O Brother, what hath thou wrought? There is a sticker on the cover of The Supersuckers' latest album which contains a quote by Steve "I am the voice of insurgent country" Earle. It reads, "The Supersuckers understand that great rock and great country are, at least on a spiritual level, the same thing." Well, Steve-o, I love you, but I've got to call that bullshit. Listen to some early recordings by a hillbilly singer named Elvis Presley and tell me that "spirit" isn't the very thing that sets the two forms apart. But with the Americana market booming in the wake of a certain movie soundtrack's success, everybody wants to be a little bit country. And to be fair, with their Arizona roots and their love of the cowboy hat, the Supersuckers (famous in indie circles for their sweaty, devil-worshiping mix of classic punk and metal) can claim more country roots than most. But no matter how much pedal steel you put behind Eddie Spaghetti & Co., the end result is still raunchy rock-and-roll with predictable alt-posturing, boilerplate profanity, and obsessive shout-outs to cocaine. And, hey, there's nothing wrong with that. As fake country goes, it's neither as transgressive as Jon Wayne nor as aggressive as the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash. The Supersuckers' twang is closest in spirit to the Stones' "Dead Flowers." To cut to the chase, let's all cross our fingers and hope this is just a phase this fantastic live band is going through and that they'll get back to their metal roots before they play the Young Avenue Deli on Friday, May 24th, with Jessie Dayton. -- Chris Davis
Well, outside of all the Handy Week activity, the highest-profile gig in town this week is probably piano chanteuse Diana Krall, that pretty young blonde who sings jazz standards and such, at The Orpheum on Friday, May 24th. And I have no quarrel with that. But if you want to hear the same thing done about a thousand times better for a far cheaper cover price (i.e., free) then you might as well wait until Sunday afternoon and catch Di Anne Price & Her Boyfriends at Huey's Downtown. The incomparable Ms. Price is a local treasure who makes similar-sounding celebrity upstarts such as Krall and Harry Connick Jr. sound like little kids playing dress-up. In a better world, she'd be the one filling the big theater this weekend.
Indie-rockers have at least a couple of promising shows to look forward to in this blues-drenched week. On Friday, May 24th, Brooklyn's guitar-noise faves Oneida make one of their semiregular local appearances, hitting the Hi-Tone Café with like-minded locals Blueshammer er I mean The Lost Sounds, in what is sure to be the loudest show of the week. And on Thursday, May 23rd, Texas indie rockers Secret Machines will join The Family Ghost at the Map Room. The Machines who evoke Brian Eno and the Velvet Underground in their best moments are stopping over on their way home to hook up with regional colleagues And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead for a tour. -- Chris Herrington