sound check

September 16, 2010
By Michael Swanger

Dax Riggs
“Say Goodnight to the World”

Fat Possum Records

What Fat Possum Records did for hardcore, Mississippi blues by unearthing artists like R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough, it is doing for dirty garage rock by launching bands like The Black Keys, Thee Shams and, now, Dax Riggs. “Say Goodnight to the World” is Riggs’ second solo album under his own name (previously Deadboy & the Elephantmen and Acid Bath) and a dark combination of the art-rock of the Velvet Underground, the balls of Iggy & the Stooges and the poetic drama of The Doors. Sparse, languid instrumentation augments Riggs’ cryptic vocals on ballads “You Were Born to Be My Gallows” and “Sleeping With the Witch,” while punkish garage rock defines “I Hear Satan” and “Gravedirt On My Blue Suede Shoes.” Riggs even brings “Heartbreak Hotel” back from the dead with a hellish rendition. CV

(Dax Riggs performs Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. at the Vaudeville Mews. $10.)

Martin Sexton



Kitchen Table

Perhaps it is no coincidence that singer-songwriter Martin Sexton’s ninth album in 18 years is his most universally appealing given its title, “Sugarcoating.” That’s not to suggest that the rootsy pop singer has sold his soul to try to make a quick buck. Far from it. But after years of showing promise, it appears that Sexton has finally delivered the goods with some quality production value on “Sugarcoating,” which consists of 13 original folk-pop songs that reveal Sexton’s blue-eyed-soul. Confessional songs like “Found,” “Stick Around” and “Long Haul” find the 40-something musician in a happy place in his life and career, while Sexton’s baritone voice and intelligent lyrics go hand-in-hand in with the band’s light folk rock. This album a must-have for longtime fans and perhaps a good starting point for new ones. CV

(Martin Sexton plays Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. at People’s Court. $20 - $30.)

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