David Bowie wisely told us to “Turn and face the strange changes” in 1971, and it’s time to put that plan into action as we start the autumn season. We have some wonderfully weird staff picks this month like classic prog-rockers Jethro Tull, Boston’s own hip-hop extraordinaire Cliff Notez, and yogic metal band Acid King. Why not pick a strange change this month and see something new?

Wednesday, September 11

Jethro Tull at the Medford Chevalier Theatre – Selected by Nicole

Legendary and highly influential British classic rockers Jethro Tull are coming to Boston this month on their 50th Anniversary Tour that’s been going for over a year and a half. Lead singer and flutist Ian Anderson has overseen numerous lineup changes over the past 50 years as the band has felt out and explored their signature, oddball folk–blues–prog rock amalgam of a sound, most notably with their two-song, 43-minute 1972 rock opera, Thick as a Brick. Jethro Tull will be playing at Medford’s Chevalier Theatre before resuming their multi-year tour in Europe.

Friday, September 13

Cliff Notez at Oberon – Selected by Arielle

Two years after releasing his debut album When the Sidewalk Ends, Cliff Notez will perform his next full-length project Why the Wild Things Are at his album release show at Oberon. Cliff Notez is a musician, filmmaker, artist, and poet, who creates work with themes of racism, oppression, and mental health in the black community. In addition to his extremely talented band of local musicians, the show will also include a cast of local featured artists including STL GLD, Latrell James, and many more favorites. As our fellow bloggers at Allston Pudding note, “He’s gradually carved a space for himself and his fellow cohort of artists and musicians within Boston’s arts scene.” Brandie Blaze and Van Buren Records open.


Monday, September 16

Two Door Cinema Club at House of Blues – Selected by Alexis

Fresh from performing an explosive set in the thickly-packed fields of this year’s Glastonbury Festival, Northern Irish indie rockers Two Door Cinema Club are on tour promoting their new album, False Alarm. The band, known for their synth-infused sound and electronic, post-punk melodies, are storming into the city with an electrifying set list brimming with hits—old and new—that will shake the House of Blues to its very core. If you’re looking for a night of nothing but good vibes, one of the UK’s best indie bands and non-stop dancing, look no further.

Tuesday, September 17

Lizzo at Agganis Arena – Selected by Jared

Lizzo is feeling “Good As Hell” as she comes off her performance at Coachella and brings the “Juice” to Agganis Arena on September 17th for a highly-coveted stop on her Cuz I Love You Too Tour. Hailed as a body-positive, feminist trail-blazer, the 31 year-old pop sensation’s witty dance anthems have pushed her first major-label album, Cuz I Love You, to debut at No. 6 on the Billboard 200.  Collaborating with industry titans like Missy Elliot to make bangers like “Tempo,” Lizzo’s sound combines classic 80s R&B and 90s dance hip hop to create twerk-core jams, juicy old-school soul, and self-love anthems. Lizzo attacks her live performances in a variety of voices from rap, funk and blues to synth-pop club siren while shaking and shimmying across the stage with four dancers (occasionally on roller skates). She’s also known to break out her esteemed woodwind named Sasha Flute, which now has its own Instagram with 250,000 followers.  To quote her recent Twitter post about her song “Truth Hurts,” which hit #1 this week on the Billboard charts, “LIZZBIANS UNITE!”

Thursday, September 19

Tasha at the Red Room at Cafe 939 – Selected by Knar

If you like poetry and Jamila Woods, you should get to know Tasha. Although sonically the women don’t overlap much, the two Chicago artists often collaborate and perform in the same spaces. In fact, Tasha’s Alone At Last vinyl comes with a zine that includes contributions from Chicago-based black women writers, including Jamila Woods. Tasha’s delicate vocals dance over simple guitar arrangements, often capturing the kind of softness that comes with singing lullabies. The record’s production echoes this feeling of lightness as Tasha ponders: “Why is all this silence stopping me before I speak?” The intimacy Cafe 939 offers will certainly be a fitting space for hearing Tasha live. Don’t miss it.

Saturday, September 21

Andrew Bird at Rockland Trust Bank Pavillion– Selected by Tadhg

On Saturday September 21, the Chicago-based indie artist Andrew Bird will play a show at the Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion promoting his new album, My Finest Work Yet. This wry title exemplifies Bird’s approach to music. The multi-instrumentalist is something of a virtuoso, and his indie-folk songs are full of swing and jazz melodies picked up during years of classical training. Yet, Bird doesn’t take himself too seriously. With his cleverness comes a dry and ironic wit, displayed in lines like, “Used to be willfully obtuse / (or is the word abstruse?) / Semantics like a noose / Get out your dictionaries” on “Are You Serious.” In its skill and humor, Andrew Bird’s music has something for everyone. His show later this month promises to be unforgettable.

Friday, September 27

Injury Reserve at Brighton Music Hall – Selected by Kristen

The Phoenix-bred experimental hip-hop trio, Injury Reserve, consisting of MC’s Stepa J. Groggs and Ritchie with a T and producer Parker Corey, are bringing their dynamic productions to Boston this month. With their debut dating back to 2014, this trio’s come a long way in establishing their own take on socially conscious hip-hop; and with the recent release of their 2019 self-titled album, the hype for this eccentric group has only grown. Sifting through various styles overtime, they’ve somehow managed to sustain a beautiful balance between mellow and vibrant. As member and MC Ritchie with a T phrases it on the notorious 2016 track “Oh Shit!!!” off of album, Floss: “This ain’t jazz-rap; this that spazz-rap / This that raised-by-the-internet, ain’t-had-no-dad rap.” Not many can color outside the lines while maintaining harmony within the disarray. If you’re looking for a meaningful show that you can also lose your mind to this September, this is the show for you.

Sunday, September 29

Acid King at Sonia – Selected by Mary

Legendary stoner metal band Acid King are touring in support of the 20th anniversary of their tantric sophomore album, Busse Woods. With wild, fuzzed-out, meditative riffs, Busse Woods sounds every bit as dark as the story behind how the band obtained their name (just Google “Ricky Kasso” to find out). Lead vocalist and guitarist Lori Steinberg’s far-reaching, ethereal vocals are the perfect complement to the heavy low-end guitars and bass that trademark the band’s sound. Setting the precedent for contemporary metal greats like Windhand and Elizabeth Colour Wheel, Acid King is not one to miss this month.

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