New York-based punk-rock band Crimson Sweet return to Memphis this week, this time in support of their debut full-length Livin' in Strut. With femme-fronted punk bands from sea to shining sea (think Cali's Distillers or NYC's Yeah Yeah Yeahs) gaining a modicum of buzz, Crimson Sweet has a sound strong and sure enough to join the party, as exhibited on tunes ranging from the rousing, straight-up rock-and-roll anthem "Hello New York" to the surging emotion of "White Heart."
Crimson Sweet is decidedly more straightforward than local comrades The Lost Sounds, with whom they'll be sharing the stage Friday, January 17th, at the Hi-Tone Café. This rockin' double bill offers a chance to not only check out some up-and-coming out-of-towners but give a proper send-off to the Lost Sounds, who'll be heading out on the road for a month-long tour after the show.
So you meet this Chopper Girl and you think, Yeah right. This shy, almost mousy person whose natural flow is more akin to your elementary school librarian's than to Snoop Dogg is a badass rapper? Believe it when I see it. Then you see Chopper Girl in her old-school warm-ups with the hood up, and you think, Yo man. What's this little Snow White doing done up all South-side and shit? That's wack, yo. And then the beat starts and Chopper Girl proves why she's one of the Dirty South Divas. Chopper Girl will be keepin' it surreal at Reedmeisters with the godfather of Memphis rap, Al Kapone, on Sunday, January 19th.
I've been listening to Jim Dickinson's take on Blaze Foley's "If I Could Only Fly" quite a bit lately. Not many people could cover a tune so recently immortalized by Merle Haggard and still make it seem fresh. But Memphis' genre-skipping pianoman and world-boogie provocateur has the skills to do just that. He'll be doing an in-store appearance at Cat's Midtown on Saturday, January 18th.
At a recent show with the Reigning Sound and newcomers La Paloma, Viva L'American Death Ray Music proved that in spite of some changes in the lineup they are tighter and fuller-sounding than ever. They'll be joined by Memphis' exciting new tech-centrics, The Pelicans, at the Young Avenue Deli on Saturday, January 18th.
-- Chris Davis