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Music Picks: Boyz II Men, Sondre Lerche, Common

The live shows you shouldn’t miss over the next seven days.

See Sondre Lerche at 9:30 Club this Friday. Photograph courtesy of Flickr user DearPioneer.

Thursday, September 6

Despite the fact that they recently rescued Charles Barkley from a cringe-inducing (but hilarious) rendition of “End of the Road” at a random bar in Philly, Boyz II Men are still the best boy band ever (can I call them a boy band?). The bad news is that they know it—you’ll pay quite a bit to get in.

8 PM at the Howard Theatre, $70.

Friday, September 7

Norwegian singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche makes songs tailor-made for the sad parts of movies. Directors, or whoever puts songs in movies (music directors? is that a thing?) have taken notice—his music has been in Dinner for Schmucks, Dan in Real Life, and, less sadly, The Muppets.

6 PM at 9:30 Club, $15.

Saturday, September 8

If Common is good enough to hang out with the Obamas and start a political firestorm, he’s good enough for you to see at the Lincoln Theatre. He was hip-hop’s smart, clever poet before Mos Def made it cool.

6:30 PM at Lincoln Theatre, $36.30.

Jason Aldean is the new super-popular country star. You either already know that or don’t care—but he and Luke Brian are playing at WMZQ’s sold-out Fall Fest.

7:30 PM at Jiffy Lube Live, $40 to $73.

Matt Embree’s band, Rx Bandits, progressed from being ska-y to being prog-rock-y. Embree’s got a great voice and the capability of putting on awesome live shows—but sometimes he strays way too far into “I’m a hippie, listen to this drum solo for 12 minutes” territory. With his solo project, Love You Moon, you run the risk of hearing a lot of whoa-ohs and hums, but you’ll also hear smart, well-written music.

7 PM at Jammin’ Java, $12.

Bob Mould deejays at the 9:30 Club pretty regularly for Blowoff, a gay dance night, but the Hüsker Dü singer rarely actually performs music. Saturday, he’s pulling double duty, performing songs from Copper Blue (from his ’90s band, Sugar) and Silver Age, his latest solo album, before Blowoff gets started.

7 PM at 9:30 Club, $25.

Sunday, September 9

Not every musician Canada has given us has been terrible. Rush, who always seemed to make music that should have been the soundtrack to a futuristic cartoon about pinball, defined prog rock for decades. Their song was also fun to play on Guitar Hero.

7:30 PM at Jiffy Lube Live, $42 to $153.

I will never know how Il Volo, a trio of teenage Italian opera singers, became super-popular (or popular enough to come close to selling out theaters) in America. Maybe it’s their amazing voices, but that seems unlikely given that we live in the age of “Call Me Maybe” and Ke$ha.

7:30 PM at Warner Theatre, $84 to $106.

Monday, September 10

Once upon a time, Owl City sounded like a Death Cab ripoff singing about a thousand hugs from 10,000 lightning bugs. Now he’s a rando dance/synth pop artist who uses Carly Rae Jepsen and lots of whoa-ohs to get preteens to jump up and down. One thing hasn’t changed: He’s terrible and always has been.

6 PM at 9:30 Club, $25.

Tuesday, September 11

The Wiggles sing about hot potatoes and fruit salad and other issues concerning four-year-olds. The Woggles, on the other hand, sing about girls and partying and all sorts of fun topics concerning adults. And they do it with a jangly, raw ’60s-rock-and-roll sound. See the Woggles, not the Wiggles.

8 PM at Black Cat, $10.

Wednesday, September 12

Former Dresden Dolls singer Amanda Palmer makes frenetic, cabaret-ish music that bounces along through cheery subjects such as abortion and rape. But someone’s got to sing about the tough stuff, right? Just know what you’re signing up for.

7 PM at 9:30 Club, $25.

Know of a great live show happening in the area? E-mail Jason Koebler at, or find him on Twitter @jason_koebler.

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