Butch Walker has turned his handiness with a hook into a thriving career. Unfortunately, the ex-Marvelous 3 frontman (remember Freak of the Week?) isnt paid for making music so much as producing it. Hes cut albums for Pink, Avril Lavigne, Lindsay Lohan, Katy Perry, Fall Out Boy and Weezer in the past half-dozen years while making his own (fruitless) runs at the charts. Whats missing (other than millions in promotion dollars) is anyones guess. His last two releases 2008s Sycamore Meadows (written after his California place was consumed by a forest fire) and Februarys I Liked You Better When You Had No Heart are crisp, warm and radio-ready as anything hes recorded. From Ponce De Leon Ave., which sounds like premium Chicago, to the appropriately titled, string-abetted piano ballad, Pretty Melody, Walker writes terrific pop music, though my moneys still on 2006s wonderfully glammy, rock-driven The Rise & Fall of Butch Walker and the Lets-Go-Out-Tonites.
Fri., April 2, 8 p.m., 2010