Coleman’s video for “Don’t Need It Anyway” is so simple that I knew there had to be something coming — I mean, something besides a rad song from new favorite Lexington band (I have a lot of new favorites. Often my new favorite is an old favorite, too. It’s hard to keep up). I don’t want to give anything away, but I do believe that building your expectations as to WHAT WILL HAPPEN in this video is really only going to make it funnier when you watch it.
Grails: “Almost Grew My Hair”
at Zanzabar in Louisville
Tuesday, April 19
$5 | 21+ | 9 p.m.
Though their albums have been filed into the metal playbox at WRFL in the past, Grails doesn’t fit easily into any category – I guess you could describe their sound as psychedelic post rock with a heavy surf-metal/spaghetti western flair, if you were so inclined. This band has been one of my favorite musical discoveries of the past five years – I was sold the moment I came home one night a few years ago to find my boyfriend blasting their 2007 masterpiece Burning Off Impurities whilst projecting the epic, sparse and visually stunning Jim Jarmusch western Dead Man (with its Neil Young-scored volume turned off) on our living room wall.
Likely due in part to the fact that guitarist Zak Riles now lives in Louisville, the primarily-Portland based group (which also features Emil Amos of Holy Sons and OM) will make a stop at the super intimate and accessible L-ville venue Zanzabar before embarking on nine dates with guitar virtuoso James Blackshaw. Louisville gems Softcheque, who have a new album out themselves, and Nathan Salsburg open. Big props to new Louisville production team OK Productions for helping make this happen.
“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun.
It might be cliché to start a piece of writing about the Drive-By Truckers with a moment from the American South’s favorite novelist. Yes, DBT is certainly a band obsessed with the past – both literal and imagined – yet they are not stuck within it. Although they draw on tropes associated with “southern rock” (whatever that is), with three guitars and blues-driven extended solos, they are hardly a stockpile of hackneyed images of Confederate flags and “You might be a redneck if…” jokes. Certainly, they are interested in the concept of place: songs such as “Goode’s Field Road” and “Putting People on the Moon” are deeply rooted in specific geography, with complex tales of economic and social struggle. But all in all, the Drive-By Truckers are most interested in offering narratives from the folks who often don’t get to tell their side of the story – such as the recently laid-off protagonist in “Used to Be a Cop” or a surprisingly wise stripper in “Birthday Boy.”
But on top of all that, it’s a rock show, and perhaps a rock show about rock shows, with glory and sweat and release, somewhere between tent revival, exorcism, and three-ring circus. Maybe old Percy Shelley was right indeed: our sweetest songs are often our saddest thoughts.
I’ve been lucky to catch DBT over 20 times. This past weekend’s run of shows at Buster’s here in Lexington showcased a band firing on all cylinders, and rarely have I seen such an enthusiastic crowd, cheering the band to round the bases and slide headfirst into home plate with both grace and abandon. As folks who have been on the DBT ride for a few years now know, the Truckers have been through almost as many lineup changes as they have total albums. While some might still lament not hearing Jason Isbell-era anthems such as “Outfit” or “Dress Blues” (great songs, from a great songwriter with a new solo record due in a few weeks), the newest lineup of the band might be the best in terms of range. The rhythm section of Shonna Tucker and Brad Morgan can turn on a dime; the recent addition of keys wizard Jay Gonzalez adds a layer that connotes classic soul players such as Booker T or Spooner Oldham. John Neff, on pedal steel and guitar, can nail both a Stone-sy groove and that “boom-chicka” riff that made Johnny Cash a star. And, of course, there’s Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley: the professor and the court jester, the reedy tenor and the chest-thrum baritone, the two mainstays of the group who might go down in history as the Jagger/Richards of the American South.
Finish the review/photos after the break
Now we finally get to the fun part of the local section: giving away tickets to just about every local show I can. Up first is a fun one, Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s. I’ll keep this one simple — just reply with your full name and I’ll pick a winner on Thursday. Fill out your email address so I can get in touch with you to tell you that you’ve won.
Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s
at Buster’s in Lexington
Friday April 15
Doors 8; Show 9
Don’t forget to check back here for more local freebies!
The Gleeful Idiot (Photo by Coleman Guyon)
Who needs the weekend? Two separate shows, both with supreme line-ups, are taking place early this week on Tuesday. Local pop-star, Idiot Glee will be playing with Prussia and Child Bite at Cosmic Charlie’s while The Tall Boys and Englishman throw down with Toy Soldier at Al’s Bar. Don’t miss out on some of Lexington’s finest!
Idiot Glee / Prussia / Child Bite
at Cosmic Charlie’s
$5 | 18+ | 9pm
The Tall Boys / Englishman / Toy Soldier
at Al’s Bar
$5 | 18+ | 8pm
Idiot Glee: “Deep Descent”
Ben Sollee’s opening for My Morning Jacket this Sunday, but he’s got his own show coming up soon. In May, Ben’s playing a show at the Kentucky Theater to support the Broke Spoke Community Bike Shop. It’s in celebration of “Bike Lexington Month” and a portion of the ticket sales will benefit the BSCBS.
w/Special Guests, The Agape Theater Troupe and Friends
7pm – 10pm
$20 (purchase here)
Just a friendly reminder that you can catch the Drive-By Truckers doing a FREE instore performance at CD Central today at 4pm. It’s not full band — I think it’s Patterson and whoever plays accordion — but I’m sure the place will be packed any way.
Saturday April 9th
377 S. Limestone
4pm | FREE | All Ages
And, as if you needed a reminder, the DBT are playing tonight at Buster’s.
Atmospheric electronic artist Casino vs Japan will be teaming up with drone rock wildcards Everyone Lives Everyone Wins to put on a collaborative multimedia show tomorrow at the Tuska Gallery in UK’s Fine Arts Building.
Casino vs Japan + ELEW
Saturday April 9
207 Fine Arts Building
University of Kentucky
9PM | Free | All Ages
Owen Pallett: “the Great Elsewhere”
Cincinnati’s MusicNOW festival is back this year with a fantastic lineup (as always). They’ve got the National, Sharon Van Etten, Owen Pallett, Tim Hecker and a bunch of other great folks. Tickets are on sale now. Pro tip: if you’re planning on seeing the National and Sharon Van Etten’s show, buy tickets before you finish reading this sentence.