Off The Record is a recurring, feature here on the Drunkard, that marries two of my greatest interests; music and travel. Having a locals perspective when visiting a new locale is the difference between experiencing it through the lens of a tourist and of that of a native.
Off The Record gathers some of my favorite artists, asks them to reflect on their city of residence, and choose a handful of places they could not live without, be them bookstores, bars, restaurants or vistas.
This edition of Off The Record finds us in Ben Nichols’ Memphis, TN. An Arkansas native, Nichols and his band, Lucero, have called Memphis home, over the past decade, while carving out a niche sound, and audience, with their rural-toned, thinking man’s, roots-rock. One of the hardest touring outfits currently running today, Lucero, literally, plays hundreds of dates per year. This being the case, finding out what Nichols misses while on the road was especially interesting.
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1. Comics & Collectibles. Best comic selection in town. If I wasn’t so busy with Lucero, I’d be a comic book artist/writer. Done some stuff in the past and we’ll see if it ever sees the light of day… but for now I usually get my fix at this comic shop. The new Conan, Hellboy, Love & Rockets, and anything by Joe Sacco are my favorites.
2. Young Avenue Deli. Not only has Lucero played this bar many times, it has always been the default place to drink and eat late. Serve food til two a.m. and that comes in handy. Known most the bartenders a long time and it feels pretty much like home.
3. The Hi Tone. Another home away from home. Lucero played at the Hi Tone a bunch our first few years. Lately they’ve been having more shows than the Young Ave Deli, and they’re getting a lot of good bands.
4. The Buccaneer. This little bar was built inside an old house not far from downtown. Feels like you’re watching a show in some ultimate bachelor pad rec room with a 60’s pirate theme and a bar in the corner. Bands play in front of the fire place. Garage rock and old blues. One of the hipper places around.
5. Bojo’s Antique Mall. Two stories of more crap than you can imagine. I’ve bought kitchen tables here, guitars, ashtrays, knives, life size ceramic panthers, quilts, army stuff… anything you need to be in a touring band.
MP3: Lucero :: Sweet Little Thing
MP3: Lucero :: Little Silver Heart
Amazon: Lucero – Rebels, Rogues & Sworn Brothers
www.luceromusic.com ++ www.myspace.com/lucero ++ emusic
+ Download Lucero via eMusic’s 25 free MP3 no risk trial offer
+ Visit The Hype Machine for additional Lucero MP3s