Live Tonight: Robyn Hitchcock, Veruca Salt

Robyn Hitchcock is a songwriter’s songwriter, an alt-rock icon before there was such a thing. He founded the Soft Boys in 1976 in Cambridge, England, then, nearly a decade later, Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians, but neither found much commercial success—which is also true of his four decades of myriad solo releases. Critics, however, have long heaped praise on his work, comparing him to Dylan and Lennon for his often surreal lyrics and melancholy melodies. Rolling Stone called his 2013 Love From London “delightful” and “an album Syd Barrett might have made if he’d stayed cogent and seen the end of days.” Columbia City Theater. 8:30 p.m. $20. 21 and over. DL

Back during the golden age of alternative music—the ’90s—Veruca Salt was a glorious kick in the ’nads: “Seether” roared across the airwaves, and singers/ax women Louise Post and Nina Gordon acted like a couple of snarling sirens aiming musical missile-launchers at your ears. Their 1994 debut, American Thighs, rocked big-time, and 1996’s Blow It Out Your Ass It’s Veruca Salt EP offered a similar, beautifully aggressive aesthetic. But things went south after 1997’s Eight Arms to Hold You; Gordon left to launch a solo project while drummer Jim Shapiro and bassist Steve Lack pursued other opportunities. Post kept the band name alive over the years, but without her crackling energy and interplay with Gordon, it just wasn’t the same. But then last year word came that the original lineup was reuniting, and when they recently played on Conan—their first performance together in well over a decade—it was as if nothing had changed. The group released a 10-inch vinyl on Record Store Day featuring two new songs, “It’s Holy” and “The Museum of Broken Relationships,” and the latter shows the four haven’t lost their talent for making crunchy alternative tracks about relationship angst. If this song is an indication of what they have up their sleeve, then sign me up! With The Echo Friendly. Tractor Tavern. 8 p.m. $25. 21 and over. BRIAN PALMER

 
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