BLACK METAL | Nokturnal Hellstorm

BLACK METAL | Nokturnal Hellstorm

All things will inevitably come to an end. No musical subgenre is better versed in that concept than black metal, with all its apocalyptic doomsaying and end-times sloganeering.

PUNK | Whoopi Sticks

The deliciously unhinged Boston-based punk band Whoopi Sticks pulls no punches whatsoever on its new EP, "Surprising Squirts." The music is unapologetically brash, loud, and foul-mouthed — and that's just the contribution from drummer and lead shouter Lindsey Warning.

JAZZ | Erik Lawrence

Grammy-winning saxophonist and flutist Erik Lawrence may be best known for his work with the Levon Helm Band and the Spin Doctors, but he is also a student of the saxophone's stylistic evolution. At the Bop Shop, Lawrence will perform a solo concert celebrating the birthdays of two of the greatest sax players in jazz history: Lester Young and Charlie Parker.

INDIE POP | Thelma

Thelma frontwoman Natasha Jacobs is a veritable chanteuse whose evocative voice brings to mind a kind of modern-day, indie dith Piaf. With the moody set of seven songs that make up the Brooklyn band's atmospheric self-titled album, Thelma puts out a sound that's an irresistible amalgamation of indie pop band Eisley, folk singer-songwriter Basia Bulat, and the early work of art rockers My Brightest Diamond and St. Vincent.

FUNK | Holy Hand Grenade

Brooklyn-based band Holy Hand Grenade blends a mix of jazz, soul, and hip-hop to make a "new music collective inspired by world-grooves and memorable melodies," as the band itself puts it. The group employs both tenor and soprano saxophones and a prominent, soulful bassline for an exciting, tight jam.

SLUDGE METAL | EyeHateGod

For a band with almost 30 years of activity under its belt, it's nothing short of inspiring that New Orleans sludge metal pioneers EyeHateGod are still full of surprises. After a string of increasingly caustic records, from 1990's "In the Name of Suffering" to 2000's "Confederacy of Ruined Lives," the band entered a lengthy dark period it seemed it'd never emerge from.

BLUEGRASS | Billy Strings

Under the apt moniker Billy Strings, 24-year-old William Apostol plays the kind of bluegrass you are meant to move to at music clubs. On his six-song EP from 2016, Strings gives listeners uptempo, locomotive rhythms and soulful country vocals that resonate with Southern flair and urgency.

BLUES | Mercedes Escobar

Guatemalan singer-songwriter Mercedes Escobar is considered a "blues pilgrim" in her country, as well as one of its most promising talents. When Escobar was young, she was introduced to legends like Son House and Jimi Hendrix, and while exploring other facets of music with her guitar and voice, she has stayed true to the blues.

ROCK 'N' ROLL | Nikki Hill

I've been diggin' Nikki Hill since I first laid ears on her. With her blast furnace tirade full of ghosts, like Etta and Eartha and Tina, Nikki Hill embodies and defines vintage rock 'n' roll done right.

ROCK | Ann Wilson

Tunes like "Barracuda" and "Magic Man" established Heart as one of the industry's biggest acts in the 1970's while simultaneously establishing Ann Wilson as one of its best singers. Wilson could go from a whisper to a scream and helped define what a rock vocalist should sound like.

ROCK | Scott H. Biram

In an attempt to distinguish between on-stage crazy and just plain, old, bat-shit nuts, Scott H. Biram has quoted me — me! — for years now. I once said, "We all wanna be entertained, but nobody wants to get stabbed in the head with a screwdriver."

ROCK | Santana

I caught Santana in concert a couple of years ago, and the show was flawless. The crisp, clean sound, the lights, the backing band, and the man himself made me feel like I was at the Grammys.

BOUNCE | Big Freedia

Big Freedia has garnered national attention for being the queen ambassador of bounce, the typically hyper-local New Orleans style. It's a highly energetic, fast-beat, call-and-response form of hip-hop meant to be bounced to, whether it's twerking, a wiggle, or shake.

INDIE ROCK | Jake Bellissimo

Rochester singer-songwriter Jake Bellissimo specializes in lo-fi, bedroom indie music that is earnest, charming, and unassuming. With chamber pop orchestration added to the mix, what you've got is damn-near irresistible.

PROGRESSIVE ROCK | Greg Howe

Guitarist Greg Howe is a deadpan genius with his instrument. His mug waxes cool and confident while his fleet fingers let fly with a blinding flurry that rivals Eddie Van Halen's "Spanish Fly."

BLUES | Joe Louis Walker

When Joe Louis Walker's roommate, bluesman Mike Bloomfield, met with an untimely death in 1981, Walker used that as motivation to quit the blues and start playing gospel. But the blues wouldn't be denied.

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