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Check It Out

Check It Out: January 25, 2013

ZZ Top – La Futura (American) If ZZ Top spent the ensuing years since its ’80s heyday lost in a creative desert, it would be production svengali Rick Rubin that was the guide that led the power trio to a musical oasis. Not unlike how he coaxed elder statesmen Neil Diamond and Johnny Cash to reach inward for a more organic and honest sound, Rubin similarly rode herd on the lil’ ol’ band from Texas. The result is the threesome’s solidest recording in decades. It manages to fuse the forward thinking synthesizer nuances of Eliminator with the gritty riffing and dirty blues many fans came to first associate with them via 1973’s classic Tres Hombres. While it would be easy to get scared off when you learn opening cut “I Gotsa Get Paid” is actually a reworking of “25 Lighters,” a hip-hop song by fellow Houstonians DJ DMD with Lil’ Keke and Fat Pat. Billy Gibbons and his compadres turn it on its head, for something that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Black Keys set. Listeners staying on are rewarded with the “Tush”-like shuffle “Chartreuse,” the bluesy “It’s Too Easy Manana” and “Flyin’ High,” the closest ZZ Top gets to a bona fide radio hit. In all, this is the most vibrant and rejuvenated this trio has sounded in ages.

Fri. 1.25

Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo @ NYCB Theatre @ Westbury

960 Brush Hollow Rd., 8 p.m. $49.50. 877-598-8497

Was there ever a more underappreciated talent to come out of Long Island? Yeah, Pat Benatar sold scads of albums and was a regular presence on MTV in the early to mid-’80s, but did she ever get the kind of critical props for someone who blazed a trail for women in rock? Nowadays more about playing live than recording, Benatar and husband/creative partner Neil Giraldo are swinging through for their annual hometown gig but this time around, the Long Island native is giving back in light of the recent meteorological devastation. For this show, the South Shore gal and her beau will be headliners of Rebuild Long Island: A Sandy Relief Benefit. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Habitat for Humanity as well as two hometown organizations—the Lindenhurst Fire Department and the Village of Lindenhurst Relief Fund.

Sun. 1.27

Port Washington

Bari Koral Family Rock Band @ Landmark on Main Street

223 Main St. 2 p.m. $20, $18


As many parents can attest to, one of the more challenging aspects of raising little ones is enduring children’s music that invariably never winds up appealing to anyone over the age of seven. Not unlike Del Fuegos founding member Dan Zanes, Bari Koral has taken the leap from roots rock and applied that aesthetic to making music that can be enjoyed by both kids and adults. Joining forces with jazz bassist Dred Scott, guitarist John Bertsche and drummer Eric Halvorson, the East Meadow native garnered enough success to cut the second full-length album of all-kids music, last year’s Anna and the Cupcakes.

Sun. 1.27        

Huntington Hot Water Music @ The Paramount

370 New York Ave., 8 p.m. $35, $25. 631-673-7300

With Long Island being ground zero for emo music, it only makes sense that post-hardcore/pop-punk outfit Hot Water Music hit the Paramount in support of Exister, the band’s first full-length album in eight years. Surprisingly accessible, the baker’s dozen-worth of songs benefit from frontman Chuck Ragan’s time away spent exploring roots rock and folk nuances during his time away from the band.