Sound Advice 

The Flyer's music writers tell you where you can go.

So much stuff, so little space. The shows of the week, hands down, are Wilco at the Library in Oxford Wednesday, September 25th, and guitar-sculptors And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead at Young Avenue Deli Tuesday, September 24th. But Wilco -- whose Yankee Hotel Foxtrot seems to be battling Bruce Springsteen's The Rising for frontrunner status to top the year-end critics' polls -- is so likely to sell out their show before anyone lays eyes on this, it doesn't seem worth much mention. Here's hoping they add a Memphis date later this fall. And Austin's Trail Of Dead -- major-label-supported alt-rockers who deserve the hype that Australia's utterly conventional Vines have been getting -- get their due elsewhere in these pages (see Music Feature, page 37).

So what's next? How about Todd Snider? Onetime local fixture Snider is a strong songsmith who has created a solid niche for himself down the music highway in Nashville. While many loyal locals would undoubtedly beg to differ, I'd say Snider's neither an unusually gifted songwriter nor much of a singer, but he's crafty enough in both areas to get his music across. And his latest, New Connection, flashes a sharp sense of humor, gently poking fun at both himself ("I got piles and piles and piiiles of Tom Petty," the sound- and lookalike sings on "Vinyl Records") and his fans. ("Beer Run"'s portrait of two "frat guys from Abilene" mingling with hippies and scoring beer at a Robert Earl Keen show is priceless.) Snider will have a "CD-release party" (the album came out months ago) at the Lounge Saturday, September 21st.

Or for a roots-music troubadour of a different generation, it's hard to go wrong catching a gig by first-generation rockabilly hero Sleepy LaBeef, a veritable human jukebox of rockabilly, country, and early rock-and-roll whose live sets are always a good time. LaBeef will be at Blues City Café Saturday, September 21st.

As for locals, Midtown fixture Murphy's will celebrate its 25th anniversary Saturday, September 21st, with a megabill of reliably enjoyable venue regulars: The Gabe & Amy Show, Big Betsy, The Joint Chiefs, Delta Grass, The Gamble Brothers Band, and the it-ain't-a-party-without-them Subteens. Also worth a look are youngish locals The Coach & Four, whose recent five-song demo may be some of the prettiest guitar-pop I've heard all year. Don't know if these guys are into the Feelies or the Go-Betweens, but their bright, shimmering guitar sound brings those bands to mind. The Coach & Four will be joined by heavier locals 3 Pipe Problem and out-of-towners The Duration at the Hi-Tone Café Friday, September 20th.

-- Chris Herrington


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