by John Schacht
Real Live Tigers
Tony Presley has been around since he formed Real Live Tigers in Austin in 2004 and later relocated to Fayetteville, Ark., and his music manages the neat trick of being sonically warm as he chills you with minor chords and late-night existential narratives. There's a new album on the way, but on RLT's last one, Spirit Animal, in 2011, the organ swaths and liquid guitar parts provide the bloom for shuffling tempos that suggest Sisyphus' eternal task is, somehow, worth the effort. Tindersticks or Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds would be two musical touchstones, with occasional bursts of more sludgy fare. But Presley lacks the vocal timbre of a Stuart Staples or Cave, and his flat drawl and sing/speak will likely test the "all my favorite singers couldn't sing" dictum left to us by Silver Jews' David Berman. But if you clear that hurdle, Real Live Tigers' songs unfurl with dark beauty and provide a suitably compelling bed for Presley's poetic ruminations. With like-minded locals The Adulterers and Jonah's Rifle. $5-$9. Jan. 20, 9 p.m. The Milestone, 3400 Tuckaseegee Road. 704-398-0472.