Sunday, May 6, 2012

Local bands dress up this Halloween

Glenn di Benedetto of Parlour Bells as Jane's Addiction.
Glenn di Benedetto of Parlour Bells as Jane's Addiction.

Planning out which shows you’re going to check out on any given weekend in Boston is hard enough; but a slate of performances from Prince, the B-52s, the Beatles, Amy Winehouse, and the Replacements presents even more problems than usual. It’s just another installment of the longstanding Boston tradition of local talent dressing up in the clothes, and the tunes, of their musical heroes. There are dozens of shows to choose from, but below is a selection of standout efforts we feel deserve some extra recognition. 

Anyone can sound like the band they already sound like. Rice Edmonston of scorching guitar rockers Full Body Anchor chose to tackle the wiry, danceable charms of the B-52s. It’s a pretty big leap from his usual style, says Edmonston, who’ll be partnering with a slew of friends from bands like Varsity Drag and Permafrost under the name Bikini Whale. “[The B-52s] are one of our favorite bands of all time, amazingly creative and innovative,’’ he says.
With Louder My Dear as INXS; Gondoliers as Mötley Crüe; and Neon Angels as the Runaways. Friday, 8 p.m. Radio, 379-381 Somerville Ave., Somerville. Tickets: $5. 617-764-0005.
Sometimes it’s great to see a band paying homage to their discernible influences. “Kasabian was an easy pick for us,’’ says Ian McCarthy of the snarling, Brit-influenced Dirty Bombs. “They were the band [bandmate] Jason Dunn got me into that made me realize we could pull off this whole concept we had for Dirty Bombs.’’ Emeen Zarookian’s band Spirit Kid is probably an even more natural match as the Beatles. He’ll be performing with members of the equally Beatles-esque Oranjuly, as well as Girlfriends. “There’s always an element of curiosity like, ‘Can they really pull that off?’ but in our case we are committed to doing it and doing it right or else we wouldn’t even bother,’’ he says.
With Lindsey Starr as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Endless Wave as Ride. Friday, 10 p.m. at the Pill at Great Scott. Tickets: $5. 617-566-9014,
Bikini Whale as the B-52s.

“We will be performing a vintage Jane’s Addiction set, pulled straight from our memories of the Ritual de lo Habitual tour,’’ says Parlour Bells’ Glenn DiBenedetto. “For Nate Leavitt and I, it is only a stretch in that we’ll be revisiting an earlier version of ourselves, when we wanted to be Jane’s Addiction . . . in high school.’’
With Whores at the Door (members of the Acre, Big East, Blackbutton) as the Pixies; OldJack as Stereophonics; Limbless Lovers as Siouxsie and the Banshees; and the Dahkness (members of Big East, Forest Henderson, Backup Factor, Big Sway, and Beat Surrender) as the Darkness. Friday, 8 p.m. Radio, 379-381 Somerville Ave., Somerville. Tickets: $5. 617-764-0005.
It’s a cover show within a cover show, says Pat Healy, who’ll perform songs by U2 on the ukulele under his normal Uke Springsteen cover persona as Uke2. “The chord progressions of the songs are similar enough that the songs easily fit inside of each other,’’ he says.
With Full Time Dreamers as Cobra-Kai, a tribute to ’80s hair metal. Saturday, 8 p.m. Midway Cafe, 3496 Washington St., Jamaica Plain. $5. 617-524-9038,
“Re-creating or reinterpreting Prince’s sound is not easy,’’ says Muy Cansado’s Chris Mulvey. “For show-goers, that weekend is all about pretending you’re someone you’re not. Having that spilling over into the entertainment is a natural extension.’’ Speaking of entertainment, the Lights Out will be taking on the catalog of Michael Jackson.
With Sidewalk Driver as Spinal Tap, Brownboot as the Beatles. Saturday, 8 p.m. Church. Tickets: $12. 617-236-7600,
“It’s a blast for both the bands and the fans,’’ says Gregory Most of the soulful rock act Missing Ships, who’ll be decked out in the metaphorical beehives of Amy Winehouse and the Dap-Kings this weekend. “For the bands it’s a chance to put on a musical costume and live in another’s shoes for an entire album.’’
With Carlisle Sound as the Kinks, Desperate Kingdom as PJ Harvey, and Ad Frank as Nick Cave and the Ad Seeds. Sunday, 7 p.m. Church. Tickets: $10. 617-236-7600,
It’s Halloween at dance party Throwed every week anyway, but DJs performing cover sets as other DJs is about as meta a concept as it gets. “All of the resident DJs of Throwed are dressing up as their favorite DJ in costume and performing as they would,’’ spinning both originals and the songs they’d normally select, Eric Marcelino explains of the concept. He’ll be performing, and dressing up, as superstar dubstep artist Skrillex.
Throwed Haunted Mansion, Sunday 9 p.m. Middle East Downstairs. Tickets: $12-$15. 617-864-3278,
Michael Jackson’s “Thriller’’ is a song that’s become synonymous with Halloween, which explains why it’s a natural fit, says Berklee College of Music assistant professor Tom Appleman. He’ll be producing a live performance of the “Thriller’’ album, made up of Berklee students, alumni, faculty, and friends, with an oversize band, choreographed dancers, costumes, and (we’re assuming) slightly better production values than you’ll find at most of these indie-rock shows. “I believe when Halloween comes around people think about Michael’s video and how scary yet epic it was, as well as how well put together the whole album is start to finish.’’
“Thriller’’ Live. Monday, 8:15 p.m. Berklee Performance Center. Tickets: $8-$13 (in advance), $12-$17 (day of show). 617-747-2261,

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