Listen Up! 11 Live Music Shows In Memphis This Month (July 2019)
Ed. Note: Contributor Wesley brings us the Listen Up this month, with loads of great local and touring live music. Top photo from Don Live show, courtesy Joe Brown.
General Labor at Bar DKDC
Full disclosure—my dear friend Leo Ramos plays bass in this band, so it’s kinda cheating listing it here, but I don’t care because General Labor rocks hard and puts on a great show. It seems like every few years synthcore enjoys a bit of a revival, and even though one band may not count as a comeback, one band is all it takes. General Labor played the small room at the Hi Tone in May, and it was very high energy. Check out some footage of that below.
Orquesta Akokán at the Levitt Shell
7:30 p.m., Free
The Levitt Shell is hosting Orquesta Akokán, a mambo big band made up of seasoned musicians from Havana, Cuba and New York. There’s so much spirit and joy in these songs that you’ll be pulled to your feet then dance in the street, so lucky for us The Shell has plenty of room to move. Set your belts to “M” for mambo and come dance.
Built to Spill at Lafayette’s Music Room
7 p.m., $25
One of the best parts about doing this column are the “oh snap really????” moments. I didn’t know Built to Spill was playing in Memphis this month until a few days ago, and now I have something great to look forward to. Seeing 90s rock bands get up on stage in 2019 and really bring it warms my heart, and Built to Spill is one of the best. Watch any performance of theirs from the last few years and you’ll see that they’ve still got it.
Man Man w/ Rebecca Black – 1884 Lounge at Minglewood Hall
7 p.m., $15-$17+
A while back I bet my Facebook friends a buck that they couldn’t name a worse song than Hall & Oates’ “Maneater”. I ended up paying out—Kokomo by The Beach Boys—but not before someone mentioned Rebecca Black’s “Friday”, the sonic disaster unleashed upon YouTube in 2011, and that she was opening for Man Man, a pretty solid band that was a bonafide indie success in the aughts. I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t.
HEELS Album Release Show – Hi Tone
9:15 p.m., $10
HEELS – Facebook
HEELS is one of the hardest-working bands in the city. They play two to three shows a month in Memphis alone and have an obsessive, meme-happy following. Between the two members Josh McLane and Brennan Whalen, you’ve got years of stage experience which translates to a live show that’s both incredibly knuckleheaded yet highly professional. For their album release, they’ll be joined by four other musicians, effectively creating a HEELS tribute band featuring the actual members of HEELS.
Rosey EP Release w/ Louise Page & Faux Killas – Lamplighter Lounge
8 p.m., $5 suggested donation
Rosey, led by longtime Memphis singer-songwriter Michaela Caitlin, is celebrating the release of their EP A Great Day to be Swallowed by a Whale by playing a show with Louise Page & Faux Killas. Page and Faux Killas will round it out some intimate pop and honest garage rock. Three unstoppable bands at the ever-improving Lamplighter Lounge (s/o to Laurel & Chuck~) for a suggested donation of $5. And that doesn’t mean free, cheapskates.
Prices, dates, and venues vary
Avon Dale brought their Midwestern Americana flare to Memphis in 2013, and have since enjoyed becoming part of Memphis’ music scene. To show some love, they’ve curated a concert series called Bluff City Boogie, which showcases some of Memphis’ best roots rock, blues, Americana, and others. It kicked off in May, but it continues in July starting on the 13th with Alice Hasen at the Hi Tone. Check the Facebook event linked above for more dates and times.
Billy Bob Thornton and The Boxmasters – Tin Roof
7 p.m., $30
On top of being a celebrated actor, writer, and director, Billy Bob Thornton can also hold a tune. He leads The Boxmasters, a bluegrass trio that, in my limited experience with bluegrass, sounds very good! See them at the Tin Roof Downtown, and if they’re taking requests, make sure you ask if they got any o’them french fried potaters.
Louise Page Silver Daughter Album Release Show w/ Crystal Shrine and Mama Honey at 1884 Lounge at Minglewood Hall
8 p.m., $15
Photo by Chloe Littefield
Louise Page is a prolific Memphis singer-songwriter whose second EP Simple Sugar released last year to some fanfare, including write-ups in the Memphis Flyer and Focus. Her piano and vocals lead a band which features, brass, strings, and percussion, which make for some pretty experimental and confessional chamber pop. She’ll be celebrating the release of her debut album Silver Daughter with Crystal Shrine, the southern gothic rock project by fellow Memphis musician Kelley Anderson, and Mama Honey, a punk-influenced blues rock trio led by guitarist and singer Tamar Love. Tickets for this aren’t on sale yet, but check Minglewood’s calendar for when they do.
Don Trip – 1884 Lounge at Minglewood Hall
10 p.m., $20-$40
Don Trip is a certified Memphis success story. Named an XXL Freshman in 2012, alongside underground hero Danny Brown and trap superstar Future, then enjoying success as both a label and independent artist, Don Trip has released at least one mixtape or album every year since 2009, several of which have received positive reviews from publications such as Pitchfork, USA Today, and even Robert Christgau (he gave Step Brothers Two three stars!!). His music is His latest release in March, Don’t Feed the Guerrillas, features fellow Memphis rappers Kevo Muney and the perennial Juicy J.
The CALL – Growlers
8 p.m., $10
A group of lofi DJs are going to create some serious a e s t h e t i c at Growlers this month. Come play some video games, watch some anime, and just relax. It’s hard to explain the appeal of lofi hip hop because “It reminds me of Saturday night on [adult swim]” is esoteric and “It helps me focus on cleaning my apartment” just sounds lame. Which is why I’m not going to try to convince you to go to this, you should already know if you want to or not. And that’s okay.