Music » Critics' Picks

Butch Walker and the Black Widows

8 p.m. Monday, April 5. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard.

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Singer/guitarist Butch Walker is one of the most charismatic, talented showmen of the last few decades. He honed his chops in the hair-metal band SouthGang and power-pop act Marvelous 3 before embarking on a solo career that's covered everything from glam to new wave. Walker has written/produced several hit songs for the likes of Avril Lavigne and Weezer, and his production style has become the template for every rock-tinged pop hit of the past five years. Yet he's not widely regarded as a rock star — even though he did play banjolin with Taylor Swift at the Grammys — and he's still not a household name as far as songwriters go. And that is criminal: His latest album, I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart, is diverse enough to include string-laden rock epics ("Pretty Melody") and jangly power-pop goodness ("Trash Day"). This show is billed under the latest incarnation of his solo band, Butch Walker and the Black Widows.

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