Scene Fixture Bentz Kirby’s Heart Stopped, But It Didn’t Stop Him

Saturday at Art Bar
By Kevin Oliver
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Bentz Kirby | photo by Sean Rayford
If not for a portable defibrillator and a few good Samaritans, local musician and promoter Bentz Kirby likely wouldn’t be here. He wouldn’t be throwing a Thanksgiving weekend benefit for the Harvest Hope Food Bank at Art Bar. And he wouldn’t have been able to meet up at the Waffle House in Five Points to talk about the event.

In October of 2012, Kirby’s heart stopped beating while driving back from a family reunion in the Upstate. His doctors say it should have killed him, or at least left him brain dead from lack of oxygen. But when he and his wife pulled over in front of a Wal-Mart in Easley, a passerby just happened to be a paramedic with a portable defibrillator. The device jolted his heart, and two men on the scene performed CPR until the ambulance arrived. Kirby had a pacemaker put in at a Greenville hospital.

What: Bentz Kirby’s Thanksgiving Benefit
Where: Art Bar, 1211 Park St.
When: Saturday, Nov. 29, 8 p.m.
With: Danny Joe Machado, Darren Woodlief, John Scollon, The Dawn Key Shotguns, Sean Thomson and more
Price: $5 (free with donation of three canned goods)
More Info: 929-0198,
A decent musician, Kirby has proven a vital presence in the Columbia scene by fostering collaborations and friendships between many local acts through his various events. His Right Bank Rails Open Mic series has provided a platform to up-and-comers and local luminaries alike.

“Dealing with the neurological damage has been the biggest problem,” Kirby says of his health problems. He speaks more slowly and more deliberately now, refusing to yield to his new impediments. “It continues to get better, although it’s not back to where it was before. I’m not sure it ever will be.”

Kirby, now 61, had to quit his law practice and go on disability. He’s spent the last two years working to recover. Diet and exercise have been key to that effort.

“I’d like to lose some weight,” Kirby said, noting that the All-Star Special breakfast platter before him won’t help. “Lately I’ve been trying yoga, and I have been walking on a regular basis. I’ve just now started to get to the point where I’m in good enough shape to do more walking.”

He’s back to playing out a bit more these days, too, adapting to his limitations.

“My biggest problem musically is with my memory,” Kirby admits. “There are a lot of songs I’ve played for years, even songs I wrote, that I just can’t remember.” He gets around this by leaning on a notebook full of song lyrics and chord charts for most of the music he plays.

Saturday, he’ll be on stage to host his Art Bar benefit. Instead of a bunch of rock ‘n’ roll acts — because he’s “too old to stay up until 1:45 in the morning any more, anyway” — Kirby invited a laundry list of local singer-songwriters. Darren Woodlief, John Scollon, The Dawn Key Shotguns, Sean Thomson, Josh
McGill and Marv Ward present a cross-section of indie rock and Americana scenes that don’t frequently share space. Daniel Machado of The Restoration headlines, performing sardonic country-rock as his new onstage persona, Danny Joe Machado.

This isn’t a comeback for Kirby; he never really left. But his continued presence will still be celebrated. After Kirby’s hospitalization, fellow songwriter Todd Mathis took a phrase that Kirby wrote about getting staples in his chest and came up with “12 Staples,” a tune that tells the story of the whole ordeal in self-deprecating fashion. Sales from the recorded release of that song went toward the purchase of a portable defibrillator for the Art Bar. The device will be dedicated during the show.

“It’s a fitting time to do it,” Kirby says of the gesture. “I won’t need it because mine is implanted now, but maybe it can help someone else like the one that helped me.”

Ivadell’s Flow

By Patrick Wall
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
(Broken Circles)

Find It:

I wrote that Ivadell’s January EP The Young Design was a promising start, which I guess was kind of damning with faint praise. It wasn’t wholly a condemnation: The Young Design was flush with good ideas, some of which even made for great songs, but, like most bands’ inaugural efforts, it was overlong and undercooked and it felt tentative, the product of a band still getting its legs under it.

Ten months later, Ivadell, now linked to boutique Brooklyn indie rock label Broken Circles, returns with Flow, its second short-player, and its patient, spacious post-hardcore has grown smarter and sharper in the interim. The band still wears its influences (Quicksand, Deftones, Failure, Neurosis) on its sleeve — literally, in the case of its Radiohead-ripping T-shirts — but Flow features keener syntheses of those influences, fusing and forging them into something that’s nigh-definitively its own. “For the Love of Will” marries post-rock’s shimmering ambience with hardcore’s viscous thrust; “Breaking Light” might be the best song Isis never wrote.

Perhaps most importantly, it seems Ivadell’s figured out how to build its songs around singer Josh Gilley. Gilley is, for sure, a singer, and a fine one, his voice strong but mutable, and capable of gossamer falsetto. Consider the mammoth pop-rock of “Flickering,” where the jet-engine roar would, in less sure hands, drown Gilley’s discursive diary entries. But Gilley’s voice soars over the dirge; guitar lines interact with and refract off his melodies, creating some interesting harmonic and dynamic tension. Like the work of Miami’s Torche, it demonstrates that heavy music and catchy music don’t have to be diametrically opposed.

“I think I found the flow,” Gilley sings on “For the Love of Will.” The line gives the EP its title, but doubles as a declaration. Still relatively nascent, Ivadell’s hit on something that sounds like the beginnings of a stride. Flow is a fine step forward, and it finds the quintet on solid footing going forward.

RyattFienix’s Ryse of the Fienix

By Eric Tullis
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
ryattfienix kenzie
RyattFienix with Kenzie.
Ryse of the Fienix

Find It:

Before we make the case that Columbia can brag about producing a genuine pop star in RyattFienix, consider the recent hype surrounding Maryland’s Logic: While he’s a skilled rapper with an interesting backstory, those things alone aren’t enough to separate him from a freshman class of other critically acclaimed emcees. The same goes for RyattFienix and her female pop peers.

In hip-hop, the standard for greatness is heavily maintained by a discerning horde of genre purists. Meanwhile, R&B, country and pop aspirants are judged by different rubrics — oftentimes favoring cheap entertainment over musical achievement, as with TV shows like The Voice, American Idol and The X Factor, which prioritize onscreen drama over producing viable stars.

Ryse of the Fienix RyattFienix

Ryse of the Fienix, RyattFienix’s newly released debut, does its best to play both sides of this equation. Tightly produced and ultra-formatted, the record rides pristine, digitized beats and features reliably crowd-pleasing guests — rappers Dizzy Wright, Bubba Sparxx, Rittz — and slam-dunk pop hooks. It’s a super-strategized album that separates RyattFienix from pop peers like Fergie and Jessie J. Swinging for the fences, she still manages songs that are dignified and immersive, a rare feat in today’s mainstream pop market.

“Rebound” finds RyattFienix striving to sing her post-boyfriend blues away on an open freeway of bass drums: “You caught me off the backboard,” she croons with dangerous charisma, “now I’m banging on the headboard.” A similar strand of true-life relationship riffing carries this album in other places, avoiding the synthetic debris that clutter other pop songs. There’s “Give and Take,” which opens with ballad-like dramatics before marching into a beautiful condemnation, then settling back into its original elegant form. Elsewhere, the sorrow is just as strong as the sunshine — “Tattoo Love” excels, setting romantic rage to skittering beats and torturous twists of blues guitar.

Even if RyattFienix can’t crack the commercial charts just yet — or even land a song on a TV — she’s already risen to fantastic heights, making her future success seem all but assured.

The Fishing Journal’s Feathers & Twine

By Kyle Petersen
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
The Fishing Journal
Feathers & Twine

Find It:

Although it’s the third post-punk record singer and guitarist Chris Powell has pressed under his Fishing Journal moniker, Feathers & Twine is the first to feature a consistent lineup and clear vision. Powell recorded each of the parts for his eponymous debut on his own. That record wore its brawling, unabashed affection for Superchunk and Hüsker Dü proudly and openly. Last year’s Ditch EP saw Josh Latham take over behind the drum kit, while Burnt Books guitarist Chuck Sligh took over for Reno Gooch on bass halfway through recording.

The Fishing Journal’s newfound steadiness pays dividends. The new EP features a more distinct and assured personality than the band’s past efforts. Both sidemen have defining moments —the luxuriously plodding tempo of the title cut leaves tons of space for Latham to demonstrate his chops, and “Bridge Lights” rides Sligh’s throbbing bass riff into a ricocheting arrangement that showcases the group’s raucous stop-start shifts. Powell’s penchant for razor-sharp guitar melodies remains, thankfully, intact.

Feathers & Twine is also the least punk effort The Fishing Journal has put forth. Despite the joyful rage and fevered shouts that pepper these songs, each of the arrangements gets room to breathe. Two of the record’s four songs stretch past the four-minute mark, leading to moments that move the band well beyond its barreling approach. Maintaining previous strengths through songs that are impressively dynamic, The Fishing Journal has stepped firmly into its own.

Columbia SC Club Calendar: Nov. 26-Dec. 3

By Free Times
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Richard Strater plays New Brookland Tavern on Saturday.
Submissions for Where It’s At are due by 5 p.m. the Friday before Free Times publishes on Wednesday. Send to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Wednesday 26
live music
Delaney’s: D. Brown
Hemingway’s: Lucas War Hero
Kelly’s: John Wesley Satterfield
Main Street Cafe: Six in the City
New Brookland Tavern: Listener, The Homeless Gospel Choir, Crowns
Tin Roof: Brent McDonald
Utopia: D.B Bryant & Vince McKinley
wild wing cafe (Irmo): Most Wanted
wild wing cafe (The Village): DM Radio
wild wing cafe (The Vista): Outshyne
Chevy’s: Nightowl Karaoke w/ Chris 2nd
555 Lounge: T & J’s Karaoke
Art Bar: Linda’s Carraoke
Belle’s: Karaoke
Corner Pocket: Karaoke
CR Station House: Karaoke
Tsubaki: Karaoke C
dance, djs & misc.
British Bulldog Pub: Pub Trivia
Drip (Five points): Poetry Reading
Jillian’s: Trivia
Locals: Trivia
Mellow Mushroom: Trivia
Rockaway Athletic Club: Trivia w/ Dr. Samsec

Thursday 27
[Due to the Thanskgiving holiday, some events may not proceed as normally scheduled. Call ahead.]
live music
Utopia: Open Mic Night w/ John Scollon
Speakeasy: The Tony Lee Jazz Quartet
Applebee’s (Oneil Ct.): Karaoke w/ DJ Regina
Bentley’s Beach House: Karaoke
Corner Pocket: Karaoke
Kelly’s: Karaoke w/ DJ Snow
ale House lounge: Linda’s Carraoke
Ozzie’s Country Island: Showtime Karaoke
Shooter’s Grill & Pub: Karaoke with Bobby Whittle
South Lake Saloon: S.I.N. and Karaoke with D.J. Shelly O
Tsubaki: Karaoke
dance, djs & misc.
Art Bar: Foundation Danse Macabre
Carolina Ale House (Vista): Trivia w/ Ryan
Carolina Wings (Cayce): Team Trivia
Carolina Wings (Lexington): Quizon Trivia
Corner Pocket: Shag Night
Foxfield BAr & Grill: Drunk Bingo
JILLIAN’S: Shaggin’ in the Shack
Main street Cafe: DJ
PT’s 1109: Thirsty Thursday Drag Show
TLC Sports Bar & Grill: Trivia
Uncle Fester’s: Quizon Trivia
The Wild Hare (Irmo): Quiz the Masses Trivia
The Woody: DJ Chadly D

Friday 28
live music
Bill’s Music Shop & Pickin’ Parlor: Open Bluegrass Jam
British Bulldog Pub: The Runaway Jug Band
Delaney’s: Jim LeBlanc
Hemingway’s: Weekend Bender
Main Street Cafe: S & M
New Brookland Tavern: All New Badges, SYR, Alarm Drum
Pearlz Upstairz: Robert Gardiner Jazz Quartet
Rue77: The Terence Young Experience
Speakeasy: Mike Frost Jazz Quartet
Tin Roof: Andrew Velez Band
Utopia: Vanilla Creme
wild wing cafe (Irmo): Dave Love
wild wing cafe (The Village): High Maintenance
wild wing cafe (The Vista): New Galaxy
Blue Fin: Karaoke
Friends Club: Linda’s Carraoke
Quaker Steak & Lube: Karaoke
Shooter’s Grill & Pub: Karaoke with Bobby Whittle
Tsubaki: Karaoke
dance, djs & misc.
Corner Pocket: Shag Night
Kelly’s: DJ Guy
Legion Post 215: Disco Night
Liberty Tap Room: DJ
Red Door Tavern: Comedy Without a Neto
TLC Sports Bar & Grill: DJ DDL
Uncle Fester’s: DJ Snow
The Woody: DJ

Saturday 29
live music
Art Bar: Bentz Kirby’s Thanksgiving Benefit
Bill’s Music Shop & Pickin’ Parlor: Classic Country Music & Dancing
Henry’s: Moving Mercury
Jillian’s: The Liquid Hustle
new brookland tavern: Richard Strater, Pretty Feet, Vilai Harrington, Brik Cash
Pearlz Upstairz: Megan Farish
Skyline Club: The Long Road Home
Speakeasy: Robert Gardiner Jazz Quartet
Tin Roof: Anthony Ohio
Utopia: Lundy & the Usuals
Venue on Broad: Reggie Sullivan
wild wing cafe (Irmo): Acoustic w/ David Adedokun
wild wing cafe (The Village): Bad Cat Sunshine
wild wing cafe (The Vista): Tokyo Joe
karaoke Chevy’s: Nightowl Karaoke w/ Chris 2nd
Belle’s: Karaoke
Corner Pocket: Karaoke
Shooter’s Grill & Pub: Karaoke
Tipsy Toad Tavern: Karaoke
Tsubaki: Karaoke
Wet Willie’s: Karaoke
dance, djs & misc.
Blue: DJ Riggles
Liberty Tap Room: DJ
Lucky 13: DJ Red, DJ Chadly D
Main Street Cafe: DJ
Publick House: Quizon Trivia
Scooner’s: DJ3
Uncle Fester’s: DJ Snow
Wild Wing Café (Irmo): DJ Tom Wise
The Woody: DJ

Sunday 30
live music
All Star Pizza: Ray Piazzola
British Bulldog Pub: WXRY Unsigned w/ Sleeping Policeman
Delaney’s: Singer-songwriter w/ David A.
PT’s 1109: Karaoke w/ DJ Snow
Tsubaki: Karaoke
dance, djs & misc.
Kelly’s: Team Trivia
The Pizza Joint: Quizon Trivia
Speakeasy: Mo’ Betta Soul Sundays w/ DJ Preach Jacobs

Monday 1
live music
Kelly’s: Open Mic
Hemingway’s: Karaoke
dance, djs & misc.
Buckaroos Grill & Bar: DJ Ray Ray
Publick House: Quizon Trivia
Salty Nut Cafe: Trivia

Tuesday 2
live music
All Star Pizza: Open Mic w/ Ray Piazzola
Lucky’s: Open Mic
South Lake Saloon: Open Mic w/ AL-G
CJ’s: Karaoke w/ DJ Slinky
Corner Pocket: Karaoke
Tsubaki: Karaoke
Uncle Fester’s: Linda’s Carraoke
Wet Willie’s: Karaoke
dance, djs & misc.
Carolina Wings (Red BAnk): Quizon Trivia
Cover 3: Sex Trivia
Flying Saucer: Trivia Bowl
Liberty tap room: DJ
MainStreet cafe: Trivia
Mellow Mushroom (Lexington): Quizon Trivi
Quaker Steak & Lube: Team Trivia
Red Door Tavern: Comedy Open Mic once
STATE STReet PUB: Trivia
Wings & Ale (Columbia):Trivia
Yesterdays: Trivia

Wednesday 3
live music
Delaney’s: Josh McCaa
New Brookland Tavern: Amber Willoughby, Paigeand BoJack,Raven Murphy
Utopia: Marv Ward & Mike Fore
karaoke Chevy’s: Nightowl Karaoke w/ Chris 2nd
555 Lounge: T & J’s Karaoke Checked 1/15
Art Bar: Linda’s Carraoke Chec
Belle’s: KaraokeChecked 1/15ked 1/15
Corner Pocket: Karaoke Checked 1/15
CR Station House: Karaoke 1/15
Tsubaki: Karaoke C
dance, djs & misc.
British Bulldog Pub: Pub Trivia
Drip (Five points): Poetry Reading 1/22
Jillian’s: Trivia
Locals: Trivia
Mellow Mushroom: Trivia
Rockaway Athletic Club: Trivia w/ Dr. Samsecked

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