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Five concerts to check out in Boston this week - Metro US

Five concerts to check out in Boston this week

Babydriver
with Doug Tuttle and Abadabad
Nov. 14
Great Scott
1222 Comm. Ave., Allston
$8-$10, 617-566-9014
www.greatscottboston.com

Local band Babydriver is the vehicle for singer/songwriter Tommy Palmer, whose tunes convey an intriguingly paradoxical mix of chilliness and soulfulness. Palmer’s husky voice is his secret weapon, equally expressive in whispery folk numbers and shouting, expansive anthems. His diverse, well-crafted, raw-feeling songs always keep things interesting, capturing him in many moods but preserving his elusive persona.

J. Robbins and Jonah’s Onelinedrawing
With Drew O’Doherty
Nov. 16
Green Street Studios
185 Green St., Cambridge
$12-$15, 617-864-3191
www.jonahandj.eventbrite.com

The hard, angular music made by Jawbox doesn’t seem like the best candidate for acoustic translation, but under the careful filtration of J. Robbins, the former singer and guitarist of the famed D.C. post-punk band, the driving distorted chords of electric guitars take on a deeper, creepier resonance when accompanied by a cello. He’ll also be playing the songs he wrote for his other bands, Burning Airlines and Office of Future Plans. Co-headlining this tour is Jonah’s Online Drawing, whose new album, “Me and You Are Two” features the type of up-front acoustic songwriting that could make him a star on a radio station like WBOS, if they dug a little deeper into the indie pool.

Johnny Marr
with Meredith Sheldon
Nov. 16
The Paradise
967 Comm. Ave., Boston
$25, 18+, 800-745-3000
www.ticketmaster.com

Given his heroic status, it’s surprising that ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr chose to go fully solo only in 2013, with the album “The Messenger.” Up until then he mostly preferred side gigs, most recently as a member of Modest Mouse. Regardless, the spotlight seems to be working for him; he followed up with a second record, “Playland” this year.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
with Mini Mansions
Sunday, 8:30 p.m.
The Sinclair
52 Church St., Cambridge
$15, 18+, 800-745-3000
www.sinclaircambridge.com

Given their almost beautifully stupid name, you’d expect a certain amount of jackass snark from this electronic-assisted dance pop duo, and while they do enjoy bonkers imagery in their numerous videos, their songs are surprisingly sincere, overflowing with an infectious, ebullient energy, every bouncing little corner packed with melody. It’s smart, feel good music — a not-at-all-guilty pleasure.

Susan Cattaneo
With Giulia Millanta
Nov. 18
Atwood’s Tavern
877 Cambridge St, Cambridge
$7, 617-864-2792
www.brownpapertickets.com

Susan Cattaneo has taught songwriting at the Berklee College of Music for more than a decade. Listening to her songs, you can almost sense the lessons. Her tune, “Lorelei” opens with the line, “We both know how the night one down, one sister running and the other one drowned.” Well, that’s certainly a compelling line to bring the listener in. The song tells the tale of a pair of twins, and how one just may come back from the dead to seek revenge. The best part about it is that it’s delivered with a gentle acoustic strum, a syrupy organ and Cattaneo’s laid-back honeyed voice.

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