Here Come the Mummies
9 p.m. Oct. 3 at Buster's Billiards and Backroom, 899 Manchester St. $22-$25. (859) 368-8871.
We all know Halloween is still four weeks away. But let's face it, the holiday spirit has already arrived. Grocery stores are amply stocked with trick-or-treat candy. Television abounds with ads for costume shops and party stores. (It could also be argued the mounting number of political commercials have a certain horror aspect appropriate to the season.) Shoot, there is even a new Dracula movie getting ready to open.
Bringing the Halloween spirit to life with perhaps greater fervency Friday night at Buster's will be the return of what is perhaps the most seriously ghoulish non-country country troupe out of Nashville, Here Come the Mummies.
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A popular Lexington draw for more than five years, the Mummies are a funk-infused pop troupe that performs in the sort of head-to-toe bandage costumes that would do Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee proud. Such a novelty enhances the band's legend, one that states the wardrobe choice helps keep the band members' identities "under wraps" (not an original phrase on my part, folks; dozens of websites and blogs have appropriated the pun). The reason for that is supposedly that the players are contracted to various record labels and music management companies and have to perform incognito. Some writings even claim there could be a Grammy winner or two under the gauze.
Read into that what you may. For the present, the Mummies go by the stage names Mummy Cass (guitarist and lead vocalist), Spaz (keyboardist), Java (a percussionist that "despite being dead, has the insatiable urge to get down"), K.W. Tut (bassist), Eddie Mummy (drummer), Mummy Rah (tenor saxophonist), The Flu (baritone sax man, flutist and clarinetist), B.B. Queen (trumpeter), The Pole (also a bassist) and Midnight Mummy (tenor and baritone saxophonist).
While these Nashville crypt kickers maintain a considerable Lexington following, there are likely patrons who are new to — or simply curious about— the Mummies' decidedly non-frightening party funk. They are directed to the band's website, where more than a dozen free EP recordings are available for download. Some, like Terrifying Funk from Beyond the Grave, date to 2002. But there are three sets — Shocker, Pull It Off and A La Mode — that were recorded this year.
For ticket info on previewing Halloween by getting chummy with the Mummies, go to bustersbb.com.
The Chop Tops/Keith Jones and the Makeshifts
8 p.m. Oct. 3 at Willie's Locally Known. 805 N. Broadway. $12. (859) 281-1116.
Here Comes the Mummies isn't the only band visiting Lexington this weekend with a ghoulish theme strapped to its side.
Soaring out of Santa Cruz, Calif., on what it calls the Dead Man's Hand Tour, is a fearsome rockabilly trio called The Chop Tops. While the band names — vocalist/stand-up drummer Sinner, guitarist Shelby and upright bassist Josh — aren't quite as exotic as those of the Mummies, the monikers cut to the chase in the same manner the trio's roots driven, punk infused surf, twang and rockabilly/psychobilly music does on such albums as the Deke Dickerson-produced Tales of Hot Rods, Hot Broads and Lucky Odds.
Since forming in 1995, The Chop Tops have shared concert bills with such roots music mavericks as John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry, Dick Dale and The Dead Kennedys.
Opening for the band Friday night at Willie's Locally Known will be Keith Jones and the Makeshifts. The Cincinnati outfit has a preference for '40 and '50s inspired jump blues and rock 'n' roll with inspirations that include Buddy Holly, early Elvis Presley, Big Joe Turner and more.
For more info, go to willieslex.com.