×

Tuned In: The Sea & Cake, Speedy Ortiz, and more

  • Culture, featuring Kenyatta Hill.

  • Don Braden. Mike Tracy

  • The Sea & Cake

  • Speedy Ortiz



Friday, May 11, 2018

A cool breeze. A lush warm day after a cold week. The effervescence of a freshly poured soft drink. However you want to describe “refreshing and rejuvenating,” that’s the feeling I’ve always gotten from the crisp and clean sound of The Sea & Cake

Today the Chicago band releases a brand-new album, “Any Day” — their first in six years — and their current tour brings them back to Northampton for a show at The Iron Horse on Monday at 8:30 p.m.

The Sea & Cake is officially down to a trio (bassist Eric Claridge has departed), but the breathy voice of Sam Prekop remains at the helm and their percolating music still soothes — though in a live situation, they’ve been known to amp up the emotion and the beats per minute, turning some of the laid-back-seeming songs into heated workouts.

The title track of the new album is a good place to start for the curious (or the longtime fan), with its airy Brazilian bossa nova groove and Prekop’s almost subliminal vocals. Certain lyrics pop out of the rippling surface (“please don’t go”) but the singing is mainly another way to add to the whole impressionistic picture.

Chicago singer/songwriter James Elkington, onetime frontman of the band The Zincs, starts off the night. Last year he put out an acclaimed fingerpicked folk/pop record entitled “Wintres Woma” (Old English for “the sound of winter”).

The Suitcase Junket celebrates the release of a new EP with a show at the Stone Church in Brattleboro, Vt. on Friday at 8 p.m., with special guests Kate Lorenz and Wooden Dinosaur

Horse Jumper of Love (“catchy, steady rock”), Tall Friend (“soft and intentional pop music”), Wendy Eisenberg (“poetic, jazzy, experimental”) and Dump Him (“queercore punk-pop”) make up the quadruple-bill at Flywheel in Easthampton on Friday at 8 p.m.

Guitarist Leo Kottke (who for years has famously described his own voice as “geese farts on a muggy day”) returns to The Iron Horse on Saturday at 7 p.m.

The frost heaves and hales throw a Franklin County release party for their new EP, “Uncluttering the gutter spouts,” at the Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. Sharing the bill are The True Jacqueline, Nanny, and opening act The Ambiguities. (Advance ticket buyers receive a digital download of the new EP.)

U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion Jamie Laval makes his Massachusetts debut with a show at The Parlor Room in Northampton on Sunday at 7 p.m.Laval, a celebrated performer of traditional Celtic music, has been called “the next Alasdair Fraser” and will showcase music and tales from Ireland, the Scottish Highlands and Brittany.

Saxophonist/flautist/composer/educator Don Braden has a new CD out, “Earth, Wind and Wonder” (featuring his jazz arrangements of songs by Earth, Wind & Fire and Stevie Wonder), and he celebrates by making his fifth appearance guesting with the Green Street Trio at this week’s Northampton Jazz Workshop at City Sports Grille inside Spare Time Northampton on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The open jazz jam follows at 8:30 p.m.

Speedy Ortiz (at right, critically acclaimed indie- rock band led by Sadie Dupuis, who got her MFA in poetry at UMass Amherst) and Chicago rapper/multi-instrumentalist Nnamdi Ogbonnaya team up for a night at The Root Cellar in Greenfield on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Culture featuringKenyatta Hill (the son of founding member Joseph Hill, who died while on tour in 2006) appears at The Iron Horse on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. The opening act is Rhythm Inc.

The Messthetics is the new instrumental D.C. trio featuring guitarist Anthony Pirog and Fugazi’s rhythm section, bassist Joe Lally and drummer Brendan Canty. They released their self-titled debut on Dischord Records in March, and they’ll join forces with the reunited ’90s band The Van Pelt and synth-driven N.Y. trio Tiers at Flywheel in Easthampton on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.