Best bet this week has to be an intriguing night of hip-hop DJs at Young Avenue Deli on Friday, April 20th. Local Memphix Records and the Bay Area's Stones Throw Records are coming together for the first of what Memphix says will be other funk and hip-hop shows in town. Memphix DJs Chase and Red-Eye Jedi will be spinning. Stones Throw will be represented by Miles Tackett, who leads the highly regarded, nine-piece Los Angeles hip-hop and funk band the Breakestra, and Egon, a DJ with Nashville roots who currently manages the label. Stones Throw, which released last year's underground cult fave The Unseen by rapper Quasimoto, is a label founded by Bay Area DJ Peanut Butter Wolf.
Singer-songwriter Mark Selby has penned hit songs for country stars the Dixie Chicks, Wynonna, and Trisha Yearwood, but as a solo performer he goes for more of a blues-rock sound. The Nashville-based Selby has been through town a lot lately, trying to build support for his recent solo debut, More Storms Comin'. He'll be at Newby's on Friday, April 20th, with the Zach Myers Band, giving fans of the genre two versions of blues-rock: one centered on songs (Selby) and one centered on flashy guitar (Myers). -- Chris Herrington
One of these things just doesn't belong here; one of these things just isn't the same. First, we have Memphis' own punk-a-blues band (with occasional hip-hop flavoring) The Porch Ghouls. Next, we have Little Rock's Go Fast, a band that takes loud, scorching Southern rock to new extremes (and does a mighty fine cover of Jerry Reed's "East Bound and Down" to boot). For raw redneck power filtered through a Fu Manchu, rendered totally shirtless, and fueled by a mighty beer gut, this band is hard, nay, impossible to top. Lastly, we have Syrup, a group of giant Floridians (each well over 6 feet tall) who might actually be able to make the boys of Go Fast look like a bunch of ukulele-picking sissies. These guys take scorching '70s-style rock to new and sometimes quite unexpected extremes. Rumor has it that it was their performance that prompted the Subteens Mark Akin to disrobe at a recent show -- so as not to disappear entirely after Syrup tore the house down. To be perfectly frank, I've no idea what the Porch Ghouls are doing on this bill. Actually, I do: The Ghouls' El Dorado Del Rey cut his teeth in the same Florida scene as Syrup, so they're buds, but still, they might just get blown off the stage. Then again, when a band that's as much fun as the Porch Ghouls has the potential of being blown off the stage, you know you are in for one hell of a fine show. Check it out at the Young Avenue Deli on Saturday, April 21st.
And, of course, Earth Day is this week and there is no better way to celebrate that peculiar pot-party-cum-holiday than with the red-eyed Joint Chiefs, who'll be bustin' out all the dope-rock at the Map Room on Friday, April 20th. Revel to "Bong Queen"; rejoice to "Superdragon 69"; get lost in "Mr. Freedom"; and remember, it's "Gas, Grass, or Ass," because nobody rides for free.
-- Chris Davis