Saturday, Dec. 2, Barrymore Theatre, 8 p.m.
Humidity gets a bad rap. People don't mind the heat, but they whine about sweaty, damp humidity during the awkward silences in elevators. In song, everyone sings about heat, but ' outside the stanza referring to barometric pressure in 'It's Raining Men' ' humidity gets no love.
Which is wrong, and which is why I nominate 'Humid' as the name for the genre played by bands like the Subdudes.
Because I don't know how else to describe the music of this on-again, off-again, on-again again New Orleans combo. They play a gumbo of good-natured, upbeat Dixieland Cajun-grass funk-folk rhythm and blues now fortified with 100% of your USRDA of gospel, courtesy of producer Keb' Mo'.
The result is mellower than it once was. The 2006 release Behind the Levee has a more languid, introspective pace than their early work, appropriate given the Katrina theme. But there is still that cheerfully lazy gait perfected in their half-dozen earlier works, including the seminal 1996 disc Primitive Streak, featuring one of my favorite grooves, 'All the Time in the World.'
With years of studio experience, guitarist Tommy Malone, accordionist John Magnie and the rest of the Dudes play moving, enjoyable and seemingly effortless music ' effort being the last thing you want when it's humid. Sure, you're sweaty. Dancing will do that. But knee-deep in a Wisconsin winter, is that so bad?
Thursday, Dec. 7, Orpheum Theatre, 7 p.m.
An Allman Brothers Band side project that is more enjoyable than the current incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band, Gov't Mule has, by reimagining the Southern rock '70s jam sound, revitalized an art form that one publicly shouldn't consider an art form sober.
Favorites of the oddly titled jam-band festival circuit (Bonaroo, Vegoose, etc.), and owning the best contracted name in all of rock, Gov't Mule was founded by guitarist Warren Haynes and the late, very great bassist Allen Woody. Though the lineup has changed over the years, the sound has stayed firmly rooted in the psychedelic '70s with Cream-y guitars, crunchy blues organ and space bass riffs that combine to make that 'firmly rooted' comment ironic sarcasm.
Since you are more than likely to hear one of their CDs this week leaking out of a house party on Johnson Street as you walk by, you might as well go to the show and get the full experience without the smell of failed keg stand.