Wielding a hip-to-be-square aesthetic that turns the tables on any clove-smoking hipster snooty enough to dis Billy Joel, The Real World or Saved by the Bell, Chuck Klosterman is becoming the most influential rock critic since Lester Bangs stopped huffing glue. His essay collection Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs now occupies the place on rock-lit bookshelves that used to belong to Greil Marcus' Mystery Train, for better or worse, and he's the new go-to guy for explaining what makes the apparatus of junk culture tick.
In his new book Killing Yourself to Live, Klosterman goes on a cross-country tour of rock-star death sites, seeking insights into that can't-fail shortcut to pop immortality. He also, in the space of about 500 words, manages to shoehorn Law & Order, Nancy Spungen, Tesla (the hair-metal band, not the father of the polyphase alternating-current system), Sesame Street, the Chelsea Hotel, Spin magazine, Mountain Dew, Mark David Chapman, Monday Night Football and Pope John Paul I into one free-associative spewand that starts on page 2. He reads from the book 6 p.m. Wednesday at Davis-Kidd.
♦ Get on out to the Opry Plaza 9 p.m. tonight for Trent Summar & the New Row Mobespecially since advance word says the red-headed piledriver's new record opens 10 cans of whup-ass on country radio. The show's free; the record, you'll have to buy.
♦ Maybe you've never seen The Alcohol Stuntband, but chances are good that at some point in your life, you've been the Alcohol Stuntband. Led by Chris Crofton, a self-deprecating frontman with Denis Leary's viper tongue and a streak of stealth tenderness, they're one of the city's great garage bands. Catch 'em tonight at Springwater with The Cherry Splits and Ghostfinger.