Archnemesis — All of the artists on this EDM bill have earned credibility, but the most interesting by far is Archnemesis. The party-on goal is standard, but Archnemesis explores a wide swath of musical influences with a virtuosic feel for groove, the results approaching what George Clinton might have created had he been reared in the Macbook era. With Green Street, Dez One, DJ Six, Replaze. — Michael Spawn
This might not surprise you, but there are a lot of great young songwriters in Nashville. Even among the Music City’s elite talent pool, Christian Lee Hutson rises to the top. The 22-year-old already boasts a finely honed singing and songwriting voice developed well beyond his years. Part of a generation influenced by the generation influenced by Townes Van Zandt, Hutson’s ragged, raspy country finds easy comparisons to Justin Townes Earle and Bobby Bare Jr. — though his richly detailed songs are on par with those of Hayden Desser.
Red Door Tavern: 8 p.m., $5; 764-5196, reddoortavern.net
Thursday 7 — Soda City Songwriter Spectacular
Then again, it might not surprise you that there are plenty of talented tunesmiths in Columbia, too. The Soda City Songwriting Spectacular gathers quite a few of them: Chris Compton of The Ruby Brunettes; Alderman Douglas of Timshel; Ken Mixon; Mario McLean; The Dead Pedals’ Joe Pearson and Stephen Stokes; Black Iron Gathering’s Billy Ray and Charlie McLinden; and Kelley McLachlan Douglas, whose Post-Timey String Band also opens Hutson’s Red Door Tavern set. The night also features a return performance from Julia Englund, who’ll reunite with her old Pocket Buddha bandmates to cap the evening. — Patrick Wall
Conundrum Music Hall: 8 p.m., free; 250-1295, conundrum.us
Chris Compton — Chris Compton of the acoustic folk four-piece The Ruby Brunettes flies solo tonight. Fitting right in with the melting pot of acoustic and electric musicians River Rat has entertained during its first summer in operation, Compton pulls from the popular harmonies of Appalachian Americana, layering satiny vocals over driving acoustic strums punctuated by propulsive picking and catchy lyrical hooks.
— Dade Driggers
Electric Lake 2014 - This festival celebrates the supposedly inherent connection between reggae and EDM, doing so by hosting a variety of artists from the Columbia area. Replete with ditzy synth lines and relentless bass, Frank N Wang are par for the electronica course, offering little for listeners whose teeth aren’t sticky with Molly. DJ Bois Obscur engages in a similar trade, but displays an admirable sense of musical adventure; his quick digital runs are executed with the finesse of an amphetamine-fueled symphony conductor. Lefty at the Washout’s sunny reggae-funk combo prevails, though, with an expert rhythm section and a complete lack of pretense. — Michael Spawn
Don Merckle and the Blacksmiths — Soda City expatriate Donald Merckle may now call Charleston home, but his music hasn’t moved far from his beginnings in the local Celtic rock outfit Loch Ness Johnny or his stint with the roots-rock band American Gun. The Blacksmiths are his latest foray, leading Merckle and company back to his Irish roots, fueled by uptempo acoustic strumming. The Darnell Boys open.
— Kevin Oliver
Stickup Kid — The California pop-punk group Stickup Kid mines teenage helplessness and emo sentimentality to craft songs that relate larger emotional truths than mere raging against curfew. Consider “Good People in a Place I Hate,” from 2013’s Future Fire: The song opens with the lines “Tell me it’s easy / To get rid of your cancer” and carries through to the loss of a loved one. The songs, too, alternate between Top-40 skate punk and epic emo. The similarly feisty local trio MyBrother MySister opens the show, which also includes Seaway, Candy Hearts and Driver Friendly. — Corbie Hill
Steve Marquette Quintet — Chicago guitarist Steve Marquette’s tunes have been put through their paces by some of the sharpest improvisers in the Windy City, among them Nick Mazzarella, Mars Williams, Jeb Bishop and Keefe Jackson. But the musicians who round out Marquette’s eponymous quintet come from New Orleans and include in their number trombonist Jeff Albert. The players bring a mix of brusque aggression and blues-tinged restraint to Marquette’s tunes, knotty and complex works that bear the earmarks of antecedent avant-guitarists like Sonny Sharrock and Marc Ribot.
— Patrick Wall
As Temples Collide, Clap for Alaska — There’s something appealingly sleek about As Temples Collide’s metalcore assault. The Charleston outfit’s smooth and kinetic electric fills point to tamer post-rock, an appropriate contrast in the face of grinding electronics and an even meaner rhythm section. This chaos can become unwieldy after multiple listens, but it should play nicely during a sweaty night at the Tavern. Clap for Alaska is a little moodier, a little more interested in melodic craftsmanship, but falls slightly behind the headliner in terms of pure punishing verve. With Finally Abyss, Enter, Definitely a First and Sweet Asylum. — Jordan Lawrence
Dangers, Graf Orlock, Holy — Rather than driving ruthlessly, Dangers’ stoner-educated hardcore takes a relatively leisurely pace. With this band, the menace is in the negative space and dark ambience. The guitar work, too, takes a page from riff-rock — though when the riffs emerge, disjointed and incomplete, it’s to maintain an overall scary vibe. Los Angeles’ Graf Orlock is a punishing band, matching dense grindcore with desperate, hoarse vocals, while Italian outfit Holy gets full-on unhinged with its own brand of crust-punk. Local band Wounded Tongue plays its first show tonight. Judging by early cuts like “Faceless Face Devoid,” the group’s music promises a math-y cauldron of everything from hyperactive grind to Wolves in the Throne Room-style pagan-metal.
— Corbie Hill
Centuries, Jungbluth — Florida’s Centuries and Germany’s Jungbluth are both nominally hardcore bands, but neither plays it straight. Centuries, inked to vaunted American heavy imprint Southern Lord, draws its wrecking-ball power from D-beat and pairs it with the abrasive textures of blackened metal. The politically charged Jungbluth offsets its noisy ballasts with atmospheric calmandos derived from post-rock, which amplifies the impact of its spastic post-hardcore ebullitions. With Rejoice, which features members of Sky Burial and Nailbiter, and Orchard Cycles. — Patrick Wall
Charleston Latin Jazz Collective — Spacious and well-lit, the Township Auditorium’s front lobby would make a good spot for some early evening dancing. The latest installment in the venue’s Summer Sets Jazz Series provides an opportunity to try it out as the Charleston Latin Jazz Collective ventures up from the coast. Built on the comforting clatter of drums and conga and shot through by irresistibly bright brass, the outfit manages dynamic melodies and lively grooves, a treat for both listeners and dancers. — Jordan Lawrence
We Practice After Hours Too!
Midlands Orthopedics clinics are open when young athletes need us most. Locations and hours can be found here.
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.
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 Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve Carnival
From 5-11 PM on December 31st on Main Street, enjoy rides, games, karaoke, food, drinks and more! More information here.
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: