If you read the publicity on Toronto's Broken Social Scene, you'll find that the band is more of a collective, with a rotating cast of members who filter in and out and swap duties from song to song. If you listen to the band's sophomore effort, You Forgot It in People (which won a Canadian Grammy equivalent for Best Alternative Album), you'll find that the band sounds like that too -- and in a good way.
You Forgot It in People (which lists 10 band members, along with other guest players) is a sprawling, relaxed record with a friendly vibe, one that shambles from one indie-rock style to another with a feel that attests to the spontaneity that the band's PR claims. It has some (but only some) of the Holy Grail quality of Pavement's first recordings, that sense of people accidentally and furtively tapping into a kind of off-hand grace. Like most of the best indie rock it evokes, its belly-button-gazing is a source of strength rather than weakness -- the sound of people so fixated on their own musical messing around that they're immune to trends or fashion. Sometimes they sound like Dinosaur Jr. ("Cause = Time"), sometimes they sound mysterious and ineffable ("Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl"), most of the time they sound like Sunday afternoon.
Broken Social Scene will be at Young Avenue Deli Wednesday, October 1st, with fellow Canucks Jason Collett and Metric. Collett is also a guitarist/bassist for Broken Social Scene, and Metric is made up of Scene-sters as well (including Emily Haines, who I believe sings "Anthems"), so here's betting that the show replicates the communal feel of the record.
As part of this year's ongoing blues celebration (particularly this week's debut of The Blues documentary series on PBS), B.B. King returns to his namesake Beale Street club this week for a couple of shows, Thursday, September 25th, and Friday, September 26th.
And I can't get out of here without giving a shout-out to The Drive-By Truckers, who'll be at Proud Larry's in Oxford on Thursday, September 25th. The Truckers' latest, Decoration Day, is classic-rock that works equally well for people who love classic-rock and people who don't quite trust it. It's also my favorite guitar-rock record of the year.
The Hi-Tone CafÇ's recent package show featuring the best of Memphis' garage bands from the '90s must have gone well for The Grundies. The long-broken-up art-rock/novelty band will be playing the Young Avenue Deli on Thursday, September 25th, with the wonderful Tim Prudhomme (formerly of Fuck) and teen garage sensations The Mutant Space Bats of Doom. Grundies' frontman, Trey Harrison, used to perform a song his son wrote when he was only 2. The lyrics were, if memory serves, "Cowboy song, cowboy song, cowboy song, pow, pow, pow." That should give you some idea of what to expect. It's good, goofy, and occasionally groovy.
When you are looking at Loretta Lynn, you are looking at country. Kitty Wells may have been the first major female honky-tonker, and Patsy Cline the most popular, but Loretta Lynn is, hands down, the most outspoken. Offhand, I can't think of another artist who has ever offered to take "the other woman" on a one-way trip to "Fist City." Though her own politics lean conservative, her song "The Pill" became an anthem for warriors in the sexual revolution. Her duets with Conway Twitty were very nearly a sexual revolution unto themselves. And then, of course, there are classics like "Don't Come Home a Drinkin' (with Lovin' on Your Mind)," "You Ain't Woman Enough," and the autobiographical "Coal Miner's Daughter." If you miss Lynn's show at the Mid-South Fair on Friday, September 26th, you've missed the undisputed first lady of country music. --Chris Davis