Music Picks: Rhye, Papa and Motörhead 

Thursday, May 9 2013

Page 2 of 3

sun 5/12

Chrysta Bell


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At her show last summer at the Bootleg Theater, Chrysta Bell conjured her dreamy incantations while a nonstop blur of lost highways, blue oceans and flickering Milky Ways of light was projected on the wall behind her. Cocking her head enigmatically as she caught the spotlight and twisting her arms languidly into serpentine shapes, the singer was a mesmerizing performer, often closing her eyes and appearing to be captivated and intoxicated by her own lulling words. If the combination of evocative imagery and Bell's softly febrile vocals sometimes seemed like something out of a David Lynch movie, it wasn't a surprise, as the famous filmmaker has championed the charismatic singer, as well as written songs for her. At one point in her performance, Bell reverentially intoned her romantic pleas as if they were prayers, casting them out into a sea of echoes and getting so worked up with passion that she artfully twisted a long silk scarf and twisted it around her head like a blindfold, becoming completely enshrouded by her own music. It was an enchanting state of being, to be sure. —Falling James

Tom Jones


Always the butt of panty-flinging gags but rarely accorded the respect he has long since earned, Tom Jones' two-night stand at the tiny, venerable Troub is as exciting and unlikely an opportunity as the recent Stones show at the Echoplex. The leather-lunged lad from Pontypridd, Wales, is a deeply talented vocalist whose style remains a supercharged thunderball of charm, warmth and soulful, ass-shaking exuberance. From his romping mid-'60s monster hits to 1988's hot, taut cover of Prince's "Kiss" and on to his current mind-bending Spirit in the Room disc (which climaxes with an epic, four-minute-plus version of Mickey Newbury's psych-pop classic "Just Dropped In"), Jones unfailingly and unstintingly delivers the razzle-dazzling patented TJ ka-pow. The pipes are in great condition, and he always carries a breathtakingly tight band, meaning this club date is almost too good to be true. In a perfect world he'd play here nightly, for a month, so we could all go. Also Saturday, May 11. —Jonny Whiteside

mon 5/13



Torches are an L.A. band (the band that was once Torches in Trees, if your indie-rock database needs an update) that has submerged itself completely in the same kind of anthemic, happy-sad music that puts The Shins and Yo La Tengo in permanent teenage-mixtape rotation. Oh, and in that category let's not forget Arcade Fire. In fact, what about booking a string section and devoting this particular night of Torches' May residency at the Echo to nothing but heart-on-sleeve Arcade Fire covers? That's the plan for this evening. It's a nice little gesture that's part acknowledgment of influence, part thankful tribute and, most of all, true band-on-band love. Be ready to sing along, or at the very least sway along. With openers Infantree, Radars to the Sky and the indefatigable Manhattan Murder Mystery. —Chris Ziegler

tue 5/14

The Egg, Sophie Barker


The Egg crack open with chipper electronic dance music on new songs like "Catch," which fuses sotto voce singing, new-wave keyboards, funky guitars and techno rhythms into a brand-new form of catchy house music. On the title track of its recent album, Something to Do, the British band shift into a hypnotic idyll replete with laid-back crooning, sparkling alt-rock guitars and incandescent keyboard tones, a welcome respite from the hectic intensity of their more uptempo dance tracks. Former Zero 7 chanteuse Sophie Barker collaborated with The Egg on their 2005 "Walking Away," but she's recently moved away from her earlier downtempo style and opened up with a more lavish yet introspective pop grandeur on her fully captivating recent album, Seagull. —Falling James



When U.K. hard-rock paragons Motörhead released their first single (titled, believe it or not, "Motörhead") in the spring of 1977, it was a sheer, devastating blast of untamed rock & roll epiphany. Go back and drop the needle on that one — it's a bone-rattling, mad dog–howling slab of high, amphetamine sulphate–fueled adventure that is still nothing less than flabbergasting, and so damn loud as to almost reach the point of overmodulated distortion. Almost four decades years later, this terrible threesome (dang it, but we do still miss Philthy Animal) roars on with unstoppable zeal, displaying the unflagging, momentous drive that has rightfully installed the mighty Lemmy as one of the most influential, celebrated and singular beasts in rock & roll demonology. Chronically gleeful, slightly demented, loaded with menacing appeal and unerringly louder than any other band anywhere, every Motörhead performance is a rich, ritualistic exercise in transcendent musical hell-raising. —Jonny Whiteside

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