What a week. Note that's a period at the end of that sentence, not an exclamation point. There's just not much going on out there that I want to recommend. I wanted to suggest The Bo-Keys because their classic Stax groove is timeless and sexy: a perfect way to end your Valentine's Day festivities. But they are playing at Proud Larry's, and who wants to drive to Oxford to see a band that regularly gigs in Midtown? Jeff Evans, whose mix of trash-rock, blues, and hard-corn country always makes me grin, is playing at the Hi-Tone CafÇ with The Limes and Jack Oblivian on Thursday, February 12th. But I've recommended these guys so often you would swear I was on their payroll. (Yo Jeff, where's that dolla at?) The Dillinger Escape Plan, a band that has earned rave reviews as grindcore innovators, are also at the Hi Tone (Friday, February 13th) with The Locust and Your Enemies' Friends. But listening to all that screaming just makes my throat hurt (must be getting old). Besides, making up your own time signatures is an overrated exercise best practiced by groups that fail miserably at harmony, melody, and all of the other good things that make music listenable. The Glass, which is at the Young Avenue Deli on Saturday, February 14th, blends roots music with psychedelic punk. It's an interesting combo, but it's still post-rock, right? That leaves me only one choice.
This week I'm recommending The Final Solutions and The Ultracats at the Hi-Tone on Saturday, February 14th. The Final Solutions, when not berating their audiences or engaging in gross-out antics, have an aggressive punk sound with skanky Eastern European roots. It's wild, angry, and supremely ridiculous all at the same time. And yes, that is a good thing. The Ultracats pairs Lost Sounds vixen Alicja Trout with blond belter Lori Gienapp (the Villains, Porch Ghouls, etc.) for a trip through garage-rock herstory. -- Chris Davis
Baby-faced bluesboy Daniel "Slick" Ballinger wowed the crowd -- and apparently the judges -- earlier this month at the International Blues Challenge, his band finishing second in the competition and his gutbucket rhythm playing winning him the contest's Albert King Award for "most promising guitarist." With his flashy stage presence and durably simple music, Ballinger was the only act to inspire widespread dancing and clapping at the IBC, with blues partisans responding to his good-time hill-country grooves. You can check him out for yourself this week at Blues City CafÇ, where Ballinger performs Thursday, February 12th.
Memphix DJ extraordinaire Redeye Jedi will be working the wheels of steel Friday, February 13th, at Precious Cargo, behind a local rap group called Kontrast. MC Fathom 9, ex- of Genesis Experiment, is also scheduled to perform in what should be a great night for local hip-hop fans looking for something a little different.
Finally, Young Avenue Deli's "On the Road" series, which features free, 9-to-5'er-friendly shows each Wednesday night, brings a particularly promising act to town this week in the form of Chicago trio The Audreys, whose blend of Nuggets-style garage rock and minimalist proto-punk would make them a fine fit in the Memphis scene. Look for the Audreys at the Deli Wednesday, February 18th. -- Chris Herrington