Wednesday, October 5, 2011

U.K. Showdown: Arctic Monkeys Tonight at War Memorial, Yuck at Mercy Lounge

Posted by on Wed, Oct 5, 2011 at 4:48 PM

So, tonight us Scenesters will not rock, but we will roll … over to our annual Best of Nashville party, free-food-and-drink horde and hobnob down at the classier-than-we-deserve Parthenon. Well, actually, Guilty Pleasures are playing at it, so maybe will rock a little — it only takes four whiskey shots to talk me into singing along to “Walkin’ on Sunshine,” you know.

Anyway, assuming you're not planning on crashing our high-society (and by "high" I mean … ugh, never mind) bash, here is a little reminder of tonight’s two biggest options as far as rock shows go: The U.K.'s dancey post-punk revivalists Arctic Monkeys will make their Nashville debut over at War Memorial Auditorium — with openers Smith Westerns — while The U.K.'s ’90-alt-rock-revivalists Yuck will take their big hair and big hooks to the Mercy Lounge stage. Think of it as a zeitgeisty little British invasion up in this city of music. Care to read more? Then check out my and D. Patrick Rodgers’ respective Critics' Picks on these respective shindigs after da jump, y’all.


It’s a familiar story: British band comes seemingly out of nowhere, breaks their home country wide open, gets the global music press a-buzzin’ and then gets pegged for falling short in the near-insurmountable goal of breaking America. Brits like The Clash, Oasis and Franz Ferdinand prevailed (eventually) in reaching American airwaves. And bands like The Jam, Pulp, The Libertines and now Arctic Monkeys — who, with their buzz-saw-sounding angular riffs, snot-nosed, limey delivery and dancey, staccato, post-punk attack, play homage to the pantheon of British rock established by influences in both camps — didn’t. This despite having their 2006 debut Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, uh, debut at an impressive No. 24 on the Billboard album chart — making it the second-fastest-selling indie debut in SoundScan history — mostly on word of mouth, and on the heels of the frenetic single “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor.” On the Monkeys’ latest, Suck It and See — a back-to-basics effort recorded on this side of the pond — the band takes another stab at these United States, attempting to see if they can recapture the momentum of “Dancefloor” five years and three interim LPs after the fact — an endeavor that brings them to Nashville for the first time. The openers are fresh-faced Chi-town glam fetishists Smith Westerns — who are lucky to be alive after the stage they were performing on at Belgium’s Pukkelpop Festival last month collapsed, killing five. —ADAM GOLD

And here:

When the U.K.’s shoegaze-y youngsters Yuck last came through Nashville, they were opening for fellow youthful throwback rockers Smith Westerns at The End. For this go-round, however, Yuck gets top billing at the significantly larger Mercy Lounge, while their cohorts in Smith Westerns will be opening tonight’s Arctic Monkeys show at War Memorial. But between the two outfits, it’s Yuck whose brief existence is the most promising. Yuck’s 21-year-old frontman Daniel Blumberg gleefully name-drops artists like Silver Jews, Pavement, Jim O’Rourke and Will Oldham in interviews, and his outfit has an uncanny ability to channel the loud-quiet-loud, sometimes shimmering, sometimes sludgy aesthetics of ’80s and ’90s college- and indie-rock gods like Pixies, Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. Songs from February’s Yuck — like the heavy, crawling drone of “Rubber” and the bobbing, sparkling noise pop of “The Wall” — are enough to make you wonder, seriously, how are these guys not contemporaries of, like, The Jesus and Mary Chain? Not only are they not contemporaries, the J&MC had released three records by the time these kids were even born. Damn, kiddies. Porcelain Raft opens. — D. PATRICK RODGERS

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