There's more than enough in this issue about the Guided By Voices show this week at Last Place on Earth. But openers Creeper Lagoon are a damn good reason to show up early for the May 15th show. This San Francisco- based alt-rock band released their sophomore album, Take Back the Universe and Give Me Yesterday, a few weeks ago, and it finds impressively sunny middleground between the noisy indie rock of Pavement and the spirited arena rock of Everclear.-- Chris Herrington
The names of the clubs have changed, but other than that it feels exactly like 1995 all over again. The Clears' eccentric geometrist Shelby Bryant played the Hi-Tone Café last Sunday, and Bob Pollard, the pop bard of beer, bongs, and imaginary avionics, is bringing the never-ending Guided By Voices rockathon to Last Place on Earth on Tuesday, May 15th (see feature, page 54). Situated in between shows by these bright lights from the heyday of indie rock are The Grifters, who will be playing Last Place on Earth, Saturday, May 12th, with Califone.
Now you might think that there is nothing that we can say about this group of art rockers (with the emphasis on rockers) that hasn't been said both before and better by former Flyer scribe John Floyd during the group's most productive, volatile, and amazingly influential period. And up until this particular point in time you would have been correct. But in addition to playing hits like "Bronze Cast" and "Get Out of That Spaceship and Fight Like a Man," the Grifters will be using this show to test out a whole new body of original material. Jared McStay, the driving force behind the Simpletones (Simple Ones, Simple One, etc.), will be joining the band on guitar, allowing co-front man Dave Shouse to take on keyboard duty. In other words, if you didn't think it was possible for the Grifters sound to get any bigger, well, you've got another think coming.
If you are interested in seeing a group of truly inspired folk- punks whose oeuvre owes much to the Clash but in the end makes those angry Brits sound like a bunch of sullen fussbudgets, then This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb is the band to see. The last time This Bike was in town the group befriended the boys from Lucero and they ended up playing an impromptu show together at the Buccaneer. This time around they'll be at the Map Room, their regular Memphis venue, on Thursday, May 10th, with Pezz. But that may very well turn out to be merely the first show of this hard-working band's evening. -- Chris Davis