FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12
Just like a folktronica band to bring a synthesizer to a campfire singalong. Tunng‘s most recent album, …And Then We Saw Land (released by Thrill Jockey back in March) finds the British folk act further distancing itself from the sonic experimentation of its earlier work (including constantly-shifting song structures and the use of sea shells as percussion) in favor of more traditional songwriting. Songs such as opener “Hustle”—when stripped down to its most basic guitar, banjo, and vocal-harmony core—are every bit as familiar and pleasing as the next gentle acoustic track. But, try as they may, Tunng can’t take the freak out of its freak folk—Saw still has its share of electronic flourishes and other sonic textures, which can distract from the songs almost as often as they subtly support them. Tunng performs with The 1990s and Buried Beds at 9:30 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are $12.
Also playing: Maserati + The Psychic Paramount, Steve Moore at Kung Fu Necktie (7 p.m., 21+, $10); Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti + Os Mutantes, Diva at The Trocadero (9 p.m., all ages, $19); Robert Randolph And The Family Band + Tauk at Theater Of Living Arts (9 p.m., $40)
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 13
In late September, Ben Folds descended from his throne atop Piano Pop Mountain to deliver Lonely Avenue to the masses. A collaboration with celebrated English novelist and essayist Nick Hornby (author of High Fidelity and About A Boy), the album features music written by Folds for words penned by Hornby. The results are mixed: During his solo career, Folds has progressively gone from carefully picking the objects of his snarky scorn to seemingly lashing out at anyone who pisses him off at any given moment—so, with Hornby dictating who Folds should wryly tear to shreds this time around, who knows what level of sincerity can be found in the music? One thing is for certain, though—God help you if your dogs annoy your neighbors (or if you’re Levi Johnston). Ben Folds performs at 8 p.m. at Tower Theater; tickets to the show are $21-$94.
Also playing: Ani DiFranco + Melissa Ferrick at Keswick Theatre (8 p.m., $25-$45); Charlie Hunter Trio at World Cafe Live (7:30 & 10:30 p.m., $19-$21)
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 14
Brendan Benson And The Posies + Aqueduct at The Trocadero (7:30 p.m., all ages, $23); Sinatrah + Minor Stars at Kung Fu Necktie (8 p.m., $8)