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Monday, November 10
Judas Priest, Steel Panther
Two things you can still count on in heavy metal: One is that Judas Priest won’t waste any time on wimpy power ballads, and the other is that lead shrieker Rob Halford will wear enough black leather to outfit all of Castro Street on Halloween. The English metallurgists’ 17th album may be titled Redeemer of Souls, but there ain’t a whole lot of redemption going on in bloody ditties like “Down in Flames” and “Dragonaut.” Halford’s operatic vocals still soar quite majestically over the twin-guitar interplay of Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, although retired guitarist K.K. Downing is much missed, and the album’s production is too clean. Openers Steel Panther might have started out as an ’80s metal parody band, but now that they’re playing major metal festivals, it’s hard to tell where the joke ends. — Falling James
Tuesday, November 11
Ontario-born electro-pop artist Lights got her bearings at the ripe young age of 15, when she signed on with Sony as a songwriter for Canadian drama Instant Star. A slew of hits (“Drive My Soul,” “Saviour,” “Ice”) and a Juno Award for New Artist of the Year in 2009 followed, all before she was even 20 years old. Collaborations with post-hardcore groups Silverstein and Bring Me the Horizon, gold certification for her debut album, The Listening, and a widely acclaimed sophomore album, 2011’s Siberia, also nominated for a Juno Award, have secured Lights’ place as a dominating force in the pop industry. Considering her track record, it will come as no surprise if her latest work, this year’s Little Machines, continues her winning streak. — Artemis Thomas-Hansard
Wednesday, November 12
Tame Impala, Delicate Steve
Straight outta Perth, Australia, come Tame Impala, a band chock-full of a pleasantly upside-down variety of musical strands in the grand rock tradition of great melodies and toe-tapping beats that all sound familiar yet unlike anything you’ve ever heard. They boast of songs whose addictive, breezy ambience is also texturally intriguing, harmonically advanced, and played with a craft bespeaking both sophistication and joy. They’re doing a short tour of the States, playing stuff from their equally great Lonerism (2012) and Innerspeaker (2010) albums. New Jersey singer-guitarist Delicate Steve weaves a not-crazy-really quilt of headspinningly eclectic everything-pop, corralling in classic-rock, vintage R&B, electro, Afrobeat and Brazilian tropicalia in hyper-catchy tunes with at least one apparent goal in mind: rock & roll ecstasy. — John Payne
Thursday, November 13
Run the Jewels
From the moment El-P collaborated with Killer Mike on the latter’s 2012 album, R.A.P. Music, the duo immediately felt it had found in one another their musical soul mates. After the critical success of that record, they joined forces to form one of hip-hop’s most exciting outfits in Run the Jewels. The iconoclastic rappers gave fans a surprise when they dropped their second album, RTJ2, as a free download last month. But an even bigger surprise may be in store: What started as a joke, a remixed version of RTJ2 featuring sampled cat sounds called Meow the Jewels, is in the works, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. Jokes aside, the explosive nature and raw intensity of their live shows is what makes Run the Jewels a must-see group. — Daniel Kohn
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