As a child of a decorated musician, you either embrace his fame or defiantly attempt to step out of his shadow. Throughout her 30-year career, Lalah Hathaway has carried on the legacy left by her father, famed soul singer Donny Hathaway, but on her terms. Her velvety-smooth R&B feels featherweight and delicate but by no means passive. Instead, her soulful lyrics serve as a feminist rallying cry for a new generation. “I’mma teach you how to treat me like I deserve,” Hathaway sings on song “Change Ya Life” with an unshakable coolness. July 5-6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Birchmere. Sold out.
Potty Mouth has always dipped its toe into charted pop waters. But for its first album in six years, the band decided to dive head first into them. So is Potty Mouth shedding its DIY punk roots in favor of mainstream success? Yes, there’s a bit more polish and sheen to “Snafu’s” production than what was on its debut, “Hell Bent,” but if you really dig into the new album, you’ll quickly realize that the core of Potty Mouth’s musical DNA is still present: Those killer, quick-witted jabs are still there, as are the melodic choruses that burrow deep into your consciousness. But, if you’re still worried that Potty Mouth’s finessed sound is a sign of selling out, lead vocalist Abby Weems came prepared to ease your fears through one of “Snafu’s” best songs, “Smash Hit”: “You want a smash hit/Do you know what’s in fashion?” she sarcastically quips on the major record labels who’ve (unsuccessfully) attempted to woo the band. July 8 at 9 p.m. at Comet Ping Pong. $12-$15.
Time is a construct — this is the ethos that’s kept Jeff Lynne’s Electric Light Orchestra relevant within the pop lexicon for years. Sure, the band’s idiosyncratic space rock can be a bit campy, but it’s managed to age well. Well enough that its popularity now crosses over several generations of fans and has inspired a countless number of musicians (listen to Daft Punk’s “Face to Face” or Pussycat Dolls “Beep” and you’ll get a good sense of how vast this fandom is). ELO’s latest trek across America is the group’s first tour in nearly four decades, and though many years have passed, it won’t feel like a performance stuck in a time capsule. July 11 at 8 p.m. at Capital One Arena. $49.50-$129.50.
So where, exactly, are we going with this? It’s a question you can’t shake from your mind when you first listen to Frank Hurricane’s hazy Appalachian folk album “Life Is Spiritual.” As you attempt to decipher his off-kilter musings, it eventually becomes clear — you just have to let go. This isn’t a maddening situation, but rather freeing, actually, as you ride shotgun with Hurricane through his whimsical psychedelic trip. And at times, that trip can get pretty strange, man. Take “Susquehanna River Blues,” where he muses about a group of Juggalos he met while at a Burger King. It’s a bizarre tale, indeed, but his astute self-awareness and breezy disposition are a part of the album’s charm. July 11 at 8 p.m. at Rhizome. $10.