When Austin's Liberty Lunch closed after a quarter-century, Texas singer-songwriter Michael Hall and his friends sent the venue out in style with a 24-hour marathon cover of "Gloria" that didn't even reach its chorus until an hour into the performance.
Melting Temple won't be quite so indulgent at Benny's this coming Friday — the bar isn't going away, after all — but bassist Gabe from the Future says the local trio plans to play from 9 p.m. right on up to the 2 a.m. closing time, "or until we run out of songs." Actually, given the local psych-rock band's affinity for extended space jams, five hours should be just about right. You can also catch Melting Temple, minus the visual splendor, when Gabe and bandmates Jose Garcia (guitarist/vocals) and Cody Steidinger (drums) perform live on KILO-FM 94.3 this Thursday beginning at 9:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, here's good news for those with more thrash-punk preferences: Dave Cantrell is back in action, this time fronting the band OFL. "I've been out of the scene for almost two years, so it's fun getting my feet wet again," explains the former Rocket Room co-owner, who along with his partner Shalonda spent more than three years running downtown's premier punk-friendly venue on the site of what's now Zodiac.
Like JJ Grueter — who owns the equally punk-friendly Triple Nickel — Dave has a long history as both a musician and venue owner. In fact, the Tulsa transplant recently began digging up songs from bands he's fronted here and back in Oklahoma, including Hussy, Bozack and the beloved Bunnies of Doom, and posting them to his ReverbNation site.
Dave's OFL bandmates — guitarist Bryan Barcelon, bassist Bill Tressler and drummer Dean Bolinger — are all refugees from local punk band the Ingrates. "But they also have a long history in the Springs hardcore and metal scenes," notes Dave, who's earned more than a few Iggy Pop and Henry Rollins comparisons over the years. The frontman promises plenty of "crossover hardcore with metal chops and hooky choruses" when OFL plays the Triple Nickel with Jucifer on Oct. 19, and again with the Spittin' Cobras on Nov. 3.
Returning to the week ahead, you can hit the Loft on Friday to hear Kelly Joe Phelps, a critically adored West Coast bluesman whose slide-guitar wizardry shows an unrepentant love for acoustic blues, country and gospel music. Opening the show is the Jason Miller String Trio, a mercifully viola-free ensemble featuring the local singer-songwriter on acoustic, Jason Gilmore on mandolin and Andrew Koken on upright bass. "This is actually how we started back in the day," says Miller, who's polishing up covers of Steve Earle's "Mercenary Song" and Townes Van Zandt's "To Live Is to Fly" for the occasion.
Meanwhile, fans of hip-hop, jazz and soul can celebrate the release of Beats, Rhymes & Brass, the debut album by Indy Music Awards winner Tony Exum, Jr.'s new project Musik Theory, during a free show at Stargazers on Friday, with Rellion, Rob Pardlo and B. Smith rounding out the bill.
And finally, I would be remiss, however slightly, not to mention SoCal post-grunge band Hoobastank's gig this coming Monday at the Black Sheep. You may remember Hoobastank, whose name I'll endeavor to include in every sentence from this point forward, for the group's No. 2 hit "The Reason." But for me and countless others, "Hoobastank!" will always be remembered as the rallying cry of Frazzles the Squirrel, the coked-out cartoon character who introduces the Lonely Island's brilliant mock soap opera The 'Bu, which you can view at tinyurl.com/hoobafrazzles.
Anyway, the show's a Waldo Canyon Fire benefit, with proceeds going to the Rocky Mountain Field Institute and the Serenity Springs Wildlife Center, so hats off to Hoobastank for that, as well.