THEIR BEATS GO ON: Modern R&B has few power couples as powerful as Ashanti and Ja Rule, and on Saturday, September 2, the two will perform at the Arlington Theatre (1317 State St.), starting at 8 p.m. The duo known for “Always on Time,” “Helpless,” “Mesmerize,” and many other club-hit collaborations will be perfectly lit under the starry lights of the astronomically artful Arlington ceilings. The two have re-emerged in recent times to be a part of The Hamilton Mixtape, and Ashanti has had other appearances on screen and stage. Ja Rule, we hope, has recovered from the fiery singe of the Fyre Festival disaster; hopefully he’s had a good laugh about it, like most of us did. Whatever the past, this is now — and this show will be lit.
CUTTY UP THE FLOOR: Burger Records, famed for cranking out some crackin’ good garage and surf rock, is at it again with Cutty Flam, a sort of 1950s throwback band known to be caught “dancing the digital twist,” in their words. The band will play at Velvet Jones (423 State St.) on Sunday, September 3, starting at 8 p.m. Their up-tempo, subtly edgy recollections of yesteryear will have you rocking around the clock, perhaps even ’til daylight. Opening for them will be S.B.’s very own Made Up People, a stylish act that you may have heard on 92.9 KjEE as a Localize It Pick of the Week. The band has worked with Elliott Lanam over at Hidden City Studios and shared stages with other area favorites such as LAYOVR and Pookie. Come out and support some great modern rock.
TRAVELING FAR AND WIDE: For those familiar with Erisy Watt, the lithely voiced folk singer of sea songs and soul searches from S.B., you may have noticed she hasn’t been around town as much. That’s because she was traveling around the country for her Nowhere Fast summer tour, during which she spent all the hotter months high up in the mountains of Colorado and the deserts of Utah. For her final date, she’ll be rooting back down with a couple of other Californian folk and bluegrass acts: One Grass Two Grass, a contemporary bluegrass act who’s made a name for itself across California; and The Riverside, an intimate band of folk-music-loving friends so close they’re like family. Also joining the bill will be the slightly funkier, rockier Benny B. & Lomo, a well-kept secret of a band that shines with the daydream-inducing lull of singer Laura Moreno. This all happens at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.) on Friday, September 1, at 8:30 p.m.
HAPPY THIRD BIRTHDAY, FUNZONE: This summer, Funzone celebrated its third year as pretty much the only all-ages venue in town. The irrepressible little place tucked away in the East Beach Batting Cages (226 S. Milpas St.) continues to be one of the best venues to see bands long before they’re widely known, or to catch those mayfly-like gems of acts that disband as soon as they form. On Friday, September 1, at 8 p.m., you can see New Jersey rock band Home Blitz, whose spirited garage-rock songs caught the admiring eye of indie record labels like Mexican Summer, play with two area acts, Sea Lions and Little B!tch. Sea Lions, from Oxnard, are a criminally unknown band, their dreamy and somewhat droney pieces floating along as fleetingly pleasant as faint sea mist and sun dapples on sunglass shades. Little B!tch, meanwhile, is a lighthearted queercore band whose adorable acoustic grunge confessional, “Carbs on Carbs on Carbs,” features dark disclosures many of us can relate to, such as, “I eat a lot of bread sometimes.” In these troubled times, a little levity goes a long way, especially when it’s this catchy.