It’s sensitive music weekend in Las Vegas.
We’re all feeling sensitive too, especially under these gray skies, a sure sign of the winter to come. Time to huddle under some blankets with an important person and a kitty or two.
And get out to see some folky indie bands where performers will non-ironically wear flannel. Because it’s warm and comfortable.
Nobody is more folky indie than Omaha native Conor Mullen Oberst, a Monster of Folk, he of the Bright Eyes. It seems amazing that this introspective singer-songwriter has been around for more than two decades.
Music media reports that he’s doing a mix of his “hits” over the course of his career, which sounds just fine to us.
Oberst is playing tonight, Wednesday, at House of Blues, with festival mainstays the Felice Brothers ($33, 8:30 p.m.).
But Saturday is the real folk takeover converting Sin City into Sad City. (‘Cause folkies like the sad music.)
House of Blues will host City and Colour, the acoustic folk band from Dallas Green, who is from Canada, which is a country that spells “color” funny. Anyway, Green used to be in the sreamo band Alexisonfire, which retired last year, but his present assignment is nothing like that. Green says he likes “sad music,” and that’s what he’s playing.
The Paper Kites, an indie folk band from Australia, is opening. Both City and Colour and Paper Kites are highly recommended if you like that kind of thing ($33, 7 p.m.).
Also on Saturday, Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls will play the Hard Rock Cafe - the one on the Strip, not the casino on Paradise. Turner is an Englishman and former school mate (at Eton, for chrissakes) of Prince William, but apparently did not inherit a royal title so went into popular music instead. Like Dallas Green, Turner came from a musical background leaning towards metal or punk before graduating to a style that would make your grandmother comfortable (and no, that’s not a bad thing!).
Turner channels the acerbic wit of punk but does so in a classic, folk protest mode, with a nod towards Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska. But he also has some rock-band, anthemic choruses tucked in there. Perhaps a bit more indie than folk, but it is all in there: It is, as Mr. Turner says in his song “Recovery,” “all about the pain.” ($17, 7 p.m.)
Now that you’ve had some sad lyrics and quiet chords, time for one more dip in the soft sounds with Jacco Gardner, a songwriter-multi instrumentalist from Holland who channels baroque psychedelia through a modern filter. We remember the first time we heard Robyn Hitchcock, then with the Egyptians: It’s kind of like that, with more than a touch of Syd Barrett in there, too. Bands often chafe at comparisons, but with antecedents like that, it’s hard to go wrong.
Vegas’ own Big Friendly Corporation are opening for Gardner ($10, 10 p.m.).
So dig that cardigan from out of the closet, have some chamomile tea, and folk your head.