It's a good weekend for jazz and hip-hop, though the scheduling gods will force fans to make a choice. The hip-hop fan might be torn on Friday night: will she get on with the local swing at Locals Only's Lift Off showcase, or check out the best emcee to ever come out of Tampa, Dominique Young Unique. The jazz fan might be similarly torn: shall one stick with the tried and true at Clowes with The Manhattan Transfer and John Pizzarelli, or to try out the Palladium and its night of gospel and jazz (if you can get in)?
But as some wise old soul said to me as I rode the train to the end of the station, it doesn't matter where you end up as long as you end up somewhere. Here are plenty of fine candidates for your weekend's entertainment. Choose wisely — but choose.
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 February 1. 8 p.m., $12 advance, 21+.
A Lafayette, La. native born to an R&B guitarist, Broussard has made his name mixing blue-eyed soul with zydeco and rock. 8 p.m., $18 advance (plus applicable fees), $20 door, 21+.
The blues, funk and metal inform Clutch's syncretic stoner rock, which the band has been touring behind since the early '90s. 8 p.m., $17 (plus applicable fees), 21+.
Bloomington-based primitive psych-rock band Apache Dropout, whose debut full-length is due on Lafayette’s Family Vineyard label in late March, headlines a night of visual and sound art at the Earth House. With visual art by Austin Dickson, Greg Ajamie and Austin Reavis, and music by Golden Moses and Moemoemoe (Adam Gross, Melanie Rau). 8 p.m., $5, all-ages.
Four See Entertainment presents a night of live music and CD releases from some of Indy's discovered and undiscovered talents, including Green Hornet (Eratic & Mr. Kinetik, with a new EP on Audio Recon), Mo.Jey, Sleeper Cell, Brad Real, El Carnicero & Verse, Ms. Talented and DJ Deadrisk. 8 p.m., $5, 21+.
For all those Indianapolis hip-hop fans who complain about not getting the good stuff until it's too late, Dominique Young Unique is the real thing, a 19-year-old, Tampa Bay-based rapper with a thick Southern drawl and a high-energy, sultry approach. NUVO's Danielle Look recently spoke with Dominique about her hometown (supportive, but not really), her opening spot for the Dirty Projectors (wonderful!) and making it as a young emcee (too many dudes trying to get in her pants). 9 p.m., $7 advance (eventbrite.com), $10 door, 21+.
The Grammy-winning a cappella jazz group Take 6 is joined by gospel singer Yolanda Adams, called the number one gospel artist of the past decade by Billboard Magazine and one of the featured vocalists in a tribute to Aretha Franklin during this year’s Grammy broadcast. 8 p.m., sold out, all-ages.
John Pizzarelli has always been of the old school — his recording debut, I’m Hip — Please Don’t Tell My Father, drew on jazz classics and the American Popular Songbook, and his trio has backed jazz and pop purists throughout the past three decades, including high-profile dates behind Frank Sinatra in the early ‘90s. The four members of the restless and innovative jazz vocal group The Manhattan Transfer draw upon the whole range of vocal techniques, including their own vocalese arrangements, while also going further afield into the worlds of pop and world music. 8 p.m., $30-40 adults, $25-35 students and seniors, all-ages.
Right around 30 years ago, The Toasters helped bring ska to these shores, playing it around New York City clubs before taking it to the rest of the country. After living through the ‘90s ska boom, they’re still on road, and will play a very special Punk Rock Night at the Melody Inn this Saturday. Wade Coggeshall lays out a brief history of The Toasters this week, talking to founding member Robert Hingley about his umpteen years on the road. 10 p.m., $10, 21+.
Roots-rock band Truth & Salvage Co. got a career-launching boost from their association with The Black Crowes — they opened for the band during much of 2009, and Crowes lead singer Chris Robinson produced their 2010 debut record. Earlier this week, NUVO's Rob Nichols checked in with Truth & Salvage Co.'s Tim Jones, who said he was eager to return to his old stomping grounds (he once led the Bloomington roots-rock band Old Pike). 9 p.m., $8 advance, $10 door, 21+.
Roe, the lead singer and sole surviving band member of The Ataris, a pop-punk band from Anderson that once enjoyed major-label status, presents his songs in stripped-down, acoustic form. 9 p.m., $6 advance, $8 door, 21+.