Bardstown Road will be aglow this weekend and so will most of our bars and clubs as a potential nice little storm visits. Block it out and prep yourself for a weekend of impressive local music and one mind-bending visit from the world.
My pick of the weekend is a trio of international bands you’ll never see again, you won’t understand one single word (Estonia, anyone?), and you can’t miss it. Local rockers play from downtown to the Highlands. A local singer-songwriter comes home from a long tour.
And the Hideaway hosts my second-pick of the weekend with some serious Chicago dirty blues. Take a risk, Honey, grab your dough, and consider these options for your weekend pleasure.
• Finntroll w/ Blackguard, and Metsatoll
Diamond Pub Highlands
Sunday, Dec. 8.; Doors 7 p.m./Show 8 p.m.
My pick of the weekend. These bands rarely tour together and when they do, it’s even more rare they tour the States. Diamonds brings to Louisville this headlining Finland-based folk metal band on a tour of the United States, Mexico, and Canada for their new album Bloodswept. This is unique.
If Mumford and Sons took a shitload of acid and covered Megadeath, you would have Finntroll. A Youtube reviewer wrote, “They sound like St. Patrick’s Day on crack.” Amazing sound. The lyrics are in Swedish, so it doesn’t matter what they are singing about. It’s the show that will amaze you.
Along with Finntroll are Blackguard, perhaps the most popular black metal band in Canada, and they’ve played together for over a decade. The third band in this trio is Metsatoll, from Estonia. Yes, Estonia.
You’ve never heard anything like it. Game of Thrones simply has not yet found these guys.
If you do nothing else this month, and you have any love for metal, get yourself to this near once-in-a-lifetime show.
• Frontier(s) w/ Julie of the Wolves
Friday, Dec. 6; Doors 8 p.m./Show 9 p.m.
A great amount of local music playing prime venues this weekend. One is the duo of bands at Zanzabar getting a running start to their local reputation. Primed to get noticed outside the city in festivals and club tours, Frontier(s) (who have been around a few years) and Julie of the Wolves give fans a chance to see this show for cheap.
It’s amazing how people scoff at $5 or $10 covers in Louisville to see great music. I like the no-cover bar as well as anyone, but the price for entertainment in many cities makes Louisville prices almost insult the musicians.
That said, shell out $10 to cover your date’s night and give these bands a listen. Frontier(s) cut their first rock album in 2010 and are currently working on an EP with five new songs. I wrote about Julie of the Wolves a few weeks ago. With exposure and continued hard work, this band is a sky-is-the-limit group.
• Andrea Davidson w/ Appalatin, and Leora Nosko
Friday, Dec. 6; Doors 7:30 p.m./Show 8
Appalatin all live in Louisville, but not one member is originally from the United States.
Both bands write lyrics and music that stir listeners, creating what will be a very memorable night at Vernon Club. Davidson is one of those rare local writers who actually writes about Louisville in her music. Songs like “Where The Trees and Stars Are” (above) features our town in lyric and visuals.
Appalatin combines world instruments, a Latin flair and Appalachian sounds to create their unique style of musical storytelling. They are joined by local singer-songwriter Leora Nosko.
Some say their music can’t be categorized for its unique sound. I disagree. They play original songs that sound like a mix of different genres, which makes them simply hard to categorize but doesn’t create an overall unique sound.
But to play an original mix of rock and blues with a hint of Southern rock is no small feat as the Grindstones keep it polished and solid.
They are joined at Headliners by The Tunesmith’s, who will fill your bluesy needs for the night. This group grinds into the soul of the song, and I’d take them as a headliner any day. The trio rounds out with Panic in Eden, a California-based band who visit Kentucky to play their funk rock sound with a lead voice that brings the band Alive to mind. It all comes together as the Bourbon Dipped Funk and Roll night, so dip yourself in bourbon before, during and/or after.
• Rifle w/ Overload, and Big Rock Club
Third Street Dive
Saturday, Dec. 7; Show 10 p.m.
Three local hard rock-and-rollers break things at Third Street Dive Saturday night. Rifle is a grunge heavy rock band made up of members who started together, went on to play with various bands, and have reunited.
They sound like they started in the garage (grunge) but strain for that polished heavy metal sound of the early ’80s. They release their new CD, “The Speed of Doubt,” with help of regional band Overload, and from Cincinnati, Big Rock Club.
• Train Company w/ English Exchange, and A Year of October
Saturday, Dec. 7; Show 10 p.m.
Tickets: $5 Door
A saxophone. Really that’s all I have to write. My runner-up pick of the weekend. Chicago-based band, now you’re in your car on the way to the Hideaway Saloon. I love the music Hideaway lines up. It’s a like a festival nestled in the Highlands every weekend.
Most songs I’ve heard lean toward upbeat rock/jazz sounds, but when they dip into the blues Chicago is known for, this band can give you goosebumps.
They are joined by local band English Exchange, an experimental rock group who are perfect accompaniment for whatever you’re experimenting with. From Nashville (but with Lexington roots), A Year of October completes this trio for runner-up best night of the weekend.