Concerts in Columbia: May 21-28

By Free Times
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Carrie Elkin & Danny Schmidt play UU Coffeehouse on Saturday.

Thursday 22
Prettier Than Matt, The Post-Timey String Band — Talented guitarists always seem to attract the prettiest girls, and this double helping of local duos is further proof. Prettier Than Matt features hotshot guitarist Jeff Pitts (Deleveled) alongside the golden hair and even more sparkling throat of ukulele strummer Jessica Skinner. The Post-Timey String Band includes talented multi-instrumentalist Sean Thomson and the irrepressibly brassy Kelley McLachlan. Both acts mine country, folk and roots influences to good effect: Prettier Than Matt appropriates country twang, while Post-Timey gravitates to more seminal Appalachian sounds and styles. Travis Smith opens. — Kevin Oliver
Red Door Tavern: 8 p.m., $5; 764-5196,

Don Russo, Reggie Sullivan and Tony Lee — Separately, Don Russo, Reggie Sullivan and Tony Lee have been part of a number of accomplished local projects, from Russo’s pop-rock confection Charming Hala to Lee’s Speakeasy jazz appearances and Sullivan’s many different jazz, rock and funk aggregations, most notably the outfit that bears his name. Lee and Russo are also principals at the local music instructional school Freeway Music, churning out new student musicians on a regular basis. Together, this trio ought to seriously rattle some cages — releasing various styles and allowing them to mingle. — Kevin Oliver
Riverbanks Zoo: 6 p.m.; $5 (free for members); 779-8717,

Seventy Six and Sunny — Performing for Five After Five’s penultimate 2014 installment, Columbia college-rock favorite Seventy Six and Sunny projects its catchy hooks with smooth and balanced vibrato over power chord riffs marked by sharp distortion and nimble harmonic leads. Importing the familiar structures and dynamics of ’90s pop-rock, the four-piece might not break new ground, but should appeal to the laid-back crowd that typically populates this event.
— Dade Driggers
Five After Five: 6:30 p.m., free; 748-1119,

Saturday 24
Crown the Cake, Art Sale — Local outfit Crown the Cake burns through heavy alt-rock tunes with refreshing abandon; likewise admirable is the sense that the quartet feels in no way beholden to things like melody, groove or traditional song structures. But while hard rock can scrape by well enough without it, the absence of any sort of melodic hook renders many of the band’s songs unmemorable. Art Sale — the heady, experimental project of local composer Paddy Dover and former-Unawares bassist James Wallace — toys with otherworldly effects and loops with equal commitments to subtle moods and quiet mayhem. — Michael Spawn
Art Bar: 9 p.m., $5; 929-0198,

Carrie Elkin & Danny Schmidt — For Keeps, the new duo album by Carrie Elkin and Danny Schmidt, tracks like a his-and-hers perspective on relationships and love — as well it should. The pair will be married in October, but they have been a couple for many years while touring and recording separately. Schmidt’s image-rich narratives complement Elkin’s more ethereal contributions, approaching what Bob Dylan and Emmylou Harris might have done with a full-on duets collection, as they alternate songs throughout. Schmidt’s communal “Company of Friends” is more rousing sung by Elkin, and on songs such as “Two White Clouds” even Schmidt gets a little frisky, with full band arrangements accenting the pair’s chemistry. — Kevin Oliver
UU Coffeehouse: 8 p.m., $15 ($3 students); 200-2824,

Keep On Rocking Festival — Jam band fans should be familiar with the Athens, Ga.-based headliner Mama’s Love, but the undercard holds an impressive array of local talent. Capable rock bands Concrete Jumpsuit, Moving Mercury and Prettier Than Matt are among the notable names, but the real treat will be a one-off reunion of current Ruby Brunettes frontman Chris Compton’s former band, the jagged but anthemic Fossil Record. Also appearing will be Waccamaw, Bossman, James Beresford, James Ervin, and Craig and the Bodietones. — Kevin Oliver
Jake’s: 2p.m.-11 p.m., $10; 252-5253,

Pick ‘Em
Saturday 24 — Who is BC?
Answering his moniker’s probing question, Brian Carrion mixes samples, instruments and live vocal looping.  His self-proclaimed goal is to redefine your concept of music by blending popular drops from dubstep, catchy autotuned refrains and quirky acoustic performances — like “The Circle of Life” rendered with a backing chorus. The majority of his work is an acquired taste. But his live performances offer crowd-pleasing showmanship, and the modulated vocals flow well over his digital beats. Still, his juvenile lyrics are a bit of a turn-off, leaving his genre-spanning cocktail feeling a bit muddled.
Tin Roof Columbia: 10 p.m., free; 771-1558,

Saturday 24 — Jahson & the Natty Vibez
This week’s installment of Rhythm on the River features a group that’s far less adventourous. Local reggae sextet Jahson & the Natty Vibez are a fitting option for an outdoor venue, offering amiable verses, elegant harmonies and popping up-stroked guitars that would play far better in the sun than crammed within a rock club’s dark confines. The vocals and progressions paint a tropical backdrop with precision but there isn’t much originality or variation in the formula, relegating the Natty Vibez to the realm of favorable replication.
— Dade Driggers
West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheater: 6 p.m., free; 794-6504;

Sunday 25
Concord America — Though best regarded for its avant-garde ambitions — witness the hyper-surreal art film PASSAGE — and superlative records from spacey outfits like Storms OV Jupiter and Cancellieri, the Columbia imprint Post Echo has a strong taste for fuzzy rock ‘n’ roll. The latest proof rolls through town on Sunday: Atlanta’s Concord America, which will soon drop its maniacally fetching new album Suns Out Guns Out with help from the label, saunters and sprints through distorted fever dreams littered with serrated guitars and blissfully disorienting hooks. The trio is joined by Palmetto State rock regulars Art Contest — whose jittery indie rock makes them a prime candidate for future Post-Echo interest — and Dear Blanca — a fraught and feisty outfit currently prepping one of the label’s most anticipated releases. — Jordan Lawrence
New Brookland Tavern: 7:30 p.m., $7; 791-4413,

Memorial Day Festival — Credit local ‘zine and promotions hub Stereofly for rallying a holiday festival that highlights local music diversity. Swaggering rap stalwart Fat Rat da Czar headlines following a set by his scrappy and energetic protege Cole Connor. At the early end of the two-stage hullabaloo is Charleston’s Mechanical River, whose taut but suave one-man electro-pop is the essence of DIY. In between you get the striding Irish folk-isms of The Black Iron Gathering, the fleet prog rock of Trees on Mars and the aggressive piano clobbering of Shallow Palace, along with five other acts to keep the party going well into the night. — Jordan Lawrence
Art Bar: 5 p.m., $7; 929-0198,

Wednesday 28
Almost Kings, Alias For Now — On the often treacherous funk-rock spectrum, Atlanta’s Almost Kings fall somewhere between 311 and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Fortunately for the band, it does better than the average musician treading this familiar path; unfortunately for us, its poetic skill doesn’t extend beyond that of Fred Durst. Opener Alias For Now — consisting entirely of teenagers — has probably devoured more hard rock records than guys twice its members’ age. They’re rabid Black Sabbath and Motörhead devotees, and the result is an electrifying marriage of ‘70s classic rock and late-’80s thrash metal. — Michael Spawn
New Brookland Tavern: 7 p.m., $8; 791-4413,

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