Apologies to Houston's esteemed Bright Men of Learning for my ongoing cluelessness; I plan on seeking help just as soon as I have health insurance again. Here's the deal: I have now reported twice that the Men - part of an excellent, twangish, 75% local bill at the Mink tonight with Papermoons, Wild Moccasins and Valdosta, Georgia's Ninja Gun - are fronted by one Benjamin Davis Murphy.
This is not the case. Murphy plays guitar and cowbell, quite well by all accounts, while Marshall Preddy shoulders the responsibility/honor of fronting the Pavement-loving rockers. Thanks to the kind souls at Hands Up Houston for setting me straight, and further apologies to Murphy and Preddy for the amount of grief this has no doubt caused them, both from each other and the other three guys in the band whose names I don't even know. But seriously, the Men don't play near as often as they should, so if I were you I wouldn't wait around until next time.
Elsewhere tonight, Reverend Horton Heat returns to the Meridian, where he plays so often he might as well be paying rent, with Amazonian Atlanta firecrotches Nashville Pussy. Try not to miss openers Backyard Tire Fire, Illinois alt-country plainsmen with a serious Stones jones (think Beggar's Banquet), and don't mind all the scenesters stumbling around; that's just the spillover from the Press' Music Awards Nomination Party.
Down Continental way, the Unknown Hinson offers a sobering (or not) reminder of what might have happened had Rodney Dangerfield become an Ernest Tubb-type troubador instead of a comedian. Reciting the lyrics of Hinson songs like "Love on Command" and "Lingerie" would make pretty good stand-up routines all by themselves. Opening rockabilly fillies Lynda Kay and Rosie Flores give him something to leer at, while over at Boondocks DJs Dave Wrangler, Piss Heavy and Young Squaddy carve some Diplo-deep grooves in your skull.
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Saturday, don't forget Joe Nick Patoski will sign copies of his new biography Willie Nelson: An Epic Life at 2 p.m. at Sig's Lagoon, and KTRU's Mutant Hardcore Flower Hour DJs celebrate the late-night underground-rock oasis' 25th anniversary by spinning live from 1 to 3 p.m. at Cactus Music. Hope they remember to set their alarms.
Continuing in the nostalgia vein, Beaumont-born Tracy Byrd, who has gone "Ten Rounds with Jose Cuervo," done the "Watermelon Crawl," and lived to tell the tale both times, hits the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds Arena in Rosenberg with Phil "Six-Pack Summer" Vassar, son of easy-listening icon Englebert Humperdinck. (Seriously.) Pat Benatar, proud owner of one of the most stable marriages in rock history, visits the Showgrounds at Sam Houston Race Park with guitarist husband Neil Giraldo and openers the Fabulous Thunderbirds, who might just be moved enough by their surroundings to dust off "Mathilda" or "Scratch My Back."
Back inside the loop, Nylon magazine - the rare glossy hipster rag with a sense of humor - brings L.A. Depeche Mode disciples She Wants Revenge, Thurston Moore-approved Nashville garage brats Be Your Own Pet, UK Bowie-bombers Switches and NYC young fresh fellows the Virgins to Meridian. Mice & Rifles, one of Austin's most promising recent roots-goth bands - one of its only roots-goth bands, really - haunts Rudyard's with Tody Castillo, and Montreal techno label Turbo Records brings its 10th-anniversary Omnidance tour to, of all places, Numbers.
Sunday, Minneapolis noiseniks the Heroine Sheiks' Journey to the End of the Knife (Amphetamine Reptile) brings them to Rudyard's, with the Stoogey squall of their previous AmRep bands (Hammerhead, the Cows) present and accounted for. Houston's a cappella girl group the Pearls boogie-woogie the Houston Fringe Festival afterparty at Avant Garden, and Satin Hooks stringman Lucas Gorham teams up with Houston kazoo virtuosos for an early show at the Mink, starting at 6 p.m. - Chris Gray