Since last week, when Boston Globe staff music critic Sarah Rodman departed for sunnier climes, I've taken over writing the paper's twice-weekly concert picks in the pop and rock category. Anyone who knows about the 13 years I spent at Time Out New York also knows that I've had a little bit of practice at this kind of thing; indeed, it might have seemed as if I'd had my fill for a lifetime.
Turns out I was eager to jump back in - which had everything to do with my constant craving for spreading the word about worthwhile shows that might otherwise have been overlooked by the Globe. Which is not to say that I ignored big-ticket events (hello, Bonnie!), or that I focused on under-the-radar performers. Let's just say that if there was more space, more time, and more budget, these are artists and groups I'd like to have covered at length.
These are the first two sets of listings I wrote, published last Thursday and Sunday. The dates, times, and prices are what applied when these appeared in print, of course, and the first handful are already past.
From this point on I'll try to post my listings on the day that they appear, just to try to make them, you know, useful.
The week ahead: Pop & rock
Thursday, March 24 (link)
FLATBUSH ZOMBIES No denying this young Brooklyn hip-hop trio mines a throwback vein: It's explicit on "3001: A Laced Odyssey," the group's newly released debut album, especially on "R.I.P.C.D.," an elegy to the increasingly abandoned silver disc. News flash: "3001" debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard 200, proving there's plenty of life left in the strain of eerie, idiosyncratic psychedelia Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice, and Erick Arc Elliott are cultivating. March 26, 6 p.m. $20-$30. House of Blues. 800-653-8000, www.livenation.com
GAZ COOMBES An English singer-songwriter best known for his work as frontman for alt-rock band Supergrass, Coombes arrives to share songs from his latest solo LP, 2015's "Matador," on which his characteristically inventive, dreamy songs sometimes take on a edge of anxiety — timely, that. Show up promptly for opener Piney Gir, whose nearly supernatural knack for gently askew pop songcraft is evident on her newly released "Mr. Hyde's Wild Ride." March 26, 8 p.m. $25. David Friend Recital Hall, Berklee College of Music. 617-747-2261, www.berklee.edu/events/gaz-coombes
BONNIE RAITT "Force of nature" is an overused claim, but really, how else to describe the renaissance run Raitt's sustained for more than 25 years? Barely 10 seconds into her new album, "Dig in Deep," the slinky buzz of her bottleneck slide shows you're in for a hot time. Tickets are scarce for this one, so call before you queue in vain — and circle Aug. 20 on your calendar, since that's when Raitt hits town next. March 29, 7:30 p.m. $48-$93.50. Orpheum Theatre. 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com
The ticket: Pop music
Sunday, March 27 (link)
Bonnie Raitt repeats.
SEAN WATKINS He's been a first-class picker since his salad days in progressive-bluegrass trio Nickel Creek, and a compelling storyteller just about as long. But it's on his recent solo albums — the newest, "What to Fear," is just out — that Watkins has emerged as a deft arranger and producer. Be punctual: You do not want to miss the opening duo of Petra Haden and Jesse Harris. March 30, 8 p.m. $25. Club Passim. 617-492-7679, www.passim.org
JUNIOR BOYS Reunited on record for the first time in five years on the new "Big Black Coat," the Canadian duo of Jeremy Greenspan and Matt Didemus enriches its customary mix of electropop and R&B with generous doses of Kraftwerk and Detroit techno. (Don't miss the Robert Hood remix of the title track.) Lyrically the album's a gripper, the titular cloak a metaphor for loneliness, lust, isolation, and more. April 1, 8 p.m. $15. Brighton Music Hall. 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com
SAVAGES Having put itself on the map everywhere with the short sharp shock of 2013 debut "Silence Yourself," this explosively innovative London postpunk quartet broadens its perspective on the newly issued "Adore Life." The musical attack remains edgy and lacerating, but the sentiments now feel less willfully corrosive, at times even cautiously celebratory. April 1, 8 p.m. $22. Paradise Rock Club. 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com
Original Content: Listings, we got listings.