Doctoral candidate Ali Arant’s time at the University of South Carolina was brief, but the Deep South seems to have made quite an impression. Among the English courses she currently teaches at Wagner College in New York is “Growing Up in Dixie,” something that comes into play on her debut album, June July.
Recorded during her time in Columbia, the album was produced by local musician Darren Woodlief (of Pocket Buddha), who also played guitar and co-wrote several songs. It’s a pleasant listen that touches on folk, country and blues without succumbing to their well-worn cliches.
Arant’s vocals are intimate and effortless, lending the songs a gentle and hypnotic pulse that resembles how Nicole Atkins might have turned out if she had hung out more with her early tourmates, The Avett Brothers, instead of moving on to grander pop stylings.
“Don’t Be Sour” is especially Avetts-like, with banjo bustling brightly through the arrangement, but uncertainty still rears its head — “What we don’t let out will seep out,” Arant sings, “And I don’t fully understand / Why I don’t understand.”
Musically, there is no such lack of confidence as Woodlief and Arant pick their way nimbly through waltz-time meditations (“LiPo”), dirty, Jack White-style electric skronking (“How You Do It”), and the stately blues of the set’s only cover tune, “Trouble In Mind,” a tasteful retread of Richard M. Jones oft revived standard.
More inspired than studied, June July is a fit musical thesis for this professional academic — making it all the more disappointing that we can no longer count her among our local music faculty.
Four Miles, Twelve Doughnuts
Winston’s Wish aims to increase knowledge and understanding of children with autism, and you can help by participating in the 4.donut Race on October 25th. Start at Edventure Children’s Museum, run 2 miles to Krispy Kreme, eat 12 doughnuts, and run back! Registration is required and can be done here before October 23rd at 5 p.m.
3LAU on Sunday, October 26th and the Unofficial Skrillex Mothership Tour After-Party on the 27th. More information and tickets for both can be found here. VIP tables available.
King Lear in Finlay Park
October 16th-18th and 22nd-25th, the South Carolina Shakespeare Company presents William Shakespeare’s King Lear. All performances held at the Finlay Park Ampitheatre at 7:30 PM. For tickets and more information, click here or call 803-665-2000.
The Other Place at Trustus Theatre
Juliana Smithton is a successful neurologist whose life seems to be coming unhinged. A mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, past collides with present and the elusive truth of Juliana’s mental health boils to the surface in The Other Place, running at Trustus Theatre October 17th through November 1st. There will be a talk-back following the matinee on October 19th. Tickets can be purchased here or by calling the box office at 803-254-9732.
Bluegrass, Bidding, and BBQ
Join The Palladium Society Thursday, October 23rd from 7-10 p.m. for its 11th annual silent auction, featuring music by The Mustache Brothers and catering by Bourbon and The Oak Table. Tickets are $30 at the door and include admission, drinks, and food. Get yours online now!
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Local business is searching for new associates who are looking for a fun environment to earn great wages. Great position for college students/recent graduates. Must be well-mannered with excellent customer service skills/work ethic/ability to lift heavy items/must have valid Driver’s License. Call 803-376-4884 or email resume: firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Cupcake now hiring a closing manager. Must be outgoing, customer service focused, able to work evenings and weekends. Apply in person. 1213 Lincoln Street, Columbia SC 29201. freshcupcakes.com