Ed. note: The nice thing about living in a music city is that we get a ton of great live shows every single month. The tough thing, however, is deciding which bands to see. With that in mind, here are 10 recommendations for shows you won't want to miss this month:
Ease into Music Fest weekend with a low-key, folky show at A. Schwab on Beale St. The line-up is stellar (and well worth $15) – Star and Micey, the all-girl country of the Memphis Dawls and chanteuse Amy LaVere and her upright bass.
By now, you guys know what happens at the annual Beale Street Music Festival. More than 60 bands will play the festival's three stages, blues tent and blues shack over the course of three days. Check the survival guide, check the weather, then go forth and party.
Surf guitar legend Dick Dale is turning 75 on Friday night, and he's chosen to celebrate his birthday with us. The last time he played the Hi-Tone, the venue was clown-car packed and he played for at least an hour an a half with an enthusiasm and verve that you wouldn't expect from a septuagenarian.
If you like your rock'n'roll loud and sweaty, you'll like the Melvins. The punk / metal band is playing the Hi-Tone on Cinco de Mayo with Unsane. If you'd like to make them happy, their bio suggests that you shower them with Cracker Barrel gift certificates.
I love shows at the Levitt Shell because even when the band isn't one I've ever heard of, it's never a bad thing to hang out outside, eat some food and listen to free music. The Shell is opening this year's concert series with the Stooges Brass Band, a modern take on a traditional New Orleans brass band. Have I heard of them? No. Will it be fun? Yes.
St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) makes gritty, pretty indie pop that's beloved by critics and music nerds alike. She's playing at Minglewood Hall with Shearwater on May 17. It's only $18, which is kind of a bargain for music this good.
Alt-country stalwarts Wilco are playing an outdoor show at the Mud Island Amphitheatre on May 19. The scenery (the Mississippi River) will be awesome and the music will be better. Reserved seats start at $42.
The Memphis Symphony Orchestra is performing the Carl Orff's classic "Carmina Burana" twice in May – once on May 19 at the Cannon Center and once on May 20 at Germantown Performing Arts Center. Mei-Ann Chen will conduct the orchestra through selections from "Barber of Seville" and "Carmina Burana".
Here's what you need to know about Mr. Quintron: he's from New Orleans. He plays a giant, homemade keyboard thing that's set into the chrome front end of a car. His wife, Miss Pussycat wears costumes and sings along. Also, there are morality plays told through puppet shows. Basically, you need to be there.
If you're feeling a little more traditional this month, check out Daddy Mack's authentic delta blues at the Center for Southern Folklore on May 26. Proceeds from the show benefit the Center for Southern Folklore's annual fall Music and Heritage Festival.
These are by no means the only shows going on in Memphis this month. There are plenty more listed on the blog's calendar. If you've got a show you'd like to recommend, leave the details in the comments section.