You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Critic’s picks: Pop music

Isaac Brekken

JAMES MCCARTNEY Yes, that McCartney. But if you look past the surname, the young singer-songwriter has plenty to offer on his own with a familiar but solid brand of winsome pop. The early show is sold out but the late show still has seats. May 20, 9:30 p.m. Club Passim. Tickets: $15. 617-492-7679,

PITBULL & KE$HA This headscratcher of a double bill sounds like a sitcom waiting to happen. Expect Pitbull to bark out dancefloor dominators like “Don’t Stop the Party” and “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)” and Ke$ha (inset) to pour on the glittery party girl pop of tunes like “TiK ToK” and “Die Young.” May 23, 7:30 p.m. Comcast Center. Tickets: $40-$155. 800-745-3000,

Continue reading below

THE THERMALS Be sure to caffeinate before you hit the dancefloor in Cambridge because these Portland rockers aim to get you moving with their gleefully dirty, in-your-face insistent garage pop. Touring in support of their most recent album “Desperate Ground,” it should be an energetic night. May 23, 8 p.m. The Sinclair. Tickets: $15. 800-745-3000,

THE DARLINGS These Boston mainstays were country rock before country rock was cool, and they remain cool as ever. Simon and Kelly and the boys are part of a great night of vibrant torch and twang from local rock veterans that includes former Shods/Pills member Dave Aaronoff and the Protagonists — whose four night residency at the club kicks off with this show — and rockabilly ravers the Invaders. May 25, 9 p.m. Lizard Lounge. Tickets: $10. 617-547- 0759,

Sarah Rodman can be reached at
Loading comments...

Wake up with today's top stories.

Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of