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Monday, November 17
Deerhoof, Crystal Skulls
Deerhoof’s sound can be loosely described as punk rock, but how many other punk bands have played with Yoko Ono and had their songs covered by The Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh? On their latest album, La Isla Bonita, the Bay Area group plunges into straight-up punk blasts like “Exit Only,” with its distorted guitars abruptly colliding. But they also segue into such dream-pop interludes as “Mirror Monster,” where singer Satomi Matsuzaki coos gently over a sea of fluttering, watery guitars. Other tracks range from the funky art-rock of “Last Fad” to the percussive jangle of “Paradise Girls.” Crystal Skulls have a breezier style, combining stop-and-start chords with the poppy vocals of Christian Wargo (Fleet Foxes). Songs like “Airport Motels” and “Hussy” are flecked with clean, shimmering guitars that brighten Wargo’s laidback delivery. — Falling James
Tuesday, November 18
Streets of Laredo
Brooklyn might not be the first place one would look for a rootsy band calling itself Streets of Laredo, but the indie-rock quintet originally came from a place even farther from the Old West — Auckland, New Zealand. As it is, the humble combo is a wonderful combination of all its past and current geographies, blending rural acoustic folk and countrified Americana with that intimately lo-fi brand of indie pop that’s unique to New Zealand bands. “Do you feel like living?” lead singer Daniel Gibson asks, and it’s hard to say no, given the group’s ebullient strumming. “Where I’m from, it’s summer when it’s raining/I’m so used to everyone complaining,” Gibson sings on “Girlfriend,” spitting out a rapid-fire litany of images: “She’s in the moment … Summer thunder variant/Letters from the government/Robbing hearts and breaking banks.” — Falling James
Thursday, November 20
HOUSE OF BLUES SUNSET STRIP
Grammy Award–winning rap posse Bone Thugs-N-Harmony were a mainstay on urban music charts throughout the 1990s. Their melodic, G-funk–inspired sound, characterized by Bizzy’s unorthodox speed-rapping can be heard on such hits as “Thuggish Ruggish Bone,” “1st of tha Month” and “Tha Crossroads.” But after more than 20 years in the game, one of hip-hop’s biggest-selling groups is calling it quits. Their forthcoming double album, E. 1999 Legends (which they plan to auction off as a single copy to the highest bidder), will be their last. Tonight’s show is one of the last dates on the American leg of their final world tour. The Cleveland legends will perform their classic 1995 sophomore album, E. 1999 Eternal, in its entirety. Also on the bill are Kansas City rapper Mac Lethal and Atlanta-based group Almost Kings. — Jacqueline Michael Whatley
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Seldom has a TV appearance brought a band as much attention as Future Islands’ Late Show With David Letterman performance in March. Much of the viral love shown to the trio’s rendition of “Seasons” that night was due to the outlandish antics of singer Samuel T. Herring, who at once evoked an edge-of-tears televangelist, shirt-tugging Quasimodo and grossly over-enthusiastic cater waiter. Sure, Herring came on like that sloppy-drunk co-worker at karaoke night — but only if said sloppy-drunk co-worker had a voice like Aaron Neville and a monument to functional minimalism as his backing band. While his distant-gaze intensity and speed-skater gyrations appeared utterly authentic, Herring’s Letterman antics were effectively a Trojan horse for Future Islands’ fantastically single-minded, taut and pathos-flecked synth-pop. — Paul Rogers