It's borough-palooza at the Sentient Bean this week: Three dynamic duos, all from Brooklyn, all featuring just guitar and drums. But the similarities end there.
As most red-blooded, heterosexual rock ‘n' roll-loving men know, there's not much cooler than a long-haired girl playing killer electric guitar. And if she has a strong, throaty and slightly seductive voice, even better. She Keeps Bees is a Brooklyn duo based around the songs of Jessica Larrabee, who - believe me - could front a full band and bring down every house on the Eastern Seaboard and beyond. Think Chrissie Hynde or P.J. Harvey coffee-ground with a bit of early, pre-alcoholism Grace Slick. Her partner in the group is drummer Andy LaPlant - yes, it's like the White Stripes in reverse, and yes, it's electrifying, bluesy, and totally addictive.
The bill also includes The Naked Hearts, with singer and guitarist Amy Cooper and drummer Noah Wheeler.
Starting to sense a pattern here?
Cooper is a professional photographer, Wheeler a trained jazz bassist, but they're clearly throwing their passions into The Naked Hearts - the music is dark, moody and extremely well-crafted. Like Larrabee in She Keeps Bees, Cooper is a vocalist and frontwoman who demands - and deserves - your attention.
There's a bit of role reversal going on in This Frontier Needs Heroes - Brooklyn siblings Brad and Jessica Lauretti. He plays acoustic guitar and sings; she does the drumwork, plus harmonies and percussion. The twosome's tunes are like those of midnight Texas doom songwriter Townes Van Zandt, or the winsome and woeful Jeff Buckley. There's usually a sonic twist thrown in, keeping TFNH just a nose ahead of standard-issue acoustic acts.
This triple-bill comes highly recommended, dear reader. Listen, learn and check out each duo's videos. See if I'm not right: shekeepsbees.com, thenakedhearts.com, myspace.com/thisfrontierneedsheroes.
At 8 p.m. Monday, July 19 at the Sentient Bean. 13 E. Park Ave.
40 OZ. TO FREEDOM
San Diego's finest is subtitled "A Tribute to Sublime," and that's what they do: With lead singer Dane Scott channeling the late, self-medicating Bradley Nowell, the band plays the fierce, fast and fiery skater-punk and reggae/ska/dub/rap that made hyper-kinetic Sublime (briefly) the Biggest Band in the field. "The hardest part about being in a Sublime tribute band," Scott has said, "is remembering all the lyrics. Sometimes Bradley rapped so fast, it's hard to even tell what he's saying." Terry Davis is the bassist; Mark LeBlance plays drums. If you're reading this far, you already know that 40 oz. to Freedom - the title of the first Sublime album - is a reference to a big ol' bottle of malt liquor. Listen & learn: www.myspace.com/40ouncestofreedomband
At 10 p.m. Wednesday, July 14 at the Live Wire Music Hall, 307 W. River St.
There's something very cool about a band that channels the Kinks and the Buckaroos, the Rolling Stones and the Strangers - and gets it right. And leaves you yearning for more or the same. Austin's The Preservation walks that line time and again - the guitars are alternately heavy and delicately chicken-picked, the vocalist (not sure if it's Andy, Ben or Mario) has the weedy, trouble-in-mind timbre of a young Jerry Garcia. Yet The Preservation isn't a noodle-all-night jam band (not that there's anything wrong with that!) - the group's songs are sharp, pointed and baited with enough hooks to lure anybody in from the deep. Listen & learn: www.myspace.com/thepreservation.
At 11 p.m. Friday, July 16 at the Jinx, 127 W. Congress St.
DUDE, CHECK IT OUT
Savannah singer/songwriter Chuck Courtenay celebrates the release of his first CD, recorded in Nashville, with a show at Wild Wing Friday, July 16. Music starts at 10 p.m. The next night, Courtenay and his band open for Jake Owen at the Beaufort Water Festival ... Finger-picking guitar legend Doyle Dykes is the latest Nashville pro to appear in concert at Randy Wood Guitars in Bloomingdale. Catch Doyle at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 17 ...