From all-day outdoor festivals to sweaty, sweltering bar rooms, the summer season has so much to offer to concertgoers! If you’re tired of scrolling through countless pages of show listings or just looking for a way to celebrate summer in the city, Selected Sounds is back to lend a helping hand. A few members of the team at Sound of Boston have rounded up which concerts they’re most eager to attend this July. From funk metal to R&B, there’s a little something for every type of music fan.

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

(Sandy) Alex G and Japanese Breakfast at The Sinclair -Selected by Anna

Alex Giannascoli is young — only 23-years-old — but has already gone through a great transformation in his sound and self. Adding the prefix (Sandy) before his moniker Alex G, the singer-songwriter announced a shift in perspective both in nomenclature and sound: 2016’s Rocket hosts a clarified vision, with clean guitar riffs supported by buoyant keyboard and churning, upbeat drums; 2014’s DSU is layered in noise, weaving the introspective lyrics into an, at times, indecipherable tapestry. Rocket found itself on NPR’s World Cafe earlier this month and has helped earn (Sandy) Alex G household name status among the indie community. “Bobby” is a wistful duet with a twinge of folksiness, while “Proud” is anthemic and broad — every song on Rocket further reveals Giannascoli’s talents. On stage, he soars, melding with his guitar and leaning into its every note. Paired with the deeply personal, sweeping synth-pop of Japanese Breakfast, this is a show you won’t want to miss.

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

Royal Headache at The Sinclair -Selected by Matt E.

The ability to see Royal Headache in the US in 2017 is not something that should be taken lightly. The Australian punks have had a rocky road throughout their career. The band’s status has been an ongoing question for practically as long as they’ve been playing. However, it appears that they’ve found their groove in the last few years and are up for the lives of touring musicians. There’s a reason that the will-they-won’t-they dance has fans on the edge of their seats. Royal Headache plays a brand of punk that hits a sweet spot that’s often hard to find. The music is just as likely to make you pump your fist and head bang as it is to make you sway to a deceptively sweet and tuneful ballad-sometimes all in the same song.
Live shows, on the other hand, are a different matter as the band’s volatile state translates to a raucous show. Frontman Shogun prowls the stage and throws himself fully into the music. His antics (drinking, disrobing, randomly crossing songs off the set list) sometimes translate to plainly manifested tension on other band members’ faces. But instead of slinking away from their duties in response, they lean further into their music. It’s as punk as punk gets.
The last time Royal Headache hit Boston was a sold-out show at Great Scott in August of 2015. The crowd didn’t stop moshing for one second. A drum stool was broken. Shogun drank a glass of whiskey on stage. My ears didn’t stop ringing for two full days afterward. It’s one of the best shows I’ve ever attended.

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

Primus at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion -Selected by Matt M.

Primus are one of those truly bizarre bands that constantly transcends both labels and genres. Some fans apply the label “funk metal”, but even that would only describe about half of their discography that stretches back to 1990. After all, their most recent album was an eerie, psychedelic cover of the entire soundtrack to the 1971 film, “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” Les Claypool, the man behind the madness that is Primus, has been a key innovator in bass guitar over the past 30 or so years. The percussive sounds he procures from his instrument, as he wildly slaps, pops, and taps his strings, are unlike any other and have both inspired and frustrated players trying to mimic his outlandish techniques. Primus never disappoints with their live performances and the scenic Pavilion is the perfect place to take in a summer show on the harbor, so don’t miss out!

Monday, July 24th, 2017

Jamila Woods at Great Scott -Selected by Knar

You probably know Jamila Woods’ voice, even if you don’t know her name. The Chicago-based R&B artist and poet has worked on many projects with Chance the Rapper, and has lent her vocals for Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment’s “Sunday Candy” and Macklemore’s “White Privilege II.” Her soulful, jazzy 2016 release, HEAVN (which Pitchfork appropriately slapped with a “Best New Music” label), is going to be re-released with indie record label Jagjaguwar. It’ll be interesting to see how the dark Great Scott setting will affect the mood of her bubbly neo-soul numbers, though perhaps lyrically, it will be appropriate—after all, her songs touch on oppression, violence, isolation. Anyway, one thing is for sure; we’re looking forward to hearing her smooth, soothing sound in person.

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