Aaaaand we're back from the weekend show bender plus a full four days of chanting "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!" in a barbecue sauce and beer stained flag tee. This week, check out touring acts such as Lemuria, Gregory Alan Isakov, Luella and the Sun and more. Wrap up the week with the Indie Rock Ice Cream social and a free show featuring the Urge.
Lemuria Monday, July 8, 8 p.m. w/ The See, Trauma Harness, Times Beach @ The Firebird - $10-$12 By Michael Dauphin To call Lemuria a punk band wouldn't be off base, yet possibly misleading. With its last two albums, both produced by J. Robbins (Dismemberment Plan, Against Me!), the band has opened up its sound by easing up on the high-energy urgency of its past, in favor of more indie-pop-centric arrangements. The sugarcoated, nervy guitar work, the sideways, mathematical drumming and the bottomed-out bass noodling -- they're still there. Lemuria has gotten better, though, both technically and creatively. And on its newest album, The Distance is So Big, each player spreads their wings a little more, in ways that allow each arrangement more breathing room, including the vocals. Both singers, Sheena Ozzella and Alex Kerns, hit notes they never would have dared in the past, and who knows if a standard punk song would even allow it?
Gregory Alan Isakov Tuesday, July 9, 8 p.m. w/ Geoff Koch @ Old Rock House - $12/$15 By Roy Kasten With a dry and lonesome falsetto and a pocketful of tunes that beat the dungarees off most of his fellow troubadours, South Africa-born, Colorado-based songster Gregory Alan Isakov tells stories in limber lines. "Heartbreak drives a big black car / I was in the back seat, just minding my own" -- then, just when you think he'll fade into folkie verbomania, he'll stun you with a good chamber-pop arrangement or a Waitsian blues reverie. The first single from his forthcoming album The Weatherman, "Saint Valentine," has a swinging jazz-folk feel that should appeal to the pre-War hillbilly jazz life-stylers, but his songwriting is never a put-on.
Grace Potter & the Nocturnals Wednesday, July 10, 7 p.m. @ Verizon Wireless Ampitheater - $40-$75 w/ Dave Matthews Band By Katie Moulton From this 2011 Q&A: "We're devoted to never nailing down exactly what we are," says the namesake siren of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Critics agree: Although they've called the Vermont-based classic rockers "big on the jam-band scene," and pegged lead singer-songwriter Potter as a "Dustier Springfield," that doesn't quite do the band's music justice. Fans don't seem to mind the ambiguity, however. Thanks to the steamy breakout single "Paris (Ooh La La)," the Nocturnals' bluesy retro rock -- and the band's vivacious, long-limbed frontwoman -- is flaring up in the public's consciousness.
Luella and the Sun Thursday, July 11, 8 p.m. w/ Lida Una, Melody Den @ Off Broadway - $8-$11 By Roy Kasten Guitarist and producer Joe McMahan is one the unheralded geniuses of American music -- unheralded unless you've been hanging out in the hipper parts of East Nashville for the last decade. As guitarist for Kevin Gordon and Webb Wilder (for starters), he's forged a spare, sliding, fierce style that sounds like no other guitarist on earth. He's now applying himself to Luella and the Sun, a post-blues, pre-punk rock 'n' roll band featuring brazenly sensual howler Melissa Mathes and a rhythm section that just sweats groove. With locals Melody Den and Lida Una, this could be the show of the week.
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