Beatles fans, rejoice! Detroit's The High Strung are on their way back to Memphis' Young Avenue Deli for a show on Tuesday, June 17th. While these guys are far from a tribute band, they wear their love of the Fab Four like a badge of honor, stealing all the Beatles' best tricks and blending them with contemporary indie-rock to create wonderful smarty-pants pop that sounds new and old all at the same time. "Come on, Loretta," they sing in perfect Beatlesesque harmony, then, to show they are more than just imitators, they complete the rhyme with the line "Let me put my free hand up your sweater." Awesome.
Also making their way down the hillbilly highway from Detroit are The Clone Defects. Like their homies the High Strung, the Clone Defects wear their influences on their sleeves. Only, in this case, the influences are a little grittier. On their new record, Shapes of Venus, the band draws from '70s glitter rock and traditional New York punk. Imagine the New York Dolls if Viva L'American Death Ray Music's Nick Diablo replaced David Johansson as the principal singer-songwriter and you'll get a pretty good idea about what these boys sound like. While they embrace their sloppiness in a way that can be a little frustrating, there can be no doubt that the Clone Defects can deliver the rock. They will be doing so at the Hi-Tone CafÇ Wednesday, June 18th, with The Lost Sounds.
For some unholy roots-punk noise played by Ross Johnson, an original member of Tav Falco's Panther Burns (and a Flyer contributor), and Jeff Evans, a onetime Gibson Brother, you might want to head on over to an unlikely music venue: the Buccaneer Lounge. Over the years, both Evans and Johnson have shown quite a talent for taking traditional blues, soul, country, and tango and destroying it beyond all recognition. But what lovely destruction it is. This show should be a respite for aging punks and an opportunity for the youngsters to see what old-school really means. It all goes down on Saturday, June 14th. Andy Earles (also a Flyer contributor) will open with his unique brand of stand-up comedy, and The Oscars will also lend their support. Two bands and a comic? Sounds like Vegas to me.
Drat! Well, speaking of Vegas, this scribe will be in Sin City next Tuesday, June 17th, watching his brother-in-law get married on a pirate ship. But that doesn't mean that you have to miss what might be the most intriguing show to come to town all year. New York's Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players will be at the Hi-Tone CafÇ that night as part of their "Summer Slideshow Bizarre Tour '03." The Players consist of keyboardist/vocalist Jason Trachtenburg, slide-projector operator Tina Trachtenburg, and the couple's 9-year-old drummer daughter Rachel. The family composes songs based on slides they find at garage sales or flea markets, resulting in "pop-rock visual exposÇs" such as "OPNAD Contribution Study Committee Report, June 1977," based on slides from a McDonald's corporate meeting, or "Mountain Trip to Japan, 1959," based on some anonymous family's discarded vacation photos. The effect is supposed to be pretty stunning. Art fans of all ilks and ages might want to check this out. Showtime is 9 p.m., and I'm guessing little Rachel has a curfew, so get there on time.