As an experiment to find out just how many people you can pack into Marathon Music Works, the Scene-sponsored summer music series Sounds Like Summer kicks off by putting two of the city’s most popular club draws on the same bill. In this corner: the ’80s, the decade of hair metal, Heaven 17, college radio and roots rock — ably represented by Mike Grimes’ redoubtable Guilty Pleasures band of all-star sidemen and veterans of the local club scene. Across the arena, flying the flannel, it’s the ’90s — the province of My So-Called Band, whose stalwarts include Tennessean music writer Dave Paulson, ubiquitous bassist Keith Lowen and Ben Folds drummer Sam Smith. If you think you’re just gonna sit there when Grimey busts into “Pink Houses” or Paulson and crew piss the night away “Tubthumping” — pour one out for the dearly departed Chumbawamba — you’re in for a rude awakening, as well as one hellacious night of liquored-up sing-alongs. Up next: the mighty Guided by Voices July 26, followed by Ledisi and Eric Benet Aug. 2. —JIM RIDLEY
Cover is $15, and the shebang kicks off at 8 p.m. But speaking of Sam Smith, by the way, he recently sent us a little reminder about a different show that's going on this evening. Indianapolis musician Paul Cobb recently passed away at the tender age of 24, but rather than let some of his unreleased recordings go to waste, Cobb's friends and family — including his bandmates from The Accordions and Amo Joy and Cobb's own father Don — have completed them and are releasing them under the band name Hammer Screwdriver. Hammer Screwdriver will perform tonight at 12th and Porter along with The Nobility and Feedback Revival. Here's the Facebook event page. A full-length release will be available this fall, but for now, you can hear their EP, Bad Handshake, below, or download it for free via the Hammer Screwdriver Bandcamp page. All of the tunes are built around Cobb's original experimental, bedroom-recorded folk and pop tunes, with additional instrumentation added after his death. Pretty touching story.
I'm not telling you which of these two shows you should go to. In fact, you could probably swing both! Or stay home and be a sad bastard. Your call.