Music News & Reviews

VHS or Beta hits Busters on heels of release of its latest album

Bassist Mark Palgy, left, and guitarist Craig Pfunder, who founded VHS or Beta in Louisville, now call Brooklyn, N.Y., home.
Bassist Mark Palgy, left, and guitarist Craig Pfunder, who founded VHS or Beta in Louisville, now call Brooklyn, N.Y., home.

VHS or Beta

9 p.m. May 12 at Buster's Billiards & Backroom. 899 Manchester St. $12 in advance, $15 day of show. (859)

Maybe they should start calling themselves DVD or Blu-ray. Seriously. Given all of the changes the Brooklyn, N.Y.-by-way-of-Louisville groove troupe VHS or Beta has experienced during the past decade, a name update wouldn't be out of place.

Initially a progressive dance pop quartet that emerged from a fertile late-'90s underground scene in Louisville, VHS or Beta flirted with mainstream success after the release of the 2004 house/electronica/pop-rock scrapbook album Night on Fire. Since then, the band has undergone considerable change. Guitarist Zeke Buck departed before the release of 2007's breakthrough album Bring on the Comets, and drummer Mark Guidry left ahead of the 2010 follow-up, Diamonds and Death, the record that sent VHS or Beta's founding members — guitarist Craig Pfunder and bassist Mark Palgy — to their new digs in New York.

VHS or Beta's newest recording is Diamonds and Dub, a dub-style remix of Diamonds and Death that features DJ/producer Jacques Renault and engineer/remixer Mark Verbos.

The group's concert Saturday at Buster's will preface a busy week at the venue. On Tuesday, veteran Seattle post- grunge rockers Candlebox will showcase music from their fifth and newest album, Love Stories and Other Musings. (9 p.m. $20, $25.)

On Thursday we have the return of a true country music renegade, Hank III, also known as Hank Williams III. Anything from vintage country indicative of his grandfather's classic works to unforgiving punk/metal spitfire that is very much his own creation can fortify a Hank III show. Fasten thy seat belts for this one. (9 p.m. $18, $22.)

Blues and a Prophet

Blues time is at hand at Cosmic Charlie's, 388 Woodland Avenue. On Saturday, the club hosts singer/songsmith Eric Lindell. A champion of the New Orleans music community, although he was born and raised in California, the prolific Lindell has issued 12 albums since 1996 — the newest of which is I Still Love You — that generously work off of numerous soul music traditions. (8 p.m. $10. (859) 309-9499.

Cosmic Charlie's also has another seriously recommended reason to stay out at least a little late during the week ahead. It will be bringing back the great Chuck Prophet for a concert Wednesday with his band Mission Express. Prophet is a sleek, literate and immensely absorbing writer, and his new album, Temple Beautiful, a set of reflections on his San Francisco roots, is the latest in a series of fine recordings. But live, he is a witty, exuberant performer with extraordinary rock 'n' roll intuition. (7 p.m. $12.)


■ Get a live sampling of the new music that Kentucky folk faves Daniel Martin Moore and Joan Shelley have come up with for their new album, Farthest Field, released earlier this week, during a performance at 7 p.m. Friday at CD Central, 377 South Limestone. (Free. (859) 233-3472.

■ Finally, an old friend returns to town Sunday. Frank Schaap, who regularly played the region as co-vocalist and guitarist with Metropolitan Blues All-Stars and later in blues duets with Joey Broughman, performs two sets at The Green Lantern, 497 West Third Street. (9 p.m., $5. (859) 252-9539.)

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