The British Are Coming, by Herman Snell | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

The British Are Coming, by Herman Snell

British indie-pop invades Martin's Sunday night.

The birth of MTV in August 1981 was boycotted and banned in Jackson. I wanted my MTV. So at the tender age of 11, teen angst set in. Months later, the local cable company gave in to the pop gods, and my musical education began.

Back then, MTV wasn't a corporate cliché and didn't have that many videos on its shelves, so a new wave of obscure, mostly British music videos started reaching the nation's young eyes and ears from bands like The Eurythmics, The Smiths, Duran Duran, The Clash, Devo, The Police and Talking Heads.

At 16, I was fortunate to know of a double-wide trailer called W.C. Don's off West Street, which Rolling Stone magazine once called "One of the top 10 dives in America." There I saw R.E.M., The Flaming Lips, The Connells and hundreds of other new "college radio" bands. I soon became a DJ at Don's, spinning bands like Jesus and Mary Chain, Bauhaus, The Psychedelic Furs and The Fall. The English record labels 4AD and Beggar's Banquet exposed me to other British labels like Factory, Creation and Sarah Records.

Two of the finest alternative-indie-Brit-pop bands to spring from the late Sarah Records will be playing at Martin's Lounge (214 S. State St., 354-9712) Sunday, Oct. 27. Trembling Blue Stars and Aberdeen are in from London for a three-week tour; they will be joined at Martin's by Jason Loewenstein of Sebadoh and Teenbeat's Tracy Shedd—four international acts on one night in the Capital City.

If you are unfamiliar with the atmospheric acoustics of the early Creation and Sarah Records sound, think of indie-pop such as Mazzy Star meets Belle and Sebastian, Low, Jesus and Mary Chain or House of Love. Think of male/female-layered guitar-pop harmonies with inspiring lyrics on a crisp fall evening in late October.

Bob Wratten, the singer behind the now-legendary Field Mice, will be performing an all-acoustic set of his lovely tunes with the London-based Trembling Blue Stars from their latest Sub-Pop release.

Los Angeles-based popsters and former Sarah Records label-mate Aberdeen released its first full-length album, "Homesick and Happy To Be Here," in June on Better Looking Records. The album comprises over a decade's worth of songs that were finally set to tape with the help of former Mighty Lemon Drops guitarist Dave Newton.

This tour is a rare deal for the band (and for Jackson) as Aberdeen lead singer Beth has recently joined up with Trembling Blue Stars. She's hopping the pond for this three-week outing, doing double duty for both bands.

Jason Loewenstein, of indie-rocking Sebadoh fame, will perform songs from his June solo debut, "At Sixes And Sevens." He writes on his Web site: "We look forward to seeing you in your home town ... please keep an eye out for the tan Chrysler station wagon with the expired Kentucky tags."

Herman Snell is the music listings editor of the Jackson Free Press. Send performance info to: [e-mail missing]

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