Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday Night Round-Up: Lee Fields and the Expressions, Midlake, Garland Jeffreys, Beach Fossils, More

Posted By on Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 7:35 AM

Happy cold-ass Hump Day. If the early sunset doesn't send you scrambling for your couch, there are a lot of very intriguing options in the musical-entertainment department this evening. Let's dive right in with contributor Jordan Lawrence's Critic's Pick for Lee Fields and the Expressions' appearance at Mercy Lounge:

It’s impossible to talk about Lee Fields without also bringing up James Brown. An R&B veteran with nearly 50 years of experience, Fields has often been referred to as “Little J.B.” because he so strongly favors the “King of Soul” — both in his appearance and his smoky-smooth pipes. But success didn’t come so easily to Fields. Though he toured with heavy-hitters such as Kool and the Gang and released music throughout the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, he remained in obscurity until Desco, an imprint peddling new records filled with old-school funk, released his scorching Let’s Get a Groove On in 1999. His most recent LPs, 2009’s My World and 2012’s Faithful Man, further that album’s charms, swaying and swaggering with bright horn charts, limber bass lines, and of course Fields’ ever-impassioned belts. —Jordan Lawrence

Also, revisit Chris Parker's preview from when Lee & Co. visited Nashville about a year ago. Tonight's show at Mercy Lounge starts at 9 p.m. and costs $18 at the door. All right, let's keep rolling.

Texans Midlake — who play tonight at The End — have had a pretty intense year. Here, let me tell you all about it in this pick I wrote:

Texas’ folk-imbued indie-rock act Midlake parted ways with lead singer Tim Smith one year ago, scrapping all of their work on a forthcoming record and starting over from scratch. Just last week, the band emerged with Antiphon, having moved guitarist Eric Pulido into the role of frontman. Despite the turmoil, the record is a cohesive and consistently executed work, complete with remarkably warm production, dexterous playing (particularly McKenzie Smith’s drumming) and pristine, note-perfect vocal harmonies. As with past releases, Antiphon is tunefully mellow and mild-mannered, though tracks like “Vale” do feature the occasional psychedelic freak-out (which is more than you can say for fellow folkies like Fleet Foxes). According to Pulido, “Antiphon is the most honest representation of the band as a whole, as opposed to one person’s vision that we were trying to facilitate.” If nothing else, Antiphon is the best thing Midlake has produced since 2006’s exceptional The Trials of Van Occupanther. Here’s to Midlake’s rebirth. —D. Patrick Rodgers

Starts at 9 p.m., costs $12.

Now, contributor Edd Hurt penned an excellent feature for us on reggae-blues-rock veteran Garland Jeffreys, who will do his thing this evening at The Basement. Here's a little excerpt:

Jeffreys turned 70 this summer, and he displays the perspective of a music-biz veteran when he talks about his newest work. "I think we're in a different time now," he tells the Scene from his New York City home. "I like the idea that we don't have our parents overseeing our projects, and I like the idea that musicians have to find out what they're doing, and maybe even make their records on their own. Right now, my wife and I are our own label."

Recorded with producer James Maddock, Truth Serum was cut the old-fashioned way. (The record is being distributed by Nashville's own Thirty Tigers.) "I'm in charge of the project," says Jeffreys. "I collaborate with my wife about what we're gonna do — what the approach should be. Every track is one take. I didn't practice it, I had written them, and I had worked on them. Don't ask me how it happened, but bang, bang, bang, we finished seven songs in two days."

Doors for that one open at 7 p.m., and it only costs $5.

Now, word of tonight's show at Boheme Collectif came our way a little late in the game, but the lineup appears to be a round one nonetheless: Brooklyn's gauzy, shoegaze-y indie-pop outfit Beach Fossils with locals Sol Cat, Penicillin Baby and Rachel (just "Rachel," says the Facebook event page). It's 9 p.m., $8 and BYOB, and here's what Beach Fossils sound like:

No? Well, you've also got Kevin Devine with Joy of Painting and more at The High Watt, and Country & Western Wednesday at The 5 Spot. Feel free to peruse the rest of our listings here.

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