City Planner: Friday 11/10
John Legend @ Mythtoday's A-List: "Sophomore jinxes happen when artists misjudge the pivot off their breakthrough success--they either stagnate in place or overreach toward phase two. Once Again, John Legend's follow-up to his multi-platinum, multi-Grammy debut, Get Lifted, adroitly avoids both pitfalls with a gracefully calibrated move from funky neo-soul to vintage pop-soul. Like Alicia Keys, Legend is a musical sophisticate who knows how to meld subtle songcraft and troubled narratives with bourgeois self-confidence. His saving graces are his lack of vocal hubris--he cans the melisma in favor of more sincere phrases--and a knack for songwriting that enables him to collaborate with producers as diverse as Kanye West, Craig Street, and Will.i.am without sacrificing control. If the touchstones of Once Again are Burt Bacharach and Babyface in place of Lifted's Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder, well, listen to the knockout ballad "Again" or the whimsical toe-tapper "P.D.A. (We Just Don't Care)" and tell me it's a mistake."
With Robin Thicke. All ages. $25. 7:00 p.m.
James Hunter @ Varsity Theater
Gilded Age (EP release) @ Hexagon
The Alarmists @ Whole
Patricia Hampl @ the Fitz
Bridge Club @ Turf Club
Glad Version @ 400 Bar
Mac Lethal @ 7th St.
Savage Aural Hotbed (CD release) @ First Ave
Shotgun Monday @ Big V's
Urban Explorers @ Mill City Museum