Noted R&B heartthrob Trey Songz will be at the Fox this Sunday, but the show will absolutely not be worth killing a person and then yourself over. I just wanted to make that clear from the get-go since I suppose there has been some very heartbreaking confusion lately. Just to be clear, again: Trey Songz - Talented, but not murder-suicide material. (Seriously, this was a horrible tragedy, and it should be cause for serious discussion about domestic violence, drug abuse and even the effect of playing in the NFL. We do not mean to make light of the situation.)
There are several other great shows this week that are also not worthy of a self-destructive homicidal rampage -- High On Fire will play the Firebird on Thursday, The Incurables release a new record at Off Broadway on Friday, and the inimitable Without Motherfucking Order will abuse themselves for your amusement at Lemmon's, also on Friday. Check out the rest of our picks below, and please try to keep in mind what I said about brutally killing people and then yourself over any of these shows: Unnecessary.
Trauma Harness Mon., 8:30 p.m. December 3 w/ You, Black James, Black Marble @ Apop Records - $5 By Joseph Hess The Wicked Witch of Belleville likes to throw musicians into a dirty black cauldron. She vigorously stirs the pot, concocting odd bands that creep and slither their way into nearby cities. Trauma Harness was born from the hiatus of Egg Chef, a beloved noise rock band signed to St. Louis' Apop Records. Since its start as a pet project of Egg Chef's Josh Jenkins and John Birkner of Shaved Women, Trauma Harness has quite literally hit the street, performing in bars and punk houses alike.
Speedwolf Tues., 8:00 p.m. December 4 w/ Tropical Storm, Bonerkill @ Fubar - $10 By Daniel Hill Denver's Speedwolf plays ripping thrash metal with heaps of Motorhead influence, from the gravelly vocal delivery down to the dirty thrash-rock riffage. Speedwolf is no tribute band, however; d-beat-style intensity and impressive technicality set Speedwolf apart from the cookie-cutter bands. Have you seen the cover of last's year's full-length, Ride With Death? Half-man, half-wolves wearing jean biker vests ride choppers across the open highway, while the Grim Reaper -- who looms over the horizon as large as the setting sun -- looks on. That image pretty much sums this band up nicely. Choice Pedigree: Members of Speedwolf used to play in crossover band DDC, also from Denver, which used to play St. Louis from time to time in the mid-aughts.
Mark Dew Wed., 8:00 p.m. December 5 @ Hideaway Restaurant & Lounge - Free By RFT Staff To walk into the Hideaway is to enter a place that seems frozen in time, where the dozen or so seats around the piano are packed with your grandparents' friends, decked out in chunky jewelry and tilted fedora hats. Ostensibly, they're here to listen to Mark Dew play -- he's here Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights -- but you're just as likely to hear one of those old-timers sitting around the piano trill Charlie Rich's "The Most Beautiful Girl." And when Dew finally has his turn at the mic, he'll say something humble, like, "I apologize; it should have been in the key of F." No matter. Dew is the conductor of this time-traveling train, and everyone's on board. Dew, who is blind, has been the piano man here for nearly a quarter-century and jokes that the best part about working here is, well, getting paid. He marvels at the younger set trickling in and its knowledge of the Cash and Sinatra songbooks: "The more the crowd gets into it, the more I play," Dew says. And that's enough to keep him around. "I'm not quite ready to be out to pasture," he says. "Yet."
High On Fire Thurs., 7:30 p.m. December 6 w/ Goat Whore, Lo-Pan, Lion's Daughter @ The Firebird - $15 By Ryan Wasoba 2012 has been an eventful year for Matt Pike. Dopesmoker, the one track, hour-long 1996 masterwork by his defunct band Sleep finally saw a proper release, and his current group High On Fire dropped De Vermis Mysteriis. On Dopesmoker, Pike and his crew summoned hellfire from bong water, but Mysteriis furthers High On Fire's reputation as a band too diverse to be labeled simply as stoner metal. Lightspeed thrash riffs and noisey Slayer-esque solos coexist with Sabbath dirges. When it lets loose into full-on doom on "Madness Of An Architect," we're reminded that the band has the word High in its name. Animals As Openers: New Orleans' Goatwhore and local the Lion's Daughter are a fitting pair of warm-up acts, as both play death metal with black metal tendencies and are named after mammals.
The Incurables Record Release Fri., 7:00 p.m. December 7 @ Off Broadway - $10-$13 By Christian Schaeffer If you only know Jimmy Griffin as the consummate tribute-show guitarist, you only know half of the story. Griffin's high-profile turns playing the riffs of Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and David Gilmour in increasingly popular tributes to classic rock icons have been a central part of sold-out spectacles at the Pageant and elsewhere -- the man simply looks like he was put on this earth to wrangle a Stratocaster behind thousand-watt bulbs, a cigarette Velcroed to his lower lip. His work leading the Incurables is more humble and refined; he's internalized 50 years of rock & roll know-how but largely sets those tropes aside for earnest, melodic songs that suit his smoky but sweet tenor voice.
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