Editor's note: Music Farm Columbia's grand opening has been postponed because of construction delays. Tickets to Friday's grand opening concert will be refunded; ticket holders will be able to attend a rescheduled Blue Dogs date and another Music Farm Columbia show. A new opening date will be announced in the next few days.
After months of anticipation, Columbia’s Music Farm — sister to the Charleston club of the same name — opens its doors this Wednesday, providing the city the 1,000-capacity venue it has lacked since Headliners closed back in 2009. So how does its first week stack up?
Wednesday 3 – Music Break
The first event inside the new venue bills itself as a networking opportunity more than a rock show. Organized by Columbia Opportunity Resource (COR), this series has previously taken place at Jake’s in Five Points. The formal networking takes place from 5 to 6 p.m. Musicians and COR members get in free. The subsequent music showcase offers some enticing local acts, including hip-hop scene leader Fat Rat da Czar, the normally synth-heavy pop-rock outfit Death of Paris performing acoustic, and the refreshing indie rock eclecticism of Lazy A & The Green Thing, led by The Restoration’s Adam Corbett. The searing, jam-friendly roots-rock outfit Josh Roberts & the Hinges fuels the 8 p.m. afterparty.
6 p.m., $20 ($10 for just the afterparty). [This event has been moved next door to the adjoining Tin Roof]
Friday 5 – Grand Opening: A Second Harvest
The official grand opening party plays it safe with some familiar names in Charleston’s The Blue Dogs and Occasional Milkshake, a project led by Hootie & the Blowfish’s Mark Bryan. Both bands traffic in family-friendly roots-rock and present a welcoming environment to check out the new venue. Keeping with the ‘90s theme are The Archetypes, a local outfit that hasn’t played since 1991. Special guests are rumored; keep your eyes and ears peeled. 7 p.m., $15 ($12 advance).
Sunday 7 – Jazz Showcase & Workshop
This free, low-key — and biweekly — afternoon event offers some hope that the Farm might provide a sorely needed replacement for Hunter-Gatherer’s jazz workshops, started by the illustrious Skipp Pearson. That program’s organizer, Mark Rouse, stepped in for the jazz scene patriarch before the restaurant ended the series. He expects to use the same format as he has in the past and hopefully attract a broad swath of local and regional musicians with the event’s customary competition-free scheduling. 1 p.m., free.
Wednesday 10 – Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band
Asheville’s Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band frequently swings through Columbia with a swirling, funky sound that injects elements of prog rock, jazz, old-school rap and ‘70s soul into high-energy, jam-friendly romps. The group presents the first chance to get a feel for the kind of party atmosphere the Farm can provide. Since the band has also performed numerous times at New Brookland Tavern, it will also provide an interesting test case for bands looking to graduate up from the 400-capacity club across the river. The Fritz opens. 9 p.m., $12 ($10 advance).
Taken together, these four shows seem a tentative test of the Columbia waters, an impression borne out by the rest of the fall calendar, which is sprinkled with some safe connections to the Farm’s Charleston base (Atlas Road Crew, Stop Light Observations) and some dependable favorites that align with the Tin Roof’s country-rooted interests (Corey Smith, Patrick Davis).
Still, the club has several shows on the horizon — Washed Out on Sept. 12 and Marc Broussard on Sept. 21, Big Gigantic and Run the Jewels in October, O.A.R. and Dumpstaphunk in November — that prove that it’s serious about booking the kind of respected, middle-tier acts that have typically bypassed the market.
It’s also worth noting that these shows were on the books before the Farm inked a deal with the booking colossus AC Entertainment, the company that programs Tennessee’s Bonnaroo. The fall calendar for Asheville’s The Orange Peel, a club with a similar capacity and a similar partnership with AC, offers a plethora of exciting names — Matisyahu, Chromeo, The Afghan Whigs, The New Pornographers, The Jayhawks, Kacey Musgraves, and Method Man & Redman. Hopefully, the Farm’s spring lineup will begin to follow suit.
Now Hiring in the Vista!
Hickory Tavern is opening mid-December and looking for bartenders, servers, hosts and kitchen staff. Apply in person: Click for details!
A Re-Imagined Christmas Carol at Trustus
Watch as five actors perform all the characters of Charles Dickens’ classic story and create a live musical score in a production that had audiences and critics raving last year. Get your tickets here!
Surreal Innovation Salon Now Open
Columbia’s newest total care spa is now taking appointments and offering $10 off services $25 or more for first time clients. Location, hours, and more info here.
Make Your Own Beer and Wine!
Come get started on your “liquid hobby” and help us celebrate our 46th year in the Columbia area. Bet Mar Liquid Hobby Shop: 736 St. Andrews Road.
This Week @ Social
Edward Shouse performs Friday the 21st, and on Saturday Absolut Vodka presents A Night in Sweden, with specialty Absolut drinks and live music by Christian Slick. Follow us!
Going someplace cool this weekend?
Let The Backpacker help you go lightweight, comfortable and in style! Patagonia, Prana, Merrell, The North Face and more! Click for location, hours and more info.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season: