One of Memphis' most promising scenes showcases itself this weekend when the underground hip-hop Iron Mic Coalition puts on a show titled "Darkness Is Spreading" at the Precious Cargo coffee shop in the Pinch District. With an assemblage of styles more reminiscent of post-Native Tongues acts such as Common, Jeru tha Damaja, and Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth than Southern crunk or the "backpacker" alternative most often associated with hip-hop's indie scene, the Iron Mic is a refreshing dose of straight-up hip-hop that looks forward and backward at the same time. Showtime is at 9:30 p.m. Friday with featured acts M.O.S., Kontrast, Fyght Club, Hype Unit, Fathom 9, and DJ Capital A.
For something completely different, you can catch one of country music's biggest hit-makers of the '90s, Joe Diffie, at Spin Street Records at Poplar and Highland Tuesday, June 1st. Sort of operating in the neo-traditionalist mode of Randy Travis and Clint Black, Diffie scored several big country hits in the Clinton years, such as "John Deere Green" and "Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die)." Making a return after three years with Tougher Than Nails, a new album for indie label Broken Bow Records, Diffie will sign CDs and perform at the store starting at 6 p.m.
But if hip-hop and country are too far afield, rock fans can hit Midtown this week for Pittsburgh instrumental indie rockers Don Caballero, who will be performing at Young Avenue Deli Thursday, May 27th, with locals The Klopeks. Over at the Hi-Tone Café, the '60s-inspired indie-pop of Athens bands The Summer Hymns and Elf Power will be on display Saturday, May 29th. Or, if you just want a show, try the spectacle that is Nashville Pussy, who will join locals The Subteens (surely up to the task of vying for the crowd's attention) at the Hi-Tone Wednesday, June 2nd. n