WAMM Recommends: Week of August 29

Our weekly round-up of live music we think you can’t miss this week – from WAMM contributors Zachary Corsa, Jayne-Ellen White, and WAMM Listings Editor Ezra Wheeler.

whit3corset, Window
8PM, Tuesday, August 30th
The Hi-Tone (small room – downstairs)
$10

At this point, I’ll simply settle for imploring you to see whit3corset perform for yourself. I’m not playing the evasive critic, either, it’s just that any possible hyperbole would utterly fail to quantify the seething, yet soothing, fury of Emily White’s raw-nerve, high-wire invocations. The most confrontational bloodlettings of Xiu Xiu’s past and the most churning anguishes of Dominic Fernow’s many guises are rendered puppy-cuddly and twee when stacked against Ms. White’s ferocious, feral heroics. And as for self-styled ‘emo twinkle pop beep bop god’ Window, it’s near-impossible to imagine a more apropos hometown foil, as relentless and beguiling or as savagely obliterating as Memphis well deserves. /ZC

Stax Music Academy 6th Annual Beat Battle

5 PM Thursday, September 1 at Black Lodge

Free

September is “Production Month” at the Stax Music Academy and one of the hallmark events is the annual Beat Battle, a competition among Memphis’ middle and high school students to submit their best beats and tracks. With a $500 prize on the line, the songs will be judged by a panel of industry professionals in front of a live audience. If this concept seems akin to a high school talent show, then you haven’t been paying attention. For decades, some of the city’s most innovative music in every genre has come from kids too young to vote and the Stax Academy deserves credit for giving the youngins a platform to showcase their skills. Who knows, you might just catch the world’s next great producer unveiling their art for the first time. /EW

Mike and The Moonpies

9 PM, Friday, September 2nd

The Bluff

$17

Country music neo-traditionalists Mike and the Moonpies play a style of Texas country that is closely associated with 90’s pop and alt country. Far removed from today’s radio country, the band has stuck to its Honky Tonk and Americana vibes for more than fifteen years– fitting nicely into a micro genre some call Red Dirt. A year after their eighth studio album, “One To Grow On”, Mike and the Moonpies haven’t seemed to have lost one iota of the momentum they began with. The band’s live show building-blocks are telecaster and steel guitar driven and are capable of mentally transporting you right on over to Texas. The Bluff has a built in audience of party ready boot scooters, so hold on to your hat and get ready to hit that dance floor on Friday. /JW

The Doobie Brothers (50th Anniversary Tour w/ Michael McDonald)
8PM, Saturday, September 3rd
Radians Amphitheater
$100

Its been fifty years now and the Doobie Brothers remain a singular American band defined by an evolution of identity, from the rootsy swamp-rock of their initial epoch to the era-defining, yacht rock-adjacent AM gold of their 70s salad days. Much of that smooth yet potent punch comes courtesy of exiled Steely Dan crooner Michael McDonald, who possesses a voice both rich and immediately-familiar, helping to weave a sonic tapestry that’s now a crucial element of contemporary American music history. Long story short, fifty years have worn very little on this enduring ensemble and their golden-throated captain, but it sure provides a fine occasion for celebrating the Doobies’ timelessness. /ZC

Occupy The Shell

3 PM Sunday, September 4 at the Overton Park Shell

Free

It’s hard to overstate just how saturated September is with music festivals this year, including the Lucero Family Picnic, Goner Fest, Mempho, and more. The festivities kick off this weekend with “Occupy the Shell,” a free all-day family-friendly fest that offers live music from seemingly every genre imaginable. Started in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fest is a celebration of the music of the Mid-South and this year’s iteration is the best yet. Unlike similar shows, “Occupy” operates like a musical speed dating session, presenting 20 artists performing 15 minute sets. The headliners this year are hip-hop legends Al Kapone and Don Trip, which is quite impressive for the price. /EW

901 Fest: Cedric Burnside

3PM, Sunday, September 4th

Railgarten

$15 

Cedric Burnside is indeed the grandson of R.L. Burnside and the son of legendary drummer Calvin Jackson. and Briefly put, he is blues royalty.  The youngest Burnside has toured the world, and recorded two highly praised full length albums, one of which won a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album in 2021. Burnside’s style is unmistakably Hill Country Blues– a micro genre of Americana that can only be found in the region just south of Memphis. The music is droney and largely devoid of any fancy chord changes, but the music sucks you in with a drum groove that won’t quit. Cedric Burnside knows his style is more than legacy, it’s evolution. Few things sound more Memphis than Burnside’s groove. Catch him this Sunday afternoon, the last day of Railgarten’s three day 901 Fest. Should you go? The magic eight ball says “As I see it, yes.”

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