It’s that time of year where there is a bout 9 million gatherings and functions to attend. Literally everyone has an opportunity to attend some sort of holiday function somewhere. I mean even if you are the biggest misanthrope the world has ever seen, you can ball up in a bar this weekend, clad in your holiday shiz and be effing merry.
Instead of whining about another holiday function filled with cheap wine and Costco hor d’ oeuvres (or whining about not having any friends to invite you to aforementioned), I recommend putting yourself together and going and listening to some amazing music. What music? Where, you ask? Like I don’t give you the best instruction ever:
Friday, December 12:
Graham Winchester CD Release Party (Buccaneer Lounge) 10 PM
I truly believe that Graham Winchester may be some hyperactive being from another planet. As one of the most talented drummers to ever come out of Memphis, Graham and his solo album have been highly anticipated among music lovers in Memphis for sometime. Graham, nephew of acclaimed singer/songwriter Jesse Winchester, will be banging it out at the Bucc tonight with none other than Minivan Blues Band and Devil Train. That should give any reformed hippie a tear of nostalgia. There is a butt ton of talent that will be all loaded into that crazy bar that could very well ignite by simply striking a match. It’s that skeezy. Loves it.
Saturday, December 13:
Justice Naczycz and Mark Akin (Otherlands Coffee Bar) 8 PM
I don’t know much about Mark, but Justice was the front man for the forever missed Secret Service. That was back when I was sneaking into places with a fake ID just so I could watch him rip his shirt off and jump around and act like he was going to beat the shiz out of someone. I don’t know how that high energy translates into what he’s doing now, but I do know he is very talented and has a rapier wit. I hope he never succumbs to frills and keeps his music garage and unique. Definitely worth checking out.
Minivan Blues Band (Young Ave Deli) 10 PM
If you missed these guys playing at the Buccaneer the night before, you can catch them at the Deli. If I had to make a guess, I would think that they named themselves “Minivan” because they may or may not resemble someone who would creep around in a van with a sign saying “Free Kittens to All Children. Crawl in the Back”. Despite appearances, these guys have been hitting the music scene hard for a very long time and seem to better with age, like some rapey Pinot Noir. Very jammy. Very fun.
Ghost Towm Blues Band (Blue Monkey) 10:30
I stumbled upon this band while reviewing a different band at Lafayette’s one night. These lumberjack look-alikes are about 8 feet tall and have quite the stage presence. Playing instruments made out of old cigar boxes and other ridiculous household items, this band is truly amazing. I ended up reviewing them for my column instead because they were so soulful and so earnest on stage that I was enthralled. You should wade through the what can be sometimes bizarrely eclectic crowd at the Monkey and check them out.
The wonderful thing about these dive bars and music locales is that no primping is required. Jeans and non-pretentious clothes are encouraged; however, should you be going after a holiday deal, all forms of attire are welcome. That’s just how midtown rolls.