Concerts in Columbia: June 18-25

The Jangling Sparrow, Yellow Claw, Jason Ajemian & the High Life, Fork & Spoon Photography Show, Tommy Emmanuel
By Free Times
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 |
Tommy Emmanuel plays June 24 and 25 at Newberry Opera House.
Thursday 19
The Jangling Sparrow — Since moving from his native Philadelphia to Asheville, N.C., nearly five years ago, Paul Edelman — aka The Jangling Sparrow — has performed in various configurations revolving around a gritty yet warmly rendered Americana sound. Like a softer, gentler Ryan Adams, or a less sarcastic Todd Snider, Edelman has settled not just into the North Carolina mountains but into his own musical skin, proving it on the soon-to-be-widely released Stranger Things and Truer Words. — Kevin Oliver
Red Door Tavern: 8 p.m., free; 764-5196, reddoortavern.net.

Yellow Claw — It’s always interesting to see how Southern musical innovations are filtered through an international lens. In this case, it’s Amsterdam DJ trio Yellow Claw, whose party anthems merge the skittering hi-hats and low, low, low 808 kicks of trap with dubstep’s languid pacing and dramatic drops. The resulting blend is undeniably slick European EDM that takes frequent U-turns into sweaty, restless Southern production.
— Corbie Hill
Social Bar: 8:00 p.m., free; 603-4313; socialcolumbiasc.com.

Friday 20
Jason Ajemian & the High Life — Folklords, the latest fever-dream missive from mercurial bassist Jason Ajemian, begins with a suite, “Ask Mr. Blount Now,” that invokes the Christian name of interstellar jazz legend Sun Ra. Like Ra, Ajemian seems to abhor orthodoxy; his High Life ensemble draws on its members’ extensive jazz background, but has no single aesthetic, touching on virtually the entire history of jazz without dwelling on any particular era for very long. Folklords is appropriately peripatetic, burning through improvised sections that sound like imaginary conversations between Sun Ra and Sonic Youth. — Patrick Wall
Conundrum Music Hall: 9 p.m., $8; 250-1295, conundrum.us.

Saturday 21
Fork & Spoon Photography Show — As you could probably tell from the lovable green beards they don for every show, local folk-pop outfit Those Lavender Whales — and their label home, Fork & Spoon Records — appreciates visual expressions, as well as musical ones. With Aaron Graves, a leader in both endeavors, continuing his battle with brain cancer, the imprint’s photographer friends are selling their wares and giving Graves the proceeds. The exhibition at Hunter-Gatherer starts today and continues through July, with local favorites such as Sean Rayford and Thomas Hammond offering shots captured at Fork & Spoon events. And though the hosting brewpub no longer entertains live music, the display will be christened with an early set from family-friendly indie rock trio Lunch Money, which complicates cheery themes and breezy melodies with crunchy distortion and witty wordplay. — Jordan Lawrence
Hunter-Gatherer: 11 a.m., $5 suggested donation; 748-0540, huntergathererbrewery.com.

Pick ‘Em


Saturday 21 — Grüzer
Grüzer hasn’t played many shows; this is the metal sextet’s second date, and first local showing. Nor has Grüzer officially released any material; only demos fleck its social media pages. But Grüzer already displays a great deal of strength and savvy, which isn’t surprising given the band’s lengthy history in local heavies. Its members filled the ranks — among myriad others — of Death Valley Driver, Carolyn and Diavolo. The band’s sweltering Southern sludge draws power from its three-guitar bludgeon. Still a little raw, Grüzer should only get keener with time. Into the Depths headlines.
New Brookland Tavern: 8 p.m., $5 ($8 under 21); 791-4413, newbrooklandtavern.com.

Saturday 21 — Savagist
Athens’ Savagist, though, is already razor-sharp. Living up to its name, the group balances burly riff-rawk ballast with slicing tremolo-picked riffs and tricky rhythmic shifts. Its naked aggression recalls the earliest work of Mastodon, but Savagist’s complex slant comes not from prog but from black metal, which provides its twin-guitar assault with a piercing counterbalance to its serrated grit. At this point in their respective careers, the out-of-towners have the edge — but you could still split the difference and catch both sets. — Patrick Wall
Art Bar: 9 p.m., $5; 929-0198, artbarsc.com.


Tuesday 24
Tommy Emmanuel — Australian guitar virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel does things to an acoustic guitar that ought to be impossible, playing both gorgeous melodies and driving tunes with the hybrid Travis-style fingerpicking that earned him “Best Acoustic Guitarist” accolades from Guitar Player magazine in 2008 and 2010. He also won a Grammy with Chet Atkins on the Nashville icon’s last recording in 1997, after serving as a session guitarist for many years. Emmanuel returns to the Opera House at the same time on Wednesday. — Kevin Oliver
Newberry Opera House: 8 p.m., $36; 276-6264, newberryoperahouse.com.

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

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