The Beatdown

The good, the bad and the ugly of neo-country.

Because neo-country is a lot like Doritos: Go ahead and eat it up, because they'll make more -- fast. And for the next few weeks, like it or not, we'll all have to tolerate it.

Unless we defect. Thank God for y'allternatives.

Upbeats and beatdowns: Last Wednesday night, the Swayback (which will appear next at the hi-dive on Friday, January 14, with Atlas and the Hot House) played a free midnight show at Bender's Tavern. The gig was part of Rebellious Jukebox, a night overseen by Lipgloss DJ Michael Trundle, who promises that the Jukebox will feature a free performance by a local act every other Wednesday. Get out and hear the next gift horse on January 19.

On Thursday, January 13, Three Miles West, Mother Brilliant and Kelli Said chew the fat at the Soiled Dove; the Receders, Jared Astin and Benjamin Ess jazz up the Gothic Theatre; Switchpin, Synthetic Delusion, Ransom, Throat Shot and Ainmatter rip up the Ogden Theatre; and Good Touch Bad Touch and Night Shark circle the Lion's Lair. On Friday, January 14, Ben Park Drive, Step Short, Katalyst and Solar light up Herman's Hideaway, while the Mercury Project lands at the Gothic. And on Saturday, January 15, Redline Defiance will celebrate the release of its new disc, Last of the Cellophane, with Rubber Planet, D.O.R.K. , Saving Verona and the Trampolines at the Gothic; meanwhile, Mission 19, the Menagerie and the Mike Woodard Band raise funds for MS at the Soiled Dove.

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