Son Volt's in town. 'Nuff said

Published: Thursday, January 26, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 at 8:40 p.m.
I'm having trouble figuring out how to introduce Son Volt to you.
I get tired of the rehashed history of Uncle Tupelo and the accompanying Jeff Tweedy vs. Jay Farrar comparisons, and the whole "alt-country" tag itself is starting to smell funny, particularly when a guy like Farrar is more interested in covering early Pink Floyd than Hank Williams on recent tours.
Suffice to say that I'm fairly confident that if you're interested in attending Sunday's show, you already know who Son Volt is. If you don't, but you think of The Band instead of AC/DC when you hear the word "rock," then you'll like what Son Volt has in store. Outside of that, what else can I say?
While Farrar is the main holdover from the original Son Volt days, rumor has it that the new members are pushing this current incarnation into more rocking territory, so you may want to bring earplugs. If I were you, I'd also practice my air-guitar moves, but hey, you're free to live your own life (although think about how cool you'd look after 10 shots of tequila doing Townshend windmills on top of the bar).
Accompanying Son Volt on this tour is Shannon McNally, who I originally wrote off as a sultrier Sheryl Crow. I'll readily admit this was unfair, although it was due in part to the lame photo shoot that had her in an askew-but-not-too-askew foam trucker hat as well as the fact that she's signed to Back Porch Records, which seems to be Virgin's attempt at honing in on New Americana.
All that aside, McNally has a great, smoky voice, and the production on her most recent album, "Geronimo" is interesting. Even more interesting should be how she performs these songs live. The show itself is at Common Grounds, 210 SW 2nd Ave., on Sunday night.
As for tonight, maybe you'll want to start off with a little Hamell on Trial to whet your anti-folk whistle at Common Grounds? Similar to what Against Me! used to be when they started out, Hamell abuses an acoustic in order to play punk rock. Also on the bill are Mama Trish, Travis Tooke (ex-Subrosa, Artichoke, etc.) and Wooden Nickels. I anticipate broken strings and finger blisters for this one.
Friday has plenty on its plate, starting at the Atlantic, 15 N. Main St. Strikeforce Diablo, Savage Brewtality, Baroness, ***holeparade and ****storm (not making it easy for me here, are you guys?) will say adios to Travis Ginn of the aforementioned Parade. I anticipate broken hearts and fingers down the throat for this one.
Over at Eddie C's, 1315 S. Main St., Adam's Out, the untimely death ofÉ and Suburban Tragedy will do their best to provide music for the weekend masses, which should prove to be a rousing success. These guys have a tendency to make crowds sway.
At Common Grounds, Western Addiction brings their OG punk/hardcore thing all the way from California for you fine people, pimping memories of Black Flag and the Circle Jerks. Also on the bill are New Mexican Disaster Squad (who had a split with WA), Toys That Kill and the Tim Version.
Rounding out Friday, the Shamrock, 1017 W. University Ave., will have Big Oil and Black Eyed Soul. For Big Oil, please see all previous references to broken strings/hearts, drunkenness and blisters. For Black Eyed Soul, please be nice to them, as they are visiting from Satellite Beach and are our guests. Yeah, I said "are our." Get used to it.
On Saturday, Tim and Terry's, 1417 NW 1st Ave., will have Blacksnake and Nim Sum. Here's hoping that Blacksnake gets their dirt rock chocolate into Nim Sum's math-laden peanut-butter. Yeah, I said "dirt rock chocolate." Get used to it.
Heading into Tuesday, the Sublime tribute band Badfish comes back into town to rock the Side Bar, 15 SW 2nd, with the Duppies. Badfish needs to hurry up and move here with all the non-stop touring they're doing 'round these parts.
And on Wednesday, Scott H. Biram brings his one-man circus into town with a performance at Common Grounds. Here's a quote from his press materials just so you can see that I'm not the only one who talks all crazy: "Biram's arsenal is a one-man riot that sounds like Captain Beefheart getting in a wrestling match with Hasil Adkins, with Black Flag in the referee's box." Yeah. Opening will be the Rockhill-Sessions Band, which sounds like another Southern rock love affair with Thin Lizzy to me.
What's wrong with these Rockhill boys? Support local music and get your finger out of your nose.
Conor Mitchell can be reached at soundcheckconor@


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Whet your anti-folk whistle tonight at CG

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