Hip-Hop: MC Lars
Nerdcore might be a love-it-or-leave-it proposition, but Andrew Nielsen aka MC Lars, is its reigning king. This California rapper is the iPod generation’s Beastie Boys and “Weird Al” Yankovic all rolled into one. Since his 2004 debut CD, “The Laptop EP,” MC Lars has injected geek humor, wit, and quirky subject matter into the hip-hop genre. The result has wowed critics from MTV to Rolling Stone, and made him a dorm-room mainstay. MC Lars performed a catchy set to an enthusiastic crowd at the Lilac Festival in 2009. Expect more of the same: infectious tunes and clever lyrics that will make you snicker for hours. With Adam WarRock, Math The Band, and Reason.
MC Lars performs Sunday, August 12 at 8 p.m. at Water Street Music Hall, 204 N. Water St. $10-$13. waterstreetmusic.com. — BY ROMAN DIVEZUR
POP: American Idol Live Tour 2012
“American Idol” gets a lot of crap for being a talent-light popularity contest, but anyone who turned in for the most recent season (the show’s 11th) could see that it unquestionably featured a crew of gifted vocalists. Whether you were rooting for alternative-leaning eventual winner Phillip Phillips or burgeoning r’n’b diva Jessica Sanchez, there were fantastic performances week after week. The tour will feature the entire Top 10, including country darling Skylar Laine, gospel powerhouse Joshua Ledet, blues-rock singers Elise Testone and Erika Van Pelt, emo-rock poster boy Colton Dixon, the inexplicably popular Hollie Cavanagh, and even Deandre Brackensick and Heejun Han (remember those two?).
American Idol Live Tour 2012 takes place Wednesday, August 15 at 7 p.m. at Blue Cross Arena, 1 War Memorial Square. $34.25-$70.75. bluecrossarena.com. — BY ERIC REZSNYAK
BLUES: Tom Hambridge and the Rattlesnakes
Tom Hambridge, a Buffalo native, has come a long way since his first paying gig — a bar mitzvah he played in the third grade. He has won a Grammy for his work as a music producer, and has been nominated for four more. He is also an ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) award-winning singer-songwriter, seven-time Boston Music Award winner, and a member of the Buffalo Hall of Fame. The renowned studio session drummer and acclaimed country-blues solo artist has written hundreds of songs for some of music’s greatest legends, including Eric Clapton, BB King, Buddy Guy, and George Thorogood. Hambridge and his band, The Rattlesnakes, open up for Thorogood this Thursday, the finale of another fine year for Rochester’s Party in the Park.
Tom Hambridge and the Rattlesnakes perform Thursday, August 9, 5-10 p.m. at Riverside Festival Site, Court & Exchange. $2. rochesterevents.com. — BY DAVID YOCKEL, JR.
REGGAE: Summer Slam Reggae Rave
In the wake of Snoop Dogg’s name and style change, reggae music has been increasingly in the news. The Jamaican-birthed style has never enjoyed sustained commercial success in the United States outside of the more well-known artists, but reggae’s influence on hip-hop and R&B is far-reaching, as the style meshes seamlessly with those widely known sounds. The Summer Slam Reggae Rave brings its wares to the Main Street Armory on Saturday, and features various styles which fall under the umbrella of the genre as a whole, including the dancehall of Spragga Benz, the R&B of Sterling Simms, and the reggae fusion of Ding Dong.
Summer Slam Reggae Rave takes place Saturday, August 11 at 7:30 p.m. at Main Street Armory, 900 E. Main St. $20-$35. 232-3221, rochestermainstreetarmory.com. — BY ANDY KLINGENBERGER
CLASSICAL: 2012 Skaneateles Festival
Road trip, anyone? For the past 32 years, the village of Skaneateles has played host to world-class music by the lake with the Skaneateles Festival, a month-long event of classical music performances. On the bill this week is “Bach and Beyond,” a concert mini-series spread over three evenings. Thursday’s line-up includes celebrated works by Bach, Franz Doppler, Mozart, and Mendelssohn. Friday’s line-up includes “Night Piece and Scherzo for Flute and String Quartet” by American composer Arthur Foote, Dmitry Sitkovetsky’s transcription of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, and Beethoven’s “Sonata in F Major for Horn and Piano.” Saturday’s concert offers a change of venue and features orchestral pieces by Rossini, Bach, and German composer Louis Spohr. See the website skanfest.org for schedules and directions.
2012 Skaneateles Festival runs Wednesday, August 8-September 1 in various venues in Skaneateles, NY. For a full schedule of concerts, ticket information, and additional details visit skanfest.org. — BY ROMAN DIVEZUR
COUNTRY: The Band Perry
The Perry siblings have been country crooners since they were children. When Kimberly (lead vocals, guitar, piano), the oldest of the three, was just a teenager, she sang in her own band, while her brothers Neil (mandolin, drums, accordion) and Reid (bass) worked as the group’s roadies. At ages 8 and 10, respectively, the brothers began performing as the Mobile Music Machines, opening for their sister. But since the three decided to combine their musical efforts in 2005, they have quickly climbed the music billboard, with their single “If I Die Young” reaching No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart. The band is in the process of writing material for its second full-length album, due to drop this fall. Three-time Grammy recipient and country superstar Brad Paisley headlines the show, with Scotty McCreery, winner of the 10th season of “American Idol,” filling out the bill.
The Band Perry performs Saturday, August 11, 4:30 p.m. at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, Darien Center. $29.50-$64.50. livenation.com. — BY DAVID YOCKEL, JR.
MERENGUE: Joaquin Diaz
Raised in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, Joaquin Diaz started his music career playing in the streets of his hometown at the age of 9. From there, the folk-merengue artist performed at the Pan-American Games in Puerto Rico, followed by a private concert for then-Dominican president Joaquin Balaguer. Diaz relocated to Montreal in 1990, and shortly thereafter began touring extensively around the United States, Canada, and Europe. Diaz has released three albums of traditional Caribbean music, and brings his signature accordion and Latin soul to Abilene for show that will combine both traditional songs with Diaz’s original pieces.
Joaquin Diaz performs Monday, August 13, 8 p.m. at Abilene, 153 Liberty Pole Way. $8-$10. 232-3230, abilenebarandlounge.com. — BY ANDY KLINGENBERGER
Alternative: Desert Noises
Provo, Utah-based Desert Noises is rich with alt-country grit and 90’s beat-driven rock, but its vocal harmonies also suggest alt-folk bands like Fleet Foxes. The quartet’s CD “Mountain Sea” (2011) rubs elbows with its earthy flannel-wearing brethren on tracks “Oak Tree” and “Tell Me You Love Me” while “Hey Ah” might just be the song you’ve been waiting to hear. Desert Noises played its heart out at the Bug Jar last year. Add relentless touring and it will win fans on this side of the coast. Gin & Bonnets and There I Say Is Lightning share the bill. Shakedown DJs follow bands at 11 p.m.
Desert Noises performs Thursday, August 9, 8:30 p.m. at the Bug Jar, 219 Monroe Ave. $6-$8. 454-2966, bugjar.com. — BY ROMAN DIVEZUR