Music » Music Features

Sound Advice

The Flyer's music writers tell you where you can go.


"Have you heard about the roll The Subteens are on?" I was asked at the Premier Player Awards. I had. Go-go dancers. Nudity. Drunken debauchery. So off I went to a sushi bar (!) in Oxford, Mississippi (!!), two nights later where the Subteens were capping a MADJACK Records showcase. No go-go dancers, unfortunately. But what I did see was one of the best (if not the best) punk-pop bands in town having gotten a little bit better than any other time I've seen them, with a second guitar player a nice addition to the mix. I saw a healthy crowd even more excited for them than they had been for Lucero, or the Pawtuckets, or Cory Branan. Have you heard about the roll the Subteens are on? See for yourself when they join Wesley Willis (see below) at Last Place on Earth on Thursday, April 12th. It doesn't seem quite right to send you out on a Friday the 13th with nothing to do, so how about Earnestine and Hazel's, which boasts the promising triple bill of American Deathray, Palindrome, and The Knaughty Knights?

-- Chris Herrington

Wesley Willis is 6'5" and 300-plus pounds of paranoid schizophrenic. He spent a great deal of his life homeless on the streets of Chicago where he played, well, schizophrenic songs on his keyboard for, and sold his undeniably cool line drawings to, whoever might be passing by. Now he has 20-odd albums and probably 500 songs to his credit. It's an amazing story. On the other hand, while Wesley's songs can be amusing, his backing band, the Fiasco, isn't particularly interesting. It's all sloppy, medium-energy thrash, but Wesley's naive, funny, and often twisted lyrics make it all seem a whole lot better than it really is. Too bad the atmosphere of a Wesley Willis show is more like a freak show than a concert, because I've got a soft spot for lyrics like, "This beast killed as many as 100,000 people/Its wings can flap like a bird/It can break a glass/It can also stab you in the ass/The chicken cow/The chicken cow/The chicken cow/The chicken cow" and "Before I got fat I was slim/That was this time when I was eating McDonald's/I kept eating McDonald's for five years from 1987 to 1991/That's when I became fat/A year later, I'm doing something about it/I'm sorry that I got fat/I will slim down." The most excellent Subteens, who not so long ago wound up rocking on stage bare-assed naked, surrounded by a bevy of similarly dressed go-go girls, share the bill. Though I'm not much of a Wesley Willis fan, there is no doubt that when he and the Subteens unite at Last Place on Earth on Thursday the chances for divine weirdness will be large. Extra large. -- Chris Davis

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.

Add a comment