30 Days Out: a look at upcoming concerts

A SOURCE OF LIGHT: With a musical and lyrical vision too big for any one genre, Steve Earle takes aim at the grifter-in-chief on his latest single, "Srinivas." But as always, he has more on his mind than politics; his rich words dig deep and yet feel universal. And the slow-burning single rocks, too. Steve Earle and the Dukes play the Savage Station Saturday, Nov. 24. Photo by Ted Barron

Twice monthly, my 30 Days Out column spotlights upcoming music shows and events of note, shining a light into some less well-lit corners, where some 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 to the show.

An outspoken alt-country legend, local rock heroes paying tribute to the progenitors of heavy metal, intriguing not-quite-hip-hop and confessional indie rock: those are among the prime music options available to Asheville concertgoers in the next 30 days.

Artist: Steve Earle and the Dukes
Venue: Salvage Station
Date: Saturday, Nov. 24, 9 p.m.
Door: $32.50
Steve Earle put the alt in alt-country before it was considered cool to do so. The multiple Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter-guitarist has released 16 albums under his own name, and has collaborated in the studio and onstage with Del McCoury and (most recently) Shawn Colvin. An outspoken and famously irascible personality, Earle courted controversy (among some, at least) last year when he gave an interview in which he labeled the current temporary occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. as a fascist. His latest single, “Srinivas,” finds Earle collaborating again, this time with Marc Ribot and Tift Merritt.


Artist: Bad Ties
Venue: Sly Grog Lounge
Date: Tuesday, Oct. 30, 9 p.m.
Door: $5
Strictly speaking, it’s not really hip-hop. It’s not exactly spoken word, although there are certainly elements of that in Bad Ties’ presentation. What it is, really, is jazz- and trip-hop-inflected music and/or beats, with poetry recitation over the top. Fascinating stuff, and Asheville-based Bad Ties is quite prolific: the group has released an EP and three full-length albums, all in less than two years. Hypnotic, compelling and quite unlike most other music or poetry you’re likely to encounter locally. Mouthbreathers are also on the bill.


Artist: Rats Sabbath
Venue: Ambrose West
Date: Saturday, Nov. 3, 9 p.m.
Door: $10 advance / $12 day of show
Andrew Scotchie and the River Rats are one of Western North Carolina’s most beloved acts; they’ve been voted the Best Rock ‘n’ Roll Band in Xpress four years running. Coupled by a dynamic live show, the band’s original music on its two albums has won fans far and wide. But for this fun side project, Scotchie and his band mates (drummer Eliza Hill and bassist Keith Harry) apply their talents to Black Sabbath’s classic Paranoid album. The show also promises to debut some new and previously unheard original material, and will serve at Harry’s 31st birthday bash. Costumes are encouraged.


Artist: Ian Sweet
Venue: The Mothlight
Date: Friday, Nov. 9, 9:30 p.m.
Door: $12 advance / $14 day of show
Don’t be misled by the name: Ian Sweet is the musical pseudonym of Jilian Medford. Her music is gauzy, dissonant and yet alluring and tuneful. Lyrically, the songs on Ian Sweet’s debut album Shapeshifter may be close to confessional singer-songwriter fare, but the instrumental attack has more in common with PJ Harvey, Deerhunter, the War on Drugs and similarly edgy/contemplative indie-rock acts. Young Jesus opens.

You may also enjoy: With way more than 2750 entries and nearly 650 interviews, my Musoscribe blog features new content — features, reviews and more — every single day. A proud tradition, now in its 10th year. My book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon, published by Rowman & Littlefield, is available now.

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About Bill Kopp
Author, music journalist, historian, collector, and musician. His first book, "Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon," published by Rowman & Littlefield, is available now. Follow me @the_musoscribe

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