• Bare Mutants

The World Music Festival begins today and Riot Fest kicks off tomorrow—they’re both massive, as is our B Side coverage of the multiday affairs. There’s still plenty of music to check out all weekend long besides the big festivals, and Soundboard has you covered.

Tonight there’s Icona Pop at Metro, Dirty Beaches at Empty Bottle, Salt-n-Pepa at Joe’s, Panic! at the Disco at the Vic, Cerebral Ballzy at Beat Kitchen, and a BLVD Records showcase at Burlington. Tomorrow night check out Laura Mvula at Martyrs’, Cafe Tacvuba at Aragon Ballroom, Ryan Cohan Septet at Green Mill, No Age at Schubas, or Charli XCX at Lincoln Hall. On Saturday you can see Ryan Cohan Septet at Green Mill, Derek Bermel with the Prometheus Modern Ensemble at Merit School of Music, No Age at Empty Bottle, Lina Allemano Four Tone Step at Constellation, or Lantern at Permanent Records. To close out the weekend on Sunday you can take in performances from the Wrong Words at Saki, Astronautalis at Schubas, Animal City at Whistler, or Ryan Cohan at Room 43.

Read what our writers have to say about some of the other concerts happening this weekend after the jump.

Thu 9/12: Empire of the Sun at Aragon Ballroom

Australian pop duo Empire of the Sun have an awe-inspiring aesthetic. “Their look is a glittery, archly theatrical pileup of artsy sci-fi movies, glam-rock costumes, fantasy-novel covers, and New Age computer graphics, with just a sprinkling of Lisa Frank on top,” writes Miles Raymer. “In terms of multimedia spectacle they’re on par with Lady Gaga, and like Lady Gaga they make music that isn’t particularly compelling on its own—Empire of the Sun may look like they’re about to drop a 17-part, 28-minute prog-rock odyssey on your ass, but instead they stick to a mix of 80s New Romanticism and anthemic 90s club pop that’s far less daring than their outfits. “

Fri 9/13: Bare Mutants at Empty Bottle

Brian Costello digs The Affliction, the new debut from local garage-pop band Bare Mutants. “This album is a heartbreaking motherfucker of sublime despondency,” writes Costello. “The simple but not simplistic arrangements underscore the matter-of-fact lyrics by former Ponys front man Jered Gummere—they read like a chronicle of the stocktaking and soul-searching you do while spending an afternoon recovering from last night’s epic bender.”

Sat 9/14: Los Crudos at ChiTown Futbol

“When Los Crudos reunited in March—not their first reunion by any stretch, and obviously not their last—their doubleheader generated an almost painful level of anticipation, in part because presale tickets weren’t available and Facebook RSVPs for the two all-ages shows ran into the thousands,” writes Kevin Warwick. Los Crudos packed ChiTown Futbol for those shows, and they’ll likely do the same this weekend when they return to rip it up once again. “At the shows, front man Martin Sorrondeguy (also of queercore band Limp Wrist) did his damnedest to catch his breath between blasts of speed riffs and furious drumming that last maybe a minute apiece, and the room swelled and contracted with a surging, sweaty, asshole-to-elbow throng of nostalgia junkies and studded-jacket kids who definitely weren’t alive when Los Crudos wrote their first song.”

Sun 9/15: Andrew Rathbun’s Shadow Forms at Hungry Brain

“Toronto native Andrew Rathbun is one of the most thoughtful and curious saxophonists to emerge in New York over the past decade” writes Peter Margasak. Rathbun is a great improviser too, which comes through when he’s working with bassist Scott Lee and drummer Jeff Hirschfield, who are his collaborators in Shadow Forms. “All three members contribute tunes, and on their new album, Shadow Forms II (Steeplechase), they maintain an easy rapport whether swinging like mad or exploring color and space—’Hi and Lo,’ for instance, is a series of arco bass phrases and striated alto flurries over snare-and-cymbal patter.”