Damn, damn, damn. I don't honestly yearn for my not-misspent-enough youth real often, but there are days when I miss the freedom of being a kid & being able to just get up and hit the bars any damn night you want to, watching bands play & hanging out 'til the cash runs out. Tonight's one of those nights; I'll be homebound, which sucks, because tonight's one of those weird-ass Thursday nights where it sure as hell feels like a weekend.
Quasi-mea culpa time: okay, so I'm not sure whether the date I saw was wrong or I mixed it all up in my head, but I just discovered that the date for the Luna Face Promotions "Summer Jammie Jam" show, featuring Spain Colored Orange & a bunch of other badass people, is actually May 17th, not May 7th. Fuck. Sorry about that, y'all -- if anybody showed up to Azteca's today at 3PM, I apologize profusely. (Hangs head in shame.) Anyway, here're a couple of good shows that are going on tonight; I've only got time to write up one or two, but the others at the bottom are darn cool, too:
Lucero/Black Joe Lewis:
First and foremost, one of my favorite roots-rock bands ever, Lucero, is playing up at Walter's on Washington. If you have yet to hear the band, trust me when I tell you that you really, truly need to. They're alt-country for people who no longer give a crap about that misbegotten, half-assed non-genre, people who thing Springsteen's at his best when he ditches the pop sheen, and people who think The Replacements were the Best Bar Band Ever. (People like, well, me.) They play raw, hearts-on-sleeves, countrified rock that'd be equally at home in a kicker bar in West Texas or a blue-collar hangout somewhere up in Jersey.
Frontman Ben Nichols voice is the most awesomely raggedy thing I've heard since, say, Shane MacGowan, and he can take that raspy, cigarette-scraped sound and make it all desperate and yearning and hopeless, all at once. The guitars are Son Volt-esque, distorted but not too distorted, the rhythms are gently driving, and the lyrics are all about shattered dreams, going home alone, and playing guitar because it's what you know to do (and on at least one song I know of, about young, confused men headed off to war). I swear, "My Best Girl," "All the Same to Me," "Tears Don't Matter Much," and "The War" all make me want to weep. It's great stuff, seriously -- they don't have anything new out yet, sadly, but the past couple of albums are damn good, and Nichols has a solo album out right now, I believe...
Plus, the opening band tonight is Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, recipients of some truly well-deserved hype -- they're like James Brown if James Brown never made it to the big stages, still grinding it out in smoky bars with a backing band that blows everybody else off the map. Excellent, sweaty, rough-edged soul-rock that should probably somehow end up on Daptone Records one of these days. Man. (Tickets, btw, are $14 if you didn't buy 'em already; doors open at 8PM, bands go on at 9PM. And if there's any justice in the world, this show will be sold-ass out, so get up there early.)
Mad Sin/Phantom Rockers/Blackmarket Syndicate/Born Anchor @ The Meridian
I'll be brutally honest, here: I couldn't care less about Mad Sin or Phantom Rockers, but I'll gladly follow Blackmarket Syndicate (formerly Deathbed Repentance) off a freakin' roof if I have to. Those guys play some great old-school, roots-tinged punk rock, the kind that shows that just 'cause you've got a mohawk and anarchy symbols tattooed on your hands doesn't mean you don't have feelings, dammit. Think Social Distortion or Rancid but more country boy-ified, and you'll be getting there. And openers Born Anchor have some cool songs up on their Myspace -- acoustic solo versions, at this point, but nicely done, and actually kinda reminiscent of the stuff Lucero does, oddly...
Old Crow Medicine Show/Justin Townes Earle @ Warehouse Live
Los Skarnales/Zydepunks/The Unzipped @ Fitzgerald's
Montrose City Council Open Session, featuring Courtesy @ Mango's
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