Michael Vallera
  • Michael Vallera

From time to time, especially in the dead of winter, it so happens that only a handful of Soundboard writeups fall on the first few days of the week. But there’s always more going on than we manage to write about, no matter how cold it gets.

This week—aside from the critics’ picks after the jump—Monday’s shows include fingerstyle guitarist Ryley Walker at the Burlington and Femi Kuti & the Positive Force at Metro. Tuesday you can catch the second-to-last installment of the Bitchin Bajas residency at the Hideout, plus two great concert of jazz and improvised music: Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker solo at the MCA (as part of the Face the Strange new-music series) and cornetist Rob Mazurek (whose Pulsar Quartet recently earned a recommendation from Peter Margasak) with the Throne of the House of Good & Evil at the Whistler. Lastly, among Wednesday’s entertainments are female-fronted Bay Area doom-metal trio Castle at Cobra Lounge and the venerable NRG Ensemble, carrying on the legacy of eccentric genius Hal Russell, at the Hideout.

And those are just the shows that caught my eye. Read on for Freakwater and Michael Vallera!

Philip Montoro has been an editorial employee of the Reader since 1996 and its music editor since 2004. Pieces he has edited have appeared in Da Capo’s annual Best Music Writing anthologies in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011. He shared two Lisagor Awards in 2019 for a story on gospel pioneer Lou Della Evans-Reid and another in 2021 for Leor Galil's history of Neo, and he’s also split three national awards from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia: one for multimedia in 2019 for his work on the TRiiBE collaboration the Block Beat, and two (in 2020 and 2022) for editing the music writing of Reader staffer Leor Galil. You can also follow him on Twitter.