If you want to taste the lighter side of the burgeoning all-ages punk scene, there's no better place than the show Saturday, May 14th, at the Skate Park of Memphis featuring 7 $ Sox, Wicker, Moh, Foxy Hogan, Jerry Has No Skates, and Middle Class Jasper.
All are signed to Smith Seven Records, a nonprofit label that donates its proceeds to charities. While Smith Seven is home to more than just poppy punk, this grouping of bands represents the label's cheerful side. Alabama-natives-turned-Memphis-transplants 7 $ Sox are so punk they lived in their cars in a Wal-Mart parking lot when they first moved to Memphis six years ago.
Co-founder of Smith Seven Brian Vernon, his brother Jason, and members of other bands on loan make up Wicker, which can only be described as silly punk with songs about crazy road trips and grade-school obsessions. Wicker recently collaborated with the equally goofy Jerry Has No Skates on an album benefiting Youth Villages. Bianca Phillips
Prepare yourself for the six saddest words in the English language: A Flock of Seagulls at Neil's (see the Steppin' Out cover, page 23). Before anybody gets bent out of shape, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with Neil's. In fact, their Monte Cristo sandwich a ham-and-cheese wrapped in donut batter and deep-fried is just about the only surefire cure for a hangover that I know. And while Neil's is not one of Memphis' premier music venues, they've been bringing in some big shows of late. But we're talking about A Flock of Seagulls, the one-hit-wonder whose androgynous look and new-wave sound was definitive 1980s radio pop. And let's face it. There's nothing androgynous, glamorous, or new-wave about Neil's. It's a no-frills neighborhood bar for people who like no-frills neighborhood bars. Either way, A Flock of Seagulls should be worth a peek for 30-somethings looking to relive their glory days, 20-somethings on an "I Love the '80s" trip, or anybody who wants to observe the devastating effects of using too many chemicals on your hair. They will play "I Ran (So Far Away)" and an entire set of songs you've probably never heard on Saturday, May 14th.
I'll just come right out and say it: I don't like the Exies' quasi-philosophical lyrics. They strike me as embarrassing, in that do-we-both-see-the-same-blue-crayon sort of way. But their raw sound is appealing, the head-bopping beat is infectious, and if they were an instrumental group, they might rank among my favorites. They're playing the New Daisy on Friday, May 13th, with Breaking Benjamin. Go, dance, and have fun. You won't be able to understand the lyrics anyway.
And now for the show of the week: The Dirtbombs, The Dutch Masters, and Angel Sluts rock the Hi-Tone on Thursday, May 12th, which sucks because it's a school night, but if there was ever a reason to stay up all night, this is it. Both the Dutch Masters and Angel Sluts know how to stand and deliver, but the Dirtbombs are certifiable Detroit Rock City royalty. With two drummers and two basses, they are a hip-shaking mess of rocked-up R&B. Fronted by Mick Collins, formerly of the Gories, the Dirtbombs are as much fun as a band can be, and if you miss them, you obviously have to be up too early on Friday. There's no other good excuse. ·