Ryan Alexander’s Emotionally Charged DYEL Pushes Into New Territory

Friday at New Brookland Tavern
By Kyle Petersen
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
The album art for Whoever We Are, the new EP from Columbia band DYEL, is a warm and rosy photo of the shore at Folly Beach. Its circular edges fade to black, like a memory narrowing with age. The songs within dig deep into the traditional foundations of old-school indie rock, and the band delivers its peppy riffs with crunchy fervor. But for Ryan Alexander, the leader of this local outfit, nostalgia is no simple proposition.

Consider “Family,” Whoever’s lead single. It rides an insistent dance groove and sprightly melody. The sound is almost jarring when matched with the confessional songwriting that Alexander has skillfully dealt since his days as a guitarist in the folkish rock band The Lion in Winter. It’s a song concerned with the past — of the broken relationships detailed in the lyrics, but also of the various indie rock strains touched on by the arrangement. Formed initially as a solo project called Daniel Y El Leon, Alexander is keen to diversify his aesthetic.

“I didn’t want it all to sound the same,” he says. “I’ve always written for a format, but this is the first time we took a risk as a band and made these songs together.”

What: DYEL
Where: New Brookland Tavern, 122 State St.
When: Friday, Dec. 19, 8 p.m.
With: Magnetic Flowers, Release the Dog, Old Hand, The Apnea Effect
Price: $5 ($7 under 21)
More Info: 791-4413, newbrooklandtavern.com
The other songs on the new EP don’t stray so far from DYEL’s previous material. Instead, they extend the emotionally wrought rock from the group’s self-titled debut, released earlier this year, supporting Alexander’s detail-oriented reflections on life and love, which reference romantic travails, becoming a young father and playing music in the local scene. Still, it’s easy see to this new energy and more polished, organic feel as an important shift.

The band is already working on new material in the vein of “Family.” But for now, DYEL hinges on the acute lyricism of its leader. Alexander tackles timeless subject matter with unerring specificity, sliding from universal anguish over family, friends, lovers and God to anecdotal snapshots from his life. Elsewhere on Whoever, he describes watching a “friend so f#!ked he can’t even play his own songs” and recalls how “our kitchen only had two chairs / I never liked a damn thing you did with your hair.” It’s details like these that make his personal songs innately accessible.

“I feel like we can all relate to things like family, friends and love” Alexander reasons. “But here’s what it is like in my life, and that’s how I can really relate it to your life.”

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He expresses fondness for an act with similar emotional honesty — Pedro the Lion, the David Bazan-fronted outfit from which he derived part of the DYEL name. Although the moniker most obviously references the Old Testament story of Daniel in the lions’ den, Alexander likes the way it toys with the names of both Pedro the Lion and The Lion in Winter. He also notes that the artwork from his first EP depicts an ex-girlfriend whose next boyfriend’s name was Daniel.

“Both of those personal references stem from good but bitter sort of moments in my life,” he explains, wryly alluding to the rough dissolution of both musical and romantic relationships. But he’s quick to note that he and The Lion in Winter’s former leader Hunter Duncan are on good terms: “He’s doing his thing and I’m doing mine, and we’re both better off for it.”

Despite logistical issues — Alexander is currently living in Charleston, while the rest of the band resides in Columbia — DYEL seems poised for a bright future, with a possible tour out to the Texas festival South by Southwest in the works and another collection of songs ready to go.

“We’ll just see what happens,” the singer concludes.

Columbia SC Club Calendar: Dec 17-24

By Free Times
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Wednesday 17

live music

Conundrum Music Hall: Drum Mafia
Delaney’s: Musician’s Christmas hosted by Barefoot n’ Reckless
Main Street Cafe: Open Mic w/ Nikki Lee & Herbie Jeffcoat
Utopia: D.B. Bryant & Vince McKinley


Chevy’s: Nightowl Karaoke w/ Chris
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
Old Mill Brewpub: Free Team Bingo
Rockaway Athletic Club: Trivia w/ Dr. Samsec

Thursday 18

live music

British Bulldog Pub: Prettier Than Matt
Delaney’s: Dave Berry
Good Life Cafe: Open Mic
Hemingway’s: Whiskey Run Duo
Mile High Club: D.B. Bryant
Old Mill Brewpub: Red Fraley
pearlz upstairz: Jingle Bell Jazz featuring the Mark Rapp Quartet
speakeasy: The Tony Lee Jazz Quartet
Utopia: Open Mic Night w/ John Scollon


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: Whiiite
Tin Roof: Annual Bad Santa Party
TLC Sports Bar & Grill: Trivia
Uncle Fester’s: Quizon Trivia
The Wild Hare (Irmo): Quiz the Masses Trivia
The Woody: DJ Chadly D

Friday 19

live music

Bill’s Music Shop & Pickin’ Parlor: Open Bluegrass Jam
British Bulldog Pub: Joelle Kittrell and Co.
Delaney’s: Dave Berry
Henry’s: The Herbie Jeffcoat Project
Main Street Cafe: Black Cat Sunshine
New Brookland Tavern: DYEL, Magnetic Flowers, Release the Dog, Old Hand, The Apnea Effect
Old Mill Brewpub: Chuck & Brad
Pearlz Upstairz: Robert Gardiner Jazz Quartet
Tin Roof: Sean Rivers Band
Utopia: Pocket Buddha
wild wing cafe (Irmo): Matt Parker and the Deacons
wild wing cafe (The Village): Center Lane
wild wing cafe (The Vista): Crashbox


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
Jillian’s: Christmas Latin Party
Kelly’s: DJ Guy
Legion Post 215: Disco Night
Liberty Tap Room: DJ
TLC Sports Bar & Grill: DJ DDL
Uncle Fester’s: DJ Snow
The Woody: DJ

Saturday 20

live music

Bill’s Music Shop & Pickin’ Parlor: Classic Country Music & Dancing
British Bulldog Pub: Kelly Jo & Buffaloe
Conundrum Music Hall: Autocorrect, Moxie Friend, Tribe One & Mikal kHill, the good witch & her familiars
Delaney’s: Dave Berry
Hemingway’s: Brent Lundy
Music Farm: 10th Annual Taylor Boys’ Xmas Xtravaganza
new brookland tavern: Sleepwave, The Apprehended
Old Mill Brewpub: Jeff Liberty
Pearlz Upstairz: Mike Frost Band
Skyline Club: Southern Meltdown
speakeasy: Robert Gardiner Jazz Quartet
Tin Roof: The Armory
Utopia: Amos Hoffman
wild wing cafe (The Village): Shinebox
wild wing cafe (The Vista): Whiskey Run


Chevy’s: Nightowl Karaoke w/ Chris
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
social: DJ R WONZ ibce
Uncle Fester’s: DJ Snow
Wild Wing Café (Irmo): DJ Tom Wise
The Woody: DJ

Sunday 21

live music

All Star Pizza: Ray Piazzola
British Bulldog Pub: WXRY Unsigned
Conundrum Music Hall: Xyroscopicon
new brookland tavern: Albatross, Walk with Porpoise, Ropeswing Marathon, Logan Baldwin
Pam’s Front Porch: D.B. Bryant


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 22

live music

Kelly’s: Open Mic


Hemingway’s: Karaoke

dance, djs & misc.

Buckaroos Grill & Bar: DJ Ray Ray
New Brookland Tavern: Soda City Stand Up Open Micnce
Publick House: Quizon Trivia
Salty Nut Cafe: Trivia

Tuesday 23

live music

All Star Pizza: Open Mic w/ Ray Piazzola
British Bulldog Pub: Bluegrass Christmas
Lucky’s: Open Mic
South Lake Saloon: Open Mic w/ AL-G
Tin Roof: Drew Dixon


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 Trivia
Music Farm/Tin Roof: Christmas Party & Toy Drive
Quaker Steak & Lube: Team Trivia
STATE STReet PUB: Trivia
Wings & Ale (Columbia):Trivia
Yesterdays: Trivia

Wednesday 24

[Due to the Christmas holiday, some events may not proceed as normally scheduled. Call ahead.]


Chevy’s: Nightowl Karaoke w/ Chris
555 Lounge: T & J’s Karaoke
Art Bar: Linda’s Carraoke
Belle’s: Karaoke
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
Rockaway Athletic Club: Trivia w/ Dr. Samsecked

Bradley Morra and Hartley Barber at Henry’s

By Christian Barker
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Photo by Christian Barker
Name: Bradley Morra and Hartley Barber
Setting: Henry’s (2865 Devine St.)

I overheard you all saying that this is the best bar in Columbia. What is your favorite thing about this place?

B: We actually said it was one of the best bars in Columbia. But I guess I would have to say my favorite things about this bar are that it is a relaxed Shandon neighborhood bar.

H: They have great food and great drinks.

B: The bartenders are very skilled here, too.

I noticed that the Henry’s Signature Burger was written up as one of Southern Living’s Top 10 burgers.

H: Oh yeah, they have great burgers. Their jalapeño burger is one of my favorites. But you really can’t go wrong with any of their burgers here. There’s a burger for everyone here. They also have some awesome hot dogs.

B: Another great thing about Henry’s is half-off bottles of wine on Sundays.

What other weekly events do they have?

H: I know they have bands come in and play sometimes.

What kind of music is usually playing in here?

H: Rock ‘n’ roll, mostly.

So what other bars would you say are among the best in Columbia? What compares to Henry’s?

B: I go to Bourbon a lot.

H: Bourbon is great. I also enjoy The Oak Table from time to time. Il Giorgione and Miyo’s aren’t really bars, but I like going there to eat. I would compare this place to Publick House, though.

B: Publick House used to be the neighborhood bar.

What do you think changed that?

B: This place opening. It is probably the most happening bar on a Sunday.

What do you all do for a living?

B: I work in commercial property management.

H: I run an outdoor gear store called Get Your Gear On out by the Riverbanks Zoo.

To Get a Reaction, Far-Reaching Hip-Hop Act Autocorrect Is OK with a Little Confusion

Saturday at Conundrum Music Hall
By Michael Spawn
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Autocorrect | photo by James Wyman Owens
“I’m just going to speak in riddles,” says Cecil Decker, without a trace of sarcasm. “That won’t be a problem, will it?”

It’s a fitting introduction to one of four brains behind Autocorrect, the avant-garde hip-hop group Decker formed with friend and collaborator Chris Johnson last December. Along with bandmates Moses Andrews III and Sean Burns, Decker and Johnson have created some of the trippiest, most jigsawed, chug-codeine-on-Venus music you’ll hear from any artist in any genre. Of late, Decker’s pace has equalled his music’s variety — Autocorrect issued an EP in October, two months after salvo, the same group minus Burns, released the scalding and scraping noise-rap collection no more funerals.

In a way, Autocorect is just one long succession of musical riddles, each of them offering no definable answer or clear resolution.

What: Autocorrect
Where: Conundrum Music Hall, 626 Meeting St.
When: Saturday, Dec. 20, 9 p.m.
With: Moxie Friend, Tribe One & Mikal kHill, the good witch & her familiars
Price: $5
More Info: 250-1295, conundrum.us
What do Stephen Colbert and post-modern literature have in common? In the world of Autorcorrect, it’s i Am america sand so an yeti, Autocorrect’s new six-song EP. The record’s title is the autocorrect that resulted after the group plugged the name of Colbert’s 2007 book I Am America (And So Can You!) into one of the members’ cell phones. The same goes for “Ducking Shot,” the EP’s fifth track.

“Every lyric to that song is a line from Mark Danielewski’s [book] House of Leaves,” Decker says. “We just took lines from the book that we liked and typed them into our phones. Whatever came back autocorrected, that became a lyric. We did the whole song that way.”

i Am america sand so an yeti is hard to describe, but Decker sums it up pretty succinctly with the EP’s first lyric — “I’m not a rapper / I’m a post-modern exorcist,” he claims on “Hearing Aid,” his mock-aggressive flow confronted by an acoustic guitar, a straight 4/4 backbeat, and what sounds like a CB-radio on life support. [online copy corrected]

But Decker isn’t entirely right. With Autocorrect, rapping and exorcism aren’t mutually exclusive. These guys pull such tricks as rhyming over Neil Armstrong’s moon-landing communication with Houston. It’s hip-hop, but just barely. The beats are there, and there’s enough live instrumentation to sustain coherent melodies, but listening to the EP, one gets the sense that these tricksters might be the Andy Kaufman of Columbia music. They aren’t wrestling women or wreaking havoc on the set of a sitcom, but their spirit is the same. You can love them, hate them, or not understand them. It’s all good. It’s all a reaction.

“There really isn’t a plan,” Decker offers. “Chris and I have been making noise music together for a while, and this is just a continuation of that. We were doing more rock stuff before, but hip-hop just felt like the next step.”

Within Autocorrect, the division of labor is just as casual and spontaneous as the EP would have you believe.

“My role is more of a producer than anything else,” Decker admits. “I’m the idea guy. I come up with something that I want to hear and the other guys take it from there. Who does what exactly is dependent on the song.”

It’s difficult to say whether Autocorrect is making a serious statement or pulling off some elaborate hoax, but it hardly matters. The music demands attention, even if the motives are unclear. If Decker and company want to speak in riddles, that’s their decision to make.

So, no, Cecil, it will not be a problem.

Concerts in Columbia: Dec 18-24

Whiiite, The Armory, Chris Brown, Amos Hoffman
By Free Times
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Chris Brown plays the Colonial Life Arena on Saturday.
Thursday 18

Whiiite — As the legend goes, in a laboratory deep in the mountains of Los Angeles, Dr. Otto Von Hollefeuer and his team of scientists used the power of subsonic shock to unify Chris White’s heartbeat, brain waves, and very being with the ironfire pulse and frequency that drives all human interaction. This would allow him to harness the mind-controlling power of music and sound as the electronic music lord, Whiiite. Now, his reign is heard on body-dropping remixes of Luniz, Fugees and Dropkick Murphys songs all enhanced for the dance possessed. — Eric Tullis

Social: 10 p.m., free; 603-4313, socialcolumbiasc.com

Friday 19

Pocket Buddha — While there’s an easygoing vibe to the lightly funkified folk-rock of Pocket Buddha, that seeming lack of worry belies the prodigious skill that goes into crafting the group’s engaging songs. Leader Darren Woodlief grounds his material with his measured vocals, while the band’s consistent balance between folk-rock purity and jam-band adventure makes fitting nods to American Beauty-era Grateful Dead. — Kyle Petersen

Utopia: 8 p.m., free; 782-8522

Sean Rivers Band — Nashville-based songwriter Sean Rivers lacks a distinct musical identity. His style feels inspired by sing-along frat-rock of the mid ’90s (Hootie, Cravin’ Melon, etc.), but the hooks never catch as well as they should. Still, Rivers does appear to be a prodigious whiskey drinker — a great many of his songs make frequent mention of the spirit, and one song, “Off My Mind,” is a direct appeal to an empty bottle — so if you dig drinking brown liquor while being sung to about brown liquor, this show might work for you. — Michael Spawn

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

Saturday 20

The Armory — Everything about The Armory is high — the singing, the drama, the production fidelity, the squealing guitars during instrumental breakdowns. The Atlanta-based quintet isn’t necessarily a revival act, but it’s hard not to be reminded of a slightly less angst-ridden Thursday or a more pop-oriented At the Drive-In. For many people, this type of rock never went out of style, and the Armory is clearly among them. — Michael Spawn

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

Chris Brown — Someday, we’ll have to stop using Chris Brown as the whipping boy for everything we think is wrong with patriarchal black masculinity. The guy doesn’t make a great case for himself, what with all the tasteless on-stage rants and accusatory Instagram tirades about his rocky relationship with Karreuche Tran. But then again, there’s also a sane and ridiculously talented side to this 25-year-old R&B star: His dance moves are still tight, as are the hooks on this year’s massive, 21-track LP X, which features the party hits “Loyal” and “Love More,” alongside mature moves like the Kendrick Lamar-assisted “Autumn Leaves.” With August Alsina, Sevyn Streeter and Jackie Michaels. — Eric Tullis

Colonial LIfe Arena: 7 p.m., $39–$150; 1-855-456-2849, coloniallifearena.com

Sleepwave, The Apprehended — Following the dissolution of Christian metalcore outfit Underoath, vocalist Spencer Chamberlain formed Sleepwave. The new outfit mixes slick heaviness and melodramatic screamo choruses with busy digital textures, like a bargain-bin take on A Perfect Circle. Beaufort’s The Apprehended opens with melodic post-hardcore that tends toward complex, Coheed and Cambria-style epics with Cookie Monster vocals. So if you like your worship with a side of moshing — or is it the other way around? — this may just be your scene. — Corbie Hill

New Brookland Tavern: 7 p.m., $12 ($10 advance); 791-4413; newbrooklandtavern.com

Taylor Boys Xmas Xtravaganza — South Carolina native Joe Taylor is a New York studio guitarist and producer with a rich history that goes all the way back to sessions with Donna Summer and Billy Ocean. This 10th anniversary of his benefit show features his own eponymous bluesy, jazzy rock band and Georgia-based Southern rocker Randall Bramblett. Also appearing: swamp-pop act Shelley Waters; Southern blues-rockers Pinetop Lightning; and some special local guests. Proceeds from the show — hosted by Joe’s non-musician brother, Steve Taylor — go to Sistercare. — Kevin Oliver

Music Farm: 9 p.m., $10; 252-9392, musicfarm.com

Amos Hoffman

Amos Hoffman — For all its reliable folk and rock charms, Utopia isn’t known for hosting world-renowned performers. But the listening room does so tonight: Amos Hoffman, an Israeli-born guitarist breeding Middle Eastern and world styles with direct and fetching melodies derived from contemporary jazz, stops by with a backing band of Columbia regulars: Zee Slaughter on bass and sax, Davin Lail on percussion and backing vocalist Sara Williams. With sprightly, invigorating rhythms and tunes that alternately sway and scintillate, Hoffman is a remarkable talent. — Jordan Lawrence

Utopia: 8 p.m., free; 782-8522

Sunday 21

Albatross — Drawing on blues and classic rock as it existed in the late ’60s, Albatross blends warm guitar tones with upbeat rhythms and sweetly harmonized vocals. Sticking with the singsong choruses common back in their chosen era, they strike a middle ground on which regulars at outdoor jam festivals and fans of rock from the latest garage revival might clink their beers in peaceful appreciation. Walk with Porpoise, Ropeswing Marathon and Logan Baldwin open. — Dade Driggers

New Brookland Tavern: 7:30 p.m., $5 ($8 under 21); 791-4413, newbrooklandtavern.com

Wynonna & the Big Noise — Featuring the daughter half of the hit country duo The Judds along with her husband/drummer/producer Cactus Moser, this show is part of Wynonna’s A Simpler Christmas tour, which promises holiday favorites alongside familiar selections from The Judds and cuts from her solo albums. The Big Noise band allows Judd the freedom to play whatever her equally big voice can handle, from her own country hits to blues and rock standards. — Kevin Oliver

Newberry Opera House: 7 p.m., $87; 803-276-6264; newberryoperahouse.com

Xyroscopicon — In the words of its Facebook event hosts, Xyroscopicon is a “Winter Solstice transformance convention celebrating the immense ecosphere rejuvenation sleep zenith point that is the longest night of the year.” In layman’s terms, it’s a 24-deep mostly noise artist showcase that mixes several boundary-pushers from in and around town — like Plank Ewing, Golden Hostage and Karmessiah — and the region, including Carrboro’s seething and confounding Secret Boyfriend. The noisearama draws some acts from the West Coast and Australia, too, but many of those have local ties: Oakland’s Fleshlight features former Aposable Scum guitarist Ronny Burke; Jefferson Mayday Mayday, expatriate Columbia noisenik extraordinaire, makes the trip all the way from Melbourne. — Patrick Wall

Conundrum Music Hall: 2 p.m., $5-$100; 250-1295, conundrum.us

You, Me, and Us — “I’m starting to get pissed,” Pat Rock sneers during ’90s-indebted punk band You, Me, and Us’ self-affirming “We Are You Me, and Us.” “I feel slighted and ignored / You should hear and obey / We are You, Me and Us / And we won’t go away.” Certainly, the band hasn’t: The trio’s been serving up its snotty, searing, treble-heavy punk since 2007. Red States, which features ex-members of punk wrecking crew The Harlem Downtrotters, plays its first show as the opening act. — Patrick Wall

Jake’s: 6 p.m., $5; 708-4788, jakesofcolumbia.com

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

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