While running down this week's events, I perused an advertisement placed by the Young Avenue Deli for a tsunami-relief benefit concert featuring "The Glass, Snowglobe, Lost Sounds, Harlan T. Bobo, and a whole lot more." A whole lot more? With a lineup this strong I can't imagine what else even the greediest rockoholic could ask for. First of all, you've got Harlan T. Bobo, whose self-released CD, Too Much Love, made every single one of the Flyer music writers' best of 2004 lists -- and for a very good reason. Bobo's simple narratives and sentimental meditations work the same magic as a Raymond Carver short story. Then there's the Glass who can shift gears from straight-up rockers to creepy but artfully arranged melancholic moaners. They make hopelessness so damn romantic you almost want to go out and throw your life away so you can feel half as beautifully lost as they sound. This brings us, naturally, to the Lost Sounds, who, according to at least one track on their recent In the Red release, occasionally get a little nervous. Their "Black Wave" sound bridges the gap between new wave and hardcore in a way that is never as gutless as the first or as sonically redundant as the latter. Alicja Trout's classic girl-group sensibilities make the perfect foil for Jay Lindsey, the screamer formerly known as Mr. Reatard. For one measly cover charge, you can have all this and Snowglobe, Memphis' finest psychedelic-folk popsters too. Plus a whole lot more. As local shows go, it's almost too good to be true, and needless to say, the cash is all going to support a grand cause. It all goes down on Saturday, January 22nd.
For all of you cold-hearted folks who aren't interested in disaster relief or fighting the crowds at what promises to be a packed show at Young Avenue Deli, Halfacre Gunroom, another local band well worth looking into, will be playing Murphy's on Saturday, January 22nd. They're a little bit country and a lot rock-and-roll, and they don't fit easily into any obvious categories. One second they are aping Haggard, then they are vaguely reminiscent of the Replacements or R.E.M., all the while maintaining the kind of smart pop dynamic that made Big Star such a rarity. And for all these comparisons, Halfacre's sound isn't obviously derivative in any way. Their songs, which tend to be anthems to broken relationships and faded childhood memories, seem pretty straightforward on the front end, but they are filled with subtle wit and images that stick. Murphy's tiny front room is the perfect place to get acquainted with these guys.