K Theory plays Social on Wednesday. Courtesy photo
Rae Fitzgerald — The cover of Missouri-based singer/songwriter Rae Fitzgerald’s latest full-length, 2013’s Quitting the Machine, features two faceless coffee shop patrons and a checkered background that seems to nod knowingly to the real-world space her music mostly ends up in. Fitzgerald has a beguiling-if-understated voice, one that pays homage to old-time tradition while also suggesting a steady diet of Cat Power and Tori Amos. The arrangements — a mix of less-is-more folk with a touch of indie rock — follow suit. As a songwriter, though, Fitzgerald has the keen eye of a short story writer, giving her work a depth and value that is seemingly all too easy to pass over in the setting that her album cover suggests. Local favorites The Restoration and Post-Timey String Band open. K. Petersen
Red Door Tavern: 8 p.m., $5; 764-5196; reddoortavern.net
Gov’t Mule — Led by modern-day guitar hero Warren Haynes, Gov’t Mule has been a staple of the jam band circuit since the mid-90’s and, like many of its post-Dead peers, favors southern blues-rock over psychedelics. However, the Mule doesn’t seem to have the studio allergy so common in a genre whose bread and butter has traditionally been marathon touring and equally lengthy performances. Haynes and company have released 10 studio albums since 1995 and are currently touring in support of 2013’s Shout! Expect many guitar solos and cover songs. They are, after all, still a jam band. M. Spawn
Township Auditorium: 8 p.m., $29.50-$35; 576-2356, thetownship.org
Sally Barris, Don Henry — Whether performing solo or together with Tom Kimmel in the songwriter supergroup trio The Waymores, Sally Barris and Don Henry have an impressive list of hits to draw from. With their songs recorded by everyone from Ray Charles to Joe Cocker, Conway Twitty, Randy Travis and Martina McBride, you’re bound to hear something you already know. Combining Henry’s quick wit with Barris’ vocal prowess — equal parts mountain charm and soulful verve — this pair promises entertainment that’s also emotionally resonant. K. Oliver
UU Coffeehouse: 8:00 p.m. $17, $15 with reservation, $3 students; 803-200-2824; uucoffeehouse.org
Freeway Music Benefit Bash — This event, sponsored by Soulnote Productions, aims to raise money in support of Columbia’s Freeway Music School, which offers lessons in everything from guitar to mandolin to songwriting. Live music lasts until 1 a.m. and features performances from Don Russo, Cracker and the Doctor, Yaddatu, Les Racquet, Makayan, and One, Two, Skidoo. M. Spawn
Tin Roof: 6 p.m., $10; 771-1558, tinroofbars.com
Strung Like a Horse — Following the rise of acts like acts like Old Crow Medicine Show and Mumford & Sons, string bands-gone-rock ‘n’ roll are nearing overpopulation. But the Chattanooga-based Strung Like a Horse manages to make it work. The group plays energetic, straight-ahead bluegrass on the front line backed by an aggressive, jazz-inflected rock drummer. The lack of pretension and sense of joy combined with assured songwriting makes the group a noteworthy newgrass outfit in a scene crowded with too many acts that don’t make the grade.
New Brookland Tavern: Start time 8:30 p.m., $8; 791-4413, newbrooklandtavern.com
Duo Cortado — At this point, George Fetner’s work as a contemporary composer has far outshone his work as a guitarist in the local jam-rock scene. His pieces have been featured by adventurous local music series Southern Exposure and 21 Sounds; Beneath the Ice, his Kickstarter-funded record of computer-generated works, should see the light of day early this year. But while many of those pieces have centered on heavily processed orchestral instruments, he hasn’t neglected his beloved guitar. Tonight, exemplary local guitar outfit Duo Cortado (Devin Sherman and Andy Jurik) premieres Fetner’s “‘twas but a dream of thee,” a slowly mutating pieces that explores the broad range of textures and timbres of the nylon-string classical guitar. In places, it evokes classical masters Segovia and Christopher Parkening; in others, it’s redolent of the intense rhythms of Reich and Cage. At all times, though, it’s enthralling. P. Wall
Conundrum Music Hall: 8 p.m., free; 250-1295, conundrum.us.
K Theory — K-theory is some pretty high-minded stuff, a series of connected theorems about rings generated by vector bundles in topological space that has ramifications in everything from algebraic topology to high-energy physics and string theory. So while it’s tempting to extrapolate complexity from its name into its sound, San Francisco EDM trio K Theory — samplers Dylan Lewman and Dustin Musser with emcee Malcolm Anthony — is just too simple in style and execution. While densely layered and slickly produced, there’s not much that K Theory offers to separate itself from a way overcrowded EDM scene. Its drops are predictable, its trilling hip-hop thump unimaginative. As for execution: “Bitches go nuts when they hear this sound,” Anthony announces in “Turn Me Up.” Well. P. Wall
Social: 8 p.m., $10; socialcolumbiasc.com.
Dan Tedesco, Hunter Duncan — Earnest idealism and cynical reality collide in the songs of Dan Tedesco, with Neil Young, John Prine, Bruce Springsteen and Bill Mallonee among the available sonic and lyrical touchstones. His latest album Death In The Valley favors the acoustic-folk end of that spectrum. Columbia’s Hunter Duncan makes music as Yosef, including the late 2013 album Learn To Endure, which continues his run of stark indie-acoustic recordings nodding to the tortured tunefulness of Elliott Smith and Bon Iver. K. Oliver
Red Door Tavern: 8:00 p.m. $5 in advance, $10 day of show; 803-764-5196; reddoortavern.net
A Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve Carnival
From 6-11 PM on December 31st on Main Street, enjoy rides, games, karaoke, food, drinks and more! More information here.
Ice Skate on Main Street
Columbia’s famously hot skating rink is now open! Additional information and discounts can be found here.
New Year’s Eve at Social
Don’t miss this Black and White Affair featuring Kap Slap. Tickets available online!
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage offers 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
Hickory Tavern Is Now Open!
Find us on Facebook, Twitter (@TheHickoryTav), Instagram (@HickoryTavern), and visit our website for more info. 907 Senate Street in the Vista!
Going someplace cool this weekend?
Let The Backpacker help you go lightweight, comfortable and in style! Patagonia, Prana, Merrell, The North Face and more! Click for location, hours and more info.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season:
F/T and P/T avail. Must have a clean driving record, organized and have a prof appearance. Please call for an interview or email resume to Kerry@crystalpool.com. Must bring a copy of your Driving record and a list of all past employers with duration of employment listed as well as telephone numbers for references. Call 803-865-1200
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com