Well, live-music nights downtown won't get much bigger than this Wednesday, October 30th. Luckily, the big shows aren't liable to attract the same audiences. While Wilco is rocking away on the rooftop of the Lounge, hometown heroes Saliva will make a return for one of the first shows on a fall tour in support of their forthcoming sophomore album Back into Your System (due November 12th). The album's first single, "Always," is already scaling the Modern Rock charts, a power ballad (with the emphasis on power) that eschews both hip-hop and hard-metal influences in favor of a radio-friendly arena-rock sound. Saliva will be at their old stomping grounds, the New Daisy Theatre, with current MTV darlings Audiovent (of the long-haired pretty-boy video "The Energy") along for the ride.
Those looking for cheaper and more low-key alternatives the rest of the week could try these: Austin-based bluegrass-babe and folkie Caroline Herring hits the Hi-Tone Café that same night, Wednesday, October 30th. Onetime Memphian Bob Frank makes a second trip through town on his comeback jaunt, setting up shop at Murphy's Sunday, October 27th. And Louisville's VHS Or Beta, who make dance music indie-rock-style, return to the Young Avenue Deli Saturday, October 26th. -- Chris Herrington
Garage mania continues to build, and not a day passes that some new garage band with some new gimmick comes to light. The problem with the revival (like all recent revivals, including trad-country and swing) is this: It's hard to fashion a retro feel while avoiding a damning aura of insincerity. The White Stripes have done it; the also-awesome Forty Fives have not. Memphis' Reigning Sound pulls it off legit, while New Orleans' Royal Pendletons, as dedicated and fanatical as any band might hope to be but cursed with bowling shirts and pompadours, come off like big pretenders. Though they might occasionally call to mind the Nashville Teens, ? and the Mysterians, the Yardbirds, the Kinks, and even the Association, Ohio garage band The Greenhornes have wielded their soulful, totally retro sound masterfully without giving off the faintest whiff of kitsch. Whether they are aping the Stones with "Satisfy My Mind" or idolizing '50s feminine accoutrement on "Pigtails and Kneesocks," the Greenhornes' crunchy grind embodies all the best of the garage-rock ethos. They'll be sharing a bill with the always-satisfying Subteens at the Young Avenue Deli Tuesday, October 29th. -- Chris Davis