Tonight’s Concert Picks: Black Francis at The Abbey, Ex Friends at The Fire, XPN Welcomes Arlo Guthrie to the McCarter Theatre

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Pixies frontman Black Francis comes to The Abbey Bar tonight.  When his influential college-rock band called it quits in 1993, Francis (born Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV) turned the sudden void in his life into the start a solo career that now includes a couple of 4AD releases, multiple aliases and an eventual Pixies reunion.  Recently Francis struck up a collaboration with Reid Paley, which resulted in the 2011 LP Paley & Francis.  In addition to Paley and Francis providing guitars and vocals, the Nashville-recorded album features Muscle Shoals studio stalwarts Spooner Oldham (piano) and David Hood (bass).  Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show with Reid Paley can be found here.   Watch a live video of the duo performing “Magic Cup” below.

Philly punk band Ex Friends play The Fire tonight.  The gruff and growling outfit is the side project of Plow United bassist Joel Tannenbaum, who put in calls to local musicians JP Flexner, Audrey Crash and Jayme Guokas to fill out the band’s sound.  Ex Friends released their self-titled full-length on Paper + Plastick Records last September; you can stream the fast-paced, raw LP in full here.  Tickets and information for the all-ages show with Nobody Yet, Welter, Fever Charm and The Adults can be found here.  Below, stream “The Legend of the Holy Drinker” from a recent Ex Friends 7″.

XPN welcomes folk legend Arlo Guthrie to the McCarter Theatre.  Tonight’s performance will be a special tribute to Arlo’s late father and American songmaster Woody Guthrie in celebration of the latter’s 100th birthday.  Throughout his own storied and lengthy career Arlo has followed in his father’s footsteps, speaking out against social injustices and singing for a brighter future.  Tickets and information for this afternoon’s show can be found here.  Go here to watch Arlo perform his father’s “This Land is Your Land” with the Boston Pops.

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