Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
This weekend is going to be interesting, with some entertainment that goes beyond the norm and some perfect choices for all you freaks, geeks and lovers of quirky live acts. There’s also some good rock ’n’ roll and mellow listener-oriented acoustic guitar.
For starters, check out the Trachtenburg Family Slide Show Players at Sticky Fingerz on Saturday, Aug. 26. The kitsch-kooky/vintage-vaudeville show consists of a family of three: dad Jason on keyboards/vocals/guitar, mom Tina Pina as the projectionist and clothier for the group, and 12-year old daughter Rachel, who plays the beats like a mini-Meg White (complete with side ponytails). Simple tunes done indie-rock by dad narrate their take on what’s happening on the screen behind them: various and sundry slides found in various thrift stores and estate sales with themes such as family vacations in Japan, solo sojourns, corporate Mickey Dee parties and eggs.
Mags like the New Yorker, the Village Voice, and even the spoofy Onion have lauded the group’s novel appeal, and the three also landed a spot as the first unsigned act on Conan O’Brien. Truly, it must be seen and heard to be appreciated. A new DVD, “Off and On Broadway,” was released by the Trachtenburgs on Aug. 1.
Brooklyn-based comedic rock accordionist Corn Mo opens, and he is also something novel to behold. He plays the squeezebox while singing (for lack of a better term) yarns about his life, with themes ranging from his masochistic usage of an Epilady to being mistaken for Gary Busey. And if you’re thinking “What?” then that’s probably the appropriate reaction.
Admission is $10. Showtime is 9 p.m.
And something totally local: A documentary will be filmed on Saturday, Aug. 26, at Downtown Music starring T.C. and the Eddies. Some of us know T.C. as the unofficial Stifft Station ’80s metal mascot, complete with concert T-shirt and spandex Motley Crue pants, who will utter a throaty rock growl at any given moment.
Local filmmaker Mike Poe is piecing together a documentary on T.C.’s life and adventures in the past few years and invites folks to bring cameras to film the show. Credit will be given if any material is used for the upcoming project.
The 8:30 p.m. opening act, Jag, is a luthier of guit-boxes and performer of Mississippi slide blues that we hope will get you in the mood for T.C. Admission is $5.
Memphis’ Cory Branan, playing at Vino’s on Thursday, Aug. 24, knows his muse well, tapping into a well of self-possessed exercises in making the mundane (cars and bars, girls and grass) profane. “12 Songs” is his most recent CD release, which followed his debut, “The Hell You Say.”
Scott Diffee opens at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $5.
Bang Bang Bang, a straight Southern slack-jawed rock group from Nashville recently signed by Sony Records, will play at Vino’s on Wednesday, Aug. 30. Locals may recognize drummer Jaren Johnson, formerly of the Kicks, who has had some success as a commercial country songwriter. Recently, Bang Bang Bang opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band. We’re sure the group members have notched their belts and will still be flying high when they play next week. Opening at 8 p.m. will be Josh the Devil and the Sinners. Admission is $5.
Australian six-string player Nick Charles is the featured act at Acoustic Sounds Cafe on Friday, Aug. 25. Charles is known Down Under for his tasteful, melodic expression of blues influenced by Big Bill Broonzy and Mississippi John Hurt and the finger-style of Django Reinhardt. His style will suit lovers of the mellow, optimistic acoustic guitar music. He also does a great version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Albatross.”
Diesel is the opening act at 7:30 p.m. The doors open at 7 p.m., and the venue is non-smoking and alcohol-free. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors.
Let’s not forget the most psycho of the psychobilly groups: Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers take the cake in that department, and are scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 30, at Sticky Fingerz. Lead man Col. J.D. Wilkes is liable to throw unmentionables at the audience while belting out some possessed gutbucket rock and swamp blues, funeral hollers and carnival marches. The band’s “Pandelirium” album recently was released on Yep Roc.
Ghostwriter, a stripped-down anarcho-cowpunk one-man act, opens at 10 p.m. Request “Preacher’s Daughter.” Admission is $10.
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