THANKS: Last year I had a 10-year relationship end badly, and as one will do when these things happen, I made a virtual mixtape in Spotify. We’ll Give It a Year was all fist-pumping breakup jams (Summer Camp’s “Better Off Without You”), fare-thee-wells (The Kooks’ “Junk of the Heart”) and self-directed abuse (Phoenix’s “If I Ever Feel Better”). The playlist included very few repeated bands, but one of them—synthpop band The Naked and Famous (pictured), who play poolside at the Cosmopolitan on October 24 ($20)—have three songs on the list. I found solace in the lyrics of “Punching in a Dream” (I don’t ever wanna be here), “No Way” (No, we’re never gonna talk about it) and “Young Blood” (Fall back in love eventually). That’s, like, three therapy sessions that I didn’t have to pay for, and for that I am grateful. The band’s latest album, In Rolling Waves, has just been released, and I look forward to the adventures I’ll have with this new music in the coming year.
THANKS AGAIN: Despite my hot Latin blood, I can’t dance for shit. I have rhythm, but no coordination. That’s why I’m grateful to Michael Franti & Spearhead, scheduled to play House of Blues on October 18 ($25). Franti has always known how to overcome my reservations and get me dancing. He knows where my center of rhythmic gravity dwells and has a singular ability to kick-start it. There are maybe a half-dozen currently touring artists who can do that to me without fail (P-Funk and Jay-Z come to mind), and when one of those funky forces comes to bear on our town, I put on comfy clothes and shoes and make ready to move.
NOW ON SALE: The Pixies are coming to The Joint on February 23, with special guest Best Coast ($37). I should note that Best Coast had a song on my breakup mix (“The Only Place”), and the Pixies are the Pixies. So influential are they that I can only describe the Pixies in context with themselves. They’re very Pixie-like!