The Ticket: What’s happening in the arts world

Lori McKenna performs at the Church of the Covenant on Jan. 25.
Rick Diamond/Getty Images/file
Lori McKenna performs at the Church of the Covenant on Jan. 25.


Pop & Rock

NICE GUYS Low-end-rattling, screamy guitar frenzies that combine the hyperactive energy of basement-show mosh pits, the menacing basslines of grunge, and the gum-on-your-Chuck-Taylor griminess of scuzz rock with self-effacing humor. Jan. 22, 8 p.m. $5. O’Brien’s Pub. 617-782- 6245,

SLEIGH BELLS Vocalist Alexis Krauss and guitarist/knob-twiddler Derek Miller’s jubilant, chaotic noise-pop is a much-needed tonic to the bedheaded background music that dominates playlists these days. “Kid Kruschev,” their latest EP, is jumpy and nervy, Krauss’s belting and Miller’s musical sorcery converging and splitting apart while drums thunder around them. Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m. $25 and up. Brighton Music Hall. 617-779-0140,


THE POSIES Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow from Seattle’s power-pop legends (whose 1993 confection “Dream All Day” was one of the early alt-rock boom’s more delightful left-field hits) return to their roots, playing their sweetly sour, hook-heavy songs as a duo a la their beginnings 30-plus years ago. Jan. 26, 8 p.m. $22 and up. City Winery Boston. 617-933-8047, MAURA JOHNSTON

Folk & World

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LORI McKENNA More good works facilitated through music: Award-winning country singer-songwriter McKenna (insert obligatory “Stoughton’s own” here) uses hers Thursday evening in a performance that will raise funds for the Women’s Lunch Place, a day shelter serving homeless women in the Boston area. Jan. 25, 7 p.m. $35-$235. Church of the Covenant, Boston.

ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO The roots-rock giant arrives on a mission. Escovedo, who suffered from hepatitis C for two decades, is using his “Think About the Link” tour to raise awareness of the connection between that and other viruses and certain forms of cancer. He’ll be performing his 2001 album, “A Man Under the Influence,” in its entirety with the aid of a formidable ensemble that includes the man who produced that record, Chris Stamey (who opens). Jan. 21, 8 p.m. $30-$35. City Winery. 617-933-8047,

THE INFAMOUS STRINGDUSTERS While these Nashville progressive bluegrassers cool their heels in anticipation of a possible Grammy for their 2017 album, “Laws of Gravity,” they’ve released an EP of covers that finds them putting their interpretative spin on songs by the Allman Brothers, the Cure, Marvin Gaye, Daft Punk, and My Morning Jacket. Jan. 26, 8 p.m. $20. The Paradise. 800-745-3000,


Jazz & Blues


TINSLEY ELLIS The pyrotechnic guitarist melds the voltage of British blues-rock with the earthy sounds of his native South, from Memphis soul to James Brown funk to the blues of B.B. King. Jan. 24, 8 p.m. $20-$26. City Winery, Boston. 617-933-8047,

MATT GLASER QUARTET The marvelous jazz and roots fiddle player, founder and artistic director of Berklee’s American Roots Music Program, has played with everyone from Stéphane Grappelli to Ralph Stanley. The music of his quartet — bassist and vocalist Brittany Karlson, guitarist Jon Wheatley, and accordion virtuoso Sonny Barbato — encompasses, in his words, “swing, jazz, country, and folk all played with a chamber music sensibility.” Jan. 27, 8 p.m. $15. Third Life Studio, 33 Union Square, Somerville.,

RA-KALAM’S 70th B’EARTHDAY CELEBRATION Drum master Ra-Kalam Bob Moses marks a major milestone with a concert featuring the searingly pure guitar of spiritual master Bhapuji Tisziji Muñoz, plus pianist John Medeski, bassists John Lockwood and Don Pate, and fellow drummer Tony Falco. Jan 28, 8:30 p.m. $20. Lily Pad, 1353 Cambridge St., Cambridge. 617-395-1393,



BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Composer Thomas Adès, currently serving as the BSO’s artistic partner, returns to the podium for an enticing program devoted to his own music (a suite from his chamber opera “Powder Her Face”) as well as works by Stravinsky (Divertimento from “The Fairy’s Kiss”) and Beethoven (Symphony No. 8). Also featured will be violinist Augustin Hadelich performing Gyorgy Ligeti’s otherworldly Violin Concerto. Jan. 25-27, Symphony Hall. 617-266-1200,


IVES VIOLIN SONATAS Violinist Stefan Jackiw and pianist Jeremy Denk traverse all four Violin Sonatas by Charles Ives on a Celebrity Series of Boston program whose roster also includes the vocal ensemble Hudson Shad performing the original versions of the hymn tunes that Ives freely quoted in his music. Jan. 26, 8 p.m., Jordan Hall. 617-482-6661, 

HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY Violinist Asslinn Nosky and violist Max Mandel are the featured soloists in Mozart’s sublime “Sinfonia Concertante,” to be heard along with two Symphonies by Haydn (Nos. 49 and 87). Harry Christophers conducts. Jan. 26 and 28, Symphony Hall. 617-266-3605,




SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE Coursing through this lively production is the sheer love of theater and the eccentric, obsessive, theatrical people who make it. A New England premiere of the stage adaptation of the 1998 film, “Shakespeare in Love’’ stars George Olesky as the besotted Bard and Jennifer Ellis as the woman (disguised as a man) who captures his heart. Directed by Scott Edmiston, with his customary elan. Through Feb. 10. SpeakEasy Stage Company at Wimberly Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600,

IN THE ERUPTIVE MODE The voices of six women swept up in the Arab Spring are brought to life in this US premiere, written and directed by Kuwait-born Sulayman Al-Bassam. Boston audiences may recall his “The Speaker’s Progress,’’ a variation on “Twelfth Night,’’ staged in 2011 at ArtsEmerson. Jan. 24-28. Production by Sulayman Al-Bassam Theatre. Presented by ArtsEmerson. At Robert J. Orchard Stage, Paramount Center, Boston. 617-824-8400,

HYPE MAN: A BREAK BEAT PLAY World premiere of a new work by Idris Goodwin, returning to Company One Theatre after a successful staging five years ago of his splendid “How We Got On.’’ Goodwin’s “Hype Man,’’ a play with music, focuses on a hip-hop trio that is on the cusp of success when a police shooting of an unarmed black teen forces them to confront what are described as “issues of friendship, race, and privilege.’’ Directed by Shawn LaCount. Jan. 26-Feb. 24. Company One Theatre. At Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600,



GRUPO CORPO With its Celebrity Series return to Boston, this dazzling Brazilian troupe is sure to bring some much-needed heat. The company fuses classical and modern technique, most of it inflected with the vibrant diversity and spirited energy of Brazilian dance forms. The program features two new works by resident choreographer Rodrigo Pederneiras. Jan. 26-28. $60-$75. Boch Center Shubert Theatre. 617-482-6661,

TABULA RASA MULTIDISCIPLINARY EXPERIMENT The eclectic initiative presents “headbone,” which begins with an art and video retrospective at 6 p.m., followed by an improvisational dance and music experiment at 8. Musicians, movers, and artists in the audience are invited to join in the second half of the show. Open dance party at 10. Jan. 26. $8-$35 sliding scale. Warehouse XI, Somerville. 617-223-7822,

DANCING WITH THE STARS: LIVE! With this all-new production, “Light Up the Night,” the hit television show presents a showcase of contemporary and ballroom dances, from steamy duets to high-energy ensemble numbers. Frankie Muniz and Jordan Fisher are the special guest stars. Jan. 25. $47.25-$115.75. Boch Center Wang Theatre. 800-982-2787,



LEGACY OF THE COOL: A TRIBUTE TO BARKLEY L. HENDRICKS Hendricks, who died last April, made provocative portraits of people in his community. Here artists explore what it means to honor the black experience. Through March 3. Bakalar & Paine Galleries, Massachusetts College of Art, 621 Huntington Ave. 617-879-7337,

BARBARA SWAN: DRAWINGS FOR TRANSFORMATIONS Swan and poet Anne Sexton struck up a friendship as Bunting Fellows at Radcliffe. When Sexton wrote “Transformations,” her 1971 take on Grimm fairy tales, she invited Swan to collaborate. The two sometimes had markedly different interpretations of the stories. Through Feb. 14. Alpha Gallery, 460 Harrison Ave. 617-536-4465,

ARTIFICIAL CREATIVITY: NEURAL NETWORK AND AUGMENTED INTELLIGENCE ART How do artists employ artificial intelligence? Work in this show includes virtual reality, portraits drawn by a data-driven program, music videos generated by sound, and ’bots that respond imaginatively to prompts. Through Feb. 18. Boston Cyberarts Gallery, 141 Green St., Jamaica Plain. 617-522-6710,  CATE McQUAID


LINEPLAY: TAUT/SLACK The multimedia artist Samantha Fields’s tactile installation invites visitors to slow down and experience the pleasures of handmade textiles and ceramics. There’s a loom as well, for those who enjoy the lulling rhythm of weaving. Through March 18. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St. 617-426-6500,

WANGECHI MUTU: A PROMISE TO COMMUNICATE The Kenyan-born artist’s works address cultural fissures and flashpoints such as colonialism and sexuality. In her new commission for the ICA, humanitarian-aid blankets lay a foundation to explore disconnections in a shrinking world. Through Dec. 31. Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Drive. 617-478-3100,

 DANGEROUS LIAISONS REVISITED In the eighth century, the Chinese emperor Ming Huang was driven from power due to his relationship with his consort, Yang Guifei. A Ming period painting depicts the pair, and artists to this day respond to their tragic love story. Through April 22. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 508-799-4406, CATE McQUAID



LAUGHTER ON TAP Andrew Mayer headlines this month’s edition, which features Alana Foden and guests Laura Burns, Joe Kozlowsky, Tooky Kavanagh, and Adam Abelson. Hosted by Kathleen DeMarle and Kristin Carnes. Jan. 22, 7 p.m. Free. Meadhall, 4 Cambridge Center, Cambridge. 617-714-4658.

CHRISTOPHER TITUS His onstage persona is intense, unblinking as he delivers blasts on modern politics, family troubles, love, and social issues. He’s in town one night only. Jan 24, 7:30 p.m. $25. Laugh Boston, 425 Summer St., Boston. 617-725-2844,

ARI SHAFFIR PRESENTS THE WANDERING JEW TOUR The trenchant storyteller and stand-up comedian released two Netflix specials — “Children” and “Adulthood” — under the title “Double Negative” last year. Joe List opens. Jan. 27, 7 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. $24-$29. The Wilbur, 246 Tremont St., Boston. 617-248-9700,



OWL FAMILY FUN AT UNO PIZZERIA AND GRILL Perhaps the two best ways to keep your kids happy (and unearth your inner child) are pizza and arts & crafts — so why not have both in the same place? Open to ages 6 and up, this event hosted by Paint Nite will provide all the paints, tools, and pizza you’ll need, so all you’ll have to bring is a creative mind and an empty stomach. Jan. 21, 11 a.m-1 p.m. $40. Uno’s Kenmore Square, 645 Beacon St.

BLACK CAT RESCUE NIGHT Want more pizza? Look no further than Flatbread Co., which will be hosting Black Cat Rescue for a night of good food for a good cause. Dedicated to rescuing stray cats, BCR will be selling merchandise and raffling off prizes, and a portion of pizza sales from the night will go toward providing better care for the many feline friends looking for homes. Jan 23, 2018 5-11:30 p.m. Free. Flatbread Co. at Sacco’s Bowl Haven 45 Day St., Somerville.

IMAGINARY BEASTS THEATRE: 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA For those looking for an afternoon of captivating storytelling, swashbuckling adventure, and a hint of cheeky banter, look no further than the Imaginary Beasts’ production of the sci-fi classic. Performed in the new Charlestown Working Theater, this maritime tale of discovery and camaraderie promises an exciting time for both old and new explorers. Jan. 27, 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. $10-$24. Charlestown Working Theater, 442 Bunker Hill St., Charlestown. ROBERT STEINER


Jan. 30 Benjamin Clementine at Berklee Performance Center

Feb. 7 Girlpool at Paradise Rock Club

Feb. 16 Robert Plant & the Sensational Space Shifters at Orpheum Theater

Feb. 17 George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic at House of Blues

Feb. 17 Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds at Boston Opera House

Feb. 18 X Ambassadors at House of Blues