Nick Lowe at the McGlohon Theater tonight (10/9/2012)

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NICK LOWE
Never mind the Sex Pistols, punk really started with Nick Lowe. Founding seminal pub-rock band Brinsley Schwarz, Lowe’s back-to-basics blues-and-country-rock set the stage for punk, and his rough-and-ready production style established punk’s DIY aesthetic. Nicknamed “the Basher” for his knock-it-out-and-move-on style, Lowe produced and launched the careers of The Damned and Elvis Costello. For all that, Lowe was never really a punk, embracing the irreverent attitude of the genre but not it’s increasingly lock-step riff-o-rama. Indeed, his first single, “Marie Provost” is a cheerfully black-hearted ditty about a faded film star devoured by her dog. By the early ’80s, Lowe ditched his pop-star career for his first and abiding love, carefully crafted roots rock and country. Nowadays, Lowe has abandoned his smart-assed dark humor. Still, he retains his charming hand-made production style in the service of old-fashioned groovers that combine country, soul and Tin Pan Alley pop. In his 60s, and still not doing what’s expected of him, Lowe crafts perfect pop that sounds like standards from an alternate universe. With Chuck Prophet and The Mission Express. $25-$27.50. Oct. 9, 7:30 p.m. McGlohon Theater, 345 N. College St. 704-372-1000. www.blumenthalarts.org.

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