The kings of sleazy garage rock return to Memphis this Thursday for a show at the Hi-Tone Cafe. Formed in 1999, the Black Lips quickly climbed the garage-rock ranks on the strength of their unpredictable live shows and throwback recording techniques, and the band actually played some of their first shows in Memphis at places like the People's Temple and other now-defunct warehouse spaces. Before landing a deal with Vice Records, the band made a name for themselves with stellar releases on In the Red Records, in addition to a rigorous tour schedule that sent the band around the world, including a short jaunt into the Middle East.
While bands like the Strokes were handed the "bad boy" guitar-rock torch by MTV and every other significant media outlet in the early 2000s, the Black Lips are the real heirs to the garage-rock iron throne. Sure, they've made records with Mark Ronson and Patrick Carney sitting in the producer's chair, but the band's earlier material, specifically 2005's Let It Bloom, is some of the best garage rock to ever be created. The band's songs have become more polished as they work with big name producers, but the Black Lips live show has always been their strongest attribute, and that aspect of the Black Lips experience is still very much intact.
On tour with the Black Lips is Chain and the Gang, the deconstructed rock band led by underground icon Ian Svenonius. Svenonius also played in the Make-Up and the extremely influential Washington, D.C., punk band Nation of Ulysses, but Chain and the Gang is his weirdest project to date, which is saying a lot considering Svenonius has never been a predictable songwriter. Locals Aquarian Blood open the show. You don't want to miss this one.
The Black Lips, Thursday, July 7th at the Hi-Tone Cafe. 8p.m. $15