Nativity Singers, Beth Burden, and self-promotion
Friday, December 10
The Nativity Singers with Real Numbers and Second Story Man
Al’s Bar, 10:00 P.M.
Lexington trio The Nativity Singers play a deceptive brand of rock: the noisy guitars and offhand vocals give you the impression of a band that isn’t working very hard, but that’s only an illusion. Underneath all clanging and shaking are tightly structured pop songs, with an internal logic that isn’t immediately apparent. As such, the music rewards repeated listening.
Luck have it, you can begin your listening, if you haven’t already, with this show, a fundraiser for community bike shop The Broke Spoke. —Keith Halladay
Saturday, December 11
The City with The Beth Burden Band
Buster’s, 9 P.M.
For some time I’ve avoided writing anything about The City in this newspaper, because I play drums in the band and I’m both terrible at self-promotion and possessed of a vague notion of a conflict of interest. However, I figure it’s about time to big up my mates. Sorry for the shamelessness of all this.
Gene Woods sings, writes most of the material and plays guitar like the lovechild of James Blood Ulmer and Carlos Santana. Tom Martin is always soulful and never fussy on the keyboards; Brian Powers is a rock on bass—the one is exactly where he says it is. Joseph Tiu, with his amazing technicolor percussion rack, adds flavor just where flavor is required.
There are horns, too: Mike Meuser and Chris Goode, on trombone and trumpet, are fixtures on the Lexington scene (you’ve probably seen them with Tee Dee Young, and if you haven’t, well, WTF?). And Reggie Smith, on sax, is a mutha, as jazz musicians say.
Finally there’s vocalist Jessie Rose Pennington, who during her first rehearsal with the band inspired in me the following sequence of thoughts:
- I do believe that’s the loveliest woman I’ve ever seen…but there’s no way she can actually sing.
- Lord have mercy, she sings like an angel.
Oh, and she writes great songs too. No, it isn’t fair.
The Beth Burden Band opens, and Beth is also beautiful, sings like an angel, and writes great songs. (Something in the water, maybe?) Plus Saturday’s show, like most City gigs, is a benefit for a local charity—in this case the Simple Dreams Foundation, which keeps your kids off drugs. Therefore, you better show up and pay admission, or your kids will start taking drugs. You don’t want that, do you? Enjoy the show. —KH
Green Lantern, 10:00 P.M.
The Lexington trio releases its new EP, Luxury and Riot. Check out the review below.
Saturday, December 18
“The Last Waltz”
Buster’s 9 P.M.
It’s received wisdom that The Last Waltz is the greatest concert movie ever made. This is patently false. It certainly ranks higher on the list of crappy Martin Scorsese concert movies than does 2008’s soporific Shine a Light, but that’s like saying Spandau Ballet were a better band than Johnny Hates Jazz. Whoopee.
But if this is your sort of thing—you with all those Dylan and Neil Young albums, including that junk they put out in the ‘80s that you insist you like but never listen to, and your “treasured” copy of Joni Mitchell’s Blue that you bought because you were sure it gave you boho credibility (yet you don’t understand anything she did after 1972, do you?)—if this is your thing, then by all means, have at it. —Buck Edwards