Friday night, Dave Grohl and his crew of '90s alt-rock survivors Foo Fighters returned to Memphis for a nearly sold-out performance at Fed Ex Forum, with British hard rock icons Motorhead and Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro in tow.
I arrived too late to see Biffy Clyro - apparently the Forum is the one local venue that starts shows on time (go figure!) - so I was happy/relieved to be able to catch all of Motorhead's opening set. The band plowed through a 45 minute tour-de-force of punk-metal thrashers, including a slew of new songs as well as crowd favorites like "Overkill" and "Ace of Spades." And while most of the attention for the band is rightly directed towards the enigmatic bassist and lead singer (and lone remaining original band member) Lemmy Kilmister, for this show, anyway, the star of the night was the relentless showmanship of drummer Mikkey Dee.
Up-and-coming local alternative/indie rock group Tiffany Harmon & Other Stories will celebrate the release of a debut E.P., titled Bandits, this Saturday night at the Young Avenue Deli.
The group was forged out of a chance encounter between three emerging local songwriters, Tiffany Harmon, Jeff Leedham, and Jeff Culley.
"Jeff (Leedham) and I are old friends, and we started just jamming together in our spare time and thought it was fun," says Culley. "We eventually built up the courage to play at open-mics, and that's how we eventually met Tiffany."
"I had been a solo act as a singer-songwriter since I started at the age of 15, but I always longed to be part of a collective," says Harmon. "After hanging out and chatting for a few weeks, I asked Jeff and Jeff to be my back-up band. The boys welcomed me with open arms."
Fiercely independent San Pedro, CA singer, songwriter and bass player Mike Watt is nothing short of an American alternative music legend.
As a founding member of the influential '80s punk/hardcore trio the Minutemen, he pushed the limits of what it meant to be punk by infusing elements of funk, jazz and just about everything else. As a solo artist, he's explored the boundaries even further through a trio of highly personal and ambitious "rock opera" concept albums. Over the years he's collaborated with everyone from J Mascis to Sonic Youth to Dave Grohl to Perry Farrell, and the list just goes on and on. And to top it all off, he's also a current member of the iconic pre-punk band Iggy & the Stooges.
Watt is releasing two new albums in 2011; his excellent third "opera" Hyphenated Man came out in March, and his new double-bass project with Black Flag's Kira Roessler, dubbed Dos, will unveil a debut album in July. He spoke to the Flyer this week via telephone about all this and more.
Flyer: What is the concept behind your new album?
Watt: Well, this is my third opera. It's really just one song, in 30 parts. It's about me and the times I am in now, as a 52 year old punk rocker, and defining roles. I wanted to have this dialog with myself and explore the devices and roles we assume as we progress in life - the things guys do to be guys.