Cincinnati's Over The Rhine has built up a considerable cult following over their decade-or-so existence, and on the evidence of their most recent album, 2001's Films for Radio (released on Virgin, the band's second flirtation with the major-label game), it's not hard to see why. Lead singer Karin Bergquist's charismatic, sometimes florid vocals are ear-catching, and husband/musical partner Linford Detweiler's songwriting is literary and delicately religious. These forces combine to form a gently arty, folkish rock sound likely to appeal to fans of the Cowboy Junkies, Sarah McLachlan, or 10,000 Maniacs. Earlier records are reportedly heavy on acoustic instrumentation, but Films for Radio is richly fleshed out, its more complex atmospherics never taking away from the band's sure tune-craft. Over The Rhine will be at the Hi-Tone Café Friday, November 1st.
Those looking for a bit more rambunctious time this week are advised to camp out at Young Avenue Deli. Local faves Lucero, back in town amid touring to support their just-released sophomore album Tennessee, will have a Halloween-night throw-down at that Midtown watering hole. It promises to be a raucous affair. And you could stick around the next night for Mr. "Because I Got High" himself, Afroman. The Mississippi-based one-hit wonder is either a good-time novelty act or an unbearable frat-party aberration, depending on your perspective. Vote with your wallet. -- Chris Herrington
If you collected all of Bob X's fantastically ghoulish Hell on Earth posters, the band listings would read like a who's who of Memphis rock-and-roll for the past dozen years. You'd see an amazing collection of punk bands, blues revivalists, metal bands, living legends, art rockers, indie rockers, novelty acts, and garage groups. And that's just for starters. Hell on Earth, an event that has become the Halloween party for the Memphis rock set, is equally famous for decadence and debauchery. This year's stellar lineup leans in the punk/garage direction with The Limes, The Grown-Up Wrongs, and the always-amazing Tyler Keith and the Preacher's Kids. The dirty South's latest rap diva, Chopper Girl (aka Holland Taylor), will swap couplets with retro rapper Hunchoe the Phenom and a few special guests. Though he's not listed on the poster, word on the street has it that super-rapper Al Kapone will drop by to lend a rhyme as well. Since Memphis' virtually all-vanilla rock scene and double-chocolate rap scene almost never swirl (except at the occasional Porch Ghouls show or the odd Three 6/Saliva tag team), this year's Hell on Earth could be a historic occasion. It all goes down on Friday, November 1st, at the Premiere Palace. --Chris Davis