Lots of concert action on tap this week, and though the most compelling shows --AFI and Thursday , Against Me!, and The Reigning Sound -- are featured elsewhere in these pages, there's still plenty left, so let's run 'em down:
There's a benefit show for the West Memphis Three Friday, February 20th, at the Hi-Tone CafÇ featuring an all-local bill of The Uninvited, The Pelicans, and Blair Combest. Also that night, popular jam act The Jazz Mandolin Project will perform at Newby's with locals The Minivan Blues Band.
Local electronic-music artist Grunt performs at the Full Moon Club above Zinnie's East on Saturday, February 21st. Also that night, punk rock invades the Hi-Tone in the form of Florida emo cult band Hot Water Music and punk revivalists The Bouncing Souls. Meanwhile, at the P&H CafÇ, local alt-country band Halfacre Gunroom will perform. And over at Young Avenue Deli, Tha Movement holds its February showcase with The Tim Terry Experience, Paul Taylor, and DJ Jacob Braden. Also, Nashville folk siren Carter Wood performs at Otherlands Coffee Bar.
On Wednesday, February 25th, highly regarded roots-music songwriter Chris Knight, who has been compared to Steve Earle and John Prine, performs at the Hi-Tone, and Texan Jen Foster, who boasts "lovely lesbo pop-rock," according to one reviewer, performs a free show at the Young Avenue Deli as part of the club's ongoing "On the Road" series. --Chris Herrington
Let the martinis flow. New Orleans' sextet (emphasis on the sex) The Sophisticats are back in town with their own private dancers, The Sophistikittens. I once described this retro-mod ensemble by comparing them to Impala, Memphis' finest (and only) instrumental surf band, who all but ditched their thundering tributes to Dick Dale in favor of hot, lurking R&B. But the comparison isn't entirely fair. While Impala always sounded like they were scoring a soundtrack for the darkest, dirtiest film noir ever made, the Sophisticats just want to make you bump and grind. They take their cues from '50s-era strip joints, and when the Sophisticats' reed player Hep Saxsmith lets loose with a run on the tenor sax, you'll feel like you need a shot. I'm talking penicillin, not vodka. The Sophisticats typically perform with their own dance troupe, a group of feline cuties in revealing outfits and clip-on kitty ears. It's classic go-go fare, guaranteed to get the juices flowing. So bust out your best retro threads and get on down to the Young Avenue Deli on Friday, February 20th, for a strip-teasing good time.
If you like driving, smile-inducing pop filled with great guitar hooks, gorgeous melodies, and soaring harmonies, then you will want to catch The Lights when they play the Hi-Tone CafÇ on Thursday, February 19th. Featuring the talents of Kevin Cubbins, Mark Stuart, and former Eighty-Katie frontman Bret Preston, these guys are something special in the making. They may not be raw enough for the hipsters or heavy enough for the rockers, but there has got to be an audience out there for accomplished rock-and-roll that is, at times, absolutely beautiful. --Chris Davis