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The whole Scene going...

If the banner "Broken Social Scene Presents... Kevin Drew" has you a bit confused, well, don't hold it against yourself. Remember that BSS is a revolving door of a band -- indeed, not really a band at all, but a collective of musicians who've found common ground, getting together when they can to do what they can.

This time around, it's all about Kevin Drew, who is a member of the BSS collective, yes, but who is currently performing with his friends in that collective supporting him, as he plays songs from his own recent solo album, "Spirit If...".

Have I cleared all of this up? Or have I merely added to the confusion? Please tell me, because I really don't know myself.

At any rate, when you head to the Town Ballroom on Thursday, expect to hear "Spirit If..." played in its entirety, by Drew and his mates. Beyond that, I've no firm idea of what's gonna go down, though some none-too-taxing Googling offered a few hints. When Drew and the band played in Ireland on Oct. 18, plenty of BSS material was sprinkled throughout the set, which ended, much to the Irish reviewer for's chagrin, with Drew leading the assembled through a smirking version of U2's anthemic "Where the Streets Have No Name."

If you haven't heard Drew's "Spirit If...," spend a few minutes at, where you'll find some tunes and a bit of an explanation of just what this is all about.

Thursday's show commences at 7 p.m. Tickets are available now, for $20, through the Town Ballroom box office and outlets.

Admission at the door will be $25.


Blues innovator

Joanna Connor is stubborn. That's a compliment. The Massachusetts-born guitarist's blatant refusal to bow down to the perceived strictures of the blues has meant she has been consistently pushing the envelope since the release of her debut effort in 1989.

As a guitarist, Connor cut her teeth playing primal electric blues, Chicago-style. But she has also looked to funk, rock and R&B for inspiration, and though she's steeped in tradition, in concert, Connor is just as likely to channel Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower and Jeff Beck as she is to throw down some Hubert Sumlin or Albert King licks.

Twenty years on the road have seasoned Connor's playing. By this point, Connor and her band are blues veterans with one eye on the past, the other on the form's possible future. The Joanna Connor Band returns to Nietzsche's, 248 Allen St., on Saturday. Doors open at 8 p.m., and Connor will play two shows for one price. The first kicks off at 9 p.m.; Connor and band will return for a second show beginning at 11:30 p.m. Ann Philippone kicks things off with an opening set at 8 p.m. Visit or call 886-8539 for additional information.


Gig picks

Buck up, little pioneer. This next seven days has got more worthwhile shows to offer than a reasonable man could shake a stick at.

First off, it's Pink Floyd tribute ensemble the Machine, whose members will be setting the controls for the heart of the sun at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Town Ballroom, with a show that is a makeup date for the band's canceled June 16 gig. If you didn't buy a ticket last time, get 'em now at the Town Ballroom box office or through They're $17 today, $20 Saturday at the door.

On Sunday, the Disco Biscuits hit the Town at 7 p.m. Those tickets are going for $20 in advance, through the usual sources. Admission at the door will be $25.

Blue Rodeo arrives for a a pair of shows celebrating its new album release at 8 p.m. next Friday and Nov. 10, inside the Tralf Music Hall. Tickets, available at the Tralf box office or through Ticketmaster outlets, are $24.50.

On Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m., help Ron Davis and his Ronnie Davis Combo celebrate the release of their Jack McDuff-like "Soul Jazz Midnite" disc -- and pick up your own copy -- at the Sportsmen's Tavern, 326 Amherst St. Admission is free. Check for more information.

Tonight, Mohawk Place is the spot, beginning at 6 p.m., with the free-admission happy hour set from Pete Worden and the Hardtimers, on the club's front stage. Then, stick around to help some of our city's hippest indie-rock lovers celebrate the 50th birthday of their reason for living, Guided By Voices frontman Robert Pollard. Yes, that's right. The human beer keg made it to 50, and we're gonna party for him Buffalo-style. (Even Pollard might not be able to keep up!) The Guided by Voices Tribute kicks off at 10 p.m. on the Mohawk's rear stage. Admission is $5 at the door.


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