Winter Arts Guide: Pop music picks

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey(Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images/file 2018)

ERIC CHURCH The standard-bearer for country’s 21st-century outlaw wing released “Desperate Man” last October; it cements his refusal to fit in any particular box, infusing his meat-and-three sound with funk and soul. His two shows in Boston — part of his Double Down Tour — will feature distinct set lists that draw from his vast, storytelling-rich catalog. Feb. 1-2,8 p.m. $39 and up. TD Garden. 617-624-1050,

JACOB BANKS Born in Nigeria and raised in Birmingham, England, this deep-voiced crooner is one of the best examples of genre-averse streaming-era pop, his dipping into different styles from the future and the past anchored by commanding and passionate singing. Feb. 23, 6 p.m. $22 and up. Royale. 617-338-7699,


ANDERSON .PAAK “Oxnard,” the latest album from this California-based producer and musician, invites big-name guest stars like Kendrick Lamar and boundary-breaking up-and-comers like Khadja Bonet to its raucous, yet introspective party. Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m. $33 and up. Orpheum Theatre. 617-482-0106,

KELLY CLARKSON It’s probably time to retire the “inaugural American Idol” appellation from this singer’s introductions — not only is she now part of the celebrity panel on “Idol” rival “The Voice,” her catalog boasts at least a baker’s dozen of pop gems. Her 2017 album “Meaning of Life” has at least two — the flinty “Heat,” which recalls the swaggering groove of her early single “Miss Independent,” and the rip-roaring “Whole Lotta Woman.” March 8, 7 p.m. $29.50 and up. TD Garden. 617-624-1050,

ROBYN “Honey,” last year’s release from this Swedish pop auteur, was a gorgeous meditation on the healing power of the dance floor that nodded to the past (sampling Lil Louis’s house classic “French Kiss” on the simmering “Send to Robin Immediately”) while also tweaking notions of the future (the giddily loose “Beach 2k20”). Expect catharsis and a lot of dancing, often at the same time. March 11, 6 p.m. $65 and up. House of Blues. 888-693-2583,


DROPKICK MURPHYS Boston’s pugilistic punkers host another set of St. Patrick’s Day-themed gigs. Saturday’s double dip of shows in Lowell includes a matinee show and a nighttime after-party, with the latter featuring a card of boxing matches, a Dropkicks set, and karaoke. March 14, 15, and 17,6 p.m. $39.50 and up. House of Blues. 888-693-2583, Also March 16, noon and 6 p.m., at Tsongas Center, Lowell.

JAWBREAKER The prospect of these ’90s punks getting the band back together was so storied, there was once a band named after it. Their legend is well-earned — their combination of hooks, heft, and existential angst made for some of the alt-rock boom’s most enticingly prickly records. March 22, 7 p.m. $40 and up. House of Blues. 888-693-2583,

MARIAH CAREY “Caution,” last year’s full-length from this pop-soul belter, was one of the year’s most pleasantly surprising releases, with Carey employing her full arsenal of reserve over beats that throw back to her mid-’00s “Emancipation of Mimi” era — and show how much the current wave of chill-sounding yet angst-ridden R&B stars owe her. March 28, 8 p.m. $69.95 and up. Boch Center Wang Theatre. 800-982-2787,


YOB/VOIVOD Two legendary metal bands — Oregon doom-shredders Yob and Quebecian prog-thrash outfit Voivod — join forces to blow the roof off venues around America in wildly different, yet similarly bone-rattling ways. April 3, 7 p.m. $25 and up. Royale. 617-338-7699,

LET’S EAT GRANDMA Brits Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth have been making some of pop’s most gloriously weird music since they entered teenagedom; last year’s “I’m All Ears” is audacious and delightful, full of brain-Velcro hooks while also making room for 11-minute epics. April 3, 8 p.m. $20 and up. The Sinclair, Cambridge. 617-547-5200,

Maura Johnston can be reached at