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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Lantern at Johnny Brenda’s, Black Prairie at MilkBoy, Blonde Redhead at Union Transfer, XPN Welcomes David Johansen of New York Dolls to World Cafe Live, XPN Welcomes Rhett Miller to The Abbey Bar

Local rock ‘n’ roll trio Lantern headline Johnny Brenda’s tonight.  Self-described as “proto-biker-punk-blues,” the one thing that will strike any listener upon diving into 2012′s Dream Mine EP (Bathetic) for the first time is the sheer amount of blown-out fuzz and noise that distorts the classically punk vocals of front-man Zachary Devereux Fairbrother.  Citing influences as surprising as early folk and blues and as obvious as early rock ‘n’ roll and ’60s-’70s punk, Lantern’s music is a combustion of nitty gritty Americana.  Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show with Dong Johnson and Amanda X can be found here.  Below, watch the video for “Train Song.”

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Just Announced: Blonde Redhead Coming to Union Transfer on 1/17

Dream pop darlings Blonde Redhead have added a January 17th show at Union Transfer to their current tour. The three-piece band, made up of Japanese singer Kazu Makino and Italian twins Amedeo and Simone Pace, are known for spreading “noise rock” to mainstream airwaves through their innovative sound. When Makino’s nearly fatal 2004 horse accident challenged the band to explore new themes and lyrics, they saw unprecedented success with their seventh studio album,  2007′s 23, followed up with 2010′s Penny Sparkle.Tickets for the all-ages go on sale Friday, December 7th here. Below, watch the video for “23.”

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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)

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More contests! Follow The Key on Twitter for a chance to win a pair of passes to see Blonde Redhead at Electric Factory

Blonde RedheadWe just love giving away free stuff. This time around, we’ve got a handful of passes to see Blonde Redhead perform at Electric Factory this Friday, October 15th. (The show—which features an opening performance by local act Blood Feathers—is part of Electric Factory’s 15-year anniversary celebration.) Simply follow The Key on Twitter by noon on Thursday, October 14th, and you’ll automatically be entered to win. (Plus, you’ll get all of our tweets about future ticket giveaways.) We’ll select a few winners at random, and let you know via Twitter if you’ve won by 5 p.m. that evening. Of course, October 15th is the same night as the sold-out Ingrid Michaelson show we’re also giving away tickets to—so, if you happen to win both contests, you’ll have quite a dilemma on your hands, won’t you?