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Hi Electric at the Poplar Lounge

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A couple of years ago, at a Memphis Pops Festival at the Hi-Tone Café, longtime Memphis scene stalwarts Dave Shouse (Grifters) and Steve Selvidge (Big Ass Truck, Hold Steady) played a great set. But it wasn't with the Bloodthirsty Lovers, the Shouse project of which Selvidge was once a member. Instead they were back-up musicians for Neil Bartlett, a then generally unknown young musician, in Bartlett's band Hi Electric. The band — and Bartlett — seemed like a potentially major new force on the Memphis indie-rock scene, but neither has been seen all that much since. It turns out Bartlett was holed up in the studio crafting an eponymous debut album that's now one of 2012's best local releases. Now a trio, with Bartlett joined by bassist Alan Yee and drummer Henry Talbot, with album producer Kevin Cubbins sometimes joining on guitar, Hi Electric's heavy, guitar-drenched take on Big Star-style pop-rock melodicism lies somewhere on the continuum between Teenage Fanclub and My Bloody Valentine. Bartlett & Co. celebrate the album's release — via Memphis ex-pat and Cubbins' associate John Murry's Evangeline label — with a show Friday, June 15th, at the Poplar Lounge. El Burro opens.

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