The Short List: FRB Staff Concert Picks of the Week (October 1 – 7)

Each week, Front Row Boston’s staff gives you our Short List: the bands and musicians in and around town we think you should hear.

Monday, 10/2 — Marilyn Manson at House of Blues

You may remember this; late last year, #1 provocateur Marilyn Manson announced a new album by releasing a video of an assuming Trump decapitation. The shock rocker has since claimed that it was an inspired piece, that it could have been anyone, and that it’s fascinating what people see what they want to see. We don’t disagree. But we do find it coincidental that the announcement came just days after the Presidential election. However, we’re not here to split hairs. The album is done; it’s been titled “Heaven Upside Down” and will be released on the 6th. And it’s on its way to Boston. We don’t know what to expect yet, but we assume he’ll be performing new songs during the show. Manson told Consequence of Sound in a recent interview: “This record doesn’t have a persona or character. It lives within me having the same enthusiasm, same fire, and the same intent and reckless abandon.” We recommend you go, especially if this will be your first Manson experience. We know it won’t be your last. Alice Glass (from Crystal Castles) will open.

Thursday, 10/5 — Ani DiFranco at the Somerville Theatre

Ani DiFranco just recorded and released her 20th album. That’s not a typo; it’s twentieth. It shouldn’t come as a shock that the singer-songwriter and outspoken prolific feminist has something to say during a very politically and socially charged time. On her new album “Binary”, DiFranco wrestles with the challenge of teaching non-violence and the need for empathy. What’s really crazy is that DiFranco wrote all of the songs on the album prior to the 2016 elections and our current political landscape. “I’m not surprised,” says DiFranco. “Over twenty-five years, I’ve found that my songwriting is often full of premonition. It shows me, in a deep and spooky way, how we know things on levels below consciousness. I write songs and then they happen, and later I realize what they’re about. I’m just happy to have some good tools in my toolbox to address what’s happening now—the feminist diatribes are turned up nice and high on this record!” Andrea Gibson will join. This show may already be sold out.

Thursday, 10/5 — The National at the Wang Theatre

It’s hard to believe that it has taken some time for this Ohio-based indie rock band to hit their stride. But let’s not shed any tears for The National; they’re in a good place. Great, in fact. They’ve just released their 7th studio album titled “Sleep Well Beast”, and it may well be the best piece of music that we’ve heard from them so far.  The album feels intimate and autobiographical, as it should. Several of the songs were co-written by frontman Matt Berninger’s wife Carin, and are told in the first and second person which makes the listening experience all the more personal. We love it. Pitchfork recently talked to Berninger about the title of the album. Here’s what he had to say: “It feels like we’re in this period where there’s a tendency to just want to hibernate when things get really [*******] weird. It’s an escape to try to sleep through it, but the beast for me isn’t a negative thing: it’s the future. We’ve all got kids, and when I see all of our kids… They’ve got a challenge ahead of them, but I feel positive about the future. The beast is like, wait until the youth wakes up.” Heads up, you can only get tickets from third party resellers; this show sold out in minutes.

Saturday, 10/7 — Chicano Batman at the Paradise Rock Club

It’s hard to nail down the Chicano Batman sound. They’re influenced by several genres like: psychedelic soul, funk, indie, rock, and oldies; they’ve created a musical style that’s described as a blend of alternative Latin. Guitarist Carlos Arévalo told NPR: “I think definitely, one of the inspirations for the sound of the group is what we would call “low-rider oldies” music, and that’s a really Southwest thing. There’s a DJ out here called Art Laboe — he’s in his 90s and he’s still pushing that music, and that music wasn’t lost on us. We’d tune in every Sunday night on his show; it’s syndicated. And you’d hear amazing sounds that you weren’t hearing in modern music … stuff by The Midnighters, The Sunglows, Ralfi Pagan, Barbara Lewis. Just classic music that just doesn’t go out of style, ever.” All sounds good. These guys are funky and we dig it. Khruangbin will join. This is going to be a fun Saturday night.