This week, locals Everything Went Black kicks off a tour at the Firebird and FarFetched's Blank Generation makes its debut at Schlafly Tap Room. More featured shows include Otis Gibbs at Off Broadway, Zero Boys at Fubar and ZZ Top at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. Read on for these recommendations and more.
Everything Went Black Tour Kick-Off Monday, August 18 w/ Alan Smithee, Fumer, Heavy Horse @ The Firebird 8:30 p.m. | $10 By Ryan Wasoba From the 2014 RFT Music Awards: Everything Went Black, and it never went back. You could interpret that (accurately) as a bad joke, or see it as a commentary on the band's commitment to metallic hardcore. Formed in 2009, EWB has only become more vicious with time. Frontman Brandon Hoffman has the lungs of a man three times his physical stature, and the remainder of the quintet has road-tightened into a national-caliber band. The group has often drawn comparisons to iconic hardcore veteran Converge; today, the similarity has as much to do with Everything Went Black's stamina and energy as its stylistic choices.
Ed Schrader's Music Beat Tuesday, August 19 w/ Self Help, The Union Eletric, Bad Dates, Dishpit @ Station House 8 p.m. | $7 By Joseph Hess From this 2014 preview: How one man could grip groups of showgoers with only his voice and a floor tom remains a mystery, but Ed Schrader traveled across America for three years doing just that -- slamming stick to skin and howling from the chest. Ed Schrader's Music Beat was born when the project expanded by merely one member -- bassist Devlin Rice. The duo's minimalist take on outsider pop is percussive and visceral, with brief songs saturated with catchy hooks. Schrader himself pours an honest narcissism into the set, blowing kisses at the crowd between bouts of flourished vocals. Shirtless and contorted, his onstage persona does more to magnetize the crowd than to offend it. Openers the Brainstems, which we named "Best Band to Die in 2013," returned with jangly garage rock in tow earlier this year. So instead of mourning the ones we lost, let's all celebrate the bands who are still around, right?
Otis Gibbs Wednesday, August 20 w/ Edward David Anderson @ Off Broadway 8 p.m. | $10 By Roy Kasten You might reckon that every Midwestern town has an Otis Gibbs: a denim-clad songster with lefty politics, a feed cap, a sandpaper voice and a rucksack full of story-songs about hard-living and dying. But few are blessed with his humor and work ethic -- he's a photographer, podcaster and prolific record maker -- let alone his peculiar stripe of genius. You can hear it in a new song like "With a Gun in My Hand," as honest and devastating an anti-violence anthem as any his idols, Springsteen or Guthie, ever wrote.
Christopher Denny Thursday, August 21 w/ Strand of Oaks @ Off Broadway 9 p.m. | $10-$15 By Roy Kasten "It's a Southern tradition," Christopher Denny says, but he's not talking about the music on his new album If the Roses Don't Kill Us. He's talking about drinking (and pill-taking, in his case), which, true to tradition, probably should have killed the Arkansas native. Instead, he just made the record of his career, a suite of songs as yearning as the ineffably high, Orbison-esque twang in his voice and as redemptive as the churchly organ that spills around him. He may not have friends in high places, but with his talent, Denny doesn't need them. Denny opens for Timothy Showalter, aka Strand of Oaks, whose brooding, experimental folk rock will hold your attention past last call.