Adam Corbett on his own | photo by Jordan Lawrence
Over the last five years, few Midlands-based bands have boasted the ambition of The Restoration. Started in Lexington and led by Daniel Machado, the group has journeyed through two folk-rock tales based in a fictionalized version of their hometown — one a story of miscegenation and betrayal in the 1800s, the other a depiction of Biblical zealotry and shocking violence set a century later. The band has explored adaptations of these Southern Gothic narratives for both film and stage, and even when it ventures into less conceptual territory, it has most often lobbed biting indictments at modern hypocrisy.
Somewhat counterintuitively, the group has also proven itself an able live act, blazing through bluesy rambles and crackerjack rock to contrast moments of sweeping chamber pop. The diminutive Machado is the obvious focal point, but he’s balanced by Adam Corbett, a lanky bass player who contributes a few lead vocals and provides a laid-back foil for the fiery frontman.
The Restoration has never been just Machado’s show. Saturday, the group will prove it, backing Corbett as he celebrates A & B Are So Far Apart, a debut EP that presents a drastically different vision. It’s a big step for Corbett, but he isn’t making much fuss over it.
“This record came about because I had this laptop with GarageBand on it,” he confesses. “I just noodled around. It’s just in my house, and I’m messing around with it.”
What: Lazy A & the Green Thing (Adam Corbett with The Restoration)
Where: Red Door Tavern, 134 1/2 State St.
When: Saturday, May 24, 8 p.m.
More Info: reddoortavern.net
Over time, his noodling transitioned into swirling pop experiments. “Strange Things” decks its raw and rambling acoustics with washed-out electronic flourishes, recalling Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. “Glow Worm” jumps and jitters, slinking through funk and indie pop, offering a more rustic interpretation of tUnE-yArDs’ futuristic propulsion. Neither have much in common with the pan-retro folk-rock preferred by The Restoration.
The latter song, Corbett admits, is actually built on a base of preset loops included with the software.
“I recorded five or six times with drums over the top, just trying to get a weird thing,” he admits. Elsewhere, he resorts to playing synthesizer with his computer keyboard and donning high-pitched vocal effects that recall Daft Punk and Kanye West.
He didn’t plan to release these early efforts, but was encouraged by his friends, particularly Machado, who set up the album’s release on Bandcamp — which ties A & B into The Restoration’s ongoing discography — and booked the show on Saturday.
The support, along with the fact that his laptop was stolen in January and then miraculously recovered with the hard drive intact, compelled Corbett to make use of the material.
To fill out the EP, he returned to two songs he wrote for his wedding day — the bouncy opener “I Do” and the closing ballad “Anywhere” — both of which remain effusive and romantic while avoiding any clichés or dopey proclamations.
“I write best under commission,” he explains. “And when you are about to get married, you are about as wild with love as you’re ever going to be. I was just trying not to be all Justin Bieber about it.”
Tracking all of the instruments and vocals himself, often straight through the laptop’s onboard microphone, the EP proves that Corbett can fascinate and entertain no matter the circumstances.
The release also bodes well for The Restoration’s future. The players are hard at work on a new concept record — this time conceived by Corbett — that chronicles the story of Reverend Samuel Harper, the character that leads the pro-North catharsis (“Praise the Union! Praise God!”) that serves as a moral compass for Constance, the group’s 2010 debut.
A former music minister who remains a liberal Christian, Corbett will once again foil Machado. Harper, an abolitionist preacher sent to lead a Lexington congregation in the antebellum South, is a stark contrast to Machado’s Roman Bright, the zealot and murderer that dominated 2012’s Honor the Father.
“[What] I’m about is love,” Corbett says, emphasizing that he’s “not really pro-religion.”
“I love Jesus,” he continues, “and I think he’s about the same thing.”
The bassist downplays any tension that his perspective might cause within The Restoration. After all, such conflicts are exactly what the band is all about.
“We all have friends that disagree with us, even good friends, ” he says. “It’s not hard. We have so many things in common. Some people put a lot of stock in their opinion. I’m not one of those people.”
King Lear in Finlay Park
October 16th-18th and 22nd-25th, the South Carolina Shakespeare Company presents William Shakespeare’s King Lear. All performances held at the Finlay Park Ampitheatre at 7:30 PM. For tickets and more information, click here or call 803-665-2000.
Four Miles, Twelve Doughnuts
Winston’s Wish aims to increase knowledge and understanding of children with autism, and you can help by participating in the 4.donut Race on October 25th. Start at Edventure Children’s Museum, run 2 miles to Krispy Kreme, eat 12 doughnuts, and run back! Registration is required and can be done here before October 23rd at 5 p.m.
Bluegrass, Bidding, and BBQ
Join The Palladium Society Thursday, October 23rd from 7-10 p.m. for its 11th annual silent auction, featuring music by The Mustache Brothers and catering by Bourbon and The Oak Table. Tickets are $30 at the door and include admission, drinks, and food. Get yours online now!
The Other Place at Trustus Theatre
Juliana Smithton is a successful neurologist whose life seems to be coming unhinged. A mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, past collides with present and the elusive truth of Juliana’s mental health boils to the surface in The Other Place, running at Trustus Theatre October 17th through November 1st. There will be a talk-back following the matinee on October 19th. Tickets can be purchased here or by calling the box office at 803-254-9732.
3LAU on Sunday, October 26th and the Unofficial Skrillex Mothership Tour After-Party on the 27th. More information and tickets for both can be found here. VIP tables available.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
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Local business is searching for new associates who are looking for a fun environment to earn great wages. Great position for college students/recent graduates. Must be well-mannered with excellent customer service skills/work ethic/ability to lift heavy items/must have valid Driver’s License. Call 803-376-4884 or email resume: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Cupcake now hiring a closing manager. Must be outgoing, customer service focused, able to work evenings and weekends. Apply in person. 1213 Lincoln Street, Columbia SC 29201. freshcupcakes.com