Clearly, there's one show that dominates the concert calendar in Memphis this week, and you can read about it over on page 41. But if garage-rock isn't your thing, you couldn't ask for better counter-programming than what Young Avenue Deli is serving up Halloween night.
When the Digable Planets emerged in 1993 with their debut, Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space), they were the next generation in bohemian rap, their conscious, jazz-inflected style inheriting the middle-class mantle of Native Tongues groups like De La Soul, the Jungle Brothers, and A Tribe Called Quest. They were uptown cool to Arrested Development's middle-American plainness.
Unsurprisingly, the band was never embraced by the so-called hip-hop community, and soon after their 1994 follow-up, Blowout Comb, the trio of Butterfly, Ladybug, and Doodlebug parted ways.
After being musically MIA for several years, Ishmael "Butterfly" Butler returned earlier this year with Bright Black, the debut from his new group, Cherrywine, which takes Digable Planets' alt-rap style into rock and soul territory similar to that of Cody Chesnutt. Honestly, the album's a little duller than one would hope, but Butler is a once-major figure whose return to the music scene is very welcome. Cherrywine will perform Halloween night, Friday, October 31st, at Young Avenue Deli.
Also of note this weekend is a record-release party Saturday, November 1st, at the New Daisy Theatre for local rockers Ingram Hill, winners of the Best Newcomer award at this year's Premier Player Awards. The band will celebrate the release of its new CD, June's Picture Show, with guests Pseudopod and The Clarks. --Chris Herrington
It's Halloween time, kiddos, and for Memphis rockers that can mean only one thing: It's time for a little Hell on Earth. The annual all-night party at the Premiere Palace (629 Monroe) celebrates its 18th birthday this year, so it's now officially old enough to stay up all night. To make the occasion special, the infernal party's longtime hostess Misty White has assembled a musical lineup that will begin playing at 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 1st, and won't stop until 7 a.m. on Sunday. The lineup is eclectic (to say the least) and includes a number of local stalwarts, a handful of young upstarts, and a few special guests from out of town. The Joint Chiefs will be on hand to make with the loud, metal-tinged caveman rock. Their earsplitting set was among the highlights of the Stranjbrew Hoodoo festival a few weeks back thanks to the double leads of dueling guitarists Johnny Williams and Filthy Diablo alum Steveo. You can't throw a party in Memphis without inviting The Subteens to play, or so it would seem, and they too will be on hand to make with the rock. It's a Halloween party, so I fully expect Mr. Subteen Mark Akin to remove all his clothing. Bring sunglasses. Plywood Doghouse will be in the house, as will Gabe (formerly of the Gabe & Amy Show), and, for all denizens of the Dirty South, The Memphis Underground Rap Alliance featuring old-school hip-hop kingpin Al Kapone will make with the flow. This year's special guests are straight-ahead goof-rockers The Uninvited, and did I mention that the festivities go on until 7 in the morning?
But what if Hell just isn't your cup of tea? Maybe you like to contemplate more heavenly notions while drinking yourself into oblivion. If that's the case, then don't miss the Reverend Vince Anderson when he plays the Hi-Tone CafÇ on Monday, November 3rd. Singing "dirty gospel" songs about the working man's Jesus, Anderson mines the same territory as Tom Waits and with similar, more spiritually informed results. You might get drunk. You might get saved.
-- Chris Davis