Whether you're a fan of gentle acoustic guitar or roaring rock leads, the Birchmere has something for you next week.
Monday night's show will feature Ottmar Liebert, who launched the style called nouveau flamenco with an album by that name in 1990. Unlike the work of many other artists whose recordings appear in the New Age or lite jazz section, Liebert's music is generally quiet without being boring, contemplative without being repetitive.
This year, he released "Winter Rose" (SSRI/33rd Street Records), a holidays-inspired album that applies his trademark tender touch to classics such as "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and "O Holy Night," as well as six original songs.
For this tour, Liebert's changeable band, Luna Negra, will be a septet. It will include longtime collaborator Jon Gagan on bass, as well as violins, viola and cello to embellish the centerpiece flamenco and electric guitars.
A guitarist of a very different, but equally passionate, stripe is post-punk rocker Bob Mould.
Mould, who will perform Tuesday, led the influential Minneapolis-based 1980s trio Husker Du, and his guitar sound still resounds in much of alternative rock.
Doing the Du alone would have guaranteed Mould a place in rock history, but in the ensuing years he has shown a preference for pushing forward rather than looking back. In 1989, he released a beautiful singer/songwriter-style solo album, "Workbook," followed a year later by the more muscular "Black Sheets of Rain." He returned to the trio format with Sugar, which released four CDs in the early '90s, and then he recorded two solo CDs before taking an intriguing non-musical detour -- writing scripts for World Championship Wrestling.
When Mould returned to music in 2002, it was to explore electronica on one CD, "Modulate," under his own name and another of deep grooves as LoudBomb (an anagram of his name). He also extended his love of club music by co-hosting DJ events with remixer Richard Morel, which led to numerous Mould remixes for dance and alternative rock acts.
Last year, Mould moved away from turntables and computers to pick up his guitar again. His latest album, "Body of Song" (Yep Roc Records), travels full circle back to the guitar style he made famous with Husker Du while bringing in modern studio sonics and an experimental approach to arrangements.
Opening the show will be Kristin Hersh, another cult hero of the early alternative rock world for her work in the band Throwing Muses with Tanya Donelly. When Donelly left to form the group Belly, Hersh continued as the Muses' lead singer and songwriter and also broke out as a solo artist with the 1994 release of "Hips and Shakers." As if balancing one band and solo releases weren't enough, Hersh also formed 50 Foot Wave in 2003, which distinguished itself with a harder sound than the Muses'.
-- MARIANNE MEYER
The Birchmere is at 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets -- $29.50 for the Liebert show and $20 for the Mould and Hersh show -- are available at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 703-551-SEAT. Tickets can also be purchased at the box office from 5 to 9 p.m. on show nights. For more information, call 703-549-7500 or visit www.birchmere.com.
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