Concerts in Columbia: Oct 16-22

Gareth Emery, Sister Hazel, Patrick Davis, The Mantras, Jordan Igoe
By Free Times
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Thursday 16
Gareth Emery — Strangely, both the name “Gareth Emery” and the cover art (a 1960s Ford Mustang parked in the middle of an old highway) for the 34-year-old dance maestro’s recent, techno-fueled Drive LP invoke country music — which would only be problematic if Emery’s reputation wasn’t grounded in remixing the bejeezus out of anything with a rhythm. Somehow a crack at country doesn’t seem too far-fetched for the guy who somehow made a Britney Spears song (“I Wanna Go”) tolerable enough for a rave setting. — Eric Tullis

Social: 8 p.m. $9; 603-4313, socialcolumbiasc.com

Sister Hazel — Hootie’s to blame for Sister Hazel. The Florida quintet’s “All For You” — a perfectly milquetoast slice of AAA-oriented jangle-pop — topped the charts in 1997, some three years after Hootie & the Blowfish and “Only Wanna Be With You” blew open the gates for a slew of bands that served as cheerier alternatives to grunge’s bleakness. Sister Hazel, though, didn’t share Hootie’s ineffable charm, and still doesn’t; the group is wholly, unambitiously, antiseptically middle of the road. Yawn. — Patrick Wall

Music Farm: 9 p.m., $20 ($17 advance); 252-9392, musicfarm.com

Friday 17
Patrick Davis — Over the years, Camden native and singer-songwriter Patrick Davis has cut back on his touring schedule as his immensely successful career as a professional songwriter blossomed. But he’s never fully left behind his solo career. In fact, Davis returns to Columbia during a string of dates through the Southeast in advance of his new LP Red, White & Blue Jeans, a star-studded effort with turns from Jewel, Robert Randolph and Branford Marsalis that accents his trademark country craftsmanship. The Tarlatans open. — Kyle Petersen

Music Farm: 9 p.m., $25 ($20 advance); 471-2779, musicfarm.com

Kaleb Hensley — Hailing originally from the small town of Lenoir, North Carolina, Kaleb Hensley packed up and headed to Nashville with nothing but his own talent and ambition. His hard work and dedication have paid off. With charismatic vocals and solid songwriting, Hensley creates a palatable country-rock vibe. — Dade Driggers

Tin Roof: 10 p.m., free; 771-1558; tinroofbars.com

Pick ‘Em by Kyle Petersen
Saturday 18 — Funk You
Funk You is an Augusta, Georgia-based progressive funk band that specializes in a tight and propulsive re-imagining of the genre. The band borrows from jazz and reggae without getting bogged down in excessive cross-pollination or improvisational asides. Lead singer Gavin Hamilton further sets Funk You apart from similar acts with a soulful, charismatic delivery that gives the group some real gravitas. With Jackaroe.

Conundrum Music Hall: 8:30 p.m., $5; 250-1295; conundrum.us

VS

Saturday 18 — The Mantras
Despite similarly progressive inspirations, Greensboro’s The Mantras revel in more obvious jam band tropes — a carefree mish-mash of styles, lengthy guitar workouts, groove-based songwriting. That’s not to say that the group isn’t good at what they do. They’ve toured and collaborated with a who’s who from the jam band scene, including Umphrey’s McGee, String Cheese Incident and Tea Leaf Green, developing a great live rep and a killer light show to boot. With Thee Mad Frogs.

New Brookland Tavern: 9 p.m., $10; 791-4413, newbrooklandtavern.com


Saturday 18
Justin Hayward — Justin Hayward is the voice of the classical-leaning rock band The Moody Blues, and his solo shows are peppered with standbys like “Knights In White Satin” and “Your Wildest Dreams.” But he also draws from a long string of solo albums in a similarly orchestrated style. — Kevin Oliver

Newberry Opera House: 8 p.m.; $67.50; 803-276-6264; newberryoperahouse.com

Keller Williams — Keller Williams doesn’t even turn up as the top Google search result for his own name. He’s fourth-down, after three hits for a Texas-based real estate titan. It’s a shame: Williams is an exceptionally skilled and versatile guitarist and an engaging performer who often creates staggeringly complex, world music-influenced compositions with little more than an acoustic guitar and an Echoplex. But then again, maybe it’s not: Williams’ lysergic acoustic dance music — yes, he calls it “ADM” — doesn’t offer a whole lot to those not at least a little in tune with the jam scene, and those hippies don’t rely much on Google to find new music. — Patrick Wall

Music Farm: 9 p.m., $20 ($17 advance); 252-9392, musicfarm.com

Sinners & Saints — Ramshackle Charlotte duo Sinners & Saints follows in the old-time tradition — but not so much sonically as practically: They make complex, emotional and honest music with a handful of acoustic instruments. From these basic elements, they spin sincere, heartbroken ballads and rough-and-tumble jams. Interestingly, some of The Avett Brothers’ best material — the early stuff — was in the same minimal country-punk mode. With respectable songcraft and whiskey-and-stubble sincerity, Sinners & Saints possesses similar promise. — Corbie Hill

Art Bar: 9 p.m., $5; 919-0198; artbarsc.com

SceneSC at the State Fair
Thu-Sun 16-19 — 3 Nights, 9 Bands

Music continues this week on the South Carolina State Fair’s Pepsi Grandstand with sets from Britt Nicole and MC Hammer, but the sound-centered blog SceneSC is making sure homegrown up-and-comers also get an opportunity. On Thursday, three convincing county-rock acts with Palmetto State ties — Amigo, Jordan Igoe and Susto — take the WIS Stage. On Saturday, two of Columbia’s best indie rock groups — the alternately nihilistic and uplifting Can’t Kids, the relentlessly anthemic Dear Blanca — play. On Sunday, the intimate and disarming Post-Timey String Band opens, while the rootsy, synth-rich Upstate power pop band Grey Spy headlines. — Jordan Lawrence

WIS Stage (South Carolina State Fair): 6-9 p.m., free with fair admission; scenesc.com/2014-state-fair


Sunday 19
Callosum — Columbia’s own Callosum brings hip-hop instrumentals with welcoming, enveloping house textures. Glowing Screens bring danceable, ‘80s-inspired singles, coming across as a dystopic translation of that era’s mall-pop. Academia opens. Tetherball headlines. — Corbie Hill

Conundrum Music Hall: 8:30 p.m., $5; 250-1295; conundrum.us

Tuesday 21
The Pen Test — The Pen Test’s two 2014 releases for Moniker Records bear different overarching themes: The LP Interstate is about “the mental and physical setting of travel under duress”; small platter Biology deals with “the exploitation of ecological systems to affect biological systems funded by military-industrial-media systems.” But the resulting sounds are largely the same: minimal and minimalist arpeggiated drones set to Kraftwerkian motorik beats that hiss and sigh more than they thump. — Patrick Wall

Conundrum Music Hall: 8:30 p.m., $8; 250-1295, conundrum.us

Wednesday 22
Habana Sax — Founded in the early 1990s at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Cuba, Habana Sax delivers a delightfully spicy and jazz-inspired repertory of the best in Afro-Cuban dance music. The four saxophonists transition seamlessly from salsa to smooth jazz, all with nuanced support from percussionist Mauricio Gutierrez. — Jude Fox

Newberry Opera House: 8 p.m., $10; 276-6264, newberryoperahouse.com

Looking for more info on concerts and nightlife in Columbia SC? Visit
free-times.com/music.
Jealousy Mountain Duo — All genre categorizations seem to fail to describe Jealousy Mountain Duo, a German guitar and percussion pairing. Guitarist Berger performs an impressive variety of musical riffs over the frantic polyrhythms of drummer Schneider. The juxtaposition of these two disparate sounds creates an immersive post-modern instrumental soundscape. — Jude Fox

Conundrum Music Hall: 8:30 p.m., $8; 250-1295, conundrum.us

We Roll Like Madmen Wants to Save America’s Youth From Raving Itself to Death

Friday at Conundrum Music Hall
By Michael Spawn
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
We Roll Like Madmen
Sitting at a table in a laid-back college bar, Jordan Young gesticulates wildly over a pint of beer.

“Electronic dance music is an American notion,” he says. “It’s an amalgamation of all these different genres that Americans decided to lump under the same name, and all of the sudden it’s this huge behemoth. It’s a cash cow. It’s all about the rave, the drugs, the whole culture of this super shiny, super ephemeral kind of pseudo-spiritual experience. It’s the millennial generation condensed into this animalistic, self-indulgent thing that operates under the guise of transcendence.”

Young has plenty to say about state of electronic music. So, too, does Chris Tollack, his collaborator in We Roll Like Madmen, the electro-pop project they formed in 2010 as undergrads at Clemson University. With the chillwave craze from a couple years ago having mostly subsided and with Columbia’s famed Toro Y Moi now living in California, the duo has become the city’s most conspicuous purveyor of digitally grounded pop music — a difficult existence in a town that’s not known for its homegrown electronic music.

“There are a lot of people out there performing electronic music,” Young says, “but they’re standing behind a laptop. These solo electronic artists rely on automation, and that leaves a lot to be desired. So we went about it like, ‘How can we take automation and use it as a means to end without totally relying on it? Instead of just falling back and letting a computer do everything, how can we make this performative?’”

What: We Roll Like Madmen
Where: Conundrum Music Hall, 626 Meeting St.
When: Friday, Oct. 17, 9 p.m.
With: Salvo, Lazy A, Ahomari
Price: $5
More Info: 250-1295, conundrum.us.
With that in mind, We Roll Like Madmen’s live set builds from a broad palette of synthesizers and automatic processors. With few exceptions, every digital note and sound effect is triggered live onstage, in the very moment the audience experiences it. Based on the complexities of February’s The Kids Must Die, the duo’s most recent EP, these live recreations clearly push Young and Tollack to the edge of their capabilities.



The album is a moody, often bleakly ominous affair. While Young handles all of the vocals, he and Tollack split the instrumentation evenly. The result is more meditative than mellow,a brooding, self-reflexive rumination on a genre that is often seen as little more than a party favor. There are occasional stabs at dance-floor pop and sprigs of hip-hop (Believe, lead emcee for The Grand Prize Winners From Last Year, and local chieftain Fat Rat da Czar make guest appearances), but the album’s greatest success lies its ability to communicate the chilling isolation of electronic music in an increasingly automated world.

It’s like the Postal Service with less smug cleverness and more prescription drugs. In fact, the songs are doused in such a thick haze of effects that it takes a few spins to uncover the duo’s bright and articulate themes.

“Our concept for The Kids Must Die is very much holding a punk-rock mirror up to EDM,” Young offers. “It’s that mentality of, ‘Look how ugly you are, look how ugly life is, and look at how it’s all your fault.’”

Looking for more info on concerts and nightlife in Columbia SC? Visit
free-times.com/music.
We Roll Like Madmen will push even further in the coming months. Due out on Oct. 28, Hermetic Vol. 1 kicks off a series of multimedia EPs that promise daring visuals to accompany the group’s bold sonic statements. For We Roll Like Madmen, the fight is far from over.

“EDM isn’t really what Jordan and I do,” Tollack adds. “It’s one of the things we’re reacting against. We’re trying to show the distinction between this glossy, photoshopped ideal of what rave culture is versus the harsh reality that the kids are still f#!ked-up at the end of the night.”

Columbia SC Club Calendar: Oct 15-22

By Free Times
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Wednesday 15
live music

Colonial Life Arena: Icona Pop
Delaney’s: Brent Lundy
Mainstreet Cafe: Open Mic w/ Nikki Lee & Herbie Jeffcoat
new brookland tavern: Chasing Jonah
Red Door Tavern: Acoustic Open Mic w/ Adam Corbett
Utopia: Chris Compton

karaoke

555 Lounge: T & J’s Karaoke
Art Bar: Linda’s Carraoke
Corner Pocket: Karaoke
CR Station House: Karaoke
Tsubaki: Karaoke

dance, djs & misc.

British Bulldog Pub: Pub Trivia
Drip (Five points): Poetry Reading
Jillian’s: Trivia
Locals: Trivia
Mellow Mushroom: Trivia
QUAKER STEAK: Bike Night
Wet WILLIE’S: Quizon Trivia
Wild Hare (Vista): QuizTheMasses Triviahecked\ed

Thursday 16
live music

British Bulldog Pub: Kenny George Band
Delaney’s: D. Brown
Hemingway’s: Mike Reid
Music Farm: Sister Hazel, Charlie Oxford
new brookland tavern: Acacia Strain, Plot in You, Cane Hill, Robot Plant, Ritual Oblivion
Pearlz Upstairz: Reggie Sullivan
Tin Roof: Heroes at Last
Utopia: Open Mic Night w/ Bentz Kirby & Jim Brightly

karaoke

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
Social: Garreth Emery
REd Door Tavern: Comed Open Mic Challenge
TLC Sports Bar & Grill: Trivia
Uncle Fester’s: Quizon Trivia
The Wild Hare (Irmo): Quiz the Masses Trivia
The Woody: DJ Chadly D

Friday 17
live music

Bill’s Music Shop & Pickin’ Parlor: Open Bluegrass Jam weekly
Blazing Copper: Home Brewed
British Bulldog Pub: The KBC Trio
Conundrum Music Hall: Salvo, We Roll Like Madmen, Lazy A, Ahomari
Delaney’s: Barefoot & Reckless
Hemingway’s: Interstate Exiles
Mainstreet Cafe: Lefty at the Washout
Music Farm: Patrick Davis
new brookland tavern: TK, Logan Baldwin, Lionhearted
Pearlz Upstairz: Robert Gardiner Jazz Quartet
Speakeasy: Mike Frost Band
tin roof: Kaleb Hensley
Utopia: The Makeshifts
wild wing cafe (Irmo): Tokyo Joe
wild wing cafe (The Village): Good Times Duo
wild wing cafe (The Village): Justin Adams Band

karaoke

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.

Art Bar: DJ Arambulance
Kelly’s: DJ Guy
Legion Post 215: Disco Night
Liberty Tap Room: DJ
Red Door Tavern: Scott Eason (stand-up comedy)
TLC Sports Bar & Grill: DJ DDL
Uncle Fester’s: DJ Snow
The Woody: DJ

Saturday 18
live music

Art Bar: Sinners & Saints, Not The Post-Timey String Band
Bill’s Music Shop & Pickin’ Parlor: Classic Country Music & Dancing
British Bulldog Pub: The KBC Trio
Conundrum Music Hall: Funk You Jackaroe, Bossman
Jillian’s: High Maintenance
Music Farm: Keller Williams
new brookland tavern: The Mantras, Thee Mad Frogs
Newberry Opera House: Jim Hayward
Pearlz Upstairz: Chris Andrews
River Rat: Pinetop Lightning
skyline club: Anybody’s Guess
Speakeasy: Robert Gardiner Jazz Quartet
tin roof: Jackson Mohr
Utopia: Brent Lundy & the Usuals
Venue on Broad: John Satterfield
wild wing cafe (Irmo): Dimachaeri Band
wild wing cafe (The Village): Bad Cash
wild wing cafe (The Village): Krotona
Zorba’s: Michael Smith
karaoke Chevy’s: Nightowl Karaoke w/ Chris 2nd
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
Social: JES once
Uncle Fester’s: DJ Snow
Wild Wing Café (Irmo): DJ Tom Wise
The Woody: DJ

Sunday 19
live music

All Star Pizza: Ray Piazzola
British Bulldog Pub: WXRY Unsigned w/ Haley Dreis
Conundrum Music Hall: Tetherball, Callosum, Glowing Screens, Academia
Music Farm: Jazz Showcase & Workshop

karaoke

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 20
live music

Conundrum Music Hall: Coast 2 Coast Live
Kelly’s: Open Mic
new brookland tavern: Captain Green, The Liquid Hustle

karaoke

Hemingway’s: Karaoke

dance, djs & misc.

Buckaroos Grill & Bar: DJ Ray Ray
Publick House: Quizon Trivia
Red Door Tavern: Comedy Open Mic
Salty Nut Cafe: Trivia

Tuesday 21
live music

All Star Pizza: Open Mic w/ Ray Piazzola
Bill’s Music Shop & Pickin’ Parlor: Songwriters Open Mic
Conundrum Music Hall: The Pen Test, Boy Harsher, Roamer X, Executive Retreat, about.theWindow
Delaney’s: Singer-songwriter w/ David A.
Lucky’s: Open Mic
new brookland tavern: Dedsa, Russo, Freeway Music Rock Bands
South Lake Saloon: Open Mic w/ AL-G
Tin Roof: Acoustic Night

karaoke

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 Trivia3
STATE STReet PUB: Trivia
Wings & Ale (Columbia):Trivia
Yesterdays: Trivia

Wednesday 22
live music

Conundrum Music Hall: Jealousy Mountain Duo, Don Vito, Fratmouth, Occupants
Delaney’s: Jason Marcum
new brookland tavern: Endeavor, Conveyer, The Death in Me, In Hope We Return, Big Steve
Tin Roof: Matt Stilwell
Utopia: D.B. Bryant & Vince McKinley

karaoke

555 Lounge: T & J’s Karaoke
Art Bar: Linda’s Carraoke
Corner Pocket: Karaoke
CR Station House: Karaoke
Tsubaki: Karaoke

dance, djs & misc.

British Bulldog Pub: Pub Trivia
Drip (Five points): Poetry Reading
Jillian’s: Trivia
Locals: Trivia
Mellow Mushroom: Trivia
QUAKER STEAK: Bike Night
Red Door Tavern: Dave Stone and Caleb Synan (comedy) once 10/15
Wet WILLIE’S: Quizon Trivia
Wild Hare (Vista): QuizTheMasses Triviahecked\ed

Nancy and Carter Bruns at Cellar on Greene

By Christian Barker
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Sister Hazel
Name: Nancy and Carter Bruns
Setting: Cellar on Greene (2001 Greene St.)

This is the coziest little wine bar I’ve ever been to. How often do you all come down here?

N: Well, Cellar on Greene is so close to our house, we are probably here at least once a week.

C: It is our go-to neighborhood restaurant/bar.

How do you all like living so close to campus? Isn’t it noisy?

N: We love living up there. We wanted to live in a lively neighborhood.

C: I really like the mix of people in our neighborhood, and I am also teaching at USC while I am studying for my Ph.D.

What are you teaching at USC?

C: History.

How is this place different from Mr. Friendly’s?

C: I would say that the menu is a bit different. Mr. Friendly’s has a more Southern vernacular to it, where the menu at Cellar on Greene is more eclectic. Wouldn’t you say their food preparation is a bit more involved at the Cellar?

N: Yes, but still, like Mr. Friendly’s, the Cellar on Greene also has an amazing wine list.

Would you consider yourselves more winos or foodies?

N: Well, I guess I’d be the wino!

C: I suppose I am the foodie, but that also makes me a wino.

N: Yes, we are a bit of both.

C: If you like good food, you have to like good wine.

What is your favorite item on their menu?

N: Lately, the tuna nachos have been a favorite of ours.

C: I usually get the flat iron steak, but yes, the tuna nachos are killer.

Is this place similar to Gervais & Vine?

N: Gervais & Vine is more of a tapas bar. You could eat like that here, too, if you wanted to order things off of their appetizer menu while you have wine with some friends. But the Cellar on Greene also offers meals.

C: Yes, and it isn’t as expensive as you would think. We’ve come in here and had a three-course meal for around $15.

Reviews: Silver Screen Orchestra, Kid Trails, Lestro, Lauren Meccia, Ningas Tongas, Salvo

By Free Times
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Silver Screen Orchestra
Silver Screen Orchestra
(self-released)

Find It: silverscreenorchestra.bandcamp.com

One of post-rock’s defining factors is its sheer size. Typically instrumental, the songs are protracted epics, sometimes clocking in at 15 minutes or longer. The bands are often huge, too, filling the stage with amps, instruments and musicians. And they can get loud. Very loud.

But then there’s Silver Screen Orchestra, a Columbia duo that goes just as big with only two elements — electric guitar and violin. Despite this limited palette, the four tracks on Silver Screen Orchestra’s debut LP possess post-rock’s expected scope and gravity. Percussion feels absent throughout “March of the Emperor,” and moments of “Chase” could use a stronger melody, but this is still a band in the tradition of Godspeed You! Black Emperor — and not in its shadow.

What: Silver Screen Orchestra (live performance with accompanying video projections)
Where: if ART Gallery; 1223 Lincoln St.
When: Thursday, Oct. 16, 5:30-8 p.m.
Price: Free
More Info: 255-0068, ifartgallery.blogspot.com
After all, much of the magic to post-rock is in the amount of space it allows. The whisper-to-roar dynamics require patience and control. Silver Screen Orchestra has both. The album’s opening recalls Neil Young’s Dead Man soundtrack, and it closes with a “Dead Flag Blues” drone homage. The rest of the hour-plus journey hits various points between: “Challenger (1986),” for example, starts with gentle guitar lines that are gradually layered and looped into a sinuous, bittersweet melody. But nothing is done in a rush. The track builds to its conclusion for 16 anxious minutes.

As easy as it would have been to round out this band with studio musicians, violinist Kayla Breitweiser and guitarist Nathan Stewart recorded these songs as they’d play them live. That there are only a few spots where something sounds missing is impressive. — Corbie Hill



Kid Trails
Out Here
(self-released)

Find It: kidtrails.bandcamp.com

Patrick Jeffords’ earliest offerings as Kid Trails — like 2010’s Winlow, released by Brooklyn-via-Charleston label Mirror Universe Tapes — were endeavors in lo-fi tape pop, his naive, endearing songs (think: Daniel Johnston; Beat Happening) pockmarked by tape hiss and over-modulated vocal takes. Such songs, though, were recorded and released before Jeffords joined up with former The Heist & the Accomplice bandmate Chaz Bundick: As Bundick’s Toro Y Moi matured from a suave electro-pop solo gig to savvy retro-futurist disco behemoth, Jeffords’ increasingly James Jamerson-esque bass lines bolstered his efforts.

It’s clear the time with Toro — and, more recently, with smoky psych-pop outfit Painted Palms — has rubbed off on Jeffords’ Kid Trails output. Out There, on which Jeffords is backed by Toro Y Moi rhythm-section mate Andy Woodard, is still lo-fi, but its blurred edges have been brought into much sharper focus. Released in August, the songs are keener and riper, too: “Along,” guided by a squirming, squirting keyboard melody, is a slice of light, funky pop not terribly dissimilar from Toro Y Moi; closer “Never Gonna Change” is marked by glissandoed drones and a darkly psychedelic atmosphere. Even the EP’s middle tracks, balmy pop-rock numbers “Something Real” and “Care To,” display a crispness undoubtedly marked by Jeffords’ time as a professional touring musician. The experience may well have increased his efficiency, as well — he released another Kid Trails EP, Feels the Same, on Monday. — Patrick Wall



Lestro
Woof!
(Self-Released)

Find It: lestro.bandcamp.com

Like the early work of Green Day and Screeching Weasel, local trio Lestro teeters on the dangerous edge between intimidating crust-punk and gentler pop-punk — though the band usually leans toward the latter.

Released in July, each of the five songs on the Woof! EP begin and end at the same breakneck tempo. They’re powered by flat, fuzzy power chords and feature bratty vocals — most often from guitarist Tommy Gordon — that are made only more charming by the singer’s disdain for precise intonation. Lasting just a shade past eight minutes, the EP’s biggest selling point is its storm-the-gates brevity. The mission here is simple: Get in and get out before the listener knows what hit ‘em.

But Woof! isn’t good just because it’s short. It’s an exercise in youthful, nose-thumbing exuberance. From its bomb-shelter fidelity to its slapdash mixing — the bass guitar is barely audible throughout — this clearly isn’t the product of a laborious, drawn-out recording process. Lestro wasn’t after a steel-plated document that would withstand the harsh ebb of time. These three dudes simply wanted to make a no-frills punk record for people who like no-frills punk records. On those terms, Woof! is a pleasant, if commonplace, success. — Michael Spawn



Lauren Meccia
Inside Your Eyes
(Spirit Music)

Find It: laurenmeccia.com

A University of South Carolina graduate and current director of jazz ensembles at USC-Aiken, singer and saxophonist Lauren Meccia is introduced as a sultry, supple voice on her first solo release. She has performed with the Mike Frost Band for a while, appearing on several albums. But while Frost is back on bass, Meccia is definitely the star, delivering vocal-centered jazz that touches on some overly familiar standards.

Tonally, Meccia is a mostly blank slate, with a pleasant voice that doesn’t do much to help her stand out. She gets compared frequently to Norah Jones, Ella Fitzgerald and Eva Cassidy, and those disparate luminaries share at least one hallmark with Meccia — control. Nothing goes astray when she sings, not even the cavalcade of syllables and syncopation that is “One Note Samba.”

What: Mike Frost Band (featuring Lauren Meccia)
Where: Speakeasy, 711 Saluda Ave.
When: Friday, Oct. 17, 9:30 p.m.
Price: Free
More Info: 255-0869, delaneysspeakeasy.com
The hidden treat here is Donald Vega — from the Ron Carter Trio — on piano. His effortless precision feels loose and limber, but it’s still the linchpin that keeps the album’s sparse arrangements from losing focus.

Meccia’s saxophone work, though subservient to her voice, still finds space to shine — such as on the mellow cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” where her gentle instrumentals melt their way into the listener’s ear.

Frost has fostered Meccia’s talent long enough to know that he just needs to sit back and support her here: On the Bacharach classic “The Look Of Love,” he announces his intentions with the opening bass notes, setting the stage for Meccia’s languid, legato reading.

Standards are a touchy business, what with every over-the-hill pop star and fading crooner mining the Great American Songbook for any speck of leftover gold. It’s a testament to Meccia’s talent that she still uncovers a few gems. — Kevin Oliver

Ningas Tongas
Ningas Tongas
(self-released)

Find It: ningastongas.bandcamp.com

Fidelity is important — but that doesn’t mean high fidelity is always the best option. Some bands sound best when the mix blurs and scrapes, when the lyrics are mostly unintelligible, and grimy textures heighten the music’s already delightful scuzziness. Columbia noise-punk outfit Ningas Tongas is such a group, and this self-titled EP presents the promising quartet in the best — and dirtiest — light possible.

Per the group’s Bandcamp page, Ningas Tongas was “live recorded to 1/2[-inch] tape on Friday the 13th under the full blood moon,” and the deliberate production backs up that claim. There’s muck in the mix, but the parts tear through with clear-eyed intensity: Sam Frost’s contorting guitar and Colin Barrett’s clobbering bass manage a dizzying dance during the herky-jerk tantrum “She Was a Metaphor.” Eric Roper’s burly rants rise just above the rumbling rhythm section on “King Rat (Reprise),” lending additional bite to the song’s fiercest moments.

What: WUSC‘s 2014 Back From the Grave Cover Show
Where: El Burrito, 934 Harden St.
When: Saturday, Oct. 18, 7 p.m.; zombie walk to show leaves from Russell House at 6 p.m.
With: Nõ, Fishwives, Ningas Tongas, Casio Mio, MyBrother MySister
Price: $5
More Info: 777-5468, wusc.sc.edu
Apart from accenting Ningas Tongas’ taste for serrated distortion, the album’s grisly production allows the band to shift styles with surprising fluidity. The closing “Raft of Scabs, Sea of Glass” kicks off with guitarmonies that tangle and prick like an impenetrable bramble; they’re soon split wide by pounding sludge-metal verses and a manic post-punk bridge. The opening “Sisyphit / NONONONO / Street Walk Er” giddily jumps between early-punk pummeling and spiraling Sonic Youth riffs during its first two minutes; the song then descends into dense, disjointed noise-rock that should please fans of the mighty Daughters.

Like that last group of underground heroes, Ningas Tongas strikes a multitude of menacing poses with an ever-increasing air of confidence and control. And like the group’s Columbia peers in the similarly far-flung Burnt Books, it seems primed for attention beyond its home base. — Jordan Lawrence



Salvo
No More Funerals
(self-released)

Find It: noiserap.bandcamp.com

Killer Mike and El-P — aka Run the Jewels — recently teamed up with the owner of a “Meow the Jewels” Kickstarter campaign, launched to raise $45,100 so that El-P would remix the duo’s entire sophomore effort with cat noises replacing the intended music. It’s a stunt that Columbia noise-rap trio Salve would likely embrace, not because they give a s#!t about Kickstarters — the members paid for the limited-edition cassette tapes of No More Funerals themselves — but because, like El-P, they adore felines and noise — or, in Salvo frontman Cecil Decker’s words, kittens and fireworks.

Opener “A Calm Yet Unsettling Moment of Reflection” kicks off No More Funerals with the same mix of metallic, trilling beats and pyrotechnic rhymes that makes Run the Jewels so compelling. But that menacing mood is defused on the subsequent “Mr. Monster.” A drifting, percolating beat undercut by elegant piano backs Decker as he spits: “I love the monster/ he’s the only part of me that is consistent/ just as sure as I will breathe and be the anger and the greed.” Decker chases similar ideals throughout No More Funerals; he strives to master all the breadth of his emotions — the good and the bad — harnessing their power as motivation for positive change.

Looking for more info on concerts and nightlife in Columbia SC? Visit
free-times.com/music.
On “Self-Exasperation,” he trudges through annoyances like mismatched socks and missing Xbox controllers. On “Vs. (Mantra 2),” he’s watching “microscopic factions fracturing my community,” as his instrumentalist bandmates Chris Johnson and Moses Andrews II craft orderly chaos out of jarring noise.

“But I like it/ because it is bitter/ but I like it/ because it is mine/ but I like it/ because it is my heart/,” he offers on “Home (Mantra 4).” Never at a loss for words, Decker contends bravely with all aspects of his reality — whether they be cute kittens or dangerous fireworks. — Eric Tullis

Let us know what you think: Email music@free-times.com.

More music

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to Free Times Newsletters
Home Real Estate Classifieds Free Times Family Magazine | Rant + Blotter | Photos Movies | Archives Contact