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See You There!

See you There?

The Both

Fri. 8/14

7pm The Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860 / $25 - $27

Aime Mann has had an impressive run as a singer-songwriter with a literary bent and melancholy streak. Ted Leo beams in from a time when electric guitars underpinned feisty songs that told hard truths. They’re probably not the first names that come to mind when you think of natural songwriting pairings, but Mann and Leo make a great team on their self-titled debut album as The Both. The duo began writing together in 2013, and The Both sounds like a genuine collaboration rather than an exercise in swapping each other’s leftover. What unites both artists is their appreciation for songs: well-constructed melodies that create an emotional foundation even before a single word is sung. They share vocals, often trading lines or verses and reveling in wordless harmonies that become yet another hook in an album full of them. The songs aren’t’ exactly brimming with lighthearted vibes, as to be expected. If anything, a knowing sense of mortality underlies many of the sentiments: Time is slipping away from us, so how are we using what’s left? Don’t worry; it’s anything but depressing. Over a bouncy piano and hand claps, Mann and Leo bring almost a cheery resignation to some devastating thoughts: “No, you can’t blame the ones that you love, but you’re still gonna blame the ones that you love, so now I’m stealing myself for the inevitable shove.” You’re not going to miss The Both when they perform on Friday night (8/14 @8pm) at The Tralf Music Hall.

> Jeffrey Czum

Keb Mo

Thu. 8/13

8pm Babeville’s Asbury Hall, 341 Delaware Ave. (852-3835 / $37.50-$40

Have you heard the expression: I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not? Well Kevin Moore aka Keb Mo doesn’t have to ponder that question. “I’m not in this to be liked,” says Moore. “I’m in it to be honest, to tell my truth. At one time, my only goal was to be liked, and that didn’t work. As soon as I said, ‘I’m gonna do what I’m gonna do,’ the turnaround was amazing.” Keb’ Mo’ is still turned around. He looks inward to go forward, and he’d rather be honest than clever. That ethic has brought notoriety and respect as well as three Grammy awards. Over the last two decades, the extraordinary guitarist has emerged as one of the foremost names in modern blues music. He’s performed with greats from Bonnie Raitt to B.B King and writes music heavily inspired by Robert Johnson. Last spring, Moore released his latest collection of songs ¬– a 10-track album titled BLUESAmericana. Tunes like “Old Me Better,” he reflects sardonically on his former self, the man he was when times were dark. “The old me was a fool,” he says. “I don’t want to go back to being that guy. I got a little wisdom behind me now.” Be sure to catch Moore bring some of that wisdom to Asbury Hall this Thursday evening (8/13 @ 7pm).

> Jeffrey Czum

Albert Lee

Sat. 8/15 & Sun 8/16

Saturday 8/15: 9:30pm & Sunday 8/16: 12:30pm Sportsmen’s Tavern, 326 Amherst St. (874-7734 / $25-$40

If I tell you someone is better in their 70s than they were If in their 20s you might ask me to submit to a drug test. in point is Albert Lee, who is performing at Sportsmen’s Tavern Saturday (8/15 @9:30pm) and Sunday afternoon (8/16 @12:30pm) with his band and steel-guitar/dobro artist Cindy Cashdollar. You may or may not have heard of Lee. He sounds famous but if you are music fan and can’t quite place him, you’ve probably heard his distinctive country twang a million times. “I was never a front man,” Lee said. “But I’ve evolved into one. I’ve become much more relaxed with my style.” Lee’s guitar licks have been in more famous places than Forrest Gump. Eric Clapton once called Lee “the greatest guitarist in the world.” Born in a tiny English village that never even reached a population of 300, Lee never once let that hold him back. He toured with Clapton for five years (that’s him supplying the iconic backup guitar licks in “Lay Down Sally”), he was with the Everly Brothers for 26 years, Emmylou Harris for two years and more recently he did a stint with the Rhythm Kings – Bill Wyman’s band, Wyman being the former bassist for the Stones. Known as Mr. Telecaster for his mastery of the instrument, Lee plays more than 200 dates a year. He never sang much until he was 40, which may explain why he feels fresh and eager to perform. If you want to see a guitar legend in action, make sure you come to at least one of these shows this weekend.

> Dale Broback

Beach House

Fri. 8/21

7pm Town Ballroom, 681 S. Main St. (852-3900 / $26-$29

You’re summer won’t be complete until you experience Beach House at Town Ballroom on Friday night (8/21 @7pm). The Baltimore dream poppers have been the soundtracks for lazy summers since 2004, and they plan on keeping that trend going with their newest release, Depression Cherry. “This record [which drops 8/28] shows a return to simplicity,” the band says in a press release. “With songs structured around a melody and a few instruments, with live drums playing a far lesser role...the larger stages and bigger rooms naturally drove us towards a louder, more aggressive place; a place farther from our normal tendencies. Here, we continue to let ourselves evolve while fully ignoring the commercial context in which we exist.” The duo formed when French-born Victoria Legrand, a theatre graduate, vocalist and organist, finished her studies and moved to Baltimore to pursue a music project with an old friend. Instead she met guitarist and keyboard player Alex Scally. After practicing in a basement together, they released their debut self-titled album in 2006. Devotion, another noise-saturated record followed in 2008, and a year later they collaborated with US folk-indie band Grizzly Bear on a song called “Slow Life,” a track from the Twilight: New Moon soundtrack. Come out and end your summer the right way – with the warm, fuzzy, echo-y sounds Legrand and Scally create together.

> Jeffrey Czum

Brian Posehn

Thu. 8/20 - Sat. 8/22

Thursday 8/20: 8pm / Friday 8/21: 7:30pm & 10pm / Saturday 8/22: 7:30pm & 10pm, Helium Comedy Club, 30 Mississippi St. (853-1211 / $15-$33

For a really long time, Brian Posehn was “that guy.” He’d be spotted out and about, and hear “hey, you’re that guy” line from someone who (somewhat) recognized him. Now, he’s just Brian Pesehn. “Before I was ‘that guy,’ but those people aren’t really comedy fans,” Posehn says. “People who do know you’re ‘that guy’ are casual TV fans. People who are fans of comedy or stand-up comedy, they know my name.” Posehn is an all-around hilarious force in the entertainment world, an actor, writer and stand-up comedian who’s making his Helium Comedy Club appearance on Thursday (8/20), Friday (8/21), and Saturday (8/22). His resume is massive, with guest stints on numerous sitcoms and television talk-shows, most notable being “The Sarah Silverman Show,” “New Girl,” “The Big Bang Theory,” and countless others. He’s made appearances on “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” “Conan”, as well as “Comedy Central Presents.” Don’t miss your chance to see Posehn perform next weekend. His dry humor and witty lines will have you laughing all night long.

> Jeffrey Czum

Mac DeMarco

Sun. 8/18

7pm The Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860 / $23-$25

"Mac DeMarco may be indie rock’s biggest joker. After a quick Google search, you’ll find photos of him onstage, naked, with a drumstick in his butt (look at your own risk), but his music is far from a joke. The irreverent Canadian, known for homemade productions like his breakthrough LP 2014’s Salad Days, which reached No. 30 on the Billboard 200, follows with Another One, an exceptional mini-album he recorded at his beach home in the Far Rockaway, Queens. It was just released a few weeks ago. It also left listeners with a big surprise. At the end of the album closer “My House by the Water”, DeMarco gives out his address and invites the listener to come over and have a cup of coffee with him. It isn’t a joke: As DeMarco revealed in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, about 30 people have already come to his home. It’s a little funny that someone with such a comedic/outgoing persona can write such poignant songs. “I’m being me,” DeMarco says. “I’m just not the solemn indie-rocker with the cool haircut. At the same time, people are going to think I’m joking around. It’s useful. People see it, and they’re like, ‘that doesn’t make sense. It’s supposed to sound like Weird Al or something.’ It confuses people, and that makes them take a second look. People don’t give a shit about things for more than 30 seconds. It’s a trick that’s going to work in my favor.” Mac DeMarco will be performing at the Tralf Music Hall on Sunday (8/18 @7pm).

> Jeffrey Czum

Rod Picott

Wed. 8/26

7:30pm Sportsmen’s Tavern, 326 Amherst St. (874-7734 / $10-$12

Singer-songwriter Rod Picott had to learn to love his voice. “It’s crooked and craggy, and full of knot holes,” says the Maine-bred musician, whose latest album, Hang Your Hopes on a Crooked Nail, features many layers of that knotty voice. The record, which Picott recorded in his adopted hometown of Nashville, is rough around the edges, but smooth where it matters most: The songs are intimate, honest and well-suited for his expressive vocals. Picott has been writing songs most of his life and released a sting of self-produced records, beginning with Tiger Tom Dixon’s Blues in 2001. The son of a welder, Picott spent nearly 20 years hanging drywall and doing manual labor before releasing his first LP at the age of 30. It took many years to embrace that voice of his instead of apologizing for it. When he finally did, he learned to match the idiosyncrasies with his writing, telling tales of broken homes, wrecked cars, scars and welding burns. “My voice has gotten better, marginally, over the years,” he says. “But the voice is a funny thing. I’m not even a great guitar player. I’m sort of a fictional player and what I am really working with is a voice that will tell these stories. Come on over to Sportsmen’s Tavern on Wednesday (8/26 @7:30pm) to see him in action.

> Jeffrey Czum