Music News & Reviews

Three to See: Birds of Chicago, Avi Buffalo, Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Roots music artists Allison Russell and J.T. Nero, a wife-husband duo known collectively as Birds of Chicago, will play Saturday in Grass Valley.
Roots music artists Allison Russell and J.T. Nero, a wife-husband duo known collectively as Birds of Chicago, will play Saturday in Grass Valley.

Birds of Chicago

Rock/folk/Americana

8 p.m. Saturday

Center for the Arts

There is something almost otherworldly about the chemistry between singers J.T. Nero and Allison Russell, the husband/wife duo known as Birds of Chicago. Their songs are collisions of smoky jazz, urban folk rock and doo-wop-tickled country, and are full of intensely entwined closeness and aching longing. Speaking of chemistry: The opener is the sibling trio T Sisters, who sport a sassy vocal prowess with equal doses of heart and “wow” factor. 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley. $18. www.thecenterforthearts.org. Both acts also play the Sutter Creek Theatre on Sunday night.

Avi Buffalo

Indie rock/pop

8 p.m. Monday

Harlow’s

With about six weeks to go in 2014, it looks like Avi Buffalo is going to win the best freakin’ album title of the year award for its sophomore release, “At Best Cuckold.” Does this sound like an album named by a band that takes things too seriously? Nope. And neither does that zippy Sunday road trip indie pop that starts out like an innocent cruise through Laurel Canyon to check out the former home of the Byrds, but ends up on some rocky back road leading to a concealed opium den inhabited by the Shins and the Flaming Lips. With Los Angeles Police Department. 2708 J St., Sacramento. $12. www.harlows.com.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Holiday/progressive rock

4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Wednesday (two shows)

Sleep Train Arena

In 2004, Paul O’Neill, the progressive rock wizard behind the indelible holiday touring act the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, handed a $100 bill to a young fan whom he’d just met at the group’s Arco Arena show, with instructions to give the money to his father to go toward the boy’s Christmas present. The TSO spirit of giving seems to be year-round, but during the holidays, it gives daily to audiences coast-to-coast, one guitar-driven, fire-breathing, laser-lit holiday rock extravaganza at a time. 1 Sports Pkwy, Sacramento. $35-$75. www.sleeptrainarena.com.

Looking ahead: Johnny Marr, Dec. 12 at Ace of Spades

The former guitarist of the legendary Smiths continues his vibrant and eclectic solo career, releasing a new record, “Playland” last month. 1417 R St., Sacramento. $25. www.aceofspadessac.com.

Editor’s note: This article was changed Nov. 21 to correct information about Johnny Marr.

  Comments