Taking elements of punk and new wave (and no wave) to loud, dark, and uncomfortable areas, the pointedly named Lost Sounds certainly aren't a band for all tastes (but, then again, what band is?), but anyone who sees them and is willing to open their ears and eyes will recognize not only one of the most committed bands in town but also, within the confines of what they do, one of the best. At their surreal performance at Tower Records during Labor Day weekend's Memphis Music and Heritage Festival, I thought co-lead singer Jay Reatard's antics (quote: "Spare the women and children, but I hope the rest of you fuckers go back to Germantown with your ears ringing") were more distraction than exclamation point. But there's no denying that the power of the band's performance seemed at odds with the artificiality of their surroundings and enough to stop foot traffic outside. The Lost Sounds' newest record, Black-Wave, on the Seattle-based Empty Records label, is a stronger record than the fine Memphis is Dead from earlier this year, and the band will celebrate its release on Saturday, November 17th, at the Young Avenue Deli with Milwaukee bands the Mistreaters and Bleed. -- Chris Herrington
The story of Hayseed Dixie, a dubious one to be sure, goes something like this: Some poor dude crashes his muscle car in Deer Lick Holler, Tennessee. The bumpkins who scavenge said car (looking for God knows what) find a bunch of AC/DC vinyls, play them at the wrong speed, and think they've encountered a helluva good country band. Said bumpkins, inspired like the tribesman from The Gods Must Be Crazy, start a band of their own to pay homage to these recordings fate dropped into their laps. Truth be told, Hayseed Dixie's album A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC is a foolish affair that could potentially lure the late mandolin virtuoso Bill Monroe (perhaps even more a perfectionist/disciplinarian than even James Brown) from his grave in order to kill the S.O.B. responsible for this truly awful record. Musically, it has not a single redeeming quality. But and this is a big "but," it is safe to say that truly awful music was never so much fun. H.D.'s "Big Balls" is perhaps an improvement on AC/DC's bawdy novelty. "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" is still a headbanger, and carnival midway staples like "You Shook Me All Night Long" and "Back in Black" will induce a near-fatal case of the giggles. So for bad music guaranteed to make you feel like T.N.T., trot over to the High Point Pinch Friday, November 16th.
The Joint Chiefs bring their three-guitar stormfront to Murphy's on the 16th. Also, The Tearjerkers' tune "White Lie/Black Eye" ranks among the best glam-punk assaults since Johnny Thunders hopped his China White horse to hell in 1991. They open for Jimbo Mathus at the Lounge on Thursday, November 15th. -- Chris Davis