This week: New Kids bringing older selves to Tacoma Done

  • By Sharon Wootton Special to The Herald
  • Thursday, November 20, 2008 12:39pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

The New Kids on the Block are no longer new but now an adult version of the award-winning band that helped define the modern boy band in the late 1980s, paving the way for Backstreet Boys, Take That and others.

Also known as NKOTB, the pop band performs Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.

The New Kids failed to pull off several reunion attempts after disbanding in 1994. But last May, the band released its first single, “Summertime,” and stayed together for an album, “The Block,” in September (which topped Billboard’s Top Pop Albums) and its current tour.

Joan Baez: Traveling with music from her new album, “Day After Tomorrow,” plus old favorites, the interpretive folksinger continues to hold her long-time fans as well as gather new ones with inspiring songs and her signature soprano voice.

This year marks her 50th year of performing. She’s marched for civil rights with Martin Luther King Jr., inspired countless political activists to stand up against oppression, and stood with Nelson Mandela during his 90th birthday celebration at London’s Hyde Park in June.

She introduced Bob Dylan to the folk music scene as well as helped give exposure to more recent singer-songwriters. Outside of perhaps Holly Near, no performer has put herself on the line, risked more, or inspired more in the last 50 years than Joan Baez.

M83: Since its spring release, M83’s fifth album, “Saturdays = Youth,” has debuted at the peak of the Billboard Top New Artist Heatseekers Chart and went to No. 1 on the CMJ Top 200. The CD reviews have been very positive. Rolling Stone praises the album as “70mm songs for a John Hughes movie yet to be filmed.”

M83 (aka Anthony Gonzales) has pointed to the English bands Tears for Fears and Sixteen Candles, as well as John Hughes’ movie “The Breakfast Club,” as an influence in this more pop-directed effort.

Gonzalez will have the School of Seven Bells opening. A Guardian newspaper critic said: “Ex-Secret Machines’ guitarist Benjamin Curtis has swapped space rock for dream pop that bubbles with ambient electronica, soaring guitars and tribal rhythms, while twin sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza glide over every cool, refreshing melody.”

May Palmer: With several albums to her credit, Palmer has learned to spread her voice over several styles, including jazz, blues, R&B and gospel. Palmer has sung before sold-out crowds at the Apollo Theatre in New York City and has been the featured performer at three Las Vegas casinos. She’s headlined clubs in Japan and the Virgin Islands, had a three-month run in Dubai, and opened for Bo Diddley and The Rippingtons.

Lisa Marshall: The R&B singer with the big voice and wide range has opened for Koko Taylor, Robben Ford and Lydia Pense &Cold Blood. She recently finished a solo tour promoting her CD “Simple.” The self-taught musician now plays six instruments. Marshall is able to add a little rock to her R&B foundation.

Taj Mahal: The two-time Grammy winner celebrates 40 years of roots and reggae in his latest, “Maestro.” One of the most influential American blues and roots performers, he’s distilled the traditions of the Mississippi Delta, the Hawaiian Islands and other parts of the world into a signature sound.

Out and about: Country music singer Wynonna is working on a new album (Wednesday, Snoqualmie Casino) … Blues-rock band Blues Traveler, best known for its improvisational live performances, recently released a studio album, “North Hollywood Shootout” (Monday, Showbox Market) … Singer-songwriters Cosy Sheridan and T.R. Ritchie share the stage (Saturday, Phinney Neighborhood Center) …

Working Class Hero, the John Lennon Tribute, offers a multimedia musical journey through a decade of music (Monday, Northshore Performing Arts Center) … In the Moment’s mix of metal and hard rock, plus opening for Ozzy Osbourne and Ron Zombie, has created quite the buzz (Wednesday, Showbox Market) … Seattle rockers Minus the Bear, indie-pop band Annuals, and the heavy rockers Helms Alee work the stage (Saturday, Showbox Market).

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