDER, ZACH BROOCKE at the Mint; AIRBORNE TOXIC EVENT at Spaceland; INGRID MICHAELSON, GREG LASWELL at the Troubadour; ROB DICKINSON at the Viper Room.