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Rock-and-Roll Christmas



Fans of horny, Memphis-made rock and raunch are in luck. Two of Memphis' favorite bands — Lucero, a hard-touring staple, and Impala, a seldom-seen crowd-pleaser — celebrate the season with special holiday performances this week.

It's a good time to be a part of the Lucero family. In November, front-man Ben Nichols' song "The Last Pale Light in the West" showed up in the "Live Bait" episode of The Walking Dead. This month, as The Wire's David Simon's "Horrorshow" rant went viral, the band was prominently featured in the Wire-creator's HBO series Treme. Nichols even had a scene with shout-outs to Memphis and local sax man Jim Spake.

The Lucero Family Christmas Show, with opening act Dead Soldiers, is at Minglewood Hall. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Green Machine Mobile Food Market.

Lucero isn't the only local band to make a star turn. In 2002, every single note of Impala's scary-as-hell take on Henry Mancini's "Experiment in Terror"/"Stalkin'" was showcased in George Clooney's Chuck Barris biopic Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.

Impala reunions aren't unheard of, but they are rare and any opportunity to see them in a venue as intimate as the Buccaneer should be taken. The instrumental group's music is usually described as authentic surf, but that's only part of the story. The band also trucks in melancholy R&B that mixes easily with ominous murder-jazz, drag-strip rave-ups, and sax-driven stripper sleaze. If you came of age in Memphis in the 1990s, the Oblivians and the Grifters were writing your soundtrack, but Impala scored the badass incidental music.

Lucero at Minglewood Hall, Saturday, December 21st, 7 p.m. $22 • Impala at the Buccaneer, Saturday, December 21st, 10 p.m. $7

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