It's a weekend for feisty females and Icelandic cool. Alas, you'll have to make a tough decision since you can't be in two places at once and Sunday has two fine shows. That's what we call a first world problem, musical division.
Saturday, March 23 - Kate Nash at the Black Cat
Forget the Spice Girls (please). If you want to talk about real Girl Power, talk about "Girl Talk," the new album by British indie-pop singer Kate Nash. Nash's third full-length release turns tales of a busted romance and other female challenges into a rocking manifesto that reinforces the sassy sisterhood of her breakthrough 2007 debut, "Made of Bricks."
Nash recorded and will be touring with an all-girl band, adding musical bite in the manner of her tough-talking spiritual sisters, Joan Jett, Hole and Bikini Kill. Putting her sassy, high-profile personality to good use, Nash has became a global ambassador for the "Because I Am A Girl" charity, which is sponsoring the show. The organization works to create sustainable projects in developing countries to give girls access to clean water, food, healthcare, education and protection from violence and exploitation. Rock on, ladies! (More info: The Black Cat)
Sunday, March 24 - Garbage at The Fillmore
I bet Kate Nash was inspired by Shirley Manson, too. The Scottish lass with legs that go on forever (see the slide show) is one of the most charismatic women in rock, sexy without being skanky, tough but never nasty. (And she's a funny, lovely offstage interview.)
When the American musicians Duke Erikson (bass, guitar, keyboards, percussion), Steve Marker (guitar, keyboards) and Butch Vig (drums, percussion) brought Manson to Madison, Wiscosin in 1994 to front their guitar-driven alt-rock band, an international sensation was born; the band's self-titled debut album was certified double platinum in the UK, USA, and Australia. While the band's biggest hits, like "Stupid Girl" and "Only Happy When It Rains" occurred in the mid-90's, (check out an actual set list from 1998) the release of last year's "Not Your Kind of People" showed that Garbage hasn't lost its touch for uniting strong pop melodies with raw guitar rock.
(For more info: The Fillmore)
also on Sunday - Sigur Ros at Patriot Center
The bad news was hearing that Sigur Ros, the wildly innovative Icelandic band, would be playing the Patriot Center, a venue seemingly less hospitable to the band's ethereal, atmospheric music than the theaters and halls it has played before. The good news is that the show is being presented in a half-arena configuration, keeping it a little more intimate, while an 11-piece touring band and trademark cinematic projections should fill the space well.
Last year's 2012 ambient-leaning "Valtari" album was presumed to be somewhat untourable, but Sigur Ros loves a challenge and is already planning the June release of a new album, titled "Kveikur," with more muscle. So you can expect a wide spectrum of intriguing sounds, from the melodic to the minimalist, classical, experimental and downright beautiful.
(For more info: The Patriot Center)
Have a great musical weekend!
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