Saturday, May 22
Mastodon w/ Between the Buried & Me, Baroness, and Valient Thorr
Buster’s. $25. Doors @ 6pm, show @ 6:30pm. 18+
Buster’s has been listening to the prayers of the black-t-shirt-clad crowd, and it has responded with prehistoric might. Arguably the second-biggest metal band in the world (and that’s under the assumption that Metallica can still be classified as metal), Mastodon bring their never-ending world tour to Lexington in support of their psychedelic, prog-infused fourth album, Crack the Skye. The 2009 full-length continues the band’s propensity for the thematic, focusing on astral projection, wormholes, and Rasputin.
Opening the show will be North Carolina calculating shred machine Between the Buried & Me (I promise you have never seen human hands move on a guitar neck like this), fellow Georgia natives Baroness (making their second Lexington appearance, their first being a little-known WRFL on-air performance a few years ago), and the revved up classic-style sleaze of Chapel Hill’s Valient Thorr.
Lexington’s big venue is one of the smaller stops on this particular leg of Mastodon’s quest to play every corner of the globe, so take the opportunity to see the band in person and not on a JumboTron in the nosebleeds of some stadium.—Mike Lunsford
Thursday, May 27th
Of Montreal w/ Noot d’Noot
Buster’s. $25. Doors @ 8pm, show @ 9pm. 18+
Of Montreal’s front man Kevin Barnes plays shirtless, sings effeminately, wears makeup and glitter, cross-dresses, and rolls around onstage pelvis-writhing. He’s equal parts Prince and Ziggy Stardust, the driving force behind a band caught between the psychedelia of The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields” and the glam rock of Sparks.
Impressively, much of Of Montreal’s output transcends its self-indulgence and delivers a rush of power pop bliss—if you can stomach all the sugar. Their last LP, 2008’s Skeletal Lamping, was their most indulgent foray yet, incorporating funk and R&B into a concept album in which Barnes’ alter-ego (“a black she-male,” according to the lyrics) took over to lead the band. This foray produced Of Montreal’s most experimental and forceful music yet and was either exciting new terrain or incoherent rubbish, depending on your taste.
But Of Montreal’s solid back-catalog affords them the freedom to grow and persevere with impunity. They’ve become a benchmark act for Elephant 6-style neo-psychedelia, a style that relies on poppy consciousness expansion as its M.O. While there is something mythical about their reputation as live performers, most anyone who’s ever been to an Of Montreal concert will confirm that theirs is one of the most gratifying live sets around. A new Jon Brion produced LP, False Priest, hits shelves later this year, so expect to hear lots of new tunes at this performance.—Nick Kidd
Sunday, May 30
“Honkey-Tonk Hunker Down” featuring Whitey Morgan and the 78’s w/ Texas Paul Sutherland, Coralee & The Townies, and Fifth on the Floor.
The Green Lantern. $10. Doors @ 7pm. 21+
Country music…from Detroit? With a voice eerily similar to Waylon Jennings, Whitey Morgan (real name Eric Allen) and crew are dispelling geographic notions about country music by making a Motor City blend more authentic than the Nashville standard. How is that possible? Whitey and the 78’s snicker at what passes for country on the radio these days (check out the song “If It Ain’t Broke”) and opt for old-time honkytonk blues, mining country’s rich past like a pack of street-smart outlaws doing country for kicks.
Even though their past recordings possess a classic country sound, Whitey and crew keep a little Detroit rock in the tank for their live sets and give their old-time stompers a dirtier, more menacing edge. They still keep a setlist chock with classic country in the style of George Jones, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, but when they rattle off covers like Van Halen’s “Flirting With the Devil” it feels like they were meant to be country songs all along. And it’s about damned time somebody wrestled away that Devil imagery from the arena antics of David Lee Roth and put it back in the barroom where it belongs. To paraphrase Waylon, I’m sure Hank done it this way.—Nick Kidd
Saturday June 5
Clutch w/ Bakerton Group, Lionize & Never Got Caught
Buster’s. $20 in advance, $25 day of show. Doors @ 8pm, show @ 9pm. 18+
Clutch, Maryland’s hardest rocking mountain men, return to Lexington June 5th for another rousing show of riff-heavy blues influenced rock and roll. This marks the third time Clutch has come to our fair town in the last decade or so, and they have established a solid reputation for consistent hard rock quality. In late 2009 the group released their newest full-length, Strange Cousins From the West, on their own Weathermaker record label featuring a new crop of melodic hard rock with lots of classic rock and blues influences. They have also just released a new double DVD consisting of a live show from the 9:30 Club where they cover their entire self-titled album in sequence. Get ready for some groovy stoner metal riffs coming from their older work, which they commonly revive in live performance. After nearly two decades of releases and incessant touring, Clutch are pros at giving a great show and this one should be no exception.
Get there early to catch Clutch as their own opening act alter-ego, the Bakerton Group, playing jazz-based rock jams.—Matt Gibson