If you've seen Lost in Translation you may remember the throbbing, electro, comic-porn music playing in the Tokyo strip club that Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson visit. Well, that's Peaches' memorably titled single "Fuck the Pain Away," and in Tokyo it might even be believable that it'd be played in a strip club. In Memphis you'll have to go to Young Avenue Deli instead, where the only nudity you see might come from Peaches herself. The naughty punk-disco provocateur should provide a sleazy good time at that Midtown hotspot Tuesday, October 14th, where she'll be joined by like-minded openers Electrocute.
And speaking of the Deli, they must be trying to set a record for can't-miss musical spectacles this week, because on Friday, October 10th, they'll be hosting Digital Underground. That's right. Digital Underground. "People say, 'You look like MC Hammer on crack, Humpty!'" "I once got busy in a Burger King bathroom." That Digital Underground. Ordinarily I wouldn't be so giddy about a past-their-prime nostalgia act without new material to tour behind, but "The Humpty Dance" was both the best pop-music dance-instruction song since "The Loco-Motion" and the most pleasure-intensive hip-hop single since "It Takes Two." And the laidback, free-associative, street-corner epic "Doowutchyalike" is one of the most underrated singles ever. Call the mayor. This should be declared a holiday of some sort.
Canadian singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards has taken a bit of flak for sounding just like Lucinda Williams on her 2003 debut, Failer. And she does. But I'll be damned if Edwards didn't make the better record this year -- smarter, funnier, looser. She's one of the true finds of the year, and she'll be returning to town Tuesday, October 14th, where she'll open for Guster at the New Daisy Theatre. -- Chris Herrington
I have to admit I was a bit surprised to see that Marty Stuart was playing The Pyramid. Hey, I know the man who got his start at the age of 12 playing mandolin for bluegrass pioneers Flatt & Scruggs and who did a stint in Johnny Cash's band before becoming America's leading proponent of hillbilly rock has a big name in country music. I just didn't know that it was big enough to book The Pyramid, and I won't believe it until I see it. Stuart's one helluva picker, his taste in sidemen is impeccable, and traditional country music has no greater advocate. That said, his rocked-up, Nashville-tainted originals are never as good as his covers of the standards. Maybe his recent return to his hometown of Philadelphia, Mississippi (which is also the hometown of Jimmie Rodgers, the spiritual father of country music), will have Stuart in a rootsy frame of mind. Stuart plays Saturday, October 11th.
Now Dwight Yoakam, on the other hand, is a hillbilly I can get behind all the way. His love of blistering Bakersfield honky-tonk is evident on nearly every track he's ever recorded, and his new record, Population Me, is no exception. Sure, he may cover a Burt Bacharach tune, but that hardly means he's turned sophisticated on us. Yoakam has the ability to give sad songs about sad men in sad circumstances a driving beat without ever losing contact with the lonesome spirit of traditional country. It's the same trick that Buck Owens used when he ruled the charts throughout the '60s. Yoakam will be tearing it up at Horseshoe Casino on Thursday, October 9th.
Looking for something strange? Well then, maybe you'll be interested in the StranjBrew HooDoo festival being held on October 10th and 11th at Murphy's, the Madison Flame, and the P&H CafÇ. Thus far, over 100 local musicians have signed on to play the event, and according to promoters, more are coming on board by the hour. Classic metalheads can bang away to The Joint Chiefs, garage fans can groove to chick rockers The Ultracats, art-rockers can smile knowingly to Vending Machine, and power-pop punks can do whatever it is they do to The Subteens. And that's just scratching the surface. Virtually every genre you can imagine will be represented in this two-day show, which is a tribute to the late (and certifiably great) bass player Craig Shindler. It will culminate in a performance featuring members of Shindler's former bands K-9 Arts, Mash-o-Matic, and Easy Way. Proceeds go to the Church Health Center in Shindler's name. Five bucks gets you in to all of the clubs. Can't beat that. -- Chris Davis