Each week, the team at We Are Memphis Music brings you our picks for the best upcoming live shows headed to the M Town each given week. Here are our selections for the week beginning March 20!
Songbirds: A Tribute to Women In Jazz at Crosstown Arts
7:30 PM, Tuesday, March 21st
The Green Room at Crosstown Arts
The Stax Music Academy puts the spotlight on jazz! In honor of Women’s History Month, the Jazz Ensemble Kind of Blue will pay tribute to women in the genre, from Nancy Wilson to Ella Fitzgerald. The performance will feature SMA jazz department musicians– and will be one of a kind opportunity to celebrate Memphis’ talent development opportunities. Get there early, sit in the front, and show young Memphis your support.
Iron & Wine
7PM, Thursday, March 23rd
Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam first gained notice with a hushed, lo-fi acoustic folk that dwelled in some lovely oblivion between the UK traditionalism of Bert Jansch and the cool California breeze of Crosby, Stills & Nash. His early songs were as hushed as lullabies and as cracky-dusty as an old Victrola. Over time he’s evolved to incorporate more expansive arrangements and some nifty studio trickery, but some trademarks remain evergreen, best of all Beam’s gift for plainspoken harmonies that send a chill up one’s spine with their aching beauty. Consistent and prolific, he’s remained an engaging singer-songwriter since his 2000s genesis, and it’s always worth the admission to share his company.
Devil Train “Eye Explain” Listening Party
6PM, Thursday, March 23
Memphis Listening Lab
Given that Devil Train, one of Memphis’ premiere roots rock bands, has been performing regularly forever a decade, it’s almost unbelievable that they’ve never released a proper album. Yet “Eye Explain” is, indeed, the band’s first official full-length and it will be released this week. For a sneak peek of the album and some conversation about its creation, head to the Crosstown Concourse’s Memphis Listening Lab this Thursday for a free listening party (on arguably the city’s most bad ass speakers).While we are certainly familiar with Devil Train’s music by this point, we can’t wait to hear how their raucous live performances translate to wax.
Drekka, Post Doom Romance, Dinosauria, Artificer
7PM, Friday, March 24th
Bloomington, Indiana’s Drekka has long served as a premiere voice in American experimental sound composition, his haunting and often harrowing work constructed from elements of eerie twilight ambient, glitched electronics, and often-arresting noise. Bluff City solo guitar wizard Dinosauria, then, is an intruding counterpoint to share the bill, with Malcolm Wright’s own works cosmically-expansive and ascendant in the stye of Emeralds’ Mark McGuire or Christian Fennesz. What’s more, further dark ambient wonders can be found in the affecting soundscapes of fellow Memphian Artificer and Illinois travelers Post Doom Romance this evening. If you’re a fan of any configuration of drone, post-rock, ambient, or experimental electronic music, Black Lodge is very much the place to be this Friday.
9PM, Friday, March 24th
Young Ave. Deli
One of my favorite releases so far in 2023 is Salo Pallini’s “The Sirens of Titan: A Preemptive Scoring,” the band’s debut which was made to act as the soundtrack to Dan Harmon’s proposed limited series adaptation of the classic Kurt Vonnegut novel. (Wild, right?!) The instrumental album is deep and rich and evokes the soundtracks to classic Spaghetti Western films if those had taken place on Mars. Anyway, I’m beginning to realize that describing the album is damn near impossible, so be sure to witness it for yourself this Friday at Young Ave. Deli. Then maybe you can put its celestial sound into words.
7:30 PM, Saturday, March 25th
The Green Room at Crosstown Arts
Morgan James is a versatile vocalist who has made recordings in Memphis at Memphis Magnetic Studio. Her range goes from rock to soul or jazz, which makes her a perfect fit for rotating ensemble acts like Scary Pockets and Postmodern Jukebox. This month, James released her latest single, “Nobody’s Fool But Mine, an R&B ballad that gives an intense 90’s diva mood. Catch James this Saturday at The Green Room to see her talent all for yourself!