NEW COMMITMENTS: Back in 1991 Alan Parker made a film called The Commitments, which detailed the adventures of a group of young Irishmen whose principal interests were American soul music, clinging to hard-won employment and cussing each other out. I get some of that old Commitments feeling when I listen to Fitz & The Tantrums, who play poolside at the Cosmopolitan on September 5 ($25) – and not just because that band draws its fire from classic Motown (but uses it as a jumping-off point for savvy indie-pop), and has a (French-born American) lead singer called Michael Sean Fitzpatrick. There’s a geniality to the Fitz & The Tantrums sound, but one that’s stretched tight over passion and rage; in other words, the name of the band is truth in advertising. They’re kind of wonderful, actually, and I hope they hang together longer than The Commitments’ titular band did. Say it loud, Fitz: “I have a black heart, and I’m proud.”
LION SHARES: You’re probably wondering why Snoop Lion, who plays poolside at the Hard Rock Hotel on August 31 ($45), has stopped calling himself “Snoop Dogg.” (No one wonders why he doesn’t go by his born name, Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. – though “Snoop Cordozar” does have a snap to it.) Well, mon, it’s because he recently went to Jamaica and discovered that he’s really “Bob Marley reincarnated,” or so he explained to Michael Walsh of the New York Daily News, adding, “”I feel I have always been a Rastafari. I just didn’t have my third eye open.” Short answer: He’s doing reggae now, so if you go to the Hard Rock expecting the rapping Dogg of old, you will definitely lose your sense of irie. And we couldn’t have that.
NOW ON SALE: Think of it as a one-night residency. On September 6, The Cult visits House of Blues ($35) to play its 1987 album Electric from start to finish – from “Wild Flower” to “Memphis Hip Shake” with stops at “Lil’ Devil,” “Bad Fun” and, of course, “Love Removal Machine.” Fun fact: The Cult was kind of a gothic rock band before the Electric LP took them into hard rock territory, where they stayed. The closest modern parallel I can draw is this: Imagine what it would be like if Nine Inch Nails went to bed one night and woke up as Muse. That’s still not even close to how shocked we were, back in the day, when The Cult suddenly turned into AC/DC. But we got over it.