THUNDERCAT, The Sugar Club, Dublin, Monday, €22.50
Bass virtuoso Thundercat’s slapping and high fretwork is one of the aces up Flying Lotus’s sleeve on the psychedelic jazz odyssey You’re Dead!, and he got a mighty cheer when he appeared out of the dry ice at FlyLo’s Vicar Street gig last year in his wolf fur hat.
The LA mult-instrumentalist has let fly on albums by Kendrick Lamar, Sun-Ra, Childish Gambino, Suicidal Tendencies, Erykah Badu and loads more — but he can still sell out clubs over here on the back of his solo albums.
His 2015 album The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam was pretty flimsy at 16 minutes, but he’s got a new LP due out this year.
It’s not really about the records live anyway — he improvises and shreds on stage, contorting and hammering tracks into new shapes among cosmic space age synths and floaty vocals.
STOP MAKING SENSE, Sugar Club, Dublin, tonight, €10
You can barely go a few months without Stop Making Sense showing on some screen in Dublin, but since the Sugar Club is coming to the end of its Films of Note music movie season, there’s no way to avoid screening it.
Jonathan Demme’s Talking Heads concert movie is one of the greatest music films in history – a joyous trip inside David Byrne’s head, catching the NYC post-punk visionaries at their live peak. Stop Making Sense often gets reduced meme-like to Byrne’s over-sized suit, but there are so many goosebump moments — Byrne dancing with an upright lamp during Naive Melody; the running on the spot in Life During Wartime, the solo beatbox Psycho Killer intro. You can never see this film enough times.
CJ RAMONE, Voodoo Lounge, Dublin, tonight, €15
The Ramones legacy has always been ripe for the plundering, especially after the death of Tommy Ramone in 2014, leaving no original members left. But even Ramones T-shirts in Penneys can’t properly sully that iconic brand, and the surname itself is enough to hang a tour on.
Sometime drummer Richie Ramone was on the road last year on the coat-tails, but in fairness, he was hawking his own album and played the Ramones songs he helped write.
CJ is slightly more dubious — he played on the Ramones’ final three 90s albums, but his setlist is pulled straight from Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Marky’s heyday, so he’s basically running a cover band operation.
Still, tracks like Sheena Is a Punk Rocker, The KKK Took My Baby Away and I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend are pretty fire-proof so it’ll at least be a good singalong session.
DICK VALENTINE, Dolan’s, Limerick, tonight, €12, & Academy 2, Dublin, tomorrow, €12.50
Electric Six frontman Dick Valentine was on Radio Nova a few weeks ago saying he hopes this gig impresses enough people to get him an offer of a couch for the night, as he’s so skint. Tongue in cheek maybe, but he set up this solo acoustic gig as a genuine travelling troubadour event, with folk, spoken word and a bit of classic FM rock thrown in.
Maybe knowing that Electric Six are often seen as one big dick joke, Valentine points out that his solo shows are way off the electro-glam theatrics. His latest album Quiet Time may reduce Electric Six deep cuts to simple chord strums, but his ironic wordplay and oblique references elevate it above sad sack singer-songwriter fluff.
He’s got brilliant song titles too: One Policeman Leads To Another; I Am Repulsed By My Daughter’s Lover; I Want To Eat a Complete Stranger; Saddam Hussein.
FEILE AN PHOBAIL, Falls Park, Belfast, On until August 14, various prices
Around 20 years ago, the West Belfast Feile an Phobail was all about the Wolfe Tones, but the annual Falls Road festival has diversified with the North’s shifting population and political landscape.
Of course you’ve still got the Wolfe Tones’ rebel ballads as one of the rousing gigs, but there’s also a seemingly random selection of EDM (Showtek), waning indie (The Kooks) and brilliant 80s pop nostalgia with Holly Johnson of Frankie Goes To Hollywood (pictured) and Roland Gift of Fine Young Cannibals.
Apart from the music, there are walking tours, political discussions, film screenings, theatre, kids’ fun days, photography workshops and loads more. Check feile2016.com for all the details.
Scottish folk singer James Yorkston, jazz double bassist Jon Thorne and Indian saranji player and devotional singer Suhail Yusuf Khan hit an unlikely sweet spot between Celtic folk, indian classical and traditional music and Western jazz.
The recording sessions were based largely on improvisation, as well as adding inflections to each other’s individual compositions and traditional standards.
They even take on Little Black Buzzer by the late cult poet and songwriter Ivor Cutler, just one of the stand-outs on their debut album Everything Sacred.