This Weekend’s Concert Picks: Blonde Redhead, Kuf Knotz, Nick Lowe + more

Nick Lowe

Nick Lowe performs Oct. 17 at World Cafe Live

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15
Politely speaking, the radio-friendly electronic pop found on Blonde Redhead‘s recently released Penny Sparkle is far removed from the noisy guitar work the band originally built its reputation on. But, for anyone who has followed the band’s trajectory over the last 15 years—from its Sonic-Youth-esque early years to the stripped-down art-rock of Melody Of Certain Damaged Lessons to 2007′s more commercial 23—it’s a very logical progression. (Of course, whether or not it is a welcome progression is an entirely different question.) It’s unlikely that the once-quintessential New York avant-pop trio is going to re-discover its roots any time soon, which means fans can either embrace the band’s slow-but-steady shift in musical direction, or simply hope to catch a lot of early material tonight. Blonde Redhead performs with Pantha Du Prince and Bloodfeathers at 8:30 p.m. at Electric Factory; tickets to the all ages show are $15-$22.50.

Also playing: Ingrid Michaelson, The Guggenheim Grotto at The Trocadero (8 p.m., all ages, SOLD OUT); Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers, Roy Jay at World Cafe Live (8 p.m., $25-$35)

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16
Hey, have we mentioned that Kuf Knotz‘s record-release show is this Saturday night at World Cafe Live? OK, technically, Kuf’s solo debut, BoomBox Logic, doesn’t come out on MAD Dragon Records until October 26th, which makes this more of a “record-pre-release show.” Either way, you can hear new tracks such as “Sunny Philadelphia” and “Soul Music” live (and pick up a copy of the record) during Saturday night’s performance. Kuf Knotz performs with Jawnzap 7, Don McCloskey, and Chalk And The Beige Americans at 10 p.m. at World Cafe Live; tickets to the 21+ show are $13.

Also playing: Ryan Bingham And The Dead Horses, Rustlanders at North Star Bar (10 p.m., 21+, $17); Sounds of Kaleidoscope, The Lovetones, Far-Out Fangtooth at Kung Fu Necktie (7:30 p.m., $8)

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 17
Sixty-one-year-old English songwriting legend Nick Lowe hasn’t released a proper studio album since 2007′s self-consciously titled At My Age. So you have to wonder what new life lessons the man has learned in the last three years or so. Not that he really needs to earn any more cred with his fans. This is, after all the guy who played bass in Brinsley Schwartz, produced Elvis Costello’s first five albums, and recorded with Johnny Cash (whose stepdaughter he was once married to), among other credits. More importantly, however, is his status as a music-industry-weary-songwriter’s songwriter, a quote factory who has dropped such lines of wisdom as, “When you’re younger you get influenced by people. Nowadays I just steal the stuff. If I hear a good lick I’ll just pinch it.” Indeed, at his age, Nick Lowe can do whatever the hell he wants. Nick Lowe And His Band performs with Geraint Watkins at 7:30 p.m. at World Cafe Live; tickets are $40.50-$50.50.

Also playing: Dead Kennedys, Dirty Tactics at TLA (8 p.m., $15); Agent Orange, McRad, The Flyswatters, Jukebox Zero at Kung Fu Necktie (8 p.m., 21+, $13)