Guitarist/singer Adler struts, lopes and lights up the night and day with catchy down-home blues, bopping boogie, swing and country stride. Adler's earthy guitar solos take as much charge as his vocals, fingers lingering on long notes and strumming pulsing chords. With Adler vocalizing in several ranges and styles, the spooky, tongue-in-cheek "Scratchin' at My Screendoor" arrives just in time for Halloween. On the title track, Adler sings, "I'm the king of cock-a-doodle-doo." Uh-huh. He's got something to crow about.
-- Gordon Spencer
Jimmy Adler Band with John Gresh's Gris-Gris Band. 8 p.m. Fri., Sept. 16. NOLA on the Square, Downtown.
Once an associate professor of music at Chatham College, Jeremy Beck also composed the opera The Biddle Boys & Mrs. Soffel (2000) for the Tuesday Musical Club. IonSound Project, ensemble-in-residence at Pitt, brings vitality to seven Beck compositions here, including bright, pastoral works and intense trios of flute, piano and cello, as well as a solo violin piece and a jazz-inspired vibes/piano duet. Calmer than a "new music ensemble," with more idiosyncrasies than contemporary classical, they've created a varied, engaging set.
-- Mike Shanley
Jeremy Beck and IonSound release concert: 2:30 p.m., Sun., Sept. 18. Hillman Room, WQED Studios, Oakland.
Everywhere and Nowhere At All
The Pointillists are intentionally mysterious; the CD itself is all the information we have to go on, which is the point. Dark, contemplative rock; '80s British bands (Pulp, Joy Division) are well represented as influences, and some of the material recalls Guided By Voices and even Spacemen 3. Sometimes the lo-fi recording and mixing is distracting (as when the growling vocals are buried), but overall, not a bad first(?) effort.
-- Andy Mulkerin