MP3 Weekender: Marnie Stern, Little Joy, Dar Williams, Elf Power/Vic Chesnutt
Oh, hey! Lots going on this weekend.
When/Where: 9 p.m. Friday, November 21, The Billiken Club, with Thor Axe
Sounds Like: "The brain-bending, technical nature of Marnie Stern's guitar playing is impressive by anyone's standards. Her math-rock explorations are pointed and deliberate, never meandering or becoming monotonous — mainly because Stern's infectious vocal chants and song structures are just as seamlessly executed as her furious outbursts of lightning-fast finger-tapping." (link) -- Shae Moseley
MP3: Marnie Stern, "Ruler"
When/Where: 9 p.m. Friday, November 21, Blueberry Hill's Duck Room
Sounds Like: "Once upon a time, the folkie rabble would have tossed Dar Williams to the lions for offenses against purity of heart and purse, not to mention a cover of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb." Those times are gone, as evidenced by this year's Promised Land, a radio-ready suite produced by Brad Wood (best known for work with the Smashing Pumpkins and Liz Phair), with a brightly bouncing rock-the-folk sound that puts Williams squarely in the Suzanne Vega pop-crossover camp." (link) -- Roy Kasten
MP3: Dar Williams, "It's Alright"
When/Where: 9 p.m. Saturday, November 22, Blueberry Hill's Duck Room, with the Dead Trees and Radical Sons
Sounds Like: "Guitarist Albert Hammond Jr.'s first two albums were little slices of California power-pop, and now drummer Fabrizio Moretti follows suit as part of the trio Little Joy. By teaming with vocalists and multi-instrumentalists Rodrigo Amarante (of indie rockers Los Hermanos) and Binki Shapiro, Moretti has helped craft dreamy, weightless pop music, inspired equally by Amarante's Brazilian heritage and Moretti's knowledge of simple rock & roll dynamics." (link) -- Christian Schaeffer
MP3: Little Joy, "Brand New Start"
Elf Power/Vic Chesnutt
When/Where: 9 p.m. Saturday, November 22, Off Broadway
Sounds Like: "Chesnutt and Elephant 6 torchbearers Elf Power are touring together on the heels of the collaborative LP Dark Developments. The album sounds like a revelation for both parties: Elf Power's obsession with psychedelic '60s pop actually tempers some of Chesnutt's sad-sack impulses, and Chesnutt's sinister wackiness adds a welcome dimension to the Elf's recent teeterings toward studio sterility." (link) -- Elliott Johnston
MP3: Elf Power/Vic Chesnutt, "And How"