When: Thu., May 19, 10 p.m. 2011
When Dave Shuford adopts the nom du rock D. Charles Speer, he gives himself license to delve into pieces of personal history that his long-running improvisational group, the No-Neck Blues Band, won't touch. On the solo LP Arghiledes (Thrill Jockey) he reconciles his experimental tendencies with his Greek roots, plucking a bouzouki, keeping time with finger cymbals and a whiskey glass, and growling 80-year-old odes to Piraeus hash dens through a haze of dub effects and feedback that's also pierced by the occasional blues lick. But with the Helix, a lusty combo that includes steel-guitar wizard Marc Orleans and barroom keyboardist Hans Chew, he plays straight-up country-rock that reflects some of the other sounds he heard growing up in Georgia. Leaving the Commonwealth (Thrill Jockey), their latest album, serves up joy and tragedy in equal measure—some songs celebrate Cajun cooking and antique records, while others memorialize Civil War casualties and old friend Jack Rose, the late guitarist who toured and recorded with the Helix. —Bill Meyer
Price: $8, free with RSVP at email@example.com.