The Mel is likely to be packed tighter than a very tight thing this week for its 10th anniversary celebration; you've already missed two days of the five-day shindig, but metal (Thurs), indie rock (Fri) and punk rock (Sat) nights remain. You may have a little more breathing room at some other concerts worth your time, including visits by jazz bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding, L.A. jangle pop band The Bangles and super-eclectic jam band STS9. Take your pick, and see you out there.
Detroit ska-punk band The Suicide Machines may be the ostensible headliner here, but the reunion of Bolth, the local hardcore outfit which broke up suddenly in January 2010, may be the main draw. Band members didn't even stop to say goodbye at the time — a long tour had strained relationships; you know the drill — but friendships have been mended, and the group is back for one final farewell show. Nick Selm's Bolth retrospective has more about how the band got to this show; his 2007 write-up chronicles the early years. 6:30 p.m., $12 (brownpapertickets.com), all-ages.
When the BoDeans stop by The Vogue, it'll be the first time the band will play Indianapolis without founding member and co-lead singer Sam Llanas. Llanas, a high school friend of the other lead singer, Kurt Nuemann, didn't show up for an Aug. 13 show in Winter Park, Colo., and officially left the group five days later. Nuemann will continue under the BoDeans moniker and has added Jake Owen to take the spot of Llanas. 8 p.m., $25 (plus fees), 21+.
Dave Brown and Rob Ondrish, who took over the Melody Inn with little more than 11 bucks in the till and a month's rent paid ten years back, are celebrating a successful decade in the business this week with a series of blowout shows. Friday's edition will feature the reunion of America Owns the Moon and a rare show by the always pretty-funny Fuglees. With The Melismatics, Hymn For Her, Rock Star Club, Phyllis and The Cousin Brothers. For more on the celebration, check out Paul Pogue's interview with Dave and Rob. 7:30 p.m., $8, 21+.
The gloryhole, it is back open for business. Gloryhole Records, a vinyl-only label that launched this April with releases by The Kemps, Vacation Club and Adam Kuhn, among others, returns with new stuff this weekend, namely a 7-inch by the now-Indy based Learner Dancer. With Brooklyn's The Phantom Family Halo, touring behind a 10-inch collab with Bonnie "Prince" Billy, The Mindeater, and Fountain Square's Crys. 9 p.m., all-ages.
Long, a British singer-songwriter born near Manchester, wrote a senior thesis on the social impact of American folk music, and shortly after flew across the pond to present his own stuff before U.S. fans. Learning is all about doing. His debut album on ATO Records (Dave Matthews' label, to which he signed in early 2010) was released Feb. 1. With Vulgar Boatman bandleader Dale Lawrence, playing a rare solo gig. 9 p.m., $12, 21+.
The final night of Dave and Rob's five-day birthday party falls on Saturday, which makes it, as always, Punk Rock Night, which celebrated its own milestone with Greg Brenner's retirement ceremony last week. A whole mess of bands that flourished during the Mel's ten years of presenting live music will reunite for the occasion, including Pizzle, DV (that stands for Dehydrated Vomit, in case you forgot) and The Mighty John Waynes. 9 p.m., $10, 21+.
Bassist, singer, composer, professor: What can't Esperanza Spalding do? Well, take all the credit for herself; in an interview with NUVO this week, she downplayed the importance of her Best New Artist Grammy win and was sure to cite all those who got her to where she is. She also pointed to a surprising influence on her style: Slam Stewart, the jazz bassist who was also given to singing along with his bass. 8 p.m., $30-40 adult, $25-35 students/seniors/children.
While founding Ramones drummer Tommy Ramone has gone on to play bluegrass, Marky — who joined the band in 1978 and was with it, but for a brief hiatus to clean up his act, until it called it quits — is still playing Ramones tunes in Marky Ramone's Blitzkrieg, an outfit featuring former Misfits frontman Michale Graves on lead vocals. He mixes a few originals in there too, but you can certainly expect the hits. 8:30 p.m., $25, 21+.
Sound Tribe Sector 9, the jam band often referred to as STS9 by people who just can't stand for five-syllable names, has always covered the waterfront. A 2010 live album, Axe the Cables, was the band's first all-acoustic release, though one can't count on the band going any one direction for long; their most recent release, the EP When the Dust Settles, works more extensively with synths and drum machines than ever. 9 p.m., $20 advance, $25 door (plus fees), all-ages.
The members of L.A.-born jangle pop band The Bangles have been playing together every so often since 1999 (following an initial breakup in 1988). Their new album, the Matthew Sweet-produced Sweetheart of the Sun, has been earning generally favorable reviews, with Slant noting that it "boasts their most stripped-down and loosest performances since their debut." With Neon Love Life, the Girls Rock rockers whose debut record Tuesday Night has also drawn pretty good reviews. 7:30 p.m., $25 (plus fees), all-ages.