Arts, The Muse

Best beats in Boston: An introduction to the music scene

If you're at all musically inclined, welcome &- you've come to the right place. Boston is a treasure trove of touring bands and musical events year-round. The options can be overwhelming if you don't know where to look, as they were for me when I came to Boston from Nashville; my hometown is more of a hotspot for country music, as opposed to the younger, hipper and more innovative bands that frequent Boston's clubs.

Here's a rundown of some of the venues where you'll see major acts, and what to expect:

Paradise Rock Club

967 Commonwealth Ave. (T: Green Line outbound on B, Pleasant St.)

Generally 18+; covers $10-$25

A medium-sized venue located right around the corner from West Campus, up the block from Raising Canes. Though a large column once obscured the view directly in front of the stage, the Paradise has recently undergone a major renovation, reorienting the stage and making more room for larger crowds. Acts vary from niche to bigger-name bands, mostly indie and rock &- and you can always see what's coming up on the club's old-fashioned marquee.

Upcoming shows:

Post-rock veterans Tortoise with Greg Davis &' Ben Vida, Sept. 7. Doors 7 p.m. 18+, $20.

Electronic act Caribou with Holy F--k, Sept. 19. Doors 7 p.m. 18+, $20.

Trip-hop/electronic duo Phantogram with Railbird, Sept. 22. Doors 7 p.m. 18+, $13.

House of Blues

15 Lansdowne St. (T: Green Line inbound to Kenmore Station)

Some all ages, but varied; covers usually $30+

A larger venue with a wide stage suited to slightly more popular acts. Be forewarned &- HoB is liable to change show times without much warning, so check on the day of show; age limits vary depending on the event. HoB is right across from Fenway, close to East Campus.

Upcoming shows:

Proto-punk legends Iggy and the Stooges on their comeback tour, Aug. 31. Doors 6:30 p.m. All ages, $45 stadium seating, $55 general admission standing, $65 reserved seating.

New wave icon Billy Idol, Sept. 14. Doors 7 p.m. All ages, $37 general admission standing, $49.50 reserved seating.

Guns n' Roses guitarist Slash, Sept. 15. Doors 7 p.m. All ages, $29.50 general admission standing, $39.50 reserved seating.

Bank of America Pavilion

290 Northern Ave. (T: Green Line inbound to Park St. &- Red Line toward Braintree to South St. &- Silver Line to Silver Line Way after Manulife Building)

All ages; covers usually $30+

Where the modern hitmakers play when they come to Boston. The Pavilion is located on the Waterfront.

Upcoming shows:

Jam band Disco Biscuits with Raekwon, RJD2 and Mimosa, Sept. 11. 6 p.m. All ages, $22.50 uncovered concourse, $29.50 covered pavilion.

Indie superstars Vampire Weekend with Dum Dum Girls, Sept. 12. 7:30 p.m. All ages, $35 uncovered concourse, $35 covered pavilion.

Middle East Downstairs

472 Massachusetts Ave. (Cambridge) (T: Green Line inbound to Park St. &- Red Line toward Alewife to Central Square &- OR 1 Bus)

18+; covers usually $10-$20, cheaper in advance

Another medium-sized, small-name indie venue, located in Central Square in Cambridge. It's one of my personal favorites, as the setting is more intimate than some others in Boston. Reliably 18+ and pretty affordable. The Middle East also has an upstairs, popular for some smaller and local acts.

Upcoming shows:

Dream-pop trio School of Seven Bells with Active Child, Sept. 11. Doors 8 p.m. 18+, $12 advanced, $14 day of show.

Experimental electronic artist Tobacco with Junk Culture and Dreamend, Sept. 18. Doors 8 p.m. 18+, $12.

Ambient pastiche master Fennesz, Sept. 20. 18+, $15 advanced, $17 day of show.

Don't miss these shows at venues in the Theatre District, near the Boston Common and Chinatown (Green Line inbound to Boylston or nearby):

Dirty Projectors and Owen Pallett &- Wilbur Theatre, Sept. 13.

Xiu Xiu with Deerhoof &- Paramount Theatre, Oct. 10.

Belle and Sebastian &- Wang Theatre, Oct. 15.

There are also plenty of smaller venues and coffee shops where you can find cheap or free music, including Café Luna and Cantab, both in Central Square, Midway Café in Jamaica Plain, Wally's near the Symphony and Great Scott in Allston. There are always a plethora of options, so I recommend you use a website like Last.fm or Pollstar to keep up.

Enjoy &- and keep reading the MUSE for the skinny on all Boston's great music scene has to offer.

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