• Shemekia Copeland

Last night the Tomorrow Never Knows festival kicked off with a couple of shows, but things go full swing tonight and through the weekend with shows from some great bands, including Mutual Benefit, Darkside, San Fermin, and Roomrunner.

Of course, that’s not all that’s happening this weekend. There’s Buddy Guy’s continuing January residency all weekend long, Ghosthouse and Baathhaus at the Bottle on Fri 1/17, Young Mothers at Township at Fri 1/17, extreme death metal from Aevangelist on Sat 1/18, and two appearances from improvisational-jazz group the Whammies.

After the jump, check out some of our writers’ top picks for this weekend.

Thu 1/16: Robert Glasper Experiment at Double Door

Grammy-winning pianist Robert Glasper has been spending the past few years blending the lines between R&B and jazz. Peter Margasak says of his 2012 release Black Radio, “There wasn’t a whole lot that anyone would recognize as jazz on that record; Glasper brought in an impressive collection of A-list singers and rappers, and most of the songs feature one of each. But it did establish the strength of Glasper’s band the Experiment, whose distinctive elements—Chris Dave’s hard, crisp drumming, Derrick Hodge’s anchoring but exploratory electric bass, Casey Benjamin’s saxophone accents and vocoderized vocals, and the leader’s airy, hypnotic Fender Rhodes vamps and terse improvisations—feel electrically connected into a single fluid circuit.” Glasper released a follow-up in October of last year. Margasak continues, “In October the Experiment released Black Radio 2 (with drummer Mark Colenburg replacing Dave), tightening its sound into a formula and employing an even larger cast of guests—Common, Jill Scott, Dwele, Lalah Hathaway, and surprises such as Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump and actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who delivers a spoken-word interlude about the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre on the album’s sole cover, Stevie Wonder’s ‘Jesus Children.'”

Fri 1/17: Nipsey Hussle at Reggie’s Rock Club

LA-based rapper Nipsey Hussle comes to Reggie’s Rock Club tomorrow night. Falling somewhere between gangsta rap and conceptual art, Miles Raymer says about Hussle’s newest mixtape, Crenshaw, “Hussle has some of the silky gangster menace that Snoop projected in his early days and a flow that frequently verges on Tupac’s dexterous bark, and though he has one foot planted in his hometown’s history, the other is right in the here and now.”

Fri 1/17 and Sat 1/18: Shemekia Copeland at SPACE

Blues queen Shemekia Copeland rolls into town with two SPACE shows this weekend. “Her latest CD, 2012’s 33 1/3 (Telarc), showcases both her range and her depth,” writes David Whiteis. “On the hard-pounding rocker ‘Lemon Pie,’ she denounces socioeconomic injustice with the flair and venom of a juke-joint Nina Simone; on Dylan’s ‘I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight’ she breaks out of her usual persona to play the seductress, firing up even baby-girl entreaties with her customary brio; on the ironically up-tempo ‘One More Time’ she delivers a death threat with irony-toughened humor that recalls her late father, Texas bluesman Johnny ‘Clyde’ Copeland.”

Sat 1/18: Sleeping Bag at Beat Kitchen

“Sleeping Bag doesn’t jump out at you,” says Kevin Warwick. “The Bloomington trio plays a cozy, flanneled brand of midwestern indie rock whose deadpan, even blase vocals sound like they’re trying to get on the same wavelength as the hopelessly uncool, not further bum ’em out. Sneaky-good guitar melodies lurk around every corner on 2012’s Women of Your Life (Joyful Noise)—some cleverly poppy, which makes for a constructive contrast with Dave Segedy’s flat vocal timbre. It’s Weezer slacker science, and it works—you might spill your Americano tapping your foot on the coffeehouse floor.”