Magnolia Electric Company is the latest obsession of Jason Molina, who has also released records under the Songs: Ohia and Pyramid Electric Co monikers. Once a dead ringer for Will Oldham in form and substance, Molina has grown into the frontman of one of the premier Crazy Horse-esque rock acts in the land, which is now touring on its studio debut, "What Comes After the Blues." The band joins Minus Story 10 p.m. today at The Jackpot Saloon, 943 Mass.
With a level of enthusiasm that draws comparison to the early days of New Order and sounds that may recall Prefuse 73 or Disco Inferno, Walter Meego espouses rock, electro and down tempo in a genre-imploding creation of synth-pop proportions. The Chicago trio performs 9 p.m. Saturday at The Gaslight Tavern, 317 N. Second St.
Samuel Beam's hushed, restrained vocals sound as if they're being whispered to you personally. The simple intimacy of his Americana songs -- accompanied by guitar, banjo, slide guitar -- allows his voice and lyrics as the focal point of Iron and Wine. Based in Florida, where he teaches cinematography at a small Miami college, Beam sings about killing snakes in creek beds and riding rusty trains. Beam's project joins Band of Horses and Eric Johnson 7 p.m. (early show) Saturday at The Granada, 1020 Mass.
It was unanimous. Hong Kong native Kuok-Wai Lio took first place and the audience prize in July at the International Institute of Young Musicians International Piano Competition at the Lied Center. The 15-year-old virtuoso, who began playing the keys when he was just 4 years old, returns to Lawrence this weekend for a solo recital that will include works by Mozart and Debussy. "This is a unique young artist that I predict in another 10 years will be recognized as one of the world's great concert artists," says Scott McBride Smith, president and CEO of the institute. "And he got his start in Lawrence." The performance is at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and can be purchased by calling 843-2787.
A Virtuoso Returns
On four Fridays each year, a handful of downtown art venues open their doors from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. to showcase regional and national artists. Art enthusiasts stroll the blocks surrounding Massachusetts Street, ducking in and out of galleries, enjoying the scenery and the company. This evening's gallery walk features new works in painting, jewelry, ceramics, photography and drawing, among other things. KOJO, 745 N.H., will show "Free Form Porcelain" by Zia, a ceramic artist from India via Finland, now based in Cummings. Her work is shown at left. Viewing begins at 7 p.m. today.