From the We Are Memphis Music team, here’s a mix of live music picks we think you can’t afford to miss out on this week.
Greet Death/Catholic School
9 p.m., Monday October 18, The Hi-Tone (Small Room Downstairs)
Another week of picks, another surefire recommendation for a Hi-Tone small room jamboree. This time we’re graced with the almighty towering sludge of Flint, Michigan’s Greet Death, whose creeping slowcore crawl bring to mind Deftones at their gaziest, or Hum and Failure at their most constellation-dreamy. Suggesting a skull-crushing brutality nevertheless tempered by ethereal beauty, they’ll surely find a receptive assemblage of ears and hearts in the Bluff City. For Memphian support, John Christie’s Catholic School offers its own spectral churn, informed by the 4AD and Factory triumphs of post-punk yesteryear with a considerable bent towards Cocteaus-like wonder and eeriness. Bring along the fiver that’s been burning a hole in your pocket and cast yourself off into orbit Monday night.
Don Bryant & The Bo-Keys Live with Chamber Orchestra
7:30 p.m., Friday October 22, Crosstown Theater
Pencil in a fascinating one-night only sonic excursion for Friday’s itinerary, as the Crosstown Theater plays host to Memphis soul-jazz mainstays Don Bryant & The Bo-Keys, loyal adherents of the Memphis sound and beloved collaborators of local award-winning filmmaker Craig Brewer. Intriguingly, they’ll be backed for their set by members of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, who will also be performing selections from Brewer’s acclaimed 2019 Rudy Ray Moore biopic, Dolemite Is My Name. The night’s performances are more than just a chance to catch some of the city’s hottest soul and jazz talent in action, it’s also an opportunity to witness a compelling juxtaposition of players and experiences come to vivid life. We all know Memphis music is at its best when it liberally mixes flavors from across the widest of genre spectrums, so be sure to catch this one before it’s only a memory.
Your Academy & Loose Opinions
8 p.m., Friday October 22, Carolina Watershed
From certified legends Big Star to more obscure bands such as Prix and the Hot Dogs, Memphis has long been ground zero for power pop since the genre emerged in the 1970s. Thankfully, that tradition is alive and well today thanks to homegrown bands like Your Academy and Loose Opinions, both of whom released wonderful new albums this year. So if you like your music with heartbreaking lyrics overlayed by a shiny musical facade, this is the must-see show of the week.
Gary Clark Jr.
8 p.m., Sunday October 24, The Orpheum Theatre
While it might be a bit hyperbolic to suggest that Gary Clark Jr. has single-handedly kept the blues alive over the past decade (at least among mainstream audiences), the fact remains that he has been one of the genre’s brightest stars over the past several years and deserves his reputation as one of his generation’s most dynamic guitar players. While Clark has won over audiences worldwide with critically acclaimed albums such as 2019’s “This Land,” which won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album, nothing compares to his blistering live performances.