Upcoming Concert Reviews of Hank Williams III, Tiger Bear Wolf and More...

More Concerts of Note

Hank Williams III

Hank Williams III & Assjack with Artimus Pyledriver

Thursday · 20th Century Theater

Any artists claiming to be versatile in their musical output would be well advised to measure their diversity against the schizophrenic splendor of Shelton Hank Williams, better known to the world as Hank III. The son of notoriously famous Hank Williams Jr. and the grandson of the towering Country legend that surnamed them both, Hank III has pursued nothing less than pure originality since launching his own career in 2000 with the release of his debut album, Risin' Outlaw and its 2003 follow-up, Lovesick, Broke & Driftin'. And while both were exercises in traditional Country songwriting and performance, Hank III has never been far from the Punk bands he played with as drummer and guitarist during his teenage years in Atlanta. That experience led him naturally to take a position as bassist with former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo's Metal outfit, Superjoint Ritual, and to subdivide his own band into the high energy angst Rock of Assjack and the heartbreaking Country lilt of the Damn Band. Last year, Hank III took both bands on the road, opening with the Damn Band for the Country audiences who showed up to see the scion of Country royalty and then politely but firmly warning them that Assjack would be coming up next which might just make them dive under their seats. Hank III is so militantly original (he once wrote a song called "I'm Here to Put the Dick in Dixie and the Cunt in Country"), he has come to legal blows with his first label, Curb Records, over the direction of his career, which has completely stalled his legitimate recording activities. To circumvent these obstacles, Hank III has an open policy of audience taping at his shows, tapes of which then can be distributed via the Internet (links can be found at hank3.com). This tour will feature only Assjack (self-described as "100 percent Pure Hellbelly"), so Country fans be forewarned: Hank III's in town to blister the paint and test the structural integrity of every venue he plays. Did somebody say "Keep on Rockin"? (Brian Baker)

Tiger Bear Wolf with Junius and Alone at 3am

Thursday · The Comet

"We're a big old bear, so beware," proclaims Tiger Bear Wolf on their self-titled debut released last week.

And damned if they're not kidding. Their imposing Post Punk would just as soon knock you down as look at you. Released by up-and-coming label Hello Sir Records from Athens, Ga., the album is a "press record and kick ass" kind of affair, perfectly suited to TBW's vintage sounds and visceral songs. Displaying remarkable instrumental and writing prowess for a new band, the disc is a shining example of how to Rock without any trace of homogeneity. For the first lesson, TBW gladly demonstrates how to use dual vocals in a Punk format without harmonizing, trading howls that alternate between menacing and ... well, more menacing. Their collective bombast sets the unrelenting tone and gives voice to an offer of musical deliverance. Jonathan Moore and Noah Howard also play hot potato with swirling guitar riffs, complementing and countering one another as bassist Matt Bostick and drummer Lawrence Holdsworth pound out thundering grooves threaded with intricacies. Sometimes invoking D.C. Punk with measures of odd time thrown in here and there and occasionally just good old fist-pumping Arena Rock riffage, Tiger Bear Wolf is a cohesive and cogent assortment of tracks. It's strong proof that Avant Rock is no longer just inching towards being the next big thing, but is now taking massive strides. TBW's hometown of Greensboro, N.C., has recently spawned other quirky bands such as Kudzu Wish and Disband, melding Indie Rock and Hardcore and threatening to put their state on the map for churning out an inventive style once again. This Cincinnati bill is refreshingly diverse, with Boston's Junius bringing a heavily textured vibe owing a lot to The Cure, and locals Alone at 3am providing a gruff Pop Punk sound. (Ezra Waller)

Paul Westerberg and His Only Friends Band

Thursday · The Madison Theater

It's 1984 and I'm reading Trouser Press magazine and I see something about this band called The Replacements. I read that their latest album was called Let It Be and contained a song that was pricelessly titled, "Gary's Got A Boner." I thought that was just too hilarious to pass up, so I found an order form for it, filled it out, sent it away and waited patiently. After the ubiquitous four-to-six weeks (plus shipping and handling), I received the album and developed a musical crush, the way I had developed a crush on The Pretenders a few years before (but there was the raccoon-eyed sexiness of Chrissie Hynde mitigating that crush). The next year, they released Tim, and that was it — I fell in love. "Waitress In The Sky," "Kiss Me On The Bus," "Left Of The Dial," "Here Comes A Regular," "Bastards Of Young" — what the hell couldn't that Westerberg guy write? The years passed, The 'Mats got drunk, made sublimely beautiful Pop and collapsed in a quiet heap in 1991. The next year, Westerberg began his solo career by scoring the film Singles. The rest of the '90s brought more solo releases that met with mixed reviews, including an EP under his Grandpaboy pseudonym. Then in '03 came Come Feel Me Tremble and the bluesy Dead Man Shake (again as Grandpaboy). Now, Westerberg is touring with a band for the first time in eight years, the aptly named (because they're his friends, natch) Only Friends Band which includes Michael Bland (ex-Prince), Jim Boquist (ex-Son Volt) and Kevin Bowe. The new tour is in support of Westerbeg's solo hits CD, Besterberg — The Best of Paul Westerberg (out May 17 on Rhino), and the sets will be "the usual mixture of old with mid-period and brand-new, maybe. I have no problem at all playing old songs, if I can remember the words," as Westerberg told The Seattle Times recently. So, is Westerberg working the nostalgia circuit? What does this show mean to you, the potential concertgoer? Answers, in order: Not on your life. Everything. At least it does if you're smart. (Dale Johnson)

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