Well, for starters, you can celebrate the return of local singer-songwriter Rob Jungklas with the CD-release party for his new MADJACK release Arkadelphia (see Local Record Roundup, page 33) on Saturday, July 27th, at the Hunt-Phelan Home. The house opens at 8 p.m., showtime at 9 p.m.
Then there's another return of sorts as legendary drummer and regional favorite son Levon Helm brings his Barnburners back to Memphis for the first time since the 2001 Handy Awards. Helm doesn't sing anymore, leaving the vocal duties to his daughter Amy and a generic if powerful male singer. But for Band fans who missed it the first time around, just watching Helm work a drum kit is a special treat. Helm and his young blues crew will be at the Lounge on Thursday, July 25th.
For you guitar-rock fans, there are a few notable acts hitting town this week. Knoxville's Superdrag mesh Nirvana power riffs with Big Star (or maybe Teenage Fanclub) pop for a pretty heady alt-rock stew. They'll be at Newby's on Friday, July 26th, in support of their solid new album Last Call For Vitriol. Local popsters Crash Into June open.
And Chicago's Dishes mix riot-girl-style punk with gritty garage rock for what should be a loud and energetic show at the Young Avenue Deli on Saturday, July 27th. They'll be joined by dreamy locals Snowglobe and out-of-towners The Paper Hearts.
I'm absolutely obsessed with at least one song by the power-duo Jucifer. On "Hero Worship," the ever-radiant Amber Valentine comes on like a cross between Pixies-era Kim Deal and a star-struck Andy Warhol as she obsessively croons about how much she wants to be like MTV cutie Tabitha Sorin ("'cause I'm not happy with me"). Why Jucifer hasn't found a larger audience, as the American fascination with all things metal continues to grow, is a curiosity. The group, which comes off as the perfect hybrid of Black Sabbath riffage and Pixies pop, should be just heavy enough for the headbangers and just smart enough to appeal to the indie crowd. Their 1998 album Calling All Cars On the Vegas Strip is an undersung treasure filled with punk fury, pomo logic, gothic sentiment, and big metal guitars. Best of all, Jucifer has no trouble recreating their recorded sound in a live setting, a rarity among duos. They will be at the Young Avenue Deli on Friday, July 26th, with the ever-radiant and occasionally nekkid Subteens. -- Chris Davis