Toro Y Moi Fitzgerald's, February 4
Chaz Bundick, aka Toro Y Moi, has just released Anything In Return, another set of chilly bedroom anthems that nestles in nicely among his lengthy discography. Call it chillwave, R&B, indie-pop, whatever, just don't call it slap-dash. Bundick is creating timeless moodscapes like his generation's Brian Eno at a pretty decent clip, and the crowds are lapping it up. You should check out that Eno fella sometime, by the way, and maybe download a torrent or two. With Wild Belle and Dog Bite. CRAIG HLAVATY
Testament House of Blues, February 6
Testament has persevered to have an admirable second act after the first had the talented and influential five-piece in danger of being written off as thrash-metal also-rans. Whether Bay Area neighbors Metallica simply beat them to the brass ring, they took too long to follow 1989's early peak Practice What You Preach, the lineup was a little too porous during the tumultuous '90s, or their attention was understandaby elsewhere while charismatic front man Chuck Billy battled cancer, by the early 2000s Testament was practically DOA.
But discerning metal fans always knew the band was made of stronger stuff, and Testament reemerged in 2008 with the album The Formation of Damnation, and went on to prove their renewed vigor no uncertain terms with a spot alongside Motorhead, Judas Priest and Heaven & Hell on the 2009 Metal Masters tour. They continued their momentum on Testament's tenth album, last year's Dark Roots of Earth. CHRIS GRAY
Diana Ross Arena Theatre, Feburary 6
A proven hitmaker and one of pop music's leading ladies from the Motown years well into the post-disco era, Diana Ross can still deliver the goods live. A date with Diana these days will see plenty of gown changes, the theme from Mahogany, sumptuous arrangements expertly played by a plus-size pop orchestra, an extended arrangement of "I Will Survive," and one diva who retains twice the onstage magnetism of the many, many, many younger performers who have tried to walk in Miss Ross' heels. CHRIS GRAY
Joe Pug McGonigel's Mucky Duck, February 7
Joe Pug, a witty singer-songwriter who tends toward the alt-country side of acoustic music and whose lyrics belie a beyond-his-years wisdom, parlayed his strong early word of mouth a few years ago into an ingenious marketing strategy that probably got his foot in the music-industry door permanently. He printed up a CD of songs his already-growing fan base already liked, then promised to give it away for free to anyone who promised to tell their friends. (He even paid for the postage.)
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
When demand outpaced his ability to manufacture the physical CDs, he switched his offer to the digital realm and has since seen 30,000 more downloads from www.joepugmusic.com, while continuing to release albums in the more traditional format. Last year's The Great Despiser. CHRIS GRAY