by Ryan Snyder

Upcoming shows you should check out


If it felt like Mud was the start of a renaissance of sorts for Matthew McConaughey last year, he wasn’t the only one who found ascendance with Jeff Nichols’ elemental drama. Lucero, the Memphis aggregators of soul, punk and country fronted by Nichols’ heavily inked brother Ben, collaborated with composer David Wingo to create the film’s consummately forlorn score. Ben Nichols went on to have a pretty good year in pop culture. The Walking Dead picked up his solo song “The Last Pale Light in the West” as a one-time theme for its villain, and then Nichols was shoehorned into the final two episodes of David Simon’s post-Katrina drama “Treme,” playing himself. Lucero’s 2005 documentary, Dreaming in America, showed them spending a good portion of their early years getting screwed over and over again by record labels, playing hundreds of shows a year, living out of the shabbiest of vans and blowing their per diem in record stores. All the while, they built up one of the most rabid fan bases since early Drive-By Truckers. Now that seems to have all come to fruition, but the band hasn’t changed how they do business.

For the many fans who came aboard during the outstanding and nuanced 1372 Overton Park, its two-year-old successor Women & Work harkened a return to the rusty-nailed rock and roll of their infancy. Their most recent EP, Texas & Tennessee, gives a little bit of both halves of the band and will be their centerpiece when they return to Ziggy’s this Saturday with support from Jonny Fritz. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.


Nevermind the Grammy politics that cut the broadcast of their potentially awesome collaboration with Nine Inch Nails and Lindsey Buckingham short. Queens of the Stone Age are the best rock ‘n’ roll band on the planet right now. While there exist other artists with a similarly adventurous artistic spirit, no group so profoundly exemplifies the spirit of rock’s past while remaining capable of making fresh statements in the present. Frontman Josh Homme has cultivated a sound as imminently identifiable as anyone, despite pulling new personnel from a tight cache of kindred spirits for every album. Queens of the Stone Age’s tour in support of their Grammy-nominated Like Clockwork… is a monument to his gravity; a magnetic live creation that brings its songs to life through twisting falsetto highs, funereal lows and mind-bending visuals, which they’ll bring to Raleigh’s Progress Energy Center on Thursday. Tickets start at $46.


It’s likely that no band had a more tumultuous 2013 than thePixies. At the conclusion of their ever-ongoing Doolittle Tour, bassist KimDeal, the band’s veritable heart and soul, announced she was leaving to reformthe Breeders. Her replacement, Muffs bassist Kim Shattuck, lasted approximatelythree months before being fired, which prompted the question of whom would bethe next Kim bassist for the Pixies. Kim Gordon? Kim Thayil? Kim Jong-Un? Theyeventually went with the well-capable Paz Lenchantin, formerly of A PerfectCircle, a properly subdued replacement for the over-animated Shattuck, andtheir tour rolls on with two EPs worth of new tunes on display, coming to theDurham Performing Arts Center on Friday. The cool reception of said musicaside, the Pixies are still a tour de force live, whether it was the blusterypresentation of Doolittle et al, or the incredibly bountiful solo set thatfrontman Black Francis brought to North Carolina approximately one year ago.Cults will open the show at 8 p.m., and tickets start at $45. 

Note: Kim Shattuck and Paz Lenchantin are tour-only bassists, not permanent members. YES! Weekly regrets the misleading statement.