Out Every Night: The Best Shows From December 10 to 16
Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons
Fri., 8:30 p.m. December 14
@ Off Broadway - $12
By Roy Kasten
The number one son in Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons isn't a son at all, but you'd better smile when calling her "daughter." The charismatic voice of Adriel Harris is exactly what Chisel's semi-Southern soul (he originally formed the band in Wisconsin) songs need to avoid becoming mere John Hiatt rip-offs, though there are worse crimes for a budding Americana songwriter. Chisel is a believable romantic, unafraid of pure sentiment and folksy nature trips, but he also has enough edge to land a cut in a motherfucking Samuel L. Jackson film and enough sense to give Harris plenty of room to harmonize. Last Time: Chisel and Harris opened for Norah Jones at the Peabody Opera House in October and had the audience demanding an encore after their short, almost Civil-Wars-esque set.
Sat., 7:30 p.m. December 15
w/ Train, Tristan Prettyman
@ Peabody Opera House - $36.50-$66.50
By Katie Moulton
"We're devoted to never nailing down exactly what we are," says the namesake siren of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Critics agree: Although they've called the Vermont-based classic rockers "big on the jam-band scene," and pegged lead singer-songwriter Potter as a "Dustier Springfield," that doesn't quite do the band's music justice. Fans don't seem to mind the ambiguity, however. Thanks to the steamy breakout single "Paris (Ooh La La)," the Nocturnals' bluesy retro rock -- and the band's vivacious, long-limbed frontwoman -- is flaring up in the public's consciousness. After Potter stole the show (alongside Heart!) on VH1's Divas Salute the Troops special, the band's 2010 self-titled album rocketed to the top spot on iTunes, beating out one of its biggest influences, the Beatles. The down-to-earth goddess in the sparkly mini-dress will heat up the Peabody this Saturday as part of Y98's Christmas show.
Sat., 9:00 p.m. December 15
@ The Firebird - $10
By Christian Schaeffer
Unless we're talking about Gilgamesh or Faith No More's big hit single, the word "epic" should be given its denotative due and used sparingly. Still, it's hard to think of a better word to describe what mr. Gnome is after on its latest album Madness in Miniature. The Cleveland-based duo (Nicole Barille on guitar and vocals and Sam Meister on drums) makes a big, knotty, righteous sound with a few parts. "House of Circles" moves from a breakbeat rhythm and Barille's disembodied vox to Black Mountain-esque levels of martial heaviness and whip-smart riffage. If the word "epic" is off the table, then words like "badass" will have to suffice. GnomeTV: If the song "House of Circles" suggests its own little universe, it's nothing compared to the batshit video that mr. Gnome made for it -- picture a green-screened Steampunk fairytale mixed with live-action anime and you're a quarter of the way there.
Sun., 8:00 p.m. December 16
w/ The Pencil Dicks
@ The Firebird - $12 / $14
By Daniel Hill
Since 1979 London's the Business has been playing working-class punk rock anthems, helping set the precedents that would define the curiously-named genre of oi music. Shaved heads, boots and suspenders (but don't be confused; no racism to be found here) define the style and the Business defines the music. The Business tends to draw well in St. Louis, and a rowdy, drunken good time is had by all.