2.17.2005

These legs were made for breakin'

I have a split preference for hard rocking punk shows and soul shaking acoustic R&B sets. There's no better act in Memphis than Bella Sun to fill the latter part of that bill. Ethereal, dread-locked Valerie Joyner surely has the most talented voice in the city. It's a unique, soulful sweetness that, to my mind, find's its closest comparison to R&B insta-classic Erykah Badu with the jazz sensibilities of Billie Holiday and the activist attitude of Janis Joplin. Valerie is joined by her husband Michael for the kind of live soul/folk acoustic show that really, as silly as it sounds, fills you up with some kind of emotion that doesn't quite have words to describe it. The couple has been playing Memphis coffee shops and small venues for several years now and released their first full length album, No Crystal Stair, last year. Valerie is currently working on her solo debut and, frankly, I can't wait. The acoustic version of "Can't Tell No Lies" on their Broken String Records site is a must hear. Somehow, this stripped down single just doesn't compare to the studio version found on their CD. It's the same sort of "back-to-basics" approach that makes their live show so appealing, so if by some chance you must miss them play the artsy Glasshouse on Main this Saturday night, be sure to catch them February 25th for the Broken String Records showcase at the Hi Tone with Solstice and Full Circle. I don't know. Everyone's always talking about shows like The Glass and, in some circles, MOTO. I sort of feel like doing something different this weekend. The Wiseguys Comedy Improv group is holding a Habitat for Humanity benefit show this Friday night at the Blue Moon above Zinnie's East. You may remember that this troupe used to hold down a regular gig at the Hi Tone. They're back from their sabbatical with a vengeance and I hear they've been doing several new games, a la Who's Line Is It Anyway, that sound like a riot. The cover is $5.00, show starts at 9:00. Tonight, there's a Camel Toe party or something at the Hi Tone. Whatever. I don't know what that's all about. DJ's, games, free, 80's. Right. I think I'll check out Amy & The Tramps at Ernestine and Hazel's. I've been hearing good things about Amy LaVere, and it's about damn time I see her show. Last night was Lost Sounds with Atlanta's Beat Beat Beat. The latter was worth it for the eye candy if nothing else, notably the bass player. They have more shows lined up here in March. You should check him out. Them, I mean. The band. Right. For some reason, Lost Sounds made my pinky toes numb. I still haven't figured that one out. Also, with Alicja's help, we determined that Memphis loses approximately five working bands when Lost Sounds goes on tour. In no particular order: Lost Sounds, Final Solutions, Care, River City Tan Lines, and Mouserocket. So basically you guys are single handedly depriving us of all that for about three months. Fine. Just go make your money, do your thing, and hurry home safe so we can continue to exploit you.

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