We are hitting peak Stevie Wonder levels this week.
Allen Stone was raised by a preacher and then someone played him Songs in the Key of Life and now we have the tradition of Motown living within a long-haired ginger. According to the wisdom of Cartman, gingers have no soul ... so, this is all very strange. For when Stone opens his mouth and releases that angelic voice onto the world, I picture the sun rising over the horizon. The whole world wakes up when he sings “Consider Me” off his most recent album, Building Balance, released on November 8 last year. My birthday. I’m a scorpio.
I wonder what comes after this soul explosion we are in the midst of? Will it lead to an emergence of angels unlocking the heavens so we can all escape this flaming ball of terror that we live on? I doubt it. The angels aren’t coming, but at least you have songs like "Brown Eyed Lover" to help you get through the damnation.
Listen to "Miscommunicate" off Stone's latest album. You'd think he kidnapped Stevie Wonder and secreted him into the studio. This cut even has the harmonica lilts we've grown fond of from the Motown legend's classic period.
With a track like "Warriors," Stone gives us an anthem to close out the album that has the tempo of one last serious night of dancing and celebration. With his ability to hit the highest notes capable by male earthlings, a song like "Warriors" breathes life into your bones. With Samm Henshaw. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 18 at Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale; 954-564-1074; cultureroom.net. Tickets are $29.50 via ticketmaster.com.
Dillard High alums Black Violin have managed to pair classical violin and hip-hop to create soulful magic that we should put in a spaceship outfitted with massive speakers and shoot off into space to bump that shit in the stars for the aliens to hear. I’m just saying, they’re really good.
Black Violin has been around for a while and to see them gain the prominence is a good sign. The duo are multi-string instrumentalists that give their listener something special that touches the heart. They released an album in November entitled Take the Stairs with the single "One Step," a heartfelt record that reminds us that we have plenty of soldiers in the fight for damn good music. Then go check out the song "Showoff" — they take their string playing to a whole new level, creating an almost trap dance record that mixes their classical senses with the modern world. 8 p.m. Friday, February 21 at Broward Center for Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-462-0222; browardcenter.org. Tickets start at $16 via ticketmaster.com.
The kids are gonna be alright … well, maybe not. Probably not, in fact. But Palomino Blond is pretty kick-ass, so at least they’ll be fucking rocking while their future burns because of their authoritarian masters. Their single "Creature Natural" is a blitzkrieg of youthful energy and confusion. From the Miami DIY scene, they crept as tiny swamp monsters barreling towards a town near you to inflict rhythmic chaos on your children. Parents, if you see your kids listening to Palomino Blond’s Demos EP, quarantine them in your domicile until men in hazmat suits can come and carry them away for fear they are sick and tired of hearing from their elders. Plus their bass player's name is Raven — that means there could be witchcraft involved as well. And just listening to the song "Supergalore" — well, no one should be playing the guitar like that. With the Haunt and the Carmics. 9 p.m. Friday, February 21 at Respectable Street, 518 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-832-9999; sub-culture.org/respectable-street. Tickets are $5 via eventbrite.com.
It’s good to know it isn’t only white people that feel the need to be destructive when they make music. Witness the screaming and the chaotic rhythms of Zeta, a Venezuelan punk/metal powerhouse that was formed in Miami. The freaking energy this band creates reminds me of Rage Against the Machine — they just work so damn hard when they are playing. But then, I think you have to if you are gonna blow people’s minds the way they do. Zeta dropped their album Mochimo this past November and their single “Venezziola” is tough as hell. They managed to not only be completely insane with their vicious playing but then switch it up on a dime and bring it back to their Venezuelan roots. With Bleubird. 8 p.m. Friday, February 21 at Invasive Species Brewing, 726 NE Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 754-666-2687; invasivespeciesbrewing.com. Free show.
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In case you miss the days of Creedence Clearwater Revival (you know who you are), then Stan Lee is shining down on you, because John Fogerty is still traveling around the world singing his and CCR's hits — and there are a shit-ton of them. Songs like "Proud Mary" and "Centerfield" All of you South Floridians on Medicare and collecting Social Security, even as you hate on socialism, have another thing go your way — getting to listen to those smash hits played all over again, finally with John Fogerty back at center stage, his brackish growl the soundtrack of the 1970s with songs like "Proud Mary," "Susie Q," and "Centerfield." Rolling Stone magazine ranked Fogerty as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, and that's no bullshit. I mean I’d love to give you boomers a hard time, but the guy wrote monsters. "Fortunate Son" is a great damn song that was a middle-finger to the man and his war in Vietnam: "It ain’t me, it ain’t me / I ain’t no millionaire's son / It ain’t me, it ain’t me / I ain’t no fortunate one." That is most definitely something we need more of. And that’s all I have to say about that. 8 p.m. Saturday, February 22 at Broward Center for Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-462-0222; browardcenter.org. Tickets start at $79 via ticketmaster.com.