Friday, June 8th, offers a tough choice for local music fans as two of the city's most popular bands -- Big Ass Truck and The North Mississippi Allstars -- make what have become increasingly rare local appearances. But tough though the choice is, the pick hit this week has to be the Truck. As reported in these pages a few weeks ago, the eclectic five-piece that has been a premier local attraction for nearly a decade is at a bit of a crossroads and their show Friday at the New Daisy Theatre promises to be the band's last for a while. Oddly enough, Big Ass Truck will go on hiatus just as their next album, The Rug, is getting ready for release (it's due out in late July). Accidental Mersh and Retrospect will be on hand to help send BAT out in style.
As for the Allstars, Friday's show at the Young Avenue Deli will be the band's first local club gig since their fabulous (and fabulously well-attended) set at the Beale Street Music Fest and their Handy Award win in May. Be on the lookout for some of the original material that'll be featured on their sophomore album, which is due out later in the year.
A final local show this week that demands attention is Songwriters In Their Own Voice, a song swap that'll be at the Bartlett Performing Arts Center on June 9th. Hosted by Nancy Apple, who frequently hosts similar events at Kudzu's and the Blue Monkey, this event will see Apple joined by Keith Sykes, Teenie Hodges, Delta Joe Sanders, Duane Jarvis, and Sandy Carroll.
As for the out-of-towners, that old five-and-dimer himself, Billy Joe Shaver, will be at the Hi-Tone Café on Thursday, June 7th. Teenbeat Records' True Love Always will be at the Map Room on Friday, June 8th, with Palindrome and Jai Alai. But the best bet might be Little Rock's Boondogs, who will be at the Blue Monkey on Saturday, June 9th. The Boondogs won a record contract through garageband.com, a talent-search site created by Talking Head Jerry Harrison. With three vocalists a la Fleetwood Mac, the Boondogs make what they call Roots Pop For Now People, which is the Nick Lowe-inspired title of a promotional EP the band recently put out. That EP features the three original songs that won them the garageband.com deal as well as covers of Carly Simon's "You're So Vain," Elvis Costello's "Blame It On Cain," and Suzanne Vega's "Luka" (in Spanish). The EP captures a band in full command of its tasteful but crafty adult pop sound and only whets the appetite for the full-length to come, which was produced locally at Ardent Studios by Jim Dickinson. -- Chris Herrington