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Update: Joshua English (Tonight & Tomorrow!) + Dax Riggs (Tonight!) + Framework (6/2) [5/31/2009 01:58:00 PM]:
Two excellent-sounding shows going on tonight, plus one a few days out, and while all three (er, four, technically) are of the "one guy and a guitar" variety, they really couldn't be more different...

The first is a little further afield than usual -- it's a house show at the i.am.we. house down in Richmond (819 Land Grant Dr.), and in typical i.am.we fashion, it's a DIY affair, with a $5 donation suggested and a potluck dinner. The headliner is a guy named Joshua English, who used to front the surprisingly cool power-pop band Six Going on Seven; I was always pretty impressed with English's Elvis Costello-esque pop stuff back then, so I was pretty curious to see what he's up to these days.

And really, it's not all that different, albeit a bit more in the Lloyd Cole/Michael Penn vein -- his new solo album, Kill For Sport, is pretty much the definition of a coffeehouse singer-songwriter album, except that it blows away most of the half-assed wannabes out there doing something similar. The songs are clever without being pretentious, English's delivery is fast enough to give Costello pause, & the whole thing sucks you in remarkably quickly. Check out the full review here.

He's playing with Justin Blumenstock, btw, who I haven't heard solo but who also fronts transplanted Midwesterners This Year's Tiger -- I truly, truly love what I've heard of them, esp. the newest stuff, so I'm betting Blumenstock solo is pretty cool, too...

Oh, and if you can't make the drive out west today, you're in luck, because English is playing a second gig in these parts tomorrow (Mon., June 1st, that is), up at Mango's. I dunno who he's playing with, but it should be good, either way.

The second of tonight's badass-est shows is up at Rudyard's, where Dax Riggs will be hitting (and probably destroying) the stage. Never seen the guy live, but a friend (hey, Marc!) was kind enough to bestow a copy of his last album, We Sing of Only Blood or Love, and hot damn, is it good. The album's a full-on Southern-boy stomp, with metal and blues and batshit crazy all crushed together into one tight, furious, genre-defying package.

The closest comparison I've been able to come up with is The White Stripes -- both Jack White & Riggs mine that Zep thunder quite nicely, both leave you (some of the time, anyway) wondering how solid the guy's grip on sanity really is, and both practically demand repeated listenings. If Riggs live is anything like Riggs recorded, it should be a heck of a show. Plus, he'll be playing with Michael Kingcaid, formerly of Austin heroes What Made Milwaukee Famous, and I hear he's pretty impressive in his own right.

Finally, a couple of days down the road, on Tues., June 2, local boy Ben Ellis (whom some might know as the bassist/singer for Hollywood Black) will be playing at The Mink, doing his solo songs as Framework alongside fellow band folk-gone-solo Cedar Boy Bailey (Buxton's Sergio) and sIngs (one of the By the End of Tonight gang). They're opening for Western Giants & This Old House, but I'm afraid I don't know them, so...

Anyway, Framework's sole release so far, EP The Intellect of Apes (out on ever-interesting local label Mia Kat Empire, is intriguing stuff, focused on religious themes & unleashing a whole lot of bitterness and ire on The Powers That Be. Check out the full review of that one here, then mark your calendar for this Tuesday, eh?

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