In my twice-monthly blog 30 Days Out, I spotlight upcoming music shows and events of note. While the most well-known venues in town (Orange Peel, Grey Eagle, and whatever they’re calling the Civic Center) consistently book popular and worthwhile acts, I’ll shine a light into some less well-lit corners, where some equally fascinating artists schedule performances. I do my best to give ample advance notice so that you can adjust your budget and calendar in a way that lets you get you to the show.
This edition is hard to put a finger on thematically. There are local and touring acts with genres all over the place. But they’re all fascinating on paper, and they promise to be even better onstage.
Artist: Vibration of Versatility Triple CD Release Party
Venue: The Millroom
Date: Sunday, March 31, 9:00 p.m.
Door: $10 (includes CD)
The VOV project is an endeavor to release a dozen different albums of as many different musical genres in the same number of months. And the goal is to do this drawing strictly on local talent. Luckily, that’s a commodity that’s not in short supply. This night will celebrate the release of three of these discs: an EP from Magenta Sunshine and a pair of compilation Vibration of Versatility albums. Three extremely well-regarded local acts — Kings of Prussia, RBTS Win and Empire Strikes Brass (let’s hope the last of those does their ace cover of Cannonball Adderley‘s “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy”) — are only part of what concertgoers will enjoy this evening. The $10 cover includes your choice of one of these new CD releases. Good luck picking.
Date: Saturday, April 5, 9:30 p.m.
When one thinks of 60s-style psychedelic pop, South America might not be the first continent that springs to mind. But fans of the amazing box set compilation Nuggets II: British Empire and Beyond know that bands like We All Together, Aguaturbia and Los Dug Dug’s created some credible examples of the genre. And it was bands such as those (along with more well-known ones who enjoyed global success) that influenced Boogarins. Fuzz, feedback and fun should be the order of the evening. Carrboro’s Fan Modine and local folk-psych quintet Warm the Bell (with yours truly on keyboards) open.
Artist: Joy on Fire
Venue: The One Stop
Date: Tuesday, April 8, 8:00 p.m.
It’s intriguing the way that jazz fusion is bubbling under in Asheville, a town noted musically more for jam bands and beardo alt-Americana. But there’s clearly enough interest to draw Greensboro’s Joy on Fire to town. This trio has an unconventional lineup: electric bass guitar, drums, and … saxophone. But these young jazzers seem as influenced by heavy rock as jazz. When they describe their sound as “Zeppelin meets Coltrane,” you’d best believe it. And though billed as another in The One Stop’s “Two for Tuesday” events, the night’s eclectic bill also includes The Jake Clayton Band and country singer Stephanie Quayle.
Artist: Lost in the Trees
Date: Tuesday, Apr. 15, 9:30 p.m.
Door: $10 advance / $12
This Chapel Hill chamber-pop collective first came to my attention with their 2009 release All Alone in an Empty House.” In my review of that LP, I described them as “a bit precious, but in a good way. Think of Sufjan Stevens or any number of the Elephant 6 Collective bands with (much) more classical instrumentation (harpsichord, real strings etc.) and you’re on the right track.” Five years and two more albums later, I stand by that description. Subtle but fascinating. All Tiny Creatures open.
A special shout-out to Greenville S.C.‘s Handlebar for booking rock legend Todd Rundgren (April 10) for a date on his current tour. No Asheville date, but Greenville’s a mere hour-plus drive, folks. And Todd’s latest album, State is better than you might expect.
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