We Roll Like Madmen, Parrelli Blu — Contrary to its name, We Roll Like Madmen’s synth-heavy blend of hip-hop and pop is actually pretty calming. Playing like a mellower, druggier Postal Service, the duo’s latest release, February’s The Kids Must Die, is better suited for a late-night drive than a crowded dance floor, though it isn’t without some upbeat moments. Rapper Parrelli Blu’s greatest strength is witty wordplay — “They call me Michael Bay / The way I wreck a set” — which he delivers with an amiable flow and ample hooks. — Michael Spawn
Death of Paris, Signs of Iris — Columbia’s Death of Paris and Greenville’s Signs of Iris are both determined to erase the arbitrary dividing lines between their local scenes and the national mainstream. Both bands boast powerful and charismatic frontwomen and a synth-driven pop-rock sound that reaches for the rafters. And while Signs of Iris’ New Wave inspirations might lean a bit darker than Death of Paris’ EDM-aping energy, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that either act has the hustle and spark to turn heads and make waves outside the Palmetto State. Dams and Mario McClean open. — Kyle Petersen
Susan Douglass Taylor — With an easygoing jangle, softly billowing pipes and wistful words, Winnsboro’s Susan Douglass Taylor is an obvious choice to play outdoors in charming downtown Newberry. On the album Great Falls Road, she splits the difference between ethereal folk and grinning honky-tonk, bringing softness and grace to gritty guitar fills and punch-drunk pedal steel. Uniting the most amiable aspects of country and folk, her songs are unfailingly pleasant and frequently poignant. — Jordan Lawrence
10 Car Pile-Up, Youth Model, Skymonk— Celebrating new EPs from the Columbia groups 10 Car Pile-Up and Skymonk, this four-band bill highlights popular elements from the past two decades of alternative rock. 10 Car Pile-Up’s relaxed approach should pair nicely with Skymonk’s blues-and-funk-inspired sound — a contrast that should only be strengthened by Youth Model’s percussive pop-rock. With Cairo Fire. — Dade Driggers
Drift Jam Flotilla Music Festival — Some ideas are just too strange to ignore. At least that’s what local promoter Doug Gainey is hoping with his first Drift Jam Music Festival. Five artists with Carolina ties — Atlas Road Crew, The Reason Your Listening, Ricky Young, Weaving the Fate and an acoustic collaboration between members of Lefty at the Washout and The Movement — will perform on a floating stage on Lake Murray while spectators watch from their watercrafts. It’s certainly unusual — but given the common flavors of rock and Americana favored by the bands, that’s probably a good thing. — Michael Spawn
Kenny George Band — It’s honestly a little sad that the simple rewards of the Kenny George Band seem as special as they do. Unlike many country-rock bands working today, the Aiken outfit understands that songs develop best when the words and melody steer the ship — and not when you stubbornly shove them into your next square-shaped hook. The group’s guitars move at a cozy amble. The rhythms shuffle warmly. And George leads with a road-worn croon that makes you feel the miles it’s traveled. Sticking to tried-and-true tactics, the Kenny George Band get what this music is all about. — Jordan Lawrence
Danny Joe Machado, Lazy A and the Green Thing — With the chief creative minds in The Restoration exploring solo territory, this bill offers fresh perspective into one of the state’s most compelling bands. Daniel Machado, performing tonight as Danny Joe Machado, has instigated the narrative frame for most of the group’s increasingly diverse folk-rock; expect rich stories and biting wordplay and a sound that will likely push past the outfit’s period-piece confines. Adam Corbett’s Lazy A and the Green Thing offers pop and rock that is weird and funky, an extension of the bright-eyed mischief he brings to his main band — many of whom back him in this side project. With The Fire Tonight, Timshel and Seagate. — Jordan Lawrence
Jason Lescalleet — Decay is inevitable. For Much To My Demise, Jason Lescalleet deals in that temporality, utilizing the literal sound of the earth’s encroachment on magnetic tape: He buried tape recordings in the dirt of his backyard, digging them up several months later to use as as source material, and he specifically released Demise on vinyl to, as the liner notes state, “exploit the temporal quality of this analog medium.” The swollen drones and rickety loops that comprise the album’s three pieces are not so much distinct songs as dissolving eddies of sound, ghostly and haunting works that, given their nature, change with each unique listen. With Greg Stuart and Plank Ewing. — Patrick Wall
Conundrum Music Hall: 8:30 p.m., $8; 250-1295, conundrum.us.
Your Chance to Die — As a melodic death metal band, Your Chance to Die possesses the style’s inherent cinematic qualities: soaring guitar melodies, dramatic drops and unnaturally fast double bass hits. Missi Avila’s guttural Cookie Monster vocals and her band’s dueling shredders lead to accessible heaviness. Your Chance to Die may not reinvent the death metal wheel, but the group spins it well. With Ritual Oblivion, Belaire, more. — Corbie Hill
Darkentries, Sadgiqacea, HIVELORDS — With a sound that’s as daunting and dark as it is mercurial, Darkentries are among South Carolina’s most punishing and intelligent heavy music specialists. Shifting maniacally between bouts of crushing crust punk and doom-riffing passages that bubble with sludgy dread, they build and billow with uncommon nuance. They’re a brainy beast, but that doesn’t mean they’ll show you any mercy. Lending support, Sadgiqacea trip through spacey black metal that pulls with the gravity of a wormhole, while the scalding HIVELORDS offer a monolithic complement to Darkentries’ far-flung menace. — Jordan Lawrence.
Van Hägar, Act of Impalement — Nashville’s Van Hägar makes powerviolence fun. Twisting the blunt and pounding strain of hardcore with clever melodic undercurrents and vocals that opt for an approachable shriek in place of the burly bellows common among the band’s peers, the group packs a mighty wallop but offers it with an impish grin. Van Hägar’s crusty cohorts in Act of Impalement aren’t so fun-loving, but their sound is still impressive, grinding through blackened hardcore with pile-driving momentum. Columbia’s irrepressibly weird Ningas Tongas opens. — Jordan Lawrence
Carolina All Stars Showcase — This isn’t so much a showcase as it is a competition: Emcees sign up — at $25 a pop — for a 15-minute slot, and the audience votes, via text message, at the end of the performances for their favorite rapper. The winner gets a headlining slot at next month’s showcase. More rigid and thus less viscerally rewarding, seemingly, than Non-Stop Hip-Hop Live!’s freestyle battles of legend, it nonetheless seems a decent opportunity to keep abreast of rising South Cack talent. This month’s competitors: Teddy D, Billy Da Kidd, Jay-OH!, DhD, Fresh DeMarco, Matt Morgan, Ganja Goons, Lyrical Lo, Steve Rox. — Patrick Wall
Great Gifts for the Whole Family
Don’t miss Half Moon Outfitters’ holiday sale! Up to 30% off Prana, Patagonia, The North Face, and other great brands. Location and hours here.
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage offers 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
Ice Skate on Main Street
Columbia’s famously hot skating rink is now open! Additional information and discounts can be found 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.
New Year’s Eve at Social
Don’t miss this Black and White Affair featuring Kap Slap. Tickets available online!
A Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve Carnival
From 6-11 PM on December 31st on Main Street, enjoy rides, games, karaoke, food, drinks and more! More information here.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season:
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U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Real Estate Spotlight
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