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Columnist
Concert Picks
By Mark Guarino | Daily Herald Music Critic

Nick Lowe headlines the Park West Thursday.

 

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Published: 9/21/2007 12:41 AM

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Martin Sexton with Ryan Montbleau, 7:30 p.m. today at the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago. $26. (773) 472-0449.

Although he frequently performs in one-man band mode, Boston-area singer and songwriter Martin Sexton is a soul man comparable to Van Morrison, because of his riveting performances. This album is on the heels of "Seeds" (Kitchen Table), a new album. The tour will reunite him with longtime drummer Joe Bonadio.

The National with St. Vincent, 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago. $19. Sold out. (312) 559-1212.

Despite suffering from a deadly boring band name, this indie rock band from Ohio made "Boxer" (Beggars Banquet), one of the year's best albums. Capturing the grand scale of the Arcade Fire but not as chaotic, "Boxer" features lavish arrangements, brainy word play and chamber pop perfection.

Beastie Boys, 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Riviera, 4746 N. Racine Ave., Chicago, and 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island, Chicago. $50. Wednesday's show is sold out. (312) 559-1212.

The pioneering party boys of hip-hop are in town for two separate shows promoting "The Mix-Up," an all-instrumental album. The Riviera show is billed as a "Gala Event Exclusive Instrumental Show" and concertgoers are encouraged to ditch the flip-flops and baseball hats and dress up. The Charter One show is a full-scale performance where dress, presumably, is not a factor. Now strident environmentalists, the band is telling fans to bring old cell phones, PDAs, etc., for recycling booths at both shows.

Nick Lowe with Ron Sexsmith, 8 p.m. Thursday at the Park West, 322 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago. $25. (312) 559-1212.

The continually classy Nick Lowe headlines this show in celebration of "At My Age" (Yep Roc), a new album. The silver-haired singer and songwriter, 58, is held in high esteem by pop fanatics for his work producing seminal albums by Elvis Costello, the Damned, Graham Parker, as well as his work in Rockpile. The new album features his trademarks: sleek popcraft, wry lyrics, rich horn and string arrangements, and "I Trained Her to Love Me," a mean and clever addition to his canon. Canadian singer and pop songwriter Ron Sexsmith opens.