Soundcheck: Weekend edition

Joan of Arc's Tim Kinsella

  • Joan of Arc's Tim Kinsella

We ought to start off this weekend's edition of Soundcheck with a disclaimer: Even if the roads look clear round your parts, it's possible that some of these performers are driving from parts that were a little harder hit, so check with venues, friends and Facebooks before heading out to any shows in the next couple days. That said, as far as we know, all of these concerts will take place as scheduled (unlike the J. Dilla tribute at The Jazz Kitchen, slated to take place yesterday, now re-scheduled for March 23).

Also, we heard about Heavy Gun's The Super Party! too late to get it in print, but we've added it here, in case you'd like to watch the game with some DJs and emcees. Read on for the rest:

Thursday

Full Rainbow, Step Dads, Vacation Club at The Dojo

About two years ago, a Kokomo band called The Sorely Trying Days turned quite a few heads with their heavy, yet intricate debut record Survival Mode. The record attracted attention, in a way, from The Washington Post, which profiled the band in a series about the recession’s impact on middle America. After touring extensively in support of Survival Mode, the youthful three-piece underwent some drastic changes. The line-up changed, the name changed and, most importantly the band relocated from their oppressively inspirational Kokomo to the bright, sunny side streets of Indianapolis.

After nearly a year of settling in, the band, now called Full Rainbow, finally has some new recordings to show for all their disruptions. Their new, self-titled EP will be officially released at their tour kick-off show this Thursday at the Dojo. Their songs are now a bit slower, the guitar parts more freaked-out, the bass lines more purposeful; as a whole, the band just rocks harder. Imagine if early Black Flag got super high and stumbled into Clutch’s practice space and found Clutch, also high as hell, jamming with Torche, then jumped right in. With local riff-rockers Step Dads and hard-hitting garage rockers Vacation Club. 7 p.m., $5 members, $6 public, all-ages. —Nick Selm

Yo La Tengo, William Tyler at The Vogue

It’s an irresistible concept: A wheel of fortune will determine the fate of each Yo La Tengo show on their winter tour. Or more specifically, the first half of the show, during which the band could play any one of eight sets, depending on where the wheel lands. Yo La Tengo could, for instance, perform as an entirely different band (Dump or the Condo Fucks). Or act out a sitcom. Or play only songs that start with “s.” The second half is entirely up to the band, which will return to a more conventional setlist drawing on some 27 years of material. Yo La Tengo guitarist Ira Kaplan talked with NUVO this week about Thursday's show and a couple other of the band's projects — their almost-annual run of Hanukkah shows, their fundraising shows on freeform station WFMU. With William Tyler, a Nashville-based guitarist who has worked with Lambchop, The Silver Jews, Bonnie “Prince” Billy and the recently-deceased Charlie Lovin, and whose solo debut, Behold the Spirit, which has been favorably compared to the work of Bert Jansch and John Fahey. 8 p.m., $17 (plus applicable fees), 21+.

Friday

Four Bands for a Cause at the Earth House

Four bands with not a whole lot in common, genre-wise — Forsaken Sights, The Post Script, Glass Halo, and The Breakdown Kings — share the Earth House stage to raise awareness of teen suicide. Proceeds benefit Indiana Youth Group, the organization dedicated to the support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. 7 p.m., $5, 21+.

Glacier Layer II in Studio 204B at the Murphy Arts Center

A night of art and music hosted by avant-rock ensemble Basilica and featuring contributions by Jordan Munson (interactive video projection), Basilica guitarist Derek Johnson (solo guitar performances at 7 and 8 p.m. of work by Louis Andreissen and Elliot Carter, among others) and Basilica itself (in hourly performances at 9, 10 and 11 p.m., playing commissioned works by Joe Molinaro and Charlie Olvera, and closing with a staple of their repertoire, Andreissen’s “Workers Union”). Your experimental music pick of the week, with Joan of Arc coming a close second — and it’s possible to see both. 7 p.m., free, all-ages.

Eric Roberson at the Athenaeum Theatre

A cult favorite on the neo-soul circuit, Roberson started out with a major label release (the 1994 Warners single “The Moon”), and then was promptly left to fend for his own. He made his name by working and touring hard, writing for the genre’s big names (Jill Scott, Vivian Green) and releasing work through prominent indie labels (first Jazzy Jeff’s imprint A Touch of Jazz and now his own concern, Blue Erro Soul). Songs from his latest album, 2009’s Music Fan First, could, oddly enough, take the Grammy for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for two consecutive years — “A Tale of Two” won it in 2010 and “Still” is up for the prize this year. 8 p.m., $20-30, 21+.

Cotton Jones, Slothpop at White Rabbit Cabaret

The Cumberland, Md. duo Cotton Jones makes folk music with just enough of a psychedelic element that we might add the prefix "freak." It’s warm, often laid-back Americana. With Slothpop, whose self-titled debut album arrived in January. 8 p.m., $8, 21+.

Joan of Arc, Racebannon, Jookabox, Memory Map, Out Like Lambs at Melody Inn

There's a prosaic reason for why Oh Brother, the new album by Chicago-based, indie-rock band Joan of Arc on local experimental rock label Joyful Noise Recordings, came out the way it did: Tim Kinsella, the band's sole permanent member, lead guitarist and lead singer, had just bought a new version of Pro Tools, the music editing software suite, and he needed to work with some raw material to help himself master the program, to ride out the learning curve. The end result is an 80-minute double-album comprised of four 20-minute tracks, each the length of one side of an LP. Joan of Arc is the main act Friday, but the foundation is solid, with support from art-metal act Racebannon, whose “Wrap the Body” single was a hip-hop flavored, Jill Weiss-voiced highlight of last year, and Jookabox, due for a new record in April and back from a European tour. Also: the first Indianapolis appearance by Memory Map, an new Bloomington band comprised of members of Push-Pull, Rapider than Horsepower and Good Luck, and Out Like Lambs, a New Jersey orchestral-folk band on tour with Joan of Arc. 9:30 p.m., $7 advance, $8 door, 21+.

Saturday

Bigger than Elvis, Blue Collar Bluegrass at Radio Radio

Radio Radio's house band, a rockabilly trio fronted by local guitar legend Danny Thompson, is joined for their traditional first Saturday gig by special guest Blue Collar Bluegrass. 9 p.m., $5, 21+.

Gina Sicilia at The Rathskeller

Philadelphia chanteuse Gina Sicilia mixes down home blues with old school R&B. Her 2007 debut album, Allow Me to Confess (Swingnation), earned her a Best New Artist nomination at the Blues Music Awards, and her sophomore album, Hey Sugar, saw her taking the next step towards becoming one of our top female vocalists, blues or otherwise. A strong singer and showlady who fortunately hasn’t yet been labeled as “The Next Fill In The Blank,” Sicilia has a new album coming out in March called Can’t Control Myself. We hope so. 9 p.m., 21+. —Matt Socey

Sunday

The Super Party! at Room 929

The indie hip-hop outfit Heavy Gun presents a free (well, no-cover) Super Bowl party with post-game DJ sets by J. Brookinz, Young Carolyn and DJ Action Jackson, and guest appearances from The Heavy Gunners. Doors open for the game at 5 p.m., and the the entertainment starts immediately after time expires. This kicks off a new monthly presented by Heavy Gun at Room 929, which will fall on the first Sunday of the month. 6 p.m., no cover, 21+.

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