What's more American than a drive-in movie theater on a warm June evening? It takes you back to the days when the drive-in circuit provided an outlet for B-movie mavens and their sensationalized views of American culture (who can forget the delightfully vengeful rednecks in Herschel Gordon Lewis' 2,000 Maniacs, or any of the Hell's Angels biker film series). It's in just such a spirit that Dave Robertson (Sleazefest's mastermind) and Boo Kaufman (co-booker of Durham's Americana Concert Series) came up with the Trailer Trash Drive-In Extravaganza, a day of music held at Durham's Starlite Drive-In. The Starlite's concession stand will be open, and the entire hootenanny lasts from 1 to 7 p.m., featuring the spooky backwoods sound of Trailer Bride, the rootsy alt-country of Hobart Willis & The Back Forty, Grand National (with guitar great Ed Crawford, aka Ed from Ohio), the Brothers Grimm and The Panther Branch Boys. Y'all can listen to your car radio or bring a blanket or lawn chair. Head to the Starlite this Saturday, June 23. Call 942-5506 for details.
Just who is The Last Band? The brainchild of orphans Mike and Von Crisis, The Last Band consists of Mike on lead vocals, Von on "merciless" lead guitar, Bonddog on second guitar, pyro and backing vocals, and new recruits Leonid Mirovich (Bass Attakk) and the mysterious "Sound Wizard," who adds both video and keyboards to the group. Called on, as if by divine mission, to save rock from its flabby excesses, The Last Band believes that only a no-holds-barred, hedonistic approach will do. For this reason, the band--who've single-handedly pioneered "Dancemetal-Sexpop"--promise to deliver a show that will overload your senses with its "ass-grinding fury" and sheer showmanship. On a bill with power duo Lystra (Chris Toms and Joe Taylor), as well as punk stalwarts The Ghost of Rock, this rock-affirming show takes place Saturday, June 23, at Local 506 in Chapel Hill. Call 942-5506 for details.
If you like your blues tasty, smoky and down home--none of that Bunny bread cheesy commercial stuff--then check out the rib-stickin' lineup on Fat Possum Records' Mississippi Juke Joint Caravan tour, which features the likes of T-Model Ford, Paul Jones and Cedell Davis. T-Model Ford (pictured), all of 78 years old, has the juke-joint blues shuffle down (check out "Chicken Head Man" off his disc She Ain't None of Your'n). Paul Jones, on the other hand, plays nasty-ass dirty electric blues backed only by a drummer; it's a truly weird, evil-sounding groove (wear slippery-bottom shoes to shake and slide). But if it's slide guitar that makes your neck hairs stand up, then Cedell Davis--making his first tour foray in 20 years (a childhood polio victim, he's now wheelchair bound)--delivers the goods. Davis, once the guitarist for Robert Nighthawk, doesn't use a slide or bottleneck; he uses a butterknife to get that smooth sound. The blues go down this Tuesday, June 26, at Local 506 in Chapel Hill. Call 942-5506 for details.
Haven't seen Calexico live? Well, the Western-flavored, desert-inspired, Tex-Mex multi-instrumentalists serve up a batch of reverb-soaked, guitar-driven compositions that owe as much to Ennio Morricone as any South-of-the-Border influence. With Athens, Ga., hard-rocking popsters The Glands opening, these two terrific live bands will do you right. The music happens Monday, June 26, at Kings in Raleigh. Call 831-1005 for details. --Angie Carlson