8 p.m. Saturday, February 15. The Duck Room at Blueberry Hill, 6504 Delmar Boulevard, University City. $22 to $25. 314-727-4444.
Power-pop bands come and go, but Sloan has remained, its near 30-year run a testament to a collective dedication to craft and a refusal to abandon faith in melody and economical song form, which the band (whose four members all write and sing) bends, twists, mashes-up and deconstructs without ever losing the heart and the thrill of the power and the pop. At a Sloan show, we are all rock & roll cultists, all record-store nerds; the classic and obscure hooks and references come fast and delirious, like spinning the FM dial circa 1975. Or maybe ’65, ’85 or ’95, as the Toronto-based band distills post-Beatles and post- Kinks rock into a sound unbounded by time. You don’t have to know as much about rock & roll as these Torontonians do; you just have to feel it and hum it along with them.
Due to illness, Sloan had to cancel its November 2019 gig at the Duck Room. This week’s show will celebrate twenty years (technically 22, but who’s counting?) of its excellent fourth album Navy Blues
8 p.m. Wednesday, February 19. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard. $35-$40. 314-726-6161.
Over a career that has spanned more than 30 years, Raphael Saadiq has been responsible for innumerable hits in the world of hip-hop and, especially, R&B. From his early work as a member of Tony! Toni! Toné! to his collaborations with the likes of A Tribe Called Quest, Mary J. Blige, Whitney Houston, the Isley Brothers, the Roots, Erykah Badu (and countless others) to his solo output, Saadiq has proven himself a master of silky hooks and smooth production. But it wasn’t until last year’s Jimmy Lee
that the renowned artist really dug into his own sometimes tragic life for inspiration. Jimmy Lee
is a concept album named after Saadiq’s brother, who died of a heroin overdose in the ‘90s after contracting HIV. It’s heavy stuff, but the album’s darker tone makes it all the more compelling. And critics and fans alike are taking notice: A recent New York Times
profile even suggested the album is a "masterpiece." It’s easy to see how they came to that conclusion.
Small Office Furniture:
Saadiq’s December appearance on NPR’s Tiny Desk series serves as an excellent refresher course on the man’s many gifts, for those who need such a thing.
8 p.m. Wednesday, February 19. The Duck Room at Blueberry Hill, 6504 Delmar Boulevard. $15. 314-727-4444.
Atlanta-based musician Mattiel straddles a generational divide: She makes 1960s-indebted, garage-rock inspired songs but with a millenial eye toward presentation and showmanship. For her second record, Satis Factory
, Mattiel Brown has made a slew of videos that shows the singer in a variety of outfits (factory worker, Dynasty
-esque matriarch) engaging in fits of exertion and destruction. Her sense of play and self-abasement on screen matches the verve and energy of her songs, which sometimes channel fellow Georgia weirdos the Black Lips as well as Caroline Rose’s frenetic pop nail-bombs.
Fowl Is Fair:
Local bedroom-pop buddies Frankie Valet will open the show with a set of songs from the band’s just-released LP Waterfowl