A young Chicago-based post-punk band with some Tennessee roots (including Memphis), The Detachment Kit released what is probably one of the year's best indie-rock debuts earlier this year with They Raging. Quiet Army. With their ear-candy guitar noise, herky-jerky riffs, unhinged vocals, and cryptic, cerebral lyrics and song titles, the band's formula should appeal to fans of the Pixies-to-Pavement brand of art (-school) rock. After a couple of shows at the Map Room this past year, these college-radio chart-climbers move up to the Young Avenue Deli for their latest local show, setting up shop at that Cooper-Young oasis Saturday, October 12th, with The Ghost and The Cost.
Another Deli show of note this week is an appearance by some Americana royalty, husband-and-wife team Victoria Williams and Mark Olson. Idiosyncratic singer-songwriter Williams and ex-Jayhawk Olson will bring their band, The Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers, to the Deli Friday, October 11th.
Finally, blues fans can treat themselves to one of the genre's most likable contemporary songwriters when Mem Shannon performs at Huey's Midtown Sunday, October 13th. -- Chris Herrington
Blue Mountain, which will, when all is said and done, be counted among the better bands of the Americana movement, sang souped-up hillbilly songs about whiskey, heartbreak, and dangerous highways. But they never limited themselves to the tropes of trad country. Heck, they even performed a song about the early days of Memphis rockers the Grifters, who were just about as far away from honky-tonk as a band called A Band Called Bud can get. While Blue Mountain's recordings could always be a mixed bag, ranging from the divine to the unconscionably awful, their sweaty live shows were quite often don't-miss affairs. Frontman Cary Hudson would joyfully take requests and play past closing time. Though the band split for good last year, Tonight It's Now or Never, a recent release on DCN, preserves Blue Mountain's abundant energy, unfailing charisma, and genuinely Dylanesque songcraft for the generations. It's a far cry better than Hudson's first solo outing, The Phoenix, which mixes back-to-basics rock-and-roll with some less than fortunate lyrics even William Shatner wouldn't recite in a full-on fit of self-deprecation. That said, should you choose to see Hudson when he plays the Hi-Tone Café Saturday, October 12th, you will see an amazing performer and one of the few people who ever culled genuine classics from the derivative-to-a-fault Americana format. -- Chris Davis