w/ Becca Leigh, Infinitikiss and Erel Pilo
Wed. March 6
9 p.m.
The Royal American

Artists often say that their most recent release doesn’t represent their current sound, and that’s certainly the case with Blessingxx, the new project from Art School Jocks guitarist Deborah Hudson. The single “Separation,” released in mid-2018, is an alluring piece of dreamy, blurry electronic pop. And there are still elements of that in what Hudson does. But the current version of Blessingxx is a lot more wide-ranging. “Blessingxx is a continuation of that love for pop but blended with a heavier focus on poeticism and lyricism,” Hudson says. “There are certain poems of mine that I’ve wanted to expand from words printed on a page to a sonic piece, so that they engage more senses than just the intellect and language-processing parts of the mind.” Hudson began moving more toward that new style thanks to a friend and collaborator who was doing something similar. “For a long time, I placed a hard mental divide between my poetry and my songwriting,” they say. “But one of my dearest friends and chosen family is an Atlanta artist named Cassandra Hamilton, who performs under the name anarchisttiger. I think her sets really elegantly integrate comedic bits, poignant poetry, techno, and abstract lyricism. Being exposed to Cassandra’s work and the diversity within it really helped me break down the barrier I’d held between poetry and songwriting.” —Vincent Harris WEDNESDAY

Riff Rock | Little Vicious, Dumb Doctors, John Bias, Bizness Suit
Thurs. Mar. 7
9 p.m.
The Royal American

While we all wait for a new Queens of the Stone Age album, Little Vicious has us covered in the dark robot rock category. Describing their music as “riff rock,” guitarist and vocalist Marguerite King leans into the archetypal rock-band feel. “We try to make it interesting and compelling, but still like a song you’ve heard a thousand times,” laughs King. A driving punch and raspy melody accompanies 99.9 percent of Little Vicious tunes, like the cynically exuberant “Falling For You” and the pleading, groovy “Hold Ya (Through the Night).” The band is currently prepping for their latest album, Dark Country, which King describes lyrically as “a pep talk” to herself that she hopes others will learn from. Sonically, it’s going to be another round of overdriven guitar centered repetition. “It’s got some punk undertones because we hit it hard and heavy, a little bit like stoner metal,” says King, “but it’s loud and it’s fun and you can dance to it or you can cry to it.” —Heath Ellison THURSDAY

Biggie Smalls Tribute | Illadell
Sat. Mar. 9
10 p.m.
Purple Buffalo

There’s no shortage of ways to hype up Biggie Smalls. He was one of the best storytellers to touch a rhyme book; he famously crushed competition in street-side freestyles as a kid; and any short-list of New York rap icons without B.I.G. is simply wrong. Suffice to say, Biggie deserves a tribute show. “Ready to Die is probably one of my favorite albums,” says DJ Illadell, who will provide the tunes for the night. “It can possibly be a weekly rotation, if not a daily rotation.” Illadell frequently uploads “sauced up” remixes to Soundcloud, and he’ll stick to original mixes of songs by Mr. Smalls and other acts connected to the artist. “It’s like a ’90s party,” Illadell explains. “I’ll mix in newer stuff, or stuff that has Biggie samples, that still has that party feel.” —Heath Ellison SATURDAY

Hawaiian Reggae | J Boog
Tues. March 12
7 p.m.
Music Farm

There are all sorts of musical cross-influences at play in the music of J Boog out of Compton, Calif. His style blends Jamaican reggae with hip-hop beats and modern-pop production into a style he calls “Hawaiian reggae,” a nod to his Samoan roots. His raspy howl of a voice is a surprisingly flexible instrument, serving him well on a series of bouncing rap-reggae-soul albums and singles, and though his image is often street-tough, his musical approach is about as smooth and breezy as it gets. J Boog’s 2011 album Backyard Boogie is probably still the best breakdown of his nimble, toasting vocal style, his studio savvy, and his feel for an effortless-sounding groove. He was rewarded when the album topped the Billboard and iTunes Reggae charts and scored hits with “Let’s Do it Again” (produced by Don Corleon) and “Sunshine Girl,” produced by Gramps Morgan/Dada-son and featuring Morgan Heritage, frontman for the venerable reggae group Peetah Morgan. —Vincent Harris TUESDAY

Jam-Rock | Mike Gordon
Tues. March 12
8 p.m.
$29.50/adv., $33.50/door
Charleston Music Hall

Bassist Mike Gordon has spent most of his life playing genre-spanning jam-music with Phish, and he’s also formed a fruitful collaborative relationship with acoustic guitar wizard Leo Kottke. So the guy knows good musicians when he hears them. Perhaps that’s why Gordon’s band — Scott Murawski on guitar, Robert Walter on keyboards, drummer John Morgan Kimock, and percussionist Craig Myers — is such a killer group of high-wire improv demons. But when Gordon set out to create this band, he had more in mind than just finding guys who could solo all night. “On the one hand I needed to find people who excelled at improvisation,” Gordon says, “because I had all of these great musical experiences from throwing caution to the wind and not knowing what was going to happen. That’s the background I come from, so people had to understand that on some level. But I also wanted to get a certain feeling about someone as a person. You have to be able to relate on both levels or it’s not going to work. How you work with someone in a room is analogous to how you’re going to work with them onstage. So first and foremost you have to enjoy being in a room with someone; that’s most important.” —Vincent Harris TUESDAY

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