SXSW Acts Line Up; Brightblack at Odessa 

The local lineup at Austin's South by Southwest Music Festival next month continues to take shape. We wrote a few weeks ago about the Thursday-night showcase presented by the Memphis Music Foundation that will feature The Bar-Kays, Lucero, and Eightball & MJG, among others.

Now the lineup has been announced for the MusicMemphis showcase the next night — March 20th — at Habana Calle 6. MusicMemphis is partnering with $5 Cover, Craig Brewer's upcoming Memphis-themed MTV web series. The showcase will be headlined by Amy LaVere, fresh off her recent appearance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and soon to be featured in $5 Cover. Also on tap for the showcase: singer Susan Marshall backed by a couple of local legends, Big Star drummer Jody Stephens and Hi Rhythm guitarist Teenie Hodges; Hill Country Revue, featuring North Mississippi Allstars colleagues Cody Dickinson and Chris Chew; John Paul Keith & the One Four Fives, Harlan T. Bobo, Ron Franklin, and The City Champs.

MTV will provide some financial and marketing assistance for the showcase.

"We have several different genres together on one showcase to highlight the sound of Memphis," MusicMemphis co-founder Jeff Schmidtke says. "With the support of MTV and $5 Cover, Memphis can take [its] sound not only to SXSW but around the world."

Earlier that day, at Shangri-la, another Austin venue, Rachel Hurley will host her third annual Six Degrees of Memphis day party, drawing on artists from each nighttime Memphis showcase in addition to others. The lineup: Bobo, Jack O & the Tearjerkers, Cory Branan, Keith & Co., Antenna Shoes, Snowglobe, and LaVere.

click to enlarge Amy LaVere
  • Amy LaVere

The next night, Goner Records will present a showcase at the club Red 7, mixing Memphis bands (Tearjerkers, Bobo, The Limes, The Magic Kids) with out-of-town acts (The Box Elders, Ty Segall).

Midtown art space Odessa has provided a haven to lots of interesting stuff in a variety of disciplines — music, video, visual arts, etc. — but the venue hosts its most high-profile concert this week in the form of Matador Records-connected indie-rockers Brightblack Morning Light.

Formed in Alabama at the beginning of the decade but now based in California, Brightblack Morning Light proffer glacially paced rock that is deliberate, moody, bluesy, and atmospheric. They're a band more about sound and groove than song.

Brightblack Morning Light plays Odessa (located at 2613 Broad) on Friday, February 27th. New York-based alt-folkie Rio En Medio opens the show at 9 p.m.

Tickets went on sale Monday for Lil Wayne's "I Am Music 2009 World Tour" stop at FedExForum on March 22nd. The tour title comes off like a comic boast, but given the titanic artistic and commercial success of the diminutive New Orleans rapper's 2008 juggernaut album Tha Carter III and given his recent cultural ubiquity (joining Kanye West, Jay-Z, and T.I. in the rap-summit single "Swagga Like Us" and backing Kid Rock at the Country Music Awards), it also might be truth in advertising. Wayne will be joined on tour by T-Pain, Gym Class Heroes, and Keri Hilson. Tickets are $39.75, $59.75, and $79.75.

click to enlarge Brightblack Morning Light
  • Brightblack Morning Light


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