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Southern Culture On The Skids, The Nighthawks, Chris Knight, Thompson Brothers Band, The Bleeding Hearts, Toro Y Moi, Braids, Acid Mothers Temple, Shilpa Ray, Old Bricks, Hunx And His Punx, Shannon And The Clams, More

The guide to the week's concerts 

This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: Southern Culture On The Skids, The Nighthawks, Chris Knight, Thompson Brothers Band, The Bleeding Hearts, Toro Y Moi, Braids, Acid Mothers Temple, Shilpa Ray, Old Bricks, Hunx And His Punx, Shannon And The Clams

VS.1: The Raveonettes vs. Thee Dirty Beats

VS.2: Robert Schneider vs. Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit

EH, WHATERVER: Mike Posner



YES, PLEASE...

04.15 SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE SKIDS @ DUKE COFFEEHOUSE

The trailer park's just another repository for unrealized ambitions, similar to grad school or the rock bar. That recognition lends a loving nudge to such SCOTS' hick-heaven odes as "Camel Walk" or "Carve That Possum." But their appeal goes beyond their satirical wit, thanks to Rick Miller's razor wire twang, drummer Dave Hartman's grooving traps and Mary Huff's sultry alto purr. It's about the friendly backwoods vibe at which "Banana Puddin'" hints. Miller's an underappreciated American music fanatic; last year's wonderful Kudzu Ranch swings the window open even wider stylistically while embracing familiar touchstones from swamp boogie to garage, '60s girl pop, surf, country and rockabilly. $5/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker

04.15 THE NIGHTHAWKS @ PAPA MOJO'S

The Nighthawks get a lot of power out of a simple setup of guitar, bass, drums and blues harp. Players have come and gone since the group formed in the early '70s, but the heady brew largely stayed the same—until, that is, the quartet decided to change its formula with last year's Last Train to Bluesville. The new acoustic album represents both a new direction and an homage to the past. Songs bump against the walls of a juke joint, though melancholy silence also sits in as a new and welcome member of the group. Less amplified, more countrified, still all blues. $12–$15/ 9:30 p.m. —Andrew Ritchey

04.15 CHRIS KNIGHT, THOMPSON BROTHERS BAND @ BERKELEY CAFE

If Springsteen had grown up in coal-mining Kentucky rather than along the Jersey Shore, his songs of quiet desperation and reckless rebellion might've sounded like those of Chris Knight. Inspired by Steve Earle, Knight fashions country-rock workingman anthems. He implies the promised land's out of reach when you don't have "Enough Rope," fashions a smoldering murder ballad worthy of Neil Young's "Powderfinger," and concludes dyspeptically that "Hell Ain't Half Full." Such populist sentiments against that hard-hewn baritone suggest the heartland rock of John Mellancamp, if he'd been more country and less candy-ass. $15/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker

04.15 THE BLEEDING HEARTS @ SLIM'S

For most, a 12th anniversary might seem like a strange thing to celebrate: It's a number not divisible by five, and it's just before you become a teenager. But it's also the number of beers in a, well, 12-pack and the number of guitar strings in a two-axe bar band, which means it's sort of the golden anniversary for Slim's, the downtown dive bar with the rock 'n' roll heart. The reunited Bleeding Hearts headline tonight's celebration, playing proudly adolescent rock music with the hearts of punks and the polish of old radio kings. Maldora is three-fourths of the final incarnation of Patty Hurst Shifter, with Lutie Cain on bass; they open with the sort of aptly sneering country-touched rock that's prone to wish Slim's a "happy fucking birthday." $5/ 10 p.m. —Grayson Currin

click to enlarge Toro Y Moi - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

04.15 TORO Y MOI, BRAIDS @ LOCAL 506

After his smart, charming but sometimes a little half-hearted debut, last year's Causers of This, led to a chillwave of buzz and demand for South Carolina's Toro Y Moi, the one-man band of Chaz Bundick smartly recruited a band. His tunes and ideas evolved to fit the bigger stages and sounds, reflected on this year's ripe, funky and idiosyncratic Underneath the Pine. A polyglot capable of casual drift, fist-clenched dance music and unerring pop-rock melodies, Bundick's thankfully outlasted the Internet's obsession with that genre tag. The real highlight here, however, might be Braids, a coed Canadian quartet that wraps intricate instrumental layers—think Tortoise and The Jesus and Mary Chain, in the fish tank forever—around the versatile voice of Raphaelle Standell-Preston. With Adventure. 9:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin

04.16 ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE, SHILPA RAY @ LOCAL 506

Shilpa Ray and her Happy Hookers are based out of New York City. Acid Mothers Temple are from Japan. The Hookers are touring behind her group's debut, Teenage and Torture. Acid Mothers Temple are touring behind an absurdly prolific discography; by the time you finish this sentence, they've probably put out another live album under some other alias. Ray's music recalls the grand tradition of world-weary organ-driven rock tuneage, from ? and the Mysterians to The Walkmen. Acid Mothers Temple recalls every amp-damaging, mind-blowing psychedelically inclined musical combo you've ever had the pleasure of enjoying. So have fun. With Clang Quartet. $10–$12/ 9:30 p.m. —David Raposa

04.16 OLD BRICKS @ KINGS

Since recording their wonderfully dreary debut LP, Raleigh's Old Bricks have expanded from a duo of best friends to a four-piece featuring the members of Motor Skills. The result is not only a bigger sound but one that also harbors more tension and power, as if the band's hand-wringing has suddenly become—by sheer volume, force and intricacy—more than a gesture. This is the soft launch of the band's fantastic second LP; they'll have handmade copies on hand, with a proper release likely to follow. Wild Wild Geese and Nests open. $6/ 10 p.m. —Grayson Currin

04.18 HUNX AND HIS PUNX, SHANNON AND THE CLAMS @ DUKE COFFEEHOUSE

Not to slight the enjoyable guy-led girl-group shenanigans of Hunx and His Punx, but the real star of this show is Shannon Shaw. If you show up only on time for the headliner, you'll see her playing bass and offering some brassy backup vox for the aforementioned Hunx. You might even wonder what she could do fronting her own band. That's why you need to be there for Shannon and the Clams' set. As the Clams' hyper-charismatic frontwoman, Shaw delivers no-bullshit tunes and no-holds-barred hollering that shows all the tough-talking boys who's really leading the pack. With Last Year's Men. $10/ 9 p.m. —David Raposa


SATURDAY, APRIL 16

THE RAVEONETTES

From: Denmark
Since: Early '00s
Claim to fame: Thunderously sweet '50s throwbacks

The two combatants here deliver blown-out rock revivalism with different pedigrees. Internationally known Danish duo the Raveonettes borrow their melodies from Buddy Holly and the like, but while their tunes aim for the sugary-sweet melodrama of classic '50s hits, the two cover it all in a caustic wall of sound that adds grit to excess. Theirs is an overload that delivers bliss with overindulgence. Syrupy tones writhe and shriek in bursts best heard at extreme volume. At their finest, they merge desire and regret into one loud, lusty release. With Tamaryn. At CAT'S CRADLE. $17/ 9 p.m.

VS.

THEE DIRTY BEATS

From: Chapel Hill
Since: Late '00s
Claim to fame: Studied yet feisty '60s garage history lessons

Chapel Hill's Thee Dirtybeats are more academic, but they still pack enough raucous energy to justify their name. The band's approach is impeccably studied. Drummer Ken Friedman has compiled three volumes of rough gems with the Tobacco-A-Go-Go series, and it shows here. The rhythm and timing points to early hard-edged psychedelic experiments by '60s bands like The Seeds and The Standells. Thee Dirtybeats also possess the power of more modern iterations, booming with lead-heavy bass and aggressive, distorted shredding. It makes for tight, punchy rock best suited for those familiar with garage history. Those who care more about feelings are better off at the Cradle. With The Old One-Two and Phatlynx. At THE CASBAH. $5/ 9 p.m. —Jordan Lawrence


TUESDAY, APRIL 19

ROBERT SCHNEIDER

From: Denver, Co.
Since: Early '90s
Claim to fame: Leading Apples in Stereo, co-founding Elephant 6 Collective

This pits two artists with money moves whose legacies will likely turn on their ability to do something more. For Robert Schneider, it's psych-pop, a style he helped bring back during the '90s with his Elephant 6 mates. The gilded hooks are sharp boomerangs, always circling back and bringing you to your knees. While Schneider's reedy vocals aren't particularly fetching, the vocal melodies are crack, sucking you into their sunny nexus. Last year's Travellers in Space and Time dives headlong into Vocoder-affected, ELO-style orchestral pop with varying success. With Three Legged Race. At CASBAH. $10–$12/ 9 p.m

VS.

JASON ISBELL & THE 400 UNIT

From: Alabama
Since: 2000
Claim to fame: Six-year run in Drive-By Truckers, prolific post-DBT career

Jason Isbell's hoping he's more Eric Clapton than Peter Green. While overshadowed in the Truckers by founders Hood and Cooley, he's stepped out on his three solo releases. Isbell has no trouble with the ragged Southern country-rock that was their signature move, forging some crackling barroom rock. But he also has the ken for '70s-tinged songwriter pop, like Jackson Browne with Black Crowes in the hip pocket. Isbell's vocals are surprisingly evocative and alluring. Schneider's painted himself into a colorful but stagnant corner, something Isbell can still avoid. Schneider's earned a loyal following, but Isbell wins on the promise he might grow into something more than a one-note Johnny. With Hayes Carll. At LINCOLN THEATRE. $14–$17/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker


EH, WHATEVER...

04.17 MIKE POSNER @ CAT'S CRADLE

When Mike Posner first made his splash as the eager Duke student with impossible aspirations of making the next Thriller, he validated the stereotype of the self-entitled Duke schmuck. Contrary to his industry successes so far, he's little more than a B-class singer with an A-class education. To make matters worse, since the release of his debut album, 31 Minutes to Takeoff, we've seen Lil Wayne on an ill-fated remix and rescue attempt of Posner's "Bow Chicka Wow Wow." The torture continued when another one of Posner's missteps meant a cover of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep"; he slaughtered the original, making Justin Bieber sound like a gifted soprano. The sum of Posner's musical contribution is nothing less than soggy cereal masquerading as oatmeal—stale college pop at its peak. $15–$18/ 8 p.m. —Eric Tullis

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Thanks for the note, Amy. We've adjusted the text.

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