Here are this weekend’s XPN Welcomes concerts.
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 18
Bell X1 is Ireland’s best barely-kept secret. The group, originally known as Juniper, used to feature Damien Rice as its lead singer; unfortunately, it’s still often recognized for that fact, rather than for its Talking Heads- and Flaming Lips-inspired fusion of rock and electronic music. Bell X1 is a sensation in Ireland, nominated for Best Irish Band at the Meteor Music Awards three different times. It was also nominated twice for Best Irish Album and Best Irish Live Performance. However, the band’s success in the states and in the UK barely compares to its fame at home. The chance to see a festival-headlining band up close and personal is rare, but Bell X1’s current international tour for its new album, Bloodless Coup, provides just that opportunity. The new material walks the fine line between early Radiohead and contemporary UK folk like Mumford And Sons and they’ll be performing it at a series of smaller, intimate shows in the states. Bell X1 performs with Favourite Sons at 9 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are $18–$20. —Naomi Shavin
Eilen Jewel performs two shows (7:30 and 10:00 p.m.) at Tin Angel. Tickets to the 21+ show are $15.
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 19
Intuition and tenacity have driven Ray Davies’ extensive songwriting career. Davies, the prime lyricist of The Kinks, has been deemed responsible for the England-based band’s literate rock ballads. Now, 15 years after The Kinks’ split, Davies is writing more than ever. Recently he stated, “I think it’s an instinct, a desire to want to communicate things to people… you try to find a unique way of doing it.” His most recent album, See My Friends, might be his most unique attempt at communicating yet. The record is composed entirely of collaborations with well-known acts such as Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, and Mumford And Sons. Davies’ determination to create at the age of 67 outshines that of many 20-somethings. So, despite a six-month hiatus due to health concerns and a conflict-ridden relationship with his brother (once-bandmate, Dave Davies), Ray Davies is touring to promote even more new songs (and a few oldies). Ray Davies performs with Dessolf Choir at 8 pm at the Temple Performing Arts Center; tickets to the all-ages show are $55. —Caitlyn Grabenstein
Chris Smither performs with Andy Friedman at 7:30 p.m. at World Cafe Live; tickets to the all-ages show are $30-$40.
Drive-By Truckers perform with Jessica Lea Mayfield at 8 p.m. at the Theatre Of Living Arts; tickets to the 21+ show are $35.Bell X1, Chris Smither, Drive-By Truckers, Favourite Sons, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Ray Davies, XPN Welcomes