Columbia SC Live Music: April 23-29

R. Kelly, Chrome Sparks, Brave Baby, WUSC Jamboree
By Free Times
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Chrome Sparks plays Tapp's Arts Center on Monday

Thursday 24

Brave Baby — Brave Baby is South Carolina’s next best shot at indie music fame. The sweeping synth textures and punchy hooks point to bands like Passion Pit or Local Natives, but the Charleston outfit outstrips both in its capacity to build breezy melodies into huge pop explosions. Able to trip through downtrodden ballads and sprint through colorful choruses with equal aplomb, Brave Baby is made for the festival circuit — a perfect choice for Five After Five’s springtime stage. — Jordan Lawrence
Five Points Fountain: 6:30 p.m., free;

Kennedy Jones — Kennedy Jones fills his Twitter bio with a boast: “I make music to make memories to.” That doesn’t seem to jibe with the oeuvre of Social’s new Turnt Up Thursdays series, which kicks off tonight, but it seems to square with Jones’ forays into roaring EDM. Jones’ trap-muzik remixes and bass-heavy original bangers are party-starters, for sure, but their telegraphed payoffs and all-payload ballast blend together too quickly and too blandly. Jones’ plastic inelasticity simply doesn’t engage that much of your brain’s RAM, leaving you plenty left with which to make memories — ones unrelated to his music. — Patrick Wall
Social: 8 p.m., free; 603-4313,

Sister Hazel — In the late ’90s, Sister Hazel was one of several parentally approved pop-rock bands clamoring for dominance in a post-Hootie world. And unlike most of the competition, the band actually topped the charts thanks to 1997’s “All for You,” an unstoppable, wistfully strumming juggernaut that laid to waste the Toni Braxton and Whitney Houston singles released at roughly the same time. Sister Hazel hasn’t scored a hit of that magnitude since, but the group soldiers on, making a lasting career out of one lucky break and playing this benefit for children with autism. — Michael Spawn
Carolina Walk Rooftop: 7 p.m., $88; 281-0206

Spring Sludge Fest — Sludge metal is a Southern thing. That’s the stereotype, at least. Like the easygoing vibes of ’70s Southern rock, the rumbling heft of bands like Kylesa and Harvey Milk has come to dominate the popular conception of Dixieland heavy music. Kudos to WUSC’s Metal Cock Radio for acknowledging the style’s underrated diversity: Austin’s Lions of Tsavo balance magmatic riffs with bursts of strung-out distortion; New Jersey’s DUTCHGUTS thrash violently beneath oozing guitars; Greenville’s Alias For Now cause thick riffs to churn and choogle. With Ubasute, Solaire, Waft. — Jordan Lawrence
Foxfield Bar and Grille: 8 p.m., $5-$7;

Pick ‘Em

Charlotte’s Hectorina doles out emotionally tortured vocals drenched in reverb with effects piled on seemingly every instrument, making the recent Cobblewobble sound like it was recorded in a spacecraft. Release the Dog is sneakier, holding their best melodies close to the chest, daring listeners to come closer. Daddy Lion’s songs — livened by a dash of funk and blue-eyed soul — make the group the standout on this rock-leaning triple-header, appropriate as the show celebrates the release of its new EP, Perpetual Calendar: Part 1.
Conundrum Music Hall: 8:30 p.m., $5; 250-1295,


Magnetic Flowers have never produced anything lacking in intrigue or ambition, twisting at jagged indie rock angles with an Enviable collection of pop-inspired hooks. And while The Woggles aren’t young men anymore, their garage rock is still tight and lively — as they proved during a riveting set at last year’s Jam Room Music Festival. Frontman Mighty Manfred kicks and shimmies his way into the crowd to encourage the rug-cutting their songs deserve. Despite their differences, these two bands are united by their insistent and catchy execution. With The Head, Baby Baby. — Michael Spawn
Art Bar: 8 p.m., $5; 929-0198,

Saturday 26

A Brighter Life  — Pop-punk isn’t easily deterred. Believe it or not, Blink-182 has been a band for more than two decades, and new bands continue to slavishly take up the banner as their own. Enter A Brighter Life, who tonight release a new EP. The Columbia group resembles New Found Glory and The Starting Line, comparisons that aren’t altogether bad — most often, the songs are quite catchy — but there’s a nagging willfulness to the genre — and to A Brighter Life — that seems to stubbornly ward off any appreciable evolution. With Boot Straps, The Capital, All Hands, Swing First. — Kyle Petersen
New Brookland Tavern: 7 p.m., $5 ($7 under 21); 791-4413,

Daddy — Daddy is the duo of Tommy Womack and Will Kimbrough, two household names in the thriving East Nashville scene. Kimbrough is a talented and in-demand producer and session guitarist when not working on his own wryly endearing material, while Womack’s reputation as a humorist and storyteller — in or out of song — is infamous. Their two collaborative albums revel in swinging roots-rock, but expect a quieter time in this intimate setting. Kyle Petersen
Little Yellow Music House: 6:30 p.m., $20 suggested donation; 309-0214,

R. Kelly — R. Kelly never learns. Despite damaging allegations of lewd acts with teenage girls, the silky voiced R&B star has only augmented his hyper-sexual persona. “Marry the Pussy” from last year’s Black Panties — take a moment to process both titles — drifts casually with comforting keys and sleek Auto-Tune backing as Kelly describes getting “down on his knees” for a love that “always opens up” for him. Far from avoiding the subject, Kelly shoves his lechery right in your face. He’s still a world-class entertainer, but his demons make the seduction a little too creepy. Maybe wait for Bruno Mars; he’ll be here in June. — Jordan Lawrence
Colonial Life Arena: 8 p.m., $47.50-$112; 576-9200,

WUSC Jamboree — Barely more than a month after it played for free for University of South Carolina students, Vacationer returns to headline the 3rd annual WUSC Jamboree. Despite the frustrating double-billing, the Philadelphia crew is a smart choice to headline the student radio station’s spring fundraiser, swelling beneath gauzy synths and keys with effervescent hooks. Its tricks aren’t groundbreaking, but they are incredibly current. Heyrocco — a trio of Charleston expats surging through comfortably frayed pop-rock nuggets — and Zack Mexico — a Technicolor garage blur from coastal North Carolina — are two more highlights on a nine-band bill that also includes budding local rock bands fk mt. and MyBrother MySister. — Jordan Lawrence
El Burrito: 12:30 p.m., $8;

Sunday 27

Adkins & Loudermilk — Although the group gets its name from two marquee names — bassist and harmony singer Edgar Loudermilk recently finished up a stint with Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out; Dave Adkins was the deep-throated powerhouse and rhythm guitarist in the now-defunct Republik Steele — expect a wild, wily and thoroughly congealed bluegrass band to show up for this one, including South Carolinians Andrew Crawford (lead guitar) and Glen Crain (dobro, steel guitar), as well as mandolinist Jordan Rice and banjoist Chad Davis. — Kyle Petersen
Bill’s Music Shop & Pickin’ Parlor: 2:30 p.m., $15; 796-6477;

Monday 28

Chrome Sparks, Deniro Farrar — Scenario Records is a new local label started by two University of South Carolina seniors, Thi Lam and Rupert Hudson. The imprint celebrates its birth with this showcase for its flagship acts — One Two Skiddoo, (a rap-pop band not dissimilar to Flobots featuring both Lam and Hudson), Tiger Hudson (Lam’s electro-R&B collaboration with Callosum’s Mason Youngblood) and pop duo Casio Mio. But while locals dominate the label’s roster, this concert makes a splash with two out-of-town offerings: Brooklyn’s Chrome Sparks, whose multifaceted electronic music builds into expansive and masterful soundscapes, headlines. Charlotte emcee Deniro Farrar, whose rough-and-tumble gangsta rap two-parter The Patriarch made him one of the country’s most sought-after cult rappers, hosts. — Patrick Wall
Tapp’s Arts Center: 7 p.m., $7; 988-0013,

Let us know what you think: Email

More music

Free Times Now Hiring
Download the Free Times app
Subscribe to Free Times newsletters