Every fall brings a bounty of live music—from September through mid-November, give or take, a million bands hit the road. College is back in session, the CMJ festival works like a magnet for touring acts, and loads of new albums need live support. Unfortunately that means that the Reader tends to run out of space before it can cover all of them—but on the Web, with its infinite leg room, I can write about acts I couldn’t get to in print. Here I’ll touch on a few happening over the next two evenings.
In this week’s paper I preview stunning British folk-pop singer Laura Marling, who seems to have achieved complete musical maturity at age 21. She headlines Lincoln Hall tonight. Opening the show is Alessi’s Ark (aka fellow Brit Alessi Laurent-Marke); she’s also 21, but still has a ways to go before reaching Marling’s level of artistry. That said, Time Travel (Bella Union), the second Alessi’s Ark album (out on Tuesday), is plenty easy on the ears—this is a band to keep an eye on. Laurent-Marke sings in a sweet, wispy chirp and the arrangements push her breathy melodies toward pop convention, at least compared to Marling’s, and even though her delivery is still a bit limited, there’s an impressive song-to-song variety. Below you can hear her cover of the Lesley Gore tune “Maybe I Know.”