It is quite a feat for an artist in the music industry to surpass the trappings of one-hit wonderland and endure. You will always have Gerardos and Milli Vanillis, but thank heavens for musical savants like Beck. Veering from quasi-folk minstrel (1994's Mellow Gold) to sample specialist (1996's breakthrough, Odelay) to beatnik troubadour (1997's Mutations) to electro-kitsch maestro (1999's masterpiece Midnite Vultures), Beck has been lauded by critics and fans while hopping and copping styles with meticulous abandon. But for his latest album, Sea Change, the songsmith almost completely abandons his hipster paeans for grandiose melancholy and shimmering production, courtesy of Radiohead muse Nigel Godrich.
Virtually invoking the spirit of Nick Drake, Beck proves on Sea Change that heartbreak can get the best of enigmas such as he. The lyrical bent is one of questioning and sorrow; it's told through Beck's vivid imagination. But weeping aside, the man still puts on a show. Flaming Lips were his backing band on the last tour. Having plucked diverse opening acts for past tours, his decision to bring emo posterboys Dashboard Confessional and upstarts Black Keys along for the ride this time isn't really surprising. One can only hope the whining backup singers who are Dashboard's audience can stay late enough to enjoy Beck's set, which should cover his impressive discography. Cope with the mope when all three acts play at Mizner Park Amphitheater, 433 Plaza Real, Boca Raton. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $37.50. Call 561-962-4109. -- Kiran Aditham
SUN 6/1 Schleigho-down
Although no album has been issued by jazz-fusion jam band Schleigho (pronounced Shlay-ho) for several years, constant touring and a few festival appearances have kept the band in the hippie community's collective consciousness. Unlike Schleigho's first two albums, its latest CD, Live at the Ho-Down, was a live release, and the band seems far more talented on-stage than in the studio. The group offers fans extremely lengthy (even by jam-band standards) songs that stretch in several directions but always manage to snap together just when you think the whole thing is going nowhere. Schleigho performs at 9 p.m. at the Culture Room (3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets cost $8. Call 954-564-1074. -- Dan Sweeney
Grease is the Word
Don't be a square, daddy-o
Q: What looming inevitability do most adults dread more than death and taxes?
A: Class reunions.
However, there is one class reunion you'll want to attend, lest you be chicken or some kinda square. I'm not talkin' about seein' your balding buddies from Goody Two-Shoes High. No, this is a class with sass -- those hot-rod-racin' riffraffs from the Rydell High Class of '59. Yep, that's right: Grease is coming to town at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts' Au-Rene Theater (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale). The T-Birds and Pink Ladies are back to show you the virtues of fast living and reckless driving. It'll remind you of the days when teenage pregnancy was rare. So dust off your leather jacket, layer on that Brylcreem, and take a ride over to Rydell. For tickets, call 954-522-5334, or visit www.browardcenter.org. -- Jason Budjinski
Dig These Graves
And every good boy deserves fudge
Seattle will forever have the grunge tag hanging over its rainy, coffee-fueled part of the Northwest, but Pretty Girls Make Graves is not grunge. Nor is the band post-punk or no-wave or whatever name pop culture wants to thrust upon them. They just rock. Spawned from ex-members of the Murder City Devils and Kill Sadie, the group put out a debut album, Good Health, that kicked the label-happy masses square in the crotch with its infectious hooks and vitriolic vocals, the latter delivered courtesy of lead singer Andrea Zollo. The group's second album, The New Romance, comes out in September. And would you expect anything less than a title like that from a band named after a Smiths' song? Pretty Girls Make Graves, Avoid One Thing, and Pitch Black open for Alkaline Trio at the Factory, 2674 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-564-7625. -- Audra Schroeder
FRI 5/30 Insert Good Times Joke Here
Think Jimmy Walker's standup is going to be off-color jokes about Good Times punctuated with random bursts of "Dy-no-mite!"? No, Walker's all grown up and has left his good times behind. But here's a bit of trivia: Before auditioning for the role of a junkie in a 1973 police thriller, Walker bought a hat in the subway to help him "get in character." He stomped on the floppy hat and won the role, which led to his jive-talkin' character on Good Times. Walker comes to the New York Comedy Club, 8221 Glades Rd., Boca Raton, at 9 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday. Call 561-470-6887. -- Audra Schroeder