30 Days Out: a look at upcoming concerts

Twice monthly, my blog 30 Days Out 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.

It’s Holiday season, and while only one of these performances is holiday-themed, each of them is likely to help put (or keep) you in a festive mood.

Artist: The Sunpilots
Venue: The Mothlight
Date: Tuesday, Dec. 16, 9 p.m.
Door: $5
To some minds, alternative rock and progressive rock are two wholly different things, with little in common. Sydney, Australia-based Sunpilots clearly didn’t get that memo; the four-man group manages to combine the wide, commercial appeal of alternarock with the more ambitious musical goals of prog. They’re not afraid to trade in progressive rock ideas like concept albums and eight-minute musical pieces, but their delivery is so accessible — and without the oh-so-serious attitude that can doom proggers to obscurity — that you might even find yourself singing along. Charismatic lead singer Raj Siva-Rajah is out front of the no-nonsense three piece (guitar/bass/drums). Stereospread and Divine Love Mission open.

Artist: The Invisible III
Venue: The Altamont Theatre
Date: Friday, Dec. 12, 10 p.m.
Door: $7 advance / $10 day of show
Though the term “power trio” was coined back in the 1960s to describe thee players (almost always within the rock idiom) who performed assertive, muscular music, it applies here in a somewhat different manner. This group of three Asheville heavyweight musicians (Ryan Burns on keyboards; drummer Michael Rhodes; and Jay Sanders on guitar, bass and the what-the-heck-is-that N/S Stick) plays a sort of post-rock that relies more on improvisation and deep grooves. More rock-oriented than Sanders’ “other” power trio (the post-jazz powerhouse E. Normus Trio), this group mixes its own fresh takes on well-known material with songs of its own making.

Artist: Les Femmes Mystique presents A Holiday Affair
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Sunday, Dec. 14, 7 p.m.
Door: $15 advance / $20 day of show
Have you been naughty this year? If so, forget about getting coal in your stocking; instead, reward yourself with an evening of entertainment headlined by Asheville’s burlesque troupe, Les Femmes Mystique. This revue will feature comedy, Bollywood-style dancers, circus arts, roots jazz and a photo booth where you can have your picture taken cozying up to a “stage kitten” or “stage lion.” Meow! A Holiday Affair is becoming an Asheville tradition; this is the third annual event organized by Chrstine Garvin. I won’t be surprised if this one sells out well before the show date.

Artist: Jonny Monster Band
Venue: Jack of the Wood
Date: Saturday, Dec. 27, 9 p.m.
Door: $5
Because both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fall during the work week, for some of us, it’s only this weekend that we get any real time off. What better way to spend that precious downtime than with some blues? This acoustic-and-electric blues trio (originally from New York’s Hudson River Valley, now relocated to Knoxville) has opened for some big names: the late Johnny Winter and Lucky Peterson among them. Come see ’em up close and personal (and cheap!) before they make the big time. Their second album, Bad Times Before, was released in October.

You may also enjoy: With over 1450 entries, my Musoscribe blog features new content — interviews, reviews and more — every business day. A proud tradition since 2009.


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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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