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.
There’s something for most every musical taste in this edition of 30 Days Out. Unpredictable, experimental jazz; high-energy musical hijinks; indie sounds from Nashville and some of the newest songwriting talent WNC has to offer. Check ’em out.
Venue: Tiger Mountain
Date: Wednesday, Aug. 26, 9 p.m.
It’s encouraging to this longtime rock fan to observe that plenty of young musical artists still choose the garage-rock subgenre as the means of putting their music across. The sneering abandon of garage-rock isn’t miles away from punk, but it’s often possessed of a a lighter, less self-serious demeanor. That’s the case with Nashville-based Pujol. The group builds on the lo-fi aesthetic of bands like Pavement and Guided By Voices, and other writers have compared them to Cheap Trick and The Replacements; any of those name-checks should grab the attention of fans of intelligent, high-energy rock. The group kicks off a 20-plus date tour with this Asheville show. Ah! Pook opens.
Artist: Rational Discourse
Venue: ISIS Restuarant & Music Hall
Date: Sunday, Aug. 16, 8:30 p.m.
ISIS’ long-running jazz showcase becomes the new home to the also-long-running local music project that is Rational Discourse. Previously hosted at the nearby Mothlight, RatDis is the brainchild of Steve Alford. One never knows what one will get with the unclassifiable “small big band,” and that’s part of the edge-of-your-seat thrill of seeing and hearing them live. Because they don’t know what they’re going to give the audience, either. Returning to the stage after nearly a year without a home, RatDis will play 8-10:30 pm on ISIS’s main (downstairs) stage, but the nominal cover charge also gets you access to an earlier (6 p.m.) show in the upstairs lounge, featuring Serpentine Arborvitae.
Artist: Southern Culture on the Skids
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Thursday, Sept. 3, 9 p.m.
Door: $15 advance / $18 day of show
This much beloved band is a perennial Asheville favorite. The group’s fun songs — delivered with good-humored skill and energy — bring out the go-go dancing fans, making a SCOTS show an experience for all of the senses. The band has been going strong for more than 30 years now, flying under the radar of major commercial success, yet releasing a consistent string of enjoyable albums. But SCOTS is always at its best live and onstage. Kindred spirits (and local heroes) The Krektones open the show.
Artist: Brown Bag Songwriting Contest
Venue: Asheville Music Hall
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 9, 7:30 p.m.
One wouldn’t think Debrissa McKinney would have time for this. The Asheville multi-instrumentalist/vocalist is an in-demand musician who lends her talents to countless live and studio projects, but she’s still found the time to host this ongoing event. This year’s series kicks off on Wednesday, Sept. 9, continuing weekly right up until the day before Thanksgiving. Each week, eight contestants get a chance to perform three of their original compositions in front of a judge panel (and the audience, of course). Admission — to watch and listen — is free, and it’s only $3 to enter as a competitor (space is limited, of course).
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