Friday, October 26
Bob Dylan & His Band, Mark Knopfler
"Bring down my fiddle/Tune up my strings/I'm gonna break it wide open," Bob Dylan announces on his 35th studio album, Tempest. It's the latest in a series of remarkably fertile records the legendary (and legendarily erratic) singer has released over the past 15 years, following a lengthy fallow period in the '80s and early '90s. He breaks it wide open not so much sonically -- his deft band cooks up a low-key shuffle of dusty blues grooves, with lead guitarist Charlie Sexton, Los Lobos' David Hidalgo and, especially, multi-instrumentalist Donnie Herron conjuring some subtly sublime settings -- but in the way he sees the world at the age of 71. While the onetime folk singer still casts a wary eye at world leaders in such new tunes as "Pay in Blood" ("another politician pumping out the piss") and "Early Roman Kings" (strutting around "in their sharkskin suits"), Dylan remains most fascinated by the laws of lust and attraction in "Duquesne Whistle" ("You're like a time bomb in my heart") and the bewitchingly strange "Scarlet Town" ("If love is a sin, then beauty is a crime"). Tonight, the man from Duluth is joined by distinctively feather-toned Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler, who collaborated on several of Dylan's better albums in the late '70s and mid-'80. --Falling James
Considered royalty by Los Angeles' hip-hop underground, Dilated Peoples is one of the few rap acts that still incorporates hip-hop's mother element: the deejay. While most widely known for their 2001 anthem "Worst Come to Worst" featuring Guru, it was the 2004 Kanye West-produced track "This Way" that catapulted the Peoples to international music stardom. Throughout their 20-year career (a rarity for a former major-label rap act), Rakaa Iriscience, Evidence and DJ Babu (Beat Junkies) have come to be globally revered for their kinetic live show. --Jacqueline Michael Whatley
Saturday, October 27
English songbird Sophie Barker may fly solo now after first coming to attention with the coolly groovy, down-tempo group Zero 7, but her stately new pop songs are just as stirringly soulful while also revealing a greater breadth of styles. String-laden idylls like "Paper Thin" and "Paradise Lost" are simply beautiful ballads, with Barker's trademark soothing hush of vocals lingering softly in the echoes between gentle guitar chords. But the London native also lets the sun shine in amid the funky wah-wah guitar and upbeat horn retorts of the infectiously ebullient pop-rocker "Bluebell." It's an unexpected joy to see the queen of cool and restraint kick up her heels like this. --Falling James
Hanni El Khatib
Some people call a guitar an ax, and that's precisely how guitarist and singer Hanni El Khatib uses his: Every song by this gregarious L.A. garage rocker goes chop-chop-chop, from his irreducibly minimal Funkadelic and Cramps covers to his own originals. Although Bo Diddley called his guitar "Lucille," he and El Khatib use the instrument in the same way, building music out of nothing but staccato rhythm and some absolutely committed singing. El Khatib found a kindred spirit in the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, who's producing his coming sophomore LP. But then again, he seems like a guy who's found a lot of kindred spirits, most probably on a lot of rare vinyl. A Halloween show like this gives him a perfect chance to really raise the dead. --Chris Ziegler
Benoit & Sergio
Benoit & Sergio describe their sound on Facebook as "teenage romance," which is apt, even when the lyrics are barely decipherable. The international duo (Benoit is based in D.C., Sergio in Berlin) crafts melodies that flutter like butterflies trapped in the gut. On their latest EP, New Ships, they layer sighlike vocals over beats that seem caught between synth-pop and '80s house music. On this night, they headline what could well be the coolest Halloween dance party of the year. Organized by three superb promotion teams (NOX Illusio, Superfreq and Shits & Giggles), the event will also feature local [a]pendics.shuffle, Shits & Giggles DJs Victor Rodriguez and Chris Bowen, and many more. Expect appearances from Tammie Brown (RuPaul's Drag Race) and other drag superstars as well. --Liz Ohanesian
For details about these shows and more live music happening in the city this week, check out our Concert Calendar.
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