(Editor's note: Both shows at the Tower this weekend have been canceled due to weather.) Is Macklemore over? With The Heist in 2012, the Seattle rapper and his producer-DJ partner Ryan Lewis were perfectly in step with the zeitgeist on the strapped-for-cash "Thrift Shop" and LGBT-friendly "Same Love," leading to a best rap album win at the 2014 Grammys.
Things haven't gone so smoothly since, however. The rapper born Ben Haggerty took heat for wearing a costume at a 2014 concert that was perceived as anti-Semitic, and neither his single "Downtown," which came out in September and features guest spots from old-school rap legends like Kool Moe Dee and Grandmaster Caz, nor his new "Kevin," about prescription-drug addiction, have caught fire. Judging by its title, This Unruly Mess I've Made, the duo's album due Feb. 26 is likely to involve discussion of such travails.
- Dan DeLuca
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis at the Tower Theater, 69th and Ludlow Sts. at 8:30 p.m. Saturday (sold out) and Sunday, $50.50-$60.50, 610-352-2887, livenation.com.
(Note: This show has been canceled due to weather.) The Go! Team didn't seem built to last when Thunder, Lightning, Strike arrived in 2004. Full of bubblegum melodies, double-Dutch chants, and then-au courante cut-and-paste samples, the album was a blast, and "Ladyflash" and "The Power Is On" sounded like lo-fi Phil Spector for hip-hop kids. Problem was, the Go! Team didn't exist as a band: Ian Parton of Brixton, England, recorded it by himself in his parents' kitchen. Parton gathered a live band that could re-create the album's exuberant anthems, however, and that band worked with him on 2007's Proof of Youth and 2011's Rolling Blackouts, albums that didn't always hit Thunder's effortless sweet spot, before parting ways. That left Parton to his own devices again for last year's The Scene Between, which adds a delightful power-pop crunch to the Go! Team's joyful noise. He has a new band with some old members (including vocalist Ninja), and Saturday's show at Underground Arts should be fun.
- Steve Klinge
The Go! Team, with Needle Points and Glockabelle, performs at 9 p.m. Saturday at Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., $15, undergroundarts.org.
For more than two decades, the Bottle Rockets have been doing good to great work. Last year, the scrappy Missouri roots-rockers teamed up again with Eric "Roscoe" Ambel, who had produced probably their best album, 1994's The Brooklyn Side. He helps to bring out the best in them again on South Broadway Athletic Club. Singer-guitarist Brian Henneman and his mates deliver a set of crisp, catchy songs that face up to the realities of everyday life with grit, hope, and humor.
As they have been doing, the Bottle Rockets will also serve as the backing band for guitar-pop classicist Marshall Crenshaw.