This week's list of Fab shows includes Heart, Rebecca Gates, Exitmusic, Evanescence and more.
1) American classic rock outfit Heart has three incarnations: the 70s version (Barracuda, Crazy on You, Magic Man), the 80s version (These Dreams, Alone, What About Love) and the ever-since version (no songs).
OK, not really. The Wilson sisters (singer Ann and guitarist Nancy) charted an album titled Red Velvet Car in 2010, and two singles did reasonably well at varying radio formats.
Point is, when you go to see Heart, chances are pretty good you're hoping for an abundance of tunes from at least one of the earlier two eras. Oh, and to hear if Ann Wilson still has those tremendous vocal pipes.
Tickets to the band's Friday, July 27, show at Lifestyle Communities Pavilion are $39.50/$42. Local rockers Frank Harrison Group opens. Visit promowestlive.com.
2) Malian trio SMOD fuses traditional African forms with modern Afro-pop and hip-hop in a joyful, rollicking amalgam, with socially-conscious lyrics completing the picture. A singer-guitarist is joined by two rappers – what could be more fun?
Joining SMOD for a Friday, July 27, show at the Wexner Center for the Arts is Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang, the current kings of the Bubu scene. Bubu is an up-tempo dance music from Sierra Leone, with roots as ancient as the people themselves.
Tickets are $14. Visit wexarts.org.
3) Contemporaries of the Grateful Dead, Hot Tuna and the like, New Riders of the Purple Sage set a gold standard for psychedelic cowboy rock.
Indeed, founder and current re-founder David Nelson played with Jerry Garcia in seminal new-grass group The Wildwood Boys before forming New Riders, which featured members of The Dead until Nelson began charting a unique course.
Nelson – with mates Buddy Cage, Michael Falzarano, Ronnie Penque and Johnny Markowski – keeps up a relatively busy touring schedule with the new NRPS, including a stop Friday, July 27, at Woodlands Tavern. Tickets are $17. Visit woodlands tavern.com.
4) Rebecca Gates was singer and songwriter for the Spinanes, a (tragically) lesser-known member of the Pacific Northwest alt-rock movement of the 90s, releasing three albums on vanguard label Sub Pop between 1993 and 1998, all of which rocked pretty hard while eschewing the popular grunge sound for a more atmospheric approach.
Gates has since assuaged her other varied interests, giving lectures, showing her art work and composing music for films.
She did recently release her first new record in more than a decade, The Float, and is on tour in support, with a stop scheduled at Double Happiness on Saturday, July 28. Visit doublehappinessohio.com.
5) Tina and Her Pony is Tina Collins (makes sense) and Quetzal Jordan (whatever).
The pair met by chance in 2009 in their hometown of Asheville, N.C., and forged a quick and natural musical partnership that features Collins on banjo, ukulele and guitar and Jordan on cello and guitar, and the both of them on sweet, folkie harmonies of the melodic and modern variety.
Tina and Her Pony released their debut album earlier this year, and plays Kafe Kerouac Saturday, July 28. Cover is $5. Visit kafekerouac. com.
6) Epic, haunting, disquieting, luminous.
The music of New York City duo Exitmusic is of a kind that sends music writers to their thesauruses.
A bed of synth textures supports guitar sounds both throbbing and churning, and Aleksa Palladino's vocals draw the listener's rapt attention whether glistening or ponderous.
Touring in support of their latest release, Passage, Exitmusic plays the Basement Monday, July 30. Tickets are $10. Visit promowestlive.com.
7) Portland, Ore., lit-pop collective Blind Pilot offers up a lo-fi slate of modern folk that's equally appropriate for intent listening or mood-setting – the latter apparent also to television producers for Chuck, Covert Affairs and One Tree Hill.
Based around the duo of Israel Nebeker and Ryan Dobrowski, Blind Pilot exists as a six-piece when it hits the road, and indeed the band is touring in support of We Are the Tide.
A stop is planned for Tuesday, July 31, at the Newport Music Hall. New Jersey eight-piece River City Extension opens. Tickets are $17/ $20. Visit promowestlive.com.
8) The 2012 edition of the annual Carnival of Madness rock tour features delicate and pulverizing rockers Evanescence, fronted by the delicate and pulverizing presence of singer-pianist Amy Lee.
The band might never capture the buzz it enjoyed on its 2003 debut (you know, Bring Me to Life, My Immortal), but the tunes are still finding plenty of ears, as the success of last year's self-titled CD, the band's third, can attest.
Joining Evanescence are alt-metal trio Chevelle, Pennsylvania-based quartet Halestorm and newcomers New Medicine.
The tour stops at Lifestyle Communities Pavilion Wednesday, Aug. 1. Tickets are $35. Visit promowest live.com.
9) ProMusica Chamber Orchestra continues its new outdoor summer concert series at the Franklin Park Conservatory Thursday, Aug. 2.
A reduced force allows for a slate of intimate, shimmering classical works including Vivaldi's Tempest of the Sea, Schubert's Symphony No. 5 and Mozart's Concerto for Flute and Harp, which was composed for such a garden-type setting and will feature principal flute Katie DeJongh and principal harp Jeanne Norton.
The concerts are free, and picnicking is more than welcome. For details, visit promusicacolumbus.org.
10) The Beat admits to running hot and cold (mostly room temperature) on current worldwide pop-rock dominators Coldplay.
Generally, we do not have the same across-the-spectrum reaction to the host of like-minded acts that followed in the wake of their success, finding rather a less favorable reaction to the sleepy, placid, orchestral balladry of bands such as The Temper Trap.
Others have not proven as obstinate, as the Aussie quartet has fostered in others a more Sweet Disposition.
The Temper Trap plays the Newport Music Hall Thursday, Aug. 2. Tickets are $20/$22. Visit promowestlive.com.