Gil Scott-Heron made a triumphant return to recording earlier this year with the wryly titled
I'm New Here
, a short, sharp, postmodern blues album that is the 1970s soul-funk-jazz-R&B-griot-and-rap-godfather's first album in 16 years. The satiric and socially conscious 61-year-old songwriter best known for "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" did not get to put those songs across to Philadelphians in person, however, because his scheduled February appearances at the Tin Angel were scuttled by two-plus feet of snow. He'll be back this weekend to make up the dates, however, with two shows at the intimate Old City club on Saturday, and two more on Sunday.
- Dan DeLuca
Of the many bands with unprintable names, Toronto's Holy F- is the most listener-friendly. The band traffics in wide-screen instrumentals rooted in electronics, movie theme music, and rave-up club anthems. Nothing threatening there, aside from the volume and intensity of some of the crescendos. What distinguishes it, however, is the live-band approach to styles that usually derive from keyboards and computers - and
, the band's third album, its liveliest, funkiest and best yet. The quartet foregrounds drummer Matt Sharp and bassist Matt McQuaid, and while tracks can detour into pounding post-rock climaxes, they usually resolve to bright and shiny melodic hooks, especially on the plucky "Red Lights" and swelling "Silva & Grimes." Holy F-'s name may not be exceptionable, but its new album often is.
- Steve Klinge
Known for their soaring vocals and lyrically potent folk-pop, Dublin-based duo Kevin May and Mick Lynch - collectively known as the Guggenheim Grotto - kick off a monthlong Thursday-night residency at the Tin Angel next week. They're plugging their forthcoming album,
The Universe Is Laughing
. The new record, whose title aptly captures the collection's equal measures of melancholy and exuberance, expands on the twosome's often-explored theme of self-discovery - this time with a bit more sonic edge. While new songs, like the Bowie-esque "Wings and Feathers," or the charmingly unadorned ukulele title track, will be the focus of residency gigs, the Guggenheim Grotto will undoubtedly toss in some older tunes too, like the Starbucks-championed "Told You So," complete with their trademark brotherly-like harmonies.
- Nicole Pensiero