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.
Can you spare $20 spread across the next 30 days? If so, you can treat yourself to four excellent evenings of live music. Three of the sets noted below are free, but you can do your part to support local music by helping fill the tip jar. Lots of rock, surf and Americana in this roundup.
Artist: Daydream Creatures
Venue: The Mothlight
Date: Monday, Feb. 4, 9 p.m.
Asheville’s three-woman-fronted Daydream Creatures turned in one of the region’s best albums of 2018. Qalupalik is tough to pin down genre-wise, and that’s all to the good. Imagine a cross of the Roches, the Andrews Sisters and modern rock, with a dash of Americana sprinkled on top. As I wrote in my review of the group’s debut album, “In the end it’s best to forget about summing up Daydream Creatures’ music into a few words. The music and the harmonies will tell us everything we need to know.” Shaken Nature and The Minnies are also on the bill.
Artist: When Particles Collide
Venue: Sly Grog Lounge
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 12, 8 p.m.
Combining elements of everything from gospel to show tunes to vintage rock ‘n’ roll, this duo of wife (Sasha Alcott, guitar) and husband Chris Viner (drums) can turn on a dime from uber-heavy riff rock (“Bell Jar” from the new EP Fade to Gold) to a modern rethink of Piedmont blues (“Waste of Time”) to a close-harmony, piano-based number. At least on record, that is. I’m guessing that live onstage the duo will focus squarely on the harder rocking end of its well-defined character, highlighted by Alcott’s arresting vocal work. Her Pilots and Tan Universe open.
Artist: Forbidden Waves
Date: Friday, Feb. 15, 8:30 p.m.
The United States has a long and proud tradition of what’s known as surf music. Not in the style of early Beach Boys and Jan and Dean so much — instead it’s a twangy, Fender guitar-centric sound that evokes the feel of crashing waves on the California coast. The primarily (but not exclusively) instrumental phenomenon had its heyday in the early 1960s, just before the so-called British Invasion. But surf music has endured and spread worldwide to nearly every corner of the globe. In our region, Athens-based trio Forbidden Waves is one of the most skilled and compelling practitioners of the genre. Also performing: Thee Sidewalk Surfers and TV SET.
Artist: The Paper Crowns
Venue: Pisgah Brewing
Date: Friday, March 1, 8 p.m.
There was a time — the 1960s and ’70s in particular — during which country music managed both to hold fast to its musical values and find success in the wider marketplace of popular (as in AM radio) music. With the rise of target-marketed, focus-grouped music (something that has affected all genres), that kind of success is less common today. But Asheville-based Paper Crowns seem to understand the balance that made the music work back then, and they apply it to their new and original music, which is rooted in country but — in the best tradition — draws from wider influences as well.
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