MP3 Weekender: James Jackson Toth and Ohtis


When: 9 p.m. tonight at the Billiken Club Playing with: Wye Oak Sounds Like: "'Cocaine and bourbon, pinball and pool,' sums up James Jackson Toth — or nearly sums up, as the former lo-fi, acid-folk leader of Wooden Wand pawns his last bag of 'shrooms for a walk on Lou Reed's wild side and a bender with John Lennon slurring in his ear. On this year's solo debut, Waiting In Vain, the New York-born songwriter (now living just outside of Nashville) fleshes out his desperate portraits of barfly schemers and dope alley dreamers with the sweetest, piano-based country soul strolls and a beggar's banquet of Stones rock." (link) -- Roy Kasten MP3: James Jackson Toth, "Nothing Hides"

OHTIS (MySpace)

(Maryann Parrone)

When: 9 p.m. Saturday, September 13, at the Billiken Club Playing with: Centro-matic Sounds Like: "The scatterbrained, deconstructionist folk-rock created by Ohtis is a study in contrasts. Crisp, serene strings and soothing vocal melodies flank intense layers of instrumentation and harmony, like a more deliberate and less overdriven Neutral Milk Hotel, or Frank Zappa with a little bit longer attention span. The songs on the Normal, Illinois, band's new album, If This Country Had a Heart, That's Where I Was Born, display a rare combination of concise premeditation and occasional madness." (link) -- Shae Moseley MP3: Ohtis, "Hatefully in Love"