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Spot Check



SEA & CAKE, 11/13, LOUNGE AX A new band led by former Shrimp Boat singer/guitarist Sam Prekop, Sea & Cake isolates Prekop's soulful leanings and affinity for soft and lazy slinking rhythms, wrapping them in a spare but warm glow. On the band's forthcoming debut album the fat-sounding but leanly structured percussion of former Bastro drummer John McEntire blends with Eric Claridge's sturdy bass to support the gorgeous twin guitar constructions of Prekop and Archer Prewitt (moonlighting from his regular gig with the Coctails), which stretch from skittering, minimalist pop patterns to bubbling, east African-esque lines. This is their debut show, but the smooth and engaging Prekop has logged plenty of hours as a frontman. They open for Yo La Tengo and Versus. FREAKWATER, 11/14, LOUNGE AX It's been more than three years since Freakwater have performed their dark, hypnotic brand of hillbilly-tinged folk, but they return to the stage to open Yo La Tengo's second night at Lounge Ax (also on the bill is Ashtray Boy). The gently sculpted, vulnerable voice of Eleventh Dream Day drummer Janet Beveridge Bean and the beautifully guttural moan of Cathy Irwin (she went traveling and has lived in Louisville since the last Freakwater gig) clash and intertwine with primal tension. They sing bleak tales rooted in the seamy side of life with a creepy emotional fervor. Their acoustic guitars will be fleshed out by lead guitarist Brian Dunn and bassist Dave Gay (both members of the now-defunct Stump the Host). Freakwater's album on Thrill Jockey has just come out. KATHY CHIAVOLA, 11/14, OLD TOWN SCHOOL OF FOLK MUSIC Although some of the tunes on her Labor of Love album drip with contemporary country ballad corn, popular Nashville session singer Chiavola overcomes her material's shortcomings with an evocative, warm, and prodigiously powerful voice. CASPAR BROTZMANN MASSAKER, 11/13, THE VIC Caspar Brotzmann, the son of legendary German free-jazz sax titan Peter Brotzmann, forges brooding, epic-scaled, and violent guitar-based soundscapes that reflect an almost filmic sense of development and structure. The sophistication is notable particularly in comparison to the predictable forms clung to by the rock bands Massaker might play with (the Jesus Lizard and Arcwelder in this case). Which isn't to say that Brotzmann's trio has got a better ratio of success to failure (far from it, actually, considering some of the trio's fumbling, pompous, self-indulgent excesses), but there's something intriguing in the way Brotzmann applies basic rock language to sweeping, slowly building works that swell and surge with minimalistic symphonic grandeur. Once he gets his snarled, melodramatic vocals over with (which come off on record like an afterthought), what's left behind is an awesome wall of corrosive sound. VINELAND, 11/12, LOUNGE AX One-time Bitch Magnet member Jon Fine and Fire in the Kitchen leader Bob Bannister harness scalding sheets of unwieldy guitar sound and force them into tight, pop-touched confines. Their compact wallop begins a bill that includes Don Caballero and Rodan. BELA FLECK & THE FLECKTONES, 11/16, BUDDY GUY'S LEGENDS; 11/17, SCHUBAS; 11/18, FITZGERALD'S Banjo revisionist Fleck may be excessively talented, but his quirky, genre-hopping noodling by any other name still smells like fusion. MONSTER MAGNET, 11/14, THIRSTY WHALE Looking to indulge in some of rock's notorious excesses? Druggy trance-inducing hippies Monster Magnet will happily massage your LSD-addled brain with an endless extended wah-wah freak-out.

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