The Short List: FRB Staff Concert Picks of the Week (April 8-15)

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.

Saturday, 4/9 – Smashing Pumpkins at Orpheum Theatre

Just a couple of weeks ago, Smashing Pumpkins made it three-fourths of the way to a full reunion of the original lineup when guitarist James Iha joined the band on stage in LA. Even though Iha won’t be on board for this Saturday’s show at the Orpheum, we’re sure it will still feel like the height of the 90s, especially when opener Liz Phair takes us back to Guyville.

Tuesday, 4/12 – The Joy Formidable at Paradise Rock Club

This Welsh trio hit stateside very hard with 2011’s The Big Roar, a feast and a beast of a debut LP. After taking their time with their latest effort, Hitch, they’ve hit the road again. Singer Ritzy Bryan’s style echoes Aimee Mann, but over a contemporary centrifugal bombast that will resonate far outside of the Paradise Tuesday night. The Joy Formidable is supported by Manchester’s Everything Everything.

Tuesday, 4/12 – Esperanza Spalding at Shubert Theatre

Despite the protestations of those with Bieber Fever, Esperanza Spalding has contravened the curse of the “Best New Artist” Grammy. Since winning in 2011, her artistry and inventiveness has bloomed with each record, resulting in a critical and commercial success that not many jazz musicians can boast today. With her latest project, Emily’s D+Evolution, Spalding reinvented herself as Emily, a commanding and playful alter-ego. Whether Emily or Esperanza, we’re excited to hear what she’ll bring with her band to the Shubert on Tuesday.

Thursday, 4/14 – Tacocat at The Middle East

Tacocat. Like saccharine sandpaper or candied razor blades, Seattle’s power pop punk quartet seems to shine and sever their way through taut tunes and bubbly melodies. They are sardonic descendants of riot grrl, and their effervescent style disguises a resilient feminism that is to be reckoned with. They’re supporting their latest Lost Time with Thursday’s show at the Middle East.

Friday, 4/15 – Parquet Courts at Paradise Rock Club

The ferocious Parquet Courts wrap up this week’s short list. If Tacocat didn’t drain every last bit of punk energy from you, then Parquet Courts will. The kinetic quartet from Houston via Brooklyn has dominated critics’ “Best Of” lists since their 2011 debut, and rightly so. Their aesthetic traces to 1970s Lower East Side punk, as vestiges of Television and the Heartbreakers permeate the band’s sound. Even so, what they do is entirely their own. They’ll be supported by Gainesville’s Soda.