Vicious vibes are brewing up in Memphis this weekend. Thrashing guitars are king and snuff out any hope for sugary pop.
Memphis’ underground and legendary label Goner is hosting its 9th reccurance of GonerFest, bringing in the most known unknown icons from all around the world. Although the opening ceremony and subsequent first evening of Gonerfest have come and passed in the past 24, there’s still A LOT of great shows to see. Get your IDGAF attitude ready, it’s time for weekend shots!
Friday (9/28) starts at the break of waking for the late nighters at 1pm at the Buccaneer Lounge. Memphis band Toxie brings talent from the city’s vast musician sound scape. Will McElroy and Ben Bauermeister (Magic Kids) and Madison Farmer (Coasting) give Toxie its reputation of being an all-star bluff city line-up well worth seeing. After that, stick around to see a Madison, WI standout. The Hussy are a two-piece well versed in both psychedelic and garage. They’ll be closing the afternoon set so come out to rock your face off before the sun sets.
Taking a tip from Toxie’s talent, Memphis notables can be your guiding line throughout the event as almost every show has at least one amazing local group. The Friday Hi-Tone Cafe show proves this to be true on behalf of River City Tanlines. Proper throwback alt rock out of Memphis has never sounded so good as when delivered by Tanlines’ Alicja Trout. Speaking of delivery, Nobunny is billed. The panty-clad punk purveyor (say that ten times fast) is known for off-the-wall show antics and a healthy serving of fuck you.
Saturday’s early show also has another Memphis Notable in The New Memphis Legs, but let’s focus on some solid out-of-town rep. White Mystery is another two-piece set to blow up Gonerfest, but unlike The Hussy’s general disarray of psychedelia, White Mystery is a more concentrated garage, almost poppy effort from brother/sister duo Alex and Francis White. Outside has its fair share of noteworthy acts, including Chicken Snake. Chicken Snake is a messy bluesy garagey tangled ball of sound soaked in thick riffs and unabashed lyricism. The project of engineer Jerry Teel (Honeymoon Killers) and Nicholas Ray (Death Ray Music) brings an educated perspective about rock music and then destroys it with a punk mentality.
The Hi-Tone Cafe on Saturday night initiates a final wealth of great artists. Another great Memphis band, Ex-Cult, have an early set. The Bluff City up-and-comers have recently recorded their debut album in San Francisco with Ty Segall and are building a not-so-modest list of growing acclaim. Canada rep comes from The White Wires, a garage rock band that have been kicking around since 2007. Their sounds are a bit more palatable than that of the grittier groups of the weekend so make sure you check these guys out for a break from ear rape.
New Zealand punk act The Clean and Memphis’ own Reverend John Wilkins “close” Gonerfest Sunday afternoon at the Cooper Young Gazebo. But if you’re looking to stay out late there will be a DJ set at The Buccaneer Lounge with DJ HWY 61 and a few other DJ’s.
Although we only spotlight our favorite acts, there’s still plenty of great punk music playing at Gonerfest this weekend. For a full line-up, head over to Goner’s website, or just get a pdf of the badass program.