JUDAS PRIEST, MAVERIK CENTER, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m., $39.50-$59.50
I can recommend this show using a couple of different lines of thinking. The first one is the most obvious — Judas Priest are true rock ‘n’ roll legends, old-school heavy metal guys who have been plying their sound since the ’70s. And it’s a sound that’s instantly recognizable, thanks to the band’s twin guitars and lead singer Rob Halford’s distinct howl — they don’t call him the Metal God for nothing. Another reason to go is that the band actually has a new album this year, Redeemer of Souls, so this isn’t just another oldies metal band on the road; the Priest is out there with new songs. Of course, you’ll still hear all the classics like “Breaking the Law” and “Living After Midnight.” Some might quibble that it’s not the “classic” Priest lineup since guitarist K.K. Downing in 2011, but it’s sure to still be a raucous good time. Steel Panther opens the show.
RUN THE JEWELS, THE URBAN LOUNGE, Monday, Nov. 17, 9 p.m., $20
The hip-hop duo made up of El-P and Killer Mike is doing things altogether differently when it comes to their career, and it’s working perfectly. Both men are insanely creative entities in their own right, capable of busting out solo albums, but together their powers are magnified, as evidenced by the two excellent albums they’ve released so far. The tunes are sparse, with El-P providing production that is in turns harrowing, buoyant or mind-boggling. The same goes for Killer Mike’s lyrical flow, a rapid-fire stream of thoughts and verbal salvos that is a blast to listen to — on repeat. Ratking and Despot open the show. They also approach the business side of music in a different way — both Run the Jewels’ albums arrived via a free download, giving both hardcore fans and casual observers the chance to hear some of the best hip-hop of the year.
DAVID BAZAN AND THE PASSENGER STRING QUARTET, THE STATE ROOM, Monday, Nov. 17, 8 p.m., $21
David Bazan has one of the most distinct songwriting voices around, one that’s remained unwavering in its ability to convey emotion even as the man himself suffered through personal and spiritual crises. Perhaps best known for his decade of leading Pedro the Lion, Bazan ditched that name years ago, releasing subsequent new music in his own name and under the Headphones moniker. His latest album teams Bazan with the classical experimentalists Passenger String Quartet, inspired by a one-night live collaboration a couple of years back. Duly impressed with the results, they hit the studio and recorded a set of songs spanning Bazan’s career, creating a perfect melding of old and new. David Dondero opens the show, and should provide a perfect appetizer for Bazan’s show.
THE WYTCHES, KILBY COURT, Thursday, Nov. 13, 7:30 p.m., $8
If you can find a tastier batch of psych-tinged garage-rock from a younger group of cats than The Wytches, I’d sure like to hear it. The English band’s Annabel Dream Reader album, released in August, is a blast from a rock-y past, full of hooks and aggression. It’s hard to imagine how these youngsters came to sound like some ’60s crew straight off the Nuggets compilation, but so it goes. They met as students in college, and eventually formed a surf-rock sound that got the notice of Fat Possum records in the states, who released a single about a year ago. They signed with Partisan Records in the U.S. last winter to put out a full-length, and the glorious result was recorded in two days with former Coral guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones. If you’re a fan of old Jesus and Mary Chain, this group could be for you. Max Pain and the Groovies open.
THE BLACK KEYS, MAVERIK CENTER, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 8 p.m., $30-$60
In an era when finding actual rock ‘n’ roll bands anywhere near the top of the charts is pretty much impossible, The Black Keys stand out. Thank God. the duo’s evolution from a bluesy twosome into a more expansive, soulful rock and pop machine might be a turn-off to some long-time fans who still wish they were touring in a van and delivering reheating traditional blues riffs, but Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have bigger ideas, and their albums have gotten better as they’ve explored those ideas. Collaborating with producer Danger Mouse on their most-recent release, Turn Blue, the Keys dig into some funk and psychedelia this time around, as wall as straightforward rock. It’s the band’s eighth full-length, and arguably their best, and should translate the large stage of the Maverik Center just fine. Jake Bugg opens the show.
DELTRON 3030, THE DEPOT, Monday, Nov. 10, 9 p.m., $20
Even though Deltron 3030 took more than a decade between album releases — 14 years to be exact — you’ve heard the members of the band in other projects, most notably as members and collaborators with animated supergroup Gorillaz. Producer Dan the Automator, rapper Del the Funky Homosapien and DJ Kid Koala all have healthy solo careers as well. But when they join up for the spaced-out tunes filling their self-titled 2000 album and last year’s Event II, they deliver some music few would even think of as “hip-hop.” It’s funky, jazzy, and stretches out in all kinds of directions lyrically as Del raps about taking on intergalactic corporate overlords. Live, they trio adds live guitar, bass and drums to flesh out the tunes in most excellent ways. I just saw the band last week, and it was well worth checking out. Add in Kid Koala doing a masterful turntable set to open the show, and it’s one excellent way to spend a Monday night.
WAMPIRE, THE GARAGE, Friday, Nov. 7, 9 p.m., $tba
Wampire songwriting duo Rocky Tinder and Eric Phipps didn’t take much time to rest after touring for about a solid year after the release of their debut album, Curiosity, last year. Rather than relaxing and basking in the attention that album brought to their surreal brand of pop-rock, they jumped right back into the studio and started working on a new set of songs with producer Jacob Portait (of Unknown Mortal Orchestra) in Brooklyn. The songs on their new album, Bazaar, are a natural extension of their first, blending some insistent hooks with some off-kilter riffs and nods toward old pop tropes. The duo added some new blood to the recording process in touring drummer Thomas Hoganson, who also has skills on piano and sax. The expanded studio lineup certainly served Wampire well on Bazaar, and a touring version of the band will no doubt bring even more to the table when the band plays The Garage. Locals Color Animal and 90s Television are also on the bill.