Each week, the team at WAMM chooses the best upcoming live shows of the week. Here are our picks for this week, which includes several great options for Valentine’s Day.
Lipstick Stains, Joybomb
9PM, Tuesday February 14th
The Hi Tone (Small Room)
Tuesday isn’t exactly the most beloved day of anyone’s week (even when that Tuesday happens to be Valentine’s Day, as is the case here). It’s not the weekend, the start of the work week, the end of the work week, or even the miserable but notable middle (sorry, Wednesday). Tuesday’s just kinda…there. But if this blandest of days or saddest of holidays has got you down, we’ve got a remedy for you – a killer twofer at Hi-Tone’s small room featuring Lipstick Stains and Joybomb! The former bring a welcoming hook-filled power-pop energy to the raw punk abandon that’s always found fertile soil in our fair city, while Joybomb bring a ragged, heartland-tinted pop-punk edge to the equation. It’s tough to think of a better-matching pair than these two Memphis institutions. To review – two of the finest working bands the Bluff City has on tap; just what you need to power through the rest of the work-week, no?
Valentines in the Round: Louise Page + Runi Salem + Oakwalker
9PM, Tuesday, February 14th
Whether you’re looking for something outside of the box to do this Valentine’s Day (or maybe you just forgot to make reservations beforehand), this very special edition of the Lamplighter’s ongoing Writers in the Round series may be the perfect option. Sure, the Lamp isn’t necessarily known for it’s romantic setting, but the sweet tones of Louise Page, Runi Salem, and Oakwalker are guaranteed to get anyone is the spirit of the holiday. Remember, the Lamplighter only serves beer, but feel free to bring your favorite bottle of wine for a small corkage fee to really lean into the vibes.
The Family Ghost, Caryatids, Droneroom, Late Night Cardigan
8PM, Wednesday February 15th
Memphis’ own slowcore legends The Family Ghost have been an on-again off-again affair since the early 2000s, but its always a treat when this long-running showcase for Jacques Granger’s perceptive and harrowing songwriting emerges from an extended absence. What’s more, the rest of the evening at Black Lodge is rounded out with an eclectic assemblage of some stunningly powerful artists. Memphis by-way-of Las Vegas wanderer Blake Edward Conley has long since perfected his haunting blend of instrumental post-rock and traditional country as Droneroom, while Late Night Cardigan continues to impress with a shimmering emo sheen that’s as warming as a favorite blanket on these chilly February nights. As far as travelers go, also on hand are Madison, Wisconsin’s Caryatids, who lend a sparkling shoegaze swirl to their roaring and atmospheric prog-indie. This’ll be a special night on all accounts.
7:30 PM, Friday, February 17th
Leyla McCalla was a founding member of since defunct Black string folk band The Carolina Chocolate Drops. McCalla’s 2022 album “Breaking The Thermometer” is distinctively an exploration of her Haitian roots. The multi-instrumentalist blends Haitian polyrhythms with some more American-ish folk instruments, and native French-Haitian with English lyrics. Her live show is deeply rooted in these elements as well, but can work in many possible arrangements from a full backline with percussion, to a more stripped down two piece folk show. Either way, this one is for true folk fans!
Lucky 7 Brass Band
10 PM, Friday, February 17th
Fat Tuesday is next Tuesday, which means we have one more solid weekend to enjoy Mardi Gras festivities. Lucky 7 Brass Band, lead by trombonist Victor Sawyer, is one of Memphis’ favorite tried and true hype bands. The brass band runs the gamut from danceable versions of Kendrick Lamar to brassy versions of Ginuwine’s “Pony”. Bring some beads, there may be a second line. There has to be.. right?