Winter has finally reared its ugly head in Boston, shutting down the city for days at a time. As roads and sidewalks start to clear up again, kick that cabin fear with a concert in Cambridge or de-stress from a week of hellish commuting by catching a live show in Brighton. Several of the staff at Sound of Boston have submitted their personal picks for upcoming performances they’ll be stomping through snowbanks to attend. Whether you’re up for a local favorite like Ryan Montbleau or a national touring act such as Japandroids, we’ve got you covered.

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

Tancred at The Middle East Upstairs – Selected by Kevin

Jess Abbott has been keeping busy during the hiatus of her main band, Now Now. The songwriter decided to break from mellow indie dirges and try her hand at more energetic pop rock with new side project, Tancred. Last year saw the release of “Out of the Garden” on Polyvinyl Records, where Abbott eschews laid back soundscapes for guitar driven power pop. Tancred will be bringing fuzzy riffs and anthemic choruses to the Middle East Upstairs on February 15th, with support from local up and comers Lilith (for whom this will be an EP release show), Saccharine, Me In Capris, and NOX. Forget about the snow and get ready for a sweaty and exuberant show with an absolute stunner of a lineup.

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

Ryan Montbleau World Premiere Facebook Live – Selected by Amie

Massachusetts’ prodigal son Ryan Montbleau returns home to launch the world premiere of his latest album, I Was Just Leaving, at the Life is Good Pub in Boston. Recorded in New Orleans under the tutelage of acclaimed blues producer Anders Osbourne; the album is a full-circle moment for the singer-songwriter who reflects on the price he had to pay in order to arrive at this moment. The album is quintessential Montbleau—a true talent skilled in many genres and who is as poetic as he is relatable in his lyrics. A Montbleau live set never disappoints and fans never see the same performance twice. He plans to play the new album in its entirety this Thursday. The best part of this concert? It’s free and you can check it out from wherever you are at 9 p.m. on Feb 16 via Facebook Live on the following pages: Ryan MontbleauPledge Music, or Life is Good Company.

Monday, February 20th, 2017

Japandroids at Royale – Selected by Matt E.

Whether it’s the recent onslaught of winter, or the slow creep of fascism that’s got you down, we could all use a little celebration to raise our spirits. Enter Japandroids. The two-man team is back after a five-year break with their new record Near To The Wild Heart Of Life. The new effort features a few diversions from their previous album, Celebration Rock. This time around you’ll find a synthesizer here and an acoustic guitar there, but don’t worry there’s still plenty of heart-swelling riffs and incessantly catching choruses. A Japandroids show might be the purest rock experience there is these days; get to Royale and remember how good music can make you feel. (Make sure you check out the video below for “The House That Heaven Built” for a few shots of Brighton Music Hall. And the ending featuring an intoxicated fan laying on the street outside the venue, in the glow of the lights of Tavern in the Square. We’ve all been there.)

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

The Dig at Great Scott – Selected by Knar

Though The Dig has received comparisons to The Strokes (who, apparently, used to rehearse next door) and songs like “4th of July” take on the gritty, distorted sound fellow New York rockers championed, there’s a clarity to much of The Dig’s songs. (Particularly those off 2012’s Midnight Flowers, an album with artwork Frank Ocean would likely approve of.) These guys have opened for the likes of The Lumineers, The Walkmen, and Portugal. The Man, so the chance to catch them at the Great Scott should be a no-brainer.

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

River Whyless at Great Scott – Selected by Caitlin

This Asheville native group crafts a delightfully artful twist on traditional American folk music. Featuring Halli Anderson (violin, vocals), Ryan, O’Keefe (guitar, vocals), Daniel Shearin (bass, vocals, harmonium, cello, banjo) and Alex McWalters (drums, percussion), River Whyless incorporates unique and unexpected musical sounds paired with poetic lyrics. The cozy folk sounds and soothing harmonies are sure to melt away your winter blues!

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