Wow. A lot going on this week. Aside from The Down From the Mountain Tour's stop at the DeSoto Civic Center (see Music Feature, page 37), the best touring-act bets are a couple of shows at the Hi-Tone Café. Nashville-based singer-songwriter Josh Rouse produces gentle, literate songs superior to similar artists such as Ron Sexsmith and Richard Buckner but with a lilting musicality that recalls Rouse's Nashville buddies Lambchop. Rouse's most recent release, Under Cold Blue Stars, is a real gem, and fans of exquisite songcraft will definitely want to check this show out when Rouse plays on Wednesday, August 7th. And Texas indie rockers El Gato are a highly regarded new band whose show shouldn't be much of a gamble given the presence of two of the local scene's finest, Mouserocket and Snowglobe, on the bill. El Gato will be at the Hi-Tone Saturday, August 3rd.
But there are also plenty of locals-only shows this week that register as special events. Frequent tourmates The North Mississippi Allstars, Lucero, and Burnside Exploration will join forces for a massive bill at the Budweiser Pavilion in Handy Park Friday, August 2nd. One of the most interesting local shows I've seen lately was the first installment of Tha Movement a few weeks back at a packed Hi-Tone. Well, this fledgling monthly concert series returns with its second show this week at the Lounge Saturday, August 3rd, with an eclectic lineup that includes folk-rocker Native Son, the mariachi band Los Cantadores, and soul acts Toshia and Soul Project. Finally, Loggia, whose smart chamber-rock sound is a distinct part of the local indie-rock landscape, will hold a CD-release party at Young Avenue Deli Thursday, August 1st, with The Coach & Four and The Glass. Loggia will then have a second release party for a disc of remixes the next day at Shangri-La Records. This show will be a cookout starting at 6 p.m., with all proceeds going to benefit the Memphis Digital Arts Co-operative. This will be Loggia's last local show before relocating to the East Coast. Another benefit for the MeDiA Co-op will happen later Saturday night at Young Avenue Deli and is scheduled to feature acoustic soul duo Bella Sun, the Reigning Sound's Greg Cartwright in a solo set, and newcomers Dearest Darlin'. -- Chris Herrington
The Country Teasers, who will be appearing at the Hi-Tone Café Sunday, August 4th, appear to take their cues from the miserably misdirected troubadour Johnny Dowd. That is to say, they begin with certain country-and-western fundamentals they attempt to destroy with a battery of two-minute synth-driven songs that range in theme from masturbation to my-baby-done-left-me. Sometimes, it's all just a mess of synthesizer and clipped, risk-free vocals running through a well-known litany of millennial disaffection. Their cover of Ice Cube's "We Had To Tear This Motherfucker Up" lacks the cleverness and surprise of Dynamite Hack's almost Beach Boys-like take on "Boyz In the Hood." When lead Teaser B.R. Waller launches into the song "Can't Sing," it becomes apparent that sometimes honesty is not the best policy. That bit of unflattering commentary said, the Country Teasers are playing on a double bill with our own The Reigning Sound, and there is nothing wrong with that. With a new and, I might add, fantastic album under their belt, the Sound are better than they have ever been. Whether they are reinventing classic Harold Arlen covers or racing through new originals like the unsettling (but oh-so danceable) "Time Bomb High School" or the Modern Lovers-esque "She's Bored With You," the Reigning Sound continue to prove that they are the best band in Memphis. Moreover, they make it all seem so effortless. -- Chris Davis