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:
The last of the free outdoor shows at Shelby Farms is on Thursday, Aug. 2. Jeremy Shrader and the Hot Memphis Four will play swing and jazz music and there will be food available from local food trucks. Admission is free, but bring cash – parking is $5 per car.
I'm not quite sure what to say about comedian Andy Milonakis and local slacker rapper Muck Sticky's show at Newby's. What I can tell you for sure is that it's going to be casual – Muck is a man who tends to favor PJs while he raps.
Wanda Jackson, the reigning and forever queen of rockabilly, is playing at the Hi-Tone on Aug. 12. She may be a septuagenarian, but she's got just as much raspy rock'n'roll in her voice as ever. Local band The Sultana will open.
To commemorate the 35th anniversary of Elvis' death, there's going to be a big Elvis concert at the FedExForum. Since the man himself won't be there, members of his band and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra will play and video will be projected.
According to that most reliable of all sources, Wikipedia, Duran Duran's members were once known as "the prettiest boys in rock". See how they've held up when they play an outdoor show at the Memphis Botanic Garden on Aug. 18. Picnics and blankets are allowed, as is singing along to "Hungry Like the Wolf."
Gruff Rhys (of Super Furry Animals" is coming to the HI-Tone on Aug. 18 on his "second investigative concert tour of the Americas". It's part journalistic mission, part rock'n'roll show – Rhys is following the path of John Evans, a 22 year old farmhand. Yep.
Memphis bands Darien Clea, Tiger High, and (soon to be a very big deal) Fast Planet are playing this month's Rock'n'Romp at Minglewood. Remember, Rock'n'Romp shows are geared at kids, so if you want to go, you have to have one with you. It doesn't have to be yours.
Sugarland, the grammy-nominated country duo (country-pop, really, given their mainstream success) is stopping at the FedExForum on Aug. 24 as part of their "In Your Hands" tour.
Here's your chance to see three days of bands for a good cause. Ron-a-thon is a benefit show for Cheapskates owner Ron Hale, an uninsured small business owner who needs some help paying his hospital bills. Nine bands and a handful of comedians will perform.
I'm super pumped about Black Joe Lewis at the Hi-Tone, if only for the chance to hear "Booty City" played live. The soul / funk band will play at the Hi-Tone on Aug. 31 – it's only $12 at the door, so you have no excuse.