Lemuria tops indie bill at Pub Station
With Katie Ellen and DUSK, Tuesday, July 31, Pub Station Taproom. Tickets for the all-ages, 8 p.m. show, are $13 in advance and $16 at the door.
Lemuria is an American indie rock band. They formed in 2004 in Buffalo, New York, in the landing of an apartment stairway above the greatest diner in the world, Amy’s Place.
Fifteen years of touring, four albums, and dozens of seven-inchers later, the band is much different than it was when it began. Lemuria changes with the varying and dynamic interests of its constituents, and avoids being pigeon-holed.
“Recreational Hate” is, along this avenue, something different. The songs can be traced to a past, present, and future existence of the band, running in every direction, but always coming home to a definitive observational point of reference. “Recreational Hate” is the next book in a fantasy series. It’s the surprise sixth act in a never-ending performance. It hints of familiarity in a place where the guidelines have been abandoned, and anything is possible.
Mary Gauthier coming to Billings
Saturday, Aug. 11, Pub Station Taproom, 8 p.m. Tickets for the all-ages show are $25. A reserved table for four is $120.
There is nothing trivial about Mary Gauthier’s 10th album “Rifles and Rosary Beads.” All 11 songs are co-written with and for wounded veterans. Eleven of the nearly 400 songs that highly accomplished songwriters have co-written as part of Darden Smith’s five-year-old SongwritingWithSoldiers program.
None of the soldiers who have participated in the program have taken their own lives, and there’s nothing trivial about that. Something about writing that song — telling that story — is healing. What Smith calls post-traumatic-growth.
Gauthier’s first nine albums presented extraordinary confessional songs, deeply personal, profoundly emotional pieces ranging from “I Drink,” a blunt accounting of addiction, to “March 11, 1962,” the day she was born — and relinquished to an orphanage — to “Worthy,” in which the singer finally understands she is deserving of love. Maybe that’s where the confessional song cycle ends, for she has midwifed these eleven new songs in careful collaboration with other souls whose struggle is urgent, immediate, and palpable. And none are about her.
Billy Bob Thornton bringing his band to town
Billy Bob Thornton and The Boxmasters, Thursday, Aug. 23, 8 p.m., Pub Station Ballroom. Tickets for the all-ages, general admission, show are $27 in advance and $30 at the door.
The Boxmasters have teamed up with legendary engineer/producer Geoff Emerick for an album that Geoff has called, “One of the most exciting projects I’ve worked on since The Beatles.”
Known for taking over the engineer’s chair on The Beatle’s albums “Revolver,” “Sergeant Pepper’s” and more, Geoff added a familiar sonic touch to the sound of The Boxmasters, who have been unapologetic Beatles and British Invasion fans. His work on albums by Badfinger, The Zombies, America and Paul McCartney, among many others, have always been huge influences on The Boxmasters.
Sonically, the album “Speck” touches on all of The Boxmaster’s influences, including The Beatles, The Byrds and Big Star but there are new sonic touches as well. Ukulele, Cardboard boxes and the Beatle’s famous “tea towels on the drums” trick pop up on songs throughout the album.
John Anderson to play Ballroom Oct. 26
Friday, Oct. 26, Pub Station Ballroom, 8 p.m. Tickets for the all-ages, general-admission show are $39.50. A reserved table for four is $240. A reserved table for six is $360.
Raised in Apopka, Fla., John Anderson was exposed to both rock and traditional country growing up and learned to love (and play) both types of music. But Anderson resisted the call of rock 'n roll, electing to pursue his country music dreams. It was the traditional country ballads that lured him in and changes music history, songs like Porter Waggoner's "Green, Green Grass of Home." "I loved those type of ballads," Anderson says, "to the point I didn't want to get away from it.
Anderson moved to Nashville in 1972, working construction by day (including as a roofer at the Grand Ole Opry House) and playing the honky-tonks at night. He signed to Warner Bros. in 1977, and notching his first major hit in 1980 with Billy Jo Shaver's "I'm Just an Old Chunk of Coal." Other hits, including the classic "Wild and Blue" in 1982, solidified his status as a powerful new voice in country music. "Swingin'," written by Anderson and Lionel Delmore, blew the roof off a year later, exploding to No. 1 on the Billboard Country chart, propelling Anderson to the CMA Horizon Award, and becoming one of the most enduring hits in the country canon.
Anderson plowed through the ebbs and flows of country music (and the country music business) throughout the '80s, and in the early 1990s engineered one of the greatest "comeback" runs in the history of the genre. “Seminole Wind,” released on BNA, produced hit singles in "Straight Tequila Night," "When It Comes To You," "Money in the Bank," and the stirring title cut. The latter would have never been released had Anderson not stuck to his guns, a familiar refrain throughout his career as the artist has wound his way through virtually all of Nashville's major labels.