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.”
Make your own beer and wine!
Come get started on your “liquid hobby” and help us celebrate our 46th year in the Columbia area. Bet Mar Liquid Hobby Shop, 736 St. Andrews Road. Click to find out how!
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage is offering 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
New Downtown Dessert and Coffee Bar!
Tony’s Italian Eatery has teamed up with Southern Charm Sweets to bring you the highest quality dessert selection in the downtown area. 1120 Washington St., Suite 2. Find us on Facebook!
A Healthy Happy Hour
4-7 p.m at Good Life Cafe on Main St. Try our $4 local draft beers, $4 organic wine, 1/2 off select bottles of house wine and $5 handcrafted house cocktails with juices cold pressed and made daily. Click here for more info.
Trustus Theatre Presents Evil Dead, The Musical
This musical version of Sam Raimi’s cult classic films promises to serve up more humor than horror. You can read more and purchase your tickets here.
Happy Hour and Sushi Specials All Week
Red Bowl in Lexington now has great early bird and late night sushi specials 7 days a week, as well as 99-cent kids meals on Saturdays! Click here for special information and hours.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Local restaurants serving locally grown food during Palmetto Tasty Tomato Restaurant Feast, July 11-18:
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Real Estate Spotlight
Concord Park From the $150’s. Off 12th St. Extension. 803.419.2227. mungo.com
Click here for more real estate.
WATERFORD APARTMENTS 1 & 2 BR’s available with many amenities. Prime location, and plenty of space. Live large at Waterford Apartments. Bring in our ad in Free Times for $50 off your application fee. 1340 Longcreek Dr., Columbia, SC. Click here for more info.
ST. ANDREWS COMMONS APARTMENTS 1 & 2 BR’s available with many amenities. Close to everywhere YOU WANT TO BE! 1200 St. Andrews Rd., Columbia, SC. Click here for more info.
GABLE HILL APARTMENTS 1, 2 & 3 BR’s available with many amenities. Surround yourself with Southern comforts at Gable Hill Apartments! Bring in our ad in Free Times for $50 off your application fee. 310 Ross Rd, Columbia, SC. Click here for more info.
Donate Plasma Today & Be Somebody’s Hero For Life. You could earn up to $400 a month! Program and fees vary per location. Contact your local center today. 803-736-5888. Click here for more info