RUNNING BEHIND: Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jackson Browne has been around for a while. The singer-songwriter had his biggest hit three decades ago, in 1982, with “Somebody’s Baby”—and he’d been recording 10 years before that, dishing up “Doctor My Eyes,” “Running on Empty,” “Take It Easy” and other perfect slices of soft-rock hoohah. That’s a long time ago, innit? Perhaps even Browne’s contemporaries—your James Taylors, your Michael McDonalds, your Bonnie Raittses—probably have had opportunity to say, “Jackson fucking Browne, are ya kidding me? I haven’t thought of him since we were all arrested for obstructing the entrance to that nuclear power plant. I wonder what happened to that guy?” Now, I suppose that if we go see Browne at the Pearl on February 15 ($50-$194), we can find out what’s become of him. Maybe he’s gained 200 pounds, or is now part android. Or maybe, you know, he sounds exactly as he did in the 1970s and 1980s. Be prepared for any of these eventualities.
THINKIN’ LINKIN: Through no real fault of its own, Linkin Park embodies pretty much everything I dislike about popular metal these days. The hip-hop elements, the flirtation with Nine Inch Nails-like industrial disco: This isn’t the business metal should be in. But I can’t deny that the band, due to visit Planet Hollywood on February 16 ($72-$85), has a gut-punch of a sound—kind of a sci-fi sex stomp, the kind of music you see bands playing in movies set in the distant future. Their production is immaculate, like the Mutt Lange-produced Def Leppard albums of the 1980s, and judging from the concert reviews I’m reading, it translates well to the stage. And there’s the Jay-Z collaboration—it’s tough to bust on a band that’s worked with Jay-Z, who’s nothing if not brilliant and inventive. Guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one.
NOW ON SALE: It does my heart good to know that Spiritualized are still Floating in Space. The English psychedelic band, which is both fancy and dance-y, is expected to land at House of Blues on April 12. Tickets are $25, a paltry sum they’ll neatly earn by playing “Broken Heart” or simply by showing up, really.