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 in the coming month:
Say what you will about the Biebs, but he's a great showman. And even though "Boyfriend' comes off a little creepy, you can't deny the infectiousness of "Baby" (and if you can, I'm not sure I want to know you). Brave the hordes of Bieber Fever infected tweens just so that years from now, you can say you were there.
It's tough to describe Titus Andronicus. They're mostly a punk band, and their songs (especially off of 2010's "The Monitor") are deeply rooted in American history. You'll either love or hate the lead singer's voice, but you won't be able to resist raising your beer high and singing along. They play at the Hi-Tone on the 2nd with Ceremony as the opening band.
This month's installment of Rock'n'Romp (Memphis' kid-friendly concert series) features Nashville band The Nobility and two Memphis bands: Allied Standard and Kitchens and Bathrooms playing a free outdoor show in Overton Park. As always, there will be food, activities and beer for the adults, and anyone over 18 must be accompanied by a minor.
If solid indie singer songwriters are your thing, don't miss Sharon Van Etten playing the Hi-Tone with Damien Jurado on Sunday, Nov. 4. She sounds a little bit like a lady Bon Iver, and he's a little bit country, a little bit 60s pop.
The MemFix street fair has one of the most diverse musical line ups of any venue in town this month: Skewby, the Overton High Drum Line, Dead Soldiers, Pezz, Kait Lawson, Adam WarRock, DiAnne Price and the Sheiks are all playing in a single day. And it's free.
The Blue Man Group is a cross between a live band, a theatre show and full-on sensory overload. They'll be at the Orpheum as part of the theatre's Broadway season from Nov. 13 – 18. There's a special kids' night performance on Thursday, Nov. 15.
If you grew up anywhere near the 1990s, you may remember Eddie Vedder as the warbly-voiced lead singer of Pearl Jam. He, like all of us, has grown up, and is coming to the Orpheum in support of his album of ukulele music. Glen Hansard (of Swell Season) will open.
Memphis' favorite (only?) aristo-crunk rappers Lord T. and Eloise are playing the Hi-Tone on Thanksgiving Eve. Like a lot of rappers, they have songs about how much money they have and how appealing they are to women as a result. Unlike a lot of rappers, they perform in powdered wigs.
Spend part of your Thanksgiving break with the Brothers Dickinson and their band the North Mississippi All-Stars. The show is serving a purpose beyond fun – it's also a food drive for the Mid-South Food Bank, and the first 100 people to bring a canned food donation will get a limited edition poster signed by the band.
I think the bio of the Japandroids on the Hi-Tone's website says it best: they are "a two piece band trying to sound like it’s a five piece band." Their music is loud, fast good-times rock'n'roll. Swearin will open.
Who are you excited about seeing this month?