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Mike Doughty once fronted Soul Coughing, a fantastic band that he feels made his life a living hell, as detailed in his 2012 memoir, “The Book of Drugs,” and interviews aplenty.
Doughty’s been a solo performer for longer than he was a part of that unique band, and though his own music exists in a simpler landscape, there’s no mistaking that voice, both in terms of vocal cords and wordplay.
“Na Na Nothing,” from his 2011 album “Yes and Also Yes,” has a familiar insistent acoustic rhythm, a tense heartbeat. Goes one verse, “I was in flux, I was a clunker, I was busted cruft / I was the swellest of the swells in the roughest rough / now I’m bound to the bend of your bone-white wrist / shun the pill popper, love the pharmacist.”
Doughty’s latest album, “The Flip Is Another Honey,” is a collection of covers, some straightforward enough (Cheap Trick’s “Southern Girls” chugging over a drum machine), some launching points for original material like the rap-like “Sunshine,” which builds from stuttering overlapping samples of John Denver’s “Sunshine on My Shoulders.”
Doughty appears at the Iron Horse in Northampton Sunday at 7 p.m.
Steve Forbert (eternally known for his 1980 top-20 hit “Romeo’s Tune”) is on tour for his latest release, the sparse and personal “Over With You,” which includes the catchy, upbeat and politely randy “That’d Be Alright.” He’ll appear at the Iron Horse Friday at 7 p.m. Rick Murnane opens.
Ray Mason plays a solo electric show — one man, one Silvertone — at the Thirsty Mind in South Hadley Saturday at 7 p.m.
Golden Bloom, led by singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Shawn Fogel, has a new richly recorded 5-song EP, “No Day Like Today.” While some indie bands now choose to release music in the non-physical mp3 form only, Fogel and friends have created a limited edition CD in a “matte-finish eco-wallet case” featuring artwork by local artist Megan E. LaBonte and others. Golden Bloom celebrates the release of the EP with a show at The Basement in Northampton Saturday at 8 p.m. Goldwater the Second start off the night.
Stephen Desaulniers (from the Scud Mountain Boys, Ray Mason Band and more) and Matt Silberstein play solo acoustic sets in the Community Room of Forbes Library in Northampton Wednesday at 7 p.m. Free.
Carrie Ferguson and special guests perform at Luthiers Co-Op in Easthampton Thursday at 7:30 p.m., followed by the Bok Choy Trio playing jazz at 8:30 p.m.
Guitarist/vocalist Eric Trabucco leads the Valley band Grammerhorn Wren, whose brand-new EP “Comes Careening Out” has its classic indie heart on its sleeve, with echoes of bands like Dinosaur Jr. and early Lilys and Lemonheads. They play on a triple bill, along with Spanish for Hitchhiking and Cause a Rockslide at the Sierra Grille in Northampton Thursday at 10 p.m.