Joe Goddard will forever be associated with the indietronica band Hot Chip, but that hasn’t stopped him from continually reinventing himself and his sound. That is, outside of Hot Chip. The Brit is one half of The 2 Bears, a house act named in honor of the gay musicians of yore who helped create the template for dance music.
He’s also a solo musician with three albums under his belt, each of them different in style and tone. His debut, 2009’s Harvest Festival, consists of broad swathes of techno with minimal flourishes and cloudy instrumentals, while 2014’s Endless Love EP includes spacious deep house with uplifting lyrics and contrasting-sounding vocals from British musicians Betsy and Trim.
Goddard’s latest album, Electric Lines, is his most varied yet, filled with a range of electronic music influences, from industrial to R&B. The record starts with “Ordinary Madness,” a lush, but nuanced dance number, that is then followed by two funk and disco jams, “Lose Your Love” and “Home,” the latter of which samples Brainstorm’s 1978 hit “We’re on Our Way Home.” “Human Heart” is a sugary, electropop confection, and “Funk You Up” is a sassy, Detroit techno mix nestled at the album’s end.
At 8 p.m., Thursday, May 11, at Public Works. $15; publicsf.com
Album art other than Britney Spears’ — which, without fail, consists of a solo picture of her — can tell you a lot about the music a record contains. That’s especially the case with Los Angeles duo Tuxedo, whose music is so amalgamated it defies being described by one genre. On the cover of their March release, Tuxedo II, a pair of bare women’s legs wearing spiky, red heels dangle seductively behind the album’s title.
So what does this tell you? It tells you that you’re about to get down to some snazzy, jazzy, red-roses-and-candles tunes made by two guys with cheesy disco and new jack swing proclivities. Hopefully, you’re down with that and with funky, boisterous horns, because those are the main ingredients in Tuxedo’s musical recipe.
Put another way, if you blended “Uptown Funk” with “Blurred Lines” and “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” you’d have yourself a Tuxedo track.
At 9 p.m., Saturday, May 13, and 8 p.m., Sunday, May 14, at the Independent. $25; theindependentsf.com
Around 2012, Jamaican musician Kranium moved to Miami to be near his famous singer uncle, Screwdriver. Within a year, he created and independently released his breakthrough hit, “Nobody Has to Know,” a playful, percussive dancehall ballad. Labels took notice of the track, and in 2015, Kranium was offered a record deal by Atlantic Records, joining Sean Paul and Wayne Wonder as one of the few Jamaican artists signed to a major label.
In 2015, Kranium released his debut album, Rumors, which included a new version of “Nobody Has to Know” that featured blue-eyed crooner Ty Dolla $ign, along with 10 new tracks. Like the song that brought him fame, Rumors is filled with dulcet, oft-directed-to-a-woman tunes comprised of tropical keys, rhythmic drums, and sexually forward lyrics.
Kranium’s voice can come off as a bit whiny, but don’t let its elasticity turn you off or distract you from noticing how similar he sounds to trap-soul artist Bryson Tiller.
At 9 p.m., Sunday, May 14, at New Parish. $20-$45; thenewparish.com
Pop quiz: Name a St. Louis rapper. Assuming you can, I bet you a million dollars it’s either Chingy or Nelly. Well, now there’s a new rapper whose tunes are getting heard beyond the Show-Me State: Smino.
The 25-year-old started playing in his church band before getting into rapping and forming the duo YDOC (“Young, Dumb, and Outta Control”) in his teens. In the last two years, he’s released three projects, solidifying himself as a mellow rap connoisseur with a penchant for smoky, neo-soul beats and languid instrumentals.
In blkswn, Smino’s March debut, he dabbles in socially aware lyrics, sharing anecdotes about St. Louis living in the hopes of changing outsiders’ views about the Midwest city. “I hate the fact that when artists tour, they don’t have a date in St. Louis,” he told The FADER in March. “There’s hella creative people coming from here, so I’m trying to open up the floodgate for them.”
At 8:30 p.m., Saturday, May 20, at Complex Oakland, 420 14th St, Oakland. complexoakland.com