Sunday, October 02, 2016

Concert Recommendations: Ash, Kishi Bashi, October 3

Do you prefer your exuberant music with noisy guitars or violin loops?

If that question is easy for you to answer, then your choice of concerts on Monday is easy. Me, I'm still torn.

On violin front is Kishi Bashi, the band name under which Kaoru Ishibashi performs, who just released a terrific third album Sonderlust. It is buoyant, a fun bounceback to his fetching debut 151a after the sophomore slump of Lighght, that failed to make much of an impression. I haven't seen them live, but there are obvious musical connections to Animal Collective's textural use of loops and Passion Pit's synth pop, plus an unexpected homage to Pink Floyd's "Money" with "Who'd You Kill." As a former Berklee employee, I wish Ishibashi's name came up among famous alumni more often than the problematic John Mayer.

If you prefer your lyrics more at the forefront, if you're feeling nostalgic for '90s UK music that never made as a much of an impression on this side of the Atlantic, or you like your punk with power pop sensibilities and a lingering adolescent love of metal riffs, go see Ash touring in support of the 20th anniversary of 1977, the album with such not-quite-hits "Girl from Mars" and "Kung Fu." The Irish band led by Tim Wheeler hit their commercial peak as a 4-piece, but guitarist Charlotte Hatherley left the fold a while back, so they are back to a trio.

Use the comments section to chime in if I've helped you make up your mind, because I'm still conflicted by the wealth of riches in the Boston area on one night.

Ash plays The Middle East Upstair, 472-480 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139, doors at 8:00 pm. Kishi Bashi plays Royale, 279 Tremont St., Boston, MA, 02116, doors at 7:00 pm. Both shows Monday, October 3.