The Suspect: Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker
These two groups helped define alternative music, CVB in the ‘80s, and Cracker in the ‘90s. Since CVB re-formed in 1999, frontman David Lowery performs in both bands. Remember when people used to buy entire records instead of the occasional iTunes download? Each band will perform all the songs from their respective classic albums, Key Lime Pie and Kerosene Hat.
Can Be Found: The Orange Peel, Thursday, May 12.
RIYD (Recommended if You Dig): The Replacements, Meat Puppets.
You Should Go If: You believe the measure of a man lies in his cumulative AmEx miles; your fashion sense could be described as bowling league meets hipster; you have high hopes that Prince William is going to make receding hairlines blow up; the most disappointing thing about the 21st century (so far) is … there’s still no combination Valium/Zyrtec medication on the market.
The Suspect: Brett Dennen
He’s been named one of Rolling Stone’s 10 artists to watch, and Paste magazine writes that Dennen leads “a rock-steady, surprisingly hard-hitting band, the lanky redhead swivels around the stage … reminiscent of the New York Dolls’ David Johansen.” The androgynous crooner just released Loverboy last month, his fourth studio album full of sweet power-pop.
Can Be Found: The Orange Peel, Sunday, May 15.
RIYD: Paul Simon, Sean Hayes, Jason Mraz.
You Should Go If: You prefer parade waves over fist bumps; Glee has restored your faith in humanity; you consider anything with fruit filling healthy; the most disappointing thing about the 21st century (so far) is … that you’re still mostly known as the guy who always jams the copier.
The Suspect: Garage a Trois
Marco Benevento and Galactic Drummer Stanton Moore make up half of this New Orleans quartet that calls itself “the most dangerous instrumental band on the scene today.” This improvisational psychedelic-jazz-rock band just released their fifth album last month, Always Be Happy, But Stay Evil.
Can Be Found: Pisgah Brewing, Friday, May 13.
RIYD: Medeski, Martin & Wood, Marco Benevento Trio.
You Should Go If: After 18 months of intense training you’ve finally mastered the one-eyebrow raise; you’re a founding member of a light-saber fencing league; most women find your inability to communicate without air quotes endearing; the most disappointing thing about the 21st century (so far) is … that NASA isn’t sending people to the moon anymore.
The Suspect: WSNB (We Sing Nasty Blues)
The event description of the band promises, “They ain’t soft, pretty or subtle, and they don’t do many ballads.” Sounding like Dr. John, if Dr. John had a two-pack-a-day habit, singer Willie Shane Johnston grows and howls over blistering guitar riffs as this N.C. band serves up scorching delta blues.
Can Be Found: White Horse, Black Mountain, Friday, May 13.
RIYD: Stevie Ray Vaughan, Muddy Waters.
You Should Go If: Whenever possible, you back your car into a parking space; you consider hiring a private detective part of the natural course of a relationship; your baby’s first word was “bacon”; the most disappointing thing about the 21st century (so far) is … Lady Gaga.