Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Weekend Picks: Jason Isbell, Cracker, Zappa Plays Zappa, The Atkinsons, Interpol, Speedy Ortiz, Surfer Blood, Jukebox the Ghost, Kaiser Chiefs

Grunge influenced band Speedy Ortiz kicks off the weekend at Strange Matter Thursday night. Doors open at 8, tix are $12 in advance, $14 day of show. Krill, Teen Death, and Candy Spots open the show. Speedy will be opening up some shows for Wilco this summer. Here's their latest single, "The Graduates":

New wave/post-punk band Interpol is at The National Thursday. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with Algiers. Tix are $25 in advance, $28 day of show. This will be the first night of their tour so they should be tanned, rested and ready to go. Here they are at Coachella this year doing "Slow Hands", which are not to be confused with jazz hands.

Friday evening is the show I circled when the Friday Cheers calendar came out. Jason Isbell, formerly of Drive-By Truckers and now making excellent solo albums, is the headliner. Jason was the big winner at last year's Americana Music Awards, taking home awards for Artist of the Year, Song of the Year ("Cover Me Up"), and Album of the Year ("Southeastern"). He's got a new album coming out in July so we should hear some new tunes Friday night, too. It's $10 to get in and the show starts at 6:30 with Horsehead. Here's Jason and his wife, Amanda Shires, doing "Cover Me Up":

And as an added bonus, here they are doing Warren Zevon's "Mutineer" on the Late Show with David Letterman with Mickey Raphael, Willie Nelson's harmonica player:

And, what the hell, this guy's so good, here's one more that he did with the Drive-By Truckers about The Band's Rick Danko and Richard Manuel. This one always gives me the chills,

And my night will continue Friday when I head over to The Broadberry to see alt-country-rock-indie band Cracker. Tix are $15 in advance, $18 at the door. They've got a new double album out called "Berkeley to Bakersfield", one album their alt-punk-rock side (Berkeley), one album their Americana side (Bakersfield). Here's Cracker doing "Waited My Whole Life" at KSPN in Aspen on Valentine's Day this year, after a brief interview.

Saturday at The Camel, indie power pop band, Surfer Blood, perform for your pleasure. Tix are $12 in advance, $14 at the door. Doors open at 7:30, show starts at 8:30 with Manatree and Garrett Whitlow & Mitchel Latimer (from Sideways Orange) opening. Surfer Blood has a new album out "1000 Palms". Besides the usual ways to get the album, you can get the album on cassette. That's right. Good old trusty cassettes. I need to bust my Walkman out. Here's a track from that new album called "I Can't Explain" (not a Who cover):

Zappa Plays Zappa is at The National on Saturday. Tix are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8, no opener. ZPZ is the fabulous guitarist Dweezil Zappa and his excellent band playing the music of Dweezil's dad, Frank. This tour they are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Frank's album, "One Size Fits All" by playing that album in it's entirety along with a lot more famous Frank music. Here they are from a few days ago on Yahoo Live doing "Dancin' Fool" > "Muffin Man". Awesome. Watching this may have just clinched my going to the show. Listen to Dweezil's solo on "Muffin Man". Incredible.

The Bush League plays the blues at Capital Ale House RVA Music Hall on Saturday night. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9. Tix are $7 in advance, $10 day of show. They'll be celebrating the release of their new album, "Didn't See This Coming". They'll also be playing at the Carolina Blues Festival in Greensboro on 5/16. Here they are with "Hick Up Your Heels":

Looking for a nice way to spend Mother's Day evening with your mom who likes Americana music? Head to Forest Hill Park Sunday evening for a FREE show with The Atkinsons. That will start at 6 PM. This seems like a fine way to end the weekend and put off thinking about work for a few more hours. Here they are playing "Her Mind's On Other Things" at Hardywood last month:

Sunday, indie-alternative-pop-rock trio, Jukebox the Ghost, is at Broadberry . Tix are $14 in advance, $16 at the door. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with openers Trillions and Lost Lander. You might dig Jukebox the Ghost if you like Ben Folds, They Might Be Giants, Imagine Dragons, Fun., or Ingrid Michaelson. Here's "Postcard" from Jukebox the Ghost's self-titled latest album:

Indie-power pop-new wave band, Kaiser Chiefs, are at The National on Sunday night. Tix are $20 in advance, $23 at the door. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with openers Priory. You might dig Kaiser Chiefs is you like Roxy Music, The Clash, Blur, The Jam, Dexy's Midnight Runners, XTC, Madness, Bloc Party, Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, or Franz Ferdinand. I really like this song from Kaiser Chiefs which I could see starting a riot, "I Predict a Riot":

Hope to see you at Jason Isbell, Cracker, Zappa Plays Zappa, or The Atkinsons. This is gonna be a great music weekend!

I'll leave you with one from Drive-By Truckers. It's "World of Hurt". The last verse was hitting me strong when I listened to the album it's from "Blessing & a Curse" tonight.

Tony Jordan