ENTER THE . . . Wu-Tang Clan, who roll into the Palladium January 11.
After a brief late-December break from the usual boatload of good shows, the flood picks up right where it left off in early January. It sounds trite, but there really is something for everyone over the next few months, from blues and soul to indie-pop and art-rock, from R&B and hip-hop to metal and psych-rock. There’s all manner of world music. Mardi Gras celebrations. Comedy, folk, punk rock. You name it. Cash those Christmas checks or make friends with the door guy, and dig in.
Former Muddy Waters sideman LUTHER “GUITAR JUNIOR” JOHNSON gets things off to a bluesy start next Saturday, January 5, at Johnny D’s (17 Holland St, Somerville). The same night, the winter installment of baseball scribes PETER GAMMONS and Jeff Horrigan’s HOT STOVE, COOL MUSIC charity concert series kicks off with a “special preview concert” at the Paradise (967 Comm Ave, Boston). The line-up: SPOOKIE DALY PRIDE, ELI “PAPERBOY” REED & THE TRUE LOVES, and DESOL. The main event’s the following night, also at the Paradise: it features a slew of local and ex-local rock and baseball luminaries, including THEO EPSTEIN, Gammons, Dropkick Murphy KEN CASEY, Bosstones frontman DICKY BARRETT, BRONSON ARROYO, LORI MCKENNA, KAY HANLEY, DEAR LEADER, and the aforementioned Reed.
The Ozzman Cometh — to Worcester January 8. OZZY OSBOURNE plays the DCU Center (50 Foster St) with horror-film obsessive — and, now, auteur — ROB ZOMBIE. On the heels of the drama-imbued release of their Beatles–“interpolating” 8 Diagrams (Motown/Universal) — their fifth album and first in six years — the WU-TANGCLAN play the Palladium in Worcester (261 Main St) January 11; meanwhile, K Records chick MIRAH and pals SPECTRATONE INTERNATIONAL perform their multi-media show “Share This Place” — an exploration of “the tender, dramatic, sordid, tragic and triumphant lives of insects” — at the MFA’s Remis Auditorium (465 Huntington Ave, Boston). The same night is the kickoff of the two-day BOSTON CELTIC MUSIC FESTIVAL — now in its fifth year and taking place at various venues in Cambridge and Medford; visit www.bcmfest.com.
“MONSTERS OF MOCK III: THE ULTIMATE HAIRBALL” brings together APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION (“the ultimate tribute to Guns N’ Roses”) and TRAGEDY, “a metal tribute to the Bee Gees,” which has to be heard to be believed — check their MySpace page. That’s downstairs at the Middle East (480 Mass Ave, Cambridge) January 18; meanwhile next door at T.T. the Bear’s Place (10 Brookline St) it’s New Hampshire bubblegum-punk lifers the QUEERS, and just down the road a bit, mbube masters LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO of Graceland fame do their South African a cappella thing at Harvard’s Sanders Theatre (45 Quincy St).
UK neo-post-punk hacks EDITORS have recently graduated from the club circuit — they play the Orpheum Theatre (1 Hamilton Place, Boston) with HOT HOT HEAT and LOUIS XIV January 19; meanwhile across the river MARAH — who, if you believe them, sound like “Townes Van Zandt fronting the Faces, Bob Dylan leading AC/DC, Sly Stone fronting the Ramones or Nick Drake fronting the Dead Milkmen” — play downstairs at the Middle East. The next night, MISSION OF BURMA put their money where their, er, name is with “BURMA FOR BURMA,” a benefit for the US Campaign for Burma at Great Scott (1222 Comm Ave, Allston). And down the street at the Paradise, NYC art-rock cosmopolitans BLONDE REDHEAD share a bill with former Secret Machine Benjamin Curtis’s SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS. Indie rock darlings BAND OF HORSES play the same room January 23. Starting the following night hip-hop intellectual DJ SPOOKY takes up residence at the ICA (100 Northern Ave, Boston) to give a talk entitled “Rhythm Science” (January 24), to spin records at an “Experiment” event (January 25), and to perform “Subliminal Strings” (January 26).
Six-string fiends won’t want to miss THE ASSAD BROTHERS’ BRAZILIAN GUITAR FESTIVAL, a Celebrity Series event at Sanders Theatre January 25 that features Sérgio and Odair Assad, plus their sister Badi, Romero Lubambo, and Celso Machado. Out in Worcester that night Brooklyn rapper FABOLOUS plays the Palladium, and back in Boston, Fab’s fellow Brooklynite COLIN QUINN kicks off a two-night stand-up stand at the Comedy Connection (upstairs at Faneuil Hall, Boston).
One of the best-named tribute bands we’ve ever come across, AGE AGAINST THE MACHINE — old dudes covering Rage, natch — play T.T.’s January 26, while MARILYN MANSON holds court at the Orpheum. The following night psych-folk guitarist Ben Chasny’s SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE play upstairs at the Middle East (472 Mass Ave, Cambridge), and CHUCK RAGAN, BEN NICHOLS, and JOSHUA ENGLISH — of Hot Water Music, Lucero, and Six Going on Seven, respectively — do the solo things in the downstairs room.
The reunited pop juggernaut SPICE GIRLS, kick off their US tour at TD Banknorth Garden (100 Legends Way, Boston) January 30 and then hit the DCU Center the next night. Also on the 31st, the similarly sartorially-conscious LENNY KRAVITZ plays the Orpheum, while the decidedly less primped electro-nerd hero DAN DEACON plays MassArt’s Pozen Center (621 Huntington Ave, Boston) with local party-rap purveyors BIG DIGITS.