The week in music, from San Francisco rap to the return of grungy ’90s band Helium
Tuesday: Nacho Picasso
Seattle’s Jesse Robinson – known by his stage name, Nacho Picasso – is an up-and-coming rapper whose music is layered with clever lyricism, catchy hooks and witty, relevant references.
Wednesday: Kemp Harris
Singer-songwriter Kemp Harris’ folk-Americana style harkens back to early 20th century country blues. Harris’ voice is strong and passionate, yet soft and somber. Harris’s softer tunes (“Didn’t it Rain,” “Nightlife”) emulate American blues greats such as Willie McTell, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Robert Johnson. Harris also incorporates Chicago blues influences in songs such as “Sweet Weepin Jesus” and “Tryin Times.”
Thursday: Ross Livermore Band
Boston-based rock-soul foursome The Ross Livermore Band fuses elements of bands such as The Allman Brothers, Phish and The Alabama Shakes, and Livermore’s soulful voice combines with funky guitar riffs to form an unmistakable sound. The group has recorded standout original tracks (“Change It for the World,” “Fools in Love,” “Faithful”) as well as covers (“Valerie,” “Message in a Bottle”).
Friday: The Van Burens
The Van Burens are a rock group with roots in funk, blues and soul that has teamed with multiple vocalists, such as Nicole Henley and Hayley Jane. The band’s latest official album release was “Presidential Lovefest” back in 2014.
Saturday: Mary Timony Plays Helium
As former lead vocalist and guitarist of ’90s rock band Helium, Mary Timony is one of the true pioneers of indie rock. She returns Saturday as part of a short tour of the East Coast and Midwest (ending June 15) performing some of Helium’s biggest hits – a grungy sound showcasing heavy, fuzzy guitars and Timony’s lower-register vocals – with members of the band Hospitality.