Concert Previews

Singer James Taylor, at the Borgata Friday and Saturday.
Singer James Taylor, at the Borgata Friday and Saturday.
Posted: July 06, 2012

James Taylor

With his more than 50 million albums sold and five Grammy Awards, it doesn't much matter if James Taylor hasn't had a hit single in years: He doesn't need one. As his multigenerational legion of fans knows, the 64-year-old troubadour makes his musical connection most strongly onstage. This time out, though, there's no new record, no Carole King, no concert agenda at all; just his decades' worth of songs. Taylor, whose warm, reedy baritone can soothe even the most angst-ridden heart, is joined for his summer tour by an 11-member band that includes horns, percussion, keyboards, fiddle, and a bevy of backing singers. In recent shows, Taylor has offered up the big hits - "Fire and Rain," "You've Got a Friend," and "Your Smiling Face" among them - along with lesser-known numbers, like "Frozen Man" and "One Man Parade." He has even put his own rootsy spin on a well-chosen cover tune or two, like Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away." Prepare to be charmed.

- Nicole Pensiero


James Taylor plays at 8 Friday and Saturday at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City. Tickets: $95, $135, $175. Information: 1-800-298-4200, www.theborgata.com.

Tangerine Dream

Kraftwerk may have had hipster cool, robot rhythm, and better dress sense, but throughout the '70s and '80s Tangerine Dream held equal sway as Germany's other best-known synthesizer act. The Berlin ensemble, led by Edgar Froese (the sole remaining Tangerine), used his treated guitar tones and spooky sound-collages as the basis for a terrorizing ambient music that would, in time, come to influence house/noise heads like Aphex Twin and the Orb. Like Kraftwerk, the Dream didn't start off trying to lead dance music's electronic stance. In the late '60s and early '70s, they embraced avant-garde minimalism on albums like Phaedra before winding their way through sequencer-induced trance-electronica in the late '70s on works such as Cyclone. By the '80s, their synth-washed mood music became the de rigueur soundtrack to horrific night tremors and long nighttime car and train rides for films such as Legend, Firestarter, Vision Quest, and, of course, Risky Business. Since that time, Froese and his ever-shifting crew have made murky dance music and chilly ambient noise and all sorts of whooshing wind music. Expect a little bit from all their eras at this rare show.

- A.D. Amorosi


Tangerine Dream will play at 8 p.m. Friday at Electric Factory, 421 N. 7th St. Tickets: $32.50 in advance, $35 day of show. Information: 215-627-1332, www.electricfactory.info.

K. Flay

Among the current class of female rappers in-the-wake-of-Nicki- Minaj that is headed up by Azealia Banks and includes Iggy Azalea, Brianna Perry and Kreayshawn, K. Flay is the white girl from the Chicago suburbs with a dual degree from Stanford in psychology and sociology. The quick-witted rhymer and formidable producer has a five-song RP, Eyes Shut, which includes the anti-apathy satire "We Hate Everyone," and is available as a free download. Just signed to RCA Records, K. Flay, born Kristine Flaherty, headlines a quadruple bill at the North Star on Thursday that also includes Canadian singer-songwriter Colin Munroe.

- Dan DeLuca


K. Flay with Hank & the Cupcakes and Colin Munroe and Kill3r Whale perform at 7 p.m. Thursday at the North Star Bar, 26th and Poplar Streets. Tickets: $10-$12. Information: 215-787-0488, www.northstarbar.com.

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