I have never been a huge fan of indie/country ingénue Neko Case. Sure, she is gorgeous, and has a tremendous voice and knows how to pick material and music that complements her to crystalline perfection. That perfection is what sticks in my craw a little. She deserves every ounce of the copious praise she gets, but it doesn’t do it for me. The other day, though, I was dialing through Rhapsody and landed on Jessica Lea Mayfield’s exquisitely titled recent album With Blasphemy So Heartfelt – a smoldering collection of sexy, sad, indie country darts straight at my smitten heart. Maybe this is what other people feel when they hear Neko Case, I just like it sexier, sadder, indie-er and country-er. She will be breaking hearts at an early show at the Spanish Moon along with Raleigh, NC wonderband Annuals and What Laura Says.
Also appearing here this week is Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights, a blues-infused hard rock situation emanating from Dallas. On their 2007 album Hott Trottin’ the easiest comparison is Black Crowes, they approach bar band music with a similar gospel fervor and arena ready sheen, but the advantage Tyler and crew possess is a deep appreciation for the stomp, that steady cloven-hoof-on-a-roadhouse floor beat that can make any song sound dangerous. Tyler will be stompin’ it up at Chelsea’s this Thursday with Cory Branan, an inventive singer/songwriter from either Memphis or Austin according to his Myspace page. The songs therein have the lean of a young Steve Earle with the occasional slight punk edge, just enough to lift off the shackles his country leanings might have. I plan on spending some time with his 2006 album 12 Songs so I can shout along.
Other notable suggestions for your entertainment dollar are The New Orleans Bingo! Show at Spanish Moon. This is not your grandma’s bingo, or if it is, you have a weird grandma. Sister Hazel, the Gainesville, Fla. modern rock group who had a No. 1 hit “All For You” a decade ago will show us what they still got at the Varsity, and the ever expanding armada of sea-oriented band names around here will be bolstered by If I Had a Battleship, appearing Friday at Click’s.
OH, and it is Teddy Johnson’s birthday this week. Hop on down to Teddy’s Juke Joint on Friday and give Teddy some love. He will be the man in the cape with the money pinned on his jacket.
Wednesday, Feb. 11
Annuals, Jessica Lea Mayfield & What Laura Says at Spanish Moon
Sister Hazel at the Varsity
One Wants at The Caterie
Thursday, Feb. 12
Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights and Cory Brannon & Friends at Chelsea’s
The Indie Lounge at the Roux House
The Funky regulars at The Caterie
Friday, Feb. 13
Diddley Squat Blues band for Teddy’s Birthday Party at Teddy’s Juke Joint
The New Orleans Bingo! Show at Spanish Moon
The Last Waltz Ensemble at Chelsea’s
Jake Smith at the Varsity
If I Were a Battleship and Herrington at Click’s
Drew Landry & The Dirty Cajuns and The Chase Tyler Band at Boudreaux & Thibodeaux’s
Colorblind & The Roux House
Furr at The Caterie
Saturday, Feb. 14
Kozmik Nod at Chelsea’s
Colorblind at Boudreaux & Thibodeaux’s
Blue print at The Roux House
The Fourth at The Caterie
Rudy Richard at Teddy’s Juke Joint
Sunday, Feb. 15
Big Al & The Heavyweights at Teddy’s Juke Joint
Tuesday, Feb. 17
Citizen Cope at The Varsity