Sound Advice 

The Flyer's music writers tell you where you can go.

Back during the mid- 90s indie-rock boom there were plenty of bands hipper and more fawned-over than North Carolina s Archers of Loaf, but I can only think of one or two that were better. The likes of Guided By Voices, Sebadoh, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and so many others may have courted more admiration by being more conceptual, more aloof, cooler. But it was the Archers of Loaf, with their heavy-machine-factory drums, icky-metal guitar riffs, wisecracking redneck bass player, and perpetually croaking lead singer Eric Bachmann, who came on as rock-and-roll true believers and found a home in the heart of this Replacements/Hüsker Dü fan for their explosive, messy, smart, and witty punk-pop. So I wasn’t that excited, initially, by Bachmann s much more subdued post-Archers project, Crooked Fingers. I don’t want Tom Waits, I want the Clash. I don’t want atmospheric soundscapes, I want rock-and-roll. But Bachmann s innate musical smarts have made it work, and the band s latest, the all-covers EP Reservoir Songs, is a winner. The Kris Kristofferson ( Sunday Morning Coming Down ) and Bruce Springsteen ( The River ) covers are gems, but Bachmann s slowed-down, banjo-spiked reading of Prince s When U Were Mine (one of the very, very best pop songs of the last quarter century, and that s no exaggeration) is one of the finest things I’ve heard all year. It s better than Cyndi Lauper’s game version on She s So Unusual and isn’t far from the original itself. Bachmann s deeply committed vocals and novel arrangement allow the listener to appreciate just how durable and how fantastic the song really is. It makes you wish Bachmann would do a whole album of Prince covers. Crooked Fingers will be at the Hi-Tone Café on Saturday, May 18th, along with local boys Lucero, whose punked-up rock-and-roll has always reminded me more than a little of Bachmann s old band. Should be a great one. Chris Herrington I’m having a Tim Sampson moment. That is to say, I don’t know you and therefore I don’t give a rodent s rump what you do this week. Actually, I do. But everybody playing around town is either someone I’ve pitched in this column a zillion times before or someone I wouldn’t send a dog to see. Naturally, The Subteens will rock when they play with Little Rock scorchers Go Fast at the Young Avenue Deli on Friday, May 17th. Andy Grooms, who plays the Deli on Wednesday, May 22nd, will dazzle you with his songwriting prowess. Lucero’s back in town, which is always good news, and Barbara Blue never left, which is also good news. But if you, like me, are having a case of the same-o-same-o blues, then maybe we should hook up at the Lounge for the Jason D. Williams show on Saturday, May 18th. Oh sure, I’ve seen Jason D. a zillion times, and (if you are the least bit savvy) you have too. But the only thing predictable about Jerry Lee Lewis piano-beating doppelganger is his unpredictability. He’ll jump up and down on his piano and scream Red Hot, and then he will brag in glorious song about how he got so out of control the night before that he dyed his hair and chartered a Lear jet to L.A. It s good, unwholesome fun for everyone. Chris Davis


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

    • Redd Kross

      Pioneers who inspired Nirvana, Sonic Youth, and Melvins remain vital.
    • Solo Survivor

      Ray Wylie Hubbard: Outlaw Country to Country Blues.


Politics Beat Blog

Low Early Voting Totals for District 95

News Blog

State Officials Search for North Memphis Bear

News Blog

4/20 at Overton Park, Not Very Lit

Beyond the Arc

Game 3: Grizzlies 105, Spurs 94: Grindhouse Forever

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

T2 Trainspotting

News Blog

Update: Nary a Silo Will Tarnish Famous Vista

Hungry Memphis

How to Gumbo

News Blog

Downtown Pocket Park to Open


Readers also liked…

  • Lathe of Heaven

    Memphis music engineer Jeff Powell on his latest asset
    • Oct 22, 2015
  • Country Outsider at 60

    Gearing up for Dwight Yoakam at the Horseshoe Casino in Tunica.
    • Nov 10, 2016
  • Support Local Music

    Music Editor Chris Shaw says farewell.
    • Feb 9, 2017
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation