Being the grandson of one of the best bluegrass banjo players ever (Earl Scruggs) and the son of the one of the best female Nashville producers and performers ever (Gail Davis), what other path in life could Chris Scruggs have chosen but a musical one? Oh sure, you say, genetics mean nothing, but if every minute of every day of your young, impressionable childhood is spent around Grand Ol' Opry performers, you're probably going to gravitate toward being a musician. In fact, I'll bet if you put a duck in a similar situation, you'd end up with one mean guitar-pickin' duck. Well, maybe not a duck so much, but I'll bet a monkey raised in a house like Scruggs would end up in somebody's back-up band. Just like if he had been raised by a couple of mimes, or potters, or was the son of the Poet Laureate of Minnesota, he would be.oh, never mind.
Anyway, go see Chris Scruggs. He's a little bit rockabilly, a little bit of honky tonk, a little bit roots rock, with a whole lot of punk rock attitude and the truly inimitable preciousness that comes with being in your early 20s. Mostly known for his work as part of Rosie Flores' band, BR549, and the Legendary Shack Shackers, Scruggs is a genius on just about anything with strings attached (like fiddles, guitars, banjos, etc.).
Th June 23, 9 p.m. Lee's Liquor Lounge, 101 Glenwood $7. 338-9491, leesliquorlounge.com.
Earplugs are for sissies
If you're going to see Savage Aural Hotbed this week (and oh, you should! You should!) don't bring your mother, unless she really likes experimental music that challenges convention while making things blow up and catch fire at the same time.
"This is really loud!" my mother told me when I took her a couple of years ago. "Are you sure the kids should be so close to the stage?" she asked.
"This is not helping my headache!" she announced near the end of the four-hour-long, staggeringly brilliant set.
Luckily for me, I was close enough to the stage myself that I couldn't hear anything but the percussive grind of chainsaws on oil drums, giant metal springs being stretched and snapped, and all the cool things that go boom during an SAH show.
Tu June 21, 5 p.m. Peavey Plaza, 11th Street & Nicollet Mall. Free. 338-3807, downtownmpls.com.