Week ahead


(Josh Anderson/Associated Press
November 19, 2009

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CHANDLER TRAVIS PHILHARMONIC The alarmingly prolific CTP is celebrating frontman Travis’s new solo CD, “After She Left.’’ The 11 tracks are atypically moody and contemplative but also typically smart, funny, sad, and tuneful. Regardless of tempo, this gang knows how to celebrate. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19. $10. Johnny D’s. 617-776-2004.

GRACE POTTER AND THE NOCTURNALS This will be most Hub fans’ first chance to check out the new Nocturnals, bassist Catherine Popper and rhythm guitarist Benny Yurco. The newly minted roots-rock quintet are also to preview tracks from their T Bone Burnett-produced third album, due out next spring. 7 p.m. Nov. 19. $25-$35. House of Blues. 800-745-3000.

METRIC The shimmery, New-York-by-way-of-Canada modern popsters swing around in support of their shiny, catchy third album, “Fantasies.’’ British indie rock trio Band of Skulls handles the warm-up duties. 7 p.m. Nov. 20. $20. House of Blues. 800-745-3000.

JULIAN PLENTI His debut solo album may be called “Julian Plenti Is Skyscraper,’’ but Julian Plenti is actually Paul Banks. And Paul Banks is the frontman for Interpol. “Skyscraper’’ takes Banks back to his pre-Interpol alter ego and in some new directions as well as dabbling in the angular guitar rock that is his main band’s signature. 8 p.m. Nov. 23. $13. Paradise. 866-598-8689. SARAH RODMAN


SARA TAVARES Born to Cape Verdean parents and raised in Portugal, Tavares defies what her heritage might imply. She is not a sad-eyed interpreter of morna like the great Cesaria Evora, nor is she a dramatic fado singer from the Mariza mold. Tavares is more of a soul singer, as heard on “Xinti,’’ her new album that blurs the line between African rhythms and contemporary R&B and pop. 8 p.m. Nov. 21. $22, $28. Berklee Performance Center. 617-876-4275.

THE SWEETBACK SISTERS This Brooklyn ensemble’s mission statement is spelled out (in quote marks, even, as if a calling card) on its website: “Honky-tonk for the modern-day cowboy and girl!’’ And sure enough, the Sweetback Sisters - anchored by tight female harmonies and the occasional western swing melody - sound like the second coming of 1950s country groups like the Davis Sisters. 9 p.m. Nov. 22. Free. Atwood’s Tavern. 617-864-2792.

JUSTIN LEVINSON Who would have guessed that five years in Boston would give Levinson enough fodder for a shuffling contemporary country album? (You can’t get more country than naming a song “Bandaid on a Bullet Wound.’’) The Berklee alum, who now lives in Burlington, Vt., celebrates the release of “Predetermined Fate’’ as a guest at local singer-songwriter Tim Blane’s November residency. 8:30 p.m. Nov. 24. $8. Lizard Lounge. 617-547-0759.


COCO MONTOYA BAND/TOMMY CASTRO BAND A double bill of two of the hardest-hitting blues acts around: Singer/guitarist Castro, a San Francisco-area native, is known for his top-notch songwriting, soulful vocals, and fluid, snaky guitar playing; singer/guitarist Montoya, a protege of legendary bluesman Albert Collins (he began as the great man’s drummer), earns raves from audiences and critics alike for his barbed-wire guitar licks and impassioned vocals. 8 p.m. Nov. 19. $20-$45. Showcase Live, Patriot Place, Foxborough.

BETTY BUCKLEY & KENNY WERNER DUO Vocalist/actress Buckley, a two-time Tony Award winner, and lyrical jazz pianist Werner have been collaborators for almost two decades, so their deep rapport on Broadway standards, including her signature songs, comes as no surprise. 7:30 and 10 p.m. Nov. 20. $35-$38. Regattabar. 617-395-7757.

THE JAZZ COMPOSERS ALLIANCE The 19-piece JCA Orchestra, a roll call of adventurous Boston-area musicians, presents a program of creative music featuring pieces by resident composers Dave Harris, Jim Hobbs, Darrell Katz, Bob Pilkington, Warren Senders, and Norm Zocherat. 8 p.m., Nov. 21. $8-$12. Emmanuel Center, Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St., Boston. 781-899-3130.

THE DANNY HARRINGTON QUARTET The baritone saxophonist and educator, noted for his dexterity and rich tone on the unwieldy instrument, leads his swinging, straight-ahead quartet through a program of great jazz standards, including pieces by fellow baritonists Pepper Adams and Gerry Mulligan. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23. Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St. Watertown. 617-923-8487. KEVIN LOWENTHAL


BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA The BSO’s conductor emeritus Bernard Haitink returns to lead Brahms’s First Symphony, Debussy’s “Nocturnes,’’ and Ibert’s Flute Concerto with James Galway as soloist. Nov. 19, 20, and 21. $29-$105. Symphony Hall, 617-266-1200.

BOSTON PHILHARMONIC Soprano Linda Watson is the veteran vocal soloist for this all-Wagner program, with music from “Götterdämmerung,’’ “Meistersinger,’’ and “Tristan und Isolde’’ under the baton of Benjamin Zander. Nov. 19 and 22 in Sanders Theatre, Nov. 21 in Jordan Hall. 617-236-0999.

TRIO MEDIAEVAL This esteemed Norwegian vocal trio makes a rare local appearance with songs and ballads from Norway, Sweden, and England. 3 p.m. Nov. 22. $23. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 617-278-5156.

BOSTON CLASSICAL ORCHESTRA Conductor Steven Lipsitt leads the premiere of Andrew List’s “Earth Song’’ for cello and orchestra with Emmanuel Feldman as soloist. Also on the program will be works by Mendelssohn and Mozart. 3 p.m. Nov. 22. $18-$63. Faneuil Hall. 617-423-3883.

BOSTON MUSICA VIVA Richard Pittman’s new-music band presents the premiere of David Rakowski’s “Mikronomicon,’’ written for the ensemble’s pianist Geoffrey Burleson. With works by Joseph Schwantner, Chris Arrell, and Charles Ives. 8 p.m. Nov. 20. $22. Tsai Performance Center at Boston University. 617-354-6910. JEREMY EICHLER

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