The Fenway – April Music Spotlight

April 4 – House of Blues 
Big Sean
Bigger Than Ever 
After a series of mixtapes and a personal freestyle for Kanye West, Detroit rapper Big Sean was signed to Kanye’s GOOD Music in 2007 and later to Def Jam and Roc Nation. His first albums went by the not-so-modest titles of “Finally Famous” and “Hall of Fame,” before toning it down with “Dark Sky Paradise” and this year’s release, “I Decided,” which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200. He’s worked with just about everyone in the game and continues to show his love for his home state of Michigan, making a substantial donation last year for the Flint water crisis.

April 5 – House of Blues 
Gucci Mane 
No Designer Imposter 
It’s two hip-hop shows in a row at the House of Blues as Gucci Mane heads back on the road after being released from jail last year. His time spent behind bars was still quite prolific, however, as he released a series of records during his incarceration. Now back on track, the pioneer of trap music (“ominous lyrics and sound that incorporate heavy kick drums from a Roland TR-808 synthesizer, double-time division hi-hats, layered synthesizers, and ‘cinematic strings’”) returns to the stage. And we’re sure he has plenty to say.

 

April 12 – Museum of Fine Arts 
Angelique Kidjo 
Giving a New Definition to World Music 
Known throughout the world as one of the most important voices in African music, Kidjo’s music and advocacy have won her accolades around the globe. Singing in four different languages, her unique blend of jazz, Afropop, and gospel has earned her the respect of some of the most important musicians of all time—many of whom she has collaborated with.

 

April 14 & 15 – Berklee Performance Center 
Magnetic Fields 
A Boston Attraction
The once Boston-based Stephin Merritt returns to his former home to perform songs from his most intriguing, important and painstaking release, “50 Song Memoir.” Played over two nights, Merritt’s latest opus was completed just after his 50th birthday and features autobiographical songs written about each year of his life. Whimsical, serious, sad, witty and dry, the eccentric Merritt always puts on some stellar shows. This one will feature set designs and seven different singers on vocal duties.

April 17 – House of Blues 
PJ Harvey 
The Original Indie Eccentric 
PJ Harvey emerged as a female liberator from the male-dominated grunge scene, but her style has never been easy to pin down. Changing her sound and style from record to record the UK songwriter and multi-instrumentalist continues to evolve with an intriguing poetic mystery at the heart of it all.

April 25 – House of Blues
The New Pornographers 
Everything But Scandalous 
The Canadian collective that gave a breakout start to the great solo careers of Neko Case and AC Newman are back at it again. Their seventh record, “Whiteout Conditions” was released early this month, so expect some first time performances from their latest work as well as some polished performances from their cherished back catalogue.

April 26 – House of Blues 
Bonobo Animal Instincts 
One of the greatest and most prolific downtempo artists on the revered Ninja Tune label, British deejay and producer Simon Green (aka Bonobo) is also one of the label’s most busy live acts. Though once known for his deejay sets, Bonobo now fills out his compositions with a live band that often includes keyboards, drums, electronics, a saxophone and a drummer.

April 27 – House of Blues
Paul Van Dyk
The Beats Go On 
One of the first internationally famous deejays and producers, Paul Van Dyk emerged on the scene in the early 1990s when the popularity of rave and dance music were reaching their height. His music has appeared in movie soundtracks, video games and of course in the record bins of dance deejays throughout the world. Born in East Germany, Paul Van Dyk has become increasingly political and shares the view that music and dance do not discriminate, and provide a platform for unity and peace.

April 28 – House of Blues 
Erykah Badu
The Soul Sister Returns
With her Afro-centric songs, a seamless poetic flow and seductive voice, Erykah Badu has become one of the most interesting and important singers in the neo-soul movement. Though she’s released a few mixtapes over the past couple years, Badu hasn’t put out a “proper” record since 2010. So it’s all the more intriguing that she’ll be gracing us with her presence. Hopefully she’ll update us on what she’s been working on and when we can expect its release.

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