Tour Buzz

BOBBY POLYMATH: Whether you call him The Scientist, Ruler Zig-Zag-Zig Allah, Bobby Digital or plain old Robert Diggs, there’s no putting a label on the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA … unless that label is “genius,” or something along those lines. RZA has an inventive streak a mile wide; he’s a talented actor, budding film director and immensely gifted hip-hop producer. And at the House of Blues on Oct. 19 ($29), he’ll be appearing as all three. This tour is intended to promote his feature-film directorial debut, The Man With the Iron Fists—a film he wrote, directed and scored, because simply doing one of those things isn’t enough for RZA. If he overachieves like this off the stage, just imagine what he’ll do onstage.

ECONOMY ROCK: Concert tickets are too dang expensive. Paying $106 to see the Killers, a band we once saw at Café Espresso Roma for free? Preposterous. I know it’s usually not the band’s choice to charge such a premium, but at the same time, I wish more shows had ticket prices in line with the Oct. 20 show by the Toadies and Helmet at Vinyl—a relative steal at $30. True, you’ll only know two songs played at this show, and those only vaguely (Helmet’s “Unsung,” the Toadies’ “Possum Kingdom”), but listen: For less than half the price of a tank of gas, you’ll get some of the best alternative hard rock the 1990s had to offer.

NOW ON SALE: I almost feel bad about saying this now that I’ve learned he’s gone into rehab, but Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day—scheduled to play the MGM Grand on Feb. 8 ($39-$83)—needs to hear it anyway: We kinda like this side of you, man. We like the Bille Joe who smashes guitars, exposes himself and cusses out his corporate minders, as he did at Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio Festival at the MGM last month. It’s the first time I’ve noticed you in years, sir, and if you can bring that passion back here next February—minus the substance abuse—you just might get me interested in seeing a Green Day show.

Suggested Next Read

Early Genius, Haltingly Reanimated


Early Genius, Haltingly Reanimated

By Michael Phillips, Tribune Media Services

Before things took off with Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and Beetlejuice, Tim Burton made a live-action black-and-white film, in 1984, called Frankenweenie. You can find it on YouTube. It’s really good. Just about everything we now know as Burtonesque—passionate devotion to ’30s, ’40s, ’50s and ’60s Hollywood; English and Japanese horror; the Leave it to Beaver-but-sinister vision of American domestic life; the black humor; always in the corner of the societal outcast and the idiosyncratic artist—was there from the beginning.