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.
For this go-round, genre-defying and eclectic music is the theme. Each of the four spotlighted acts has their own unique approach to music. Asheville once again displays its allure to traveling musicians who aren’t content to deliver the same old thing. Show your appreciation, and go see as many of these acts as possible. And you need only budget $25 to take in all four shows. That’s entertainment!
Artist: Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe
Venue: New Mountain
Date: Saturday, Sept. 19, 6 p.m.
Denson is an acclaimed saxophone player who’s toured with The Rolling Stones and Lenny Kravitz, among others. But his original music — and some inventive readings of carefully-chosen covers — is what makes him special. Nominally a jazz artist, even that expansive label is too limiting to describe where Denson goes musically. The funk stylings of Tiny Universe are a hit on the jam-band circuit, but the high energy of his combo — including B3 organ and horn section — will appeal to those who also want melody with their grooves. And his Zappa-esque compositional approach will thrill those with a taste for adventure. Earphunk opens.
Venue: Jack of the Wood
Date: Friday, Sept. 11, 8 p.m.
I’m sure there’s a joke somewhere that makes the point that Latin and Appalachian folk music only coincide when two touring acts’ vans collide on a stretch of late-night highway. But this Louisville, Key.-based sextet proves otherwise. The group approaches the unlikely synthesis of two genres with a wholly organic feel, and creates something unique and inviting in the process. Traditional instruments from both cultures bridge the sonic gap, as evidenced on the band’s pair of album releases. The musicians have only recently begun to venture outside their hometown, and the Jack of the Wood show is one of few touring engagements currently on their calendar. So don’t miss this one.
Date: Monday, Sept. 28, 9 p.m.
Melody’s great and all, but sometimes you need something else. CAVE is that something else: You might call the band’s music drone, or krautrock, or maybe even no-wave. But it’s oddly appealing and hypnotic, in a melt-your-brain kind of way. I hear influences of everything from B-52s to The Doors in the compositions. The group is modern and rooted in tradition all at once. Though the musicians have done a lot since, their 2011 release Neverendless is an exemplar of their style. Opening acts are Nest Egg and Chives.
Artist: Mike Dillon Band
Venue: Altamont Theatre
Date: Monday, Oct. 5, 9 p.m.
Vibraphone isn’t the most common instrument you’re likely to see on any given concert stage. And the music of Mike Dillon — quite succinctly described as “punk jazz” — is an unlikely fusion as well. But it works, combining the exploratory nature and chops of jazz with the energy and (sometimes) aggression of punk rock. Dillon’s one busy guy, often sharing the stage with fellow “outsider” musicians including Les Claypool, Ani DiFranco, Karl Denson (see above), and many others. The band’s music is serious stuff, but it’s always shot through with Dillon’s irrepressible humor. What else would you expect from a guy who also has a band called The Dead Kenny G’s?
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