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.
None of the four acts previewed in this edition fit neatly into a specific musical category, but for our purposes we’ll classify them loosely as two heavy rock acts and two jazz performers. But those narrow labels do them all a slight disservice, so please read on.
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Thursday, Nov. 12, 8 p.m.
Door: $12 advance / $15 day of show
Ty Segall is a widely admired and young (28 years old) exponent of an older musical style, one held in high regard by many critics (not to mention rock fans with a sense of history). Segall’s music is variously called garage-rock, punk, lo-fi and other labels, but at its core what it is, is rock in the grand tradition. One can arguably draw a straight line through early rock ‘n’ roll, ’60s garage rock, ’70s punk, ’80s alternative, (some of) ’90s grunge and whatever it is that Segall does. He’s involved in several projects, and Fuzz is the heaviest. Fuzz draws upon the tradition of heavy ’70s rock, with a definite psychedelic flavor. Bandmates Charles Moothart and Chad Ubovich complete this power trio for the 21st century. They’re currently touring in support of their second album, the imaginatively-titled II. Three other bands are also on the bill: Walter, The Tills and Primovanhalen.
Artist: Lightbulb Jazz Orchestra
Venue: White Horse Black Mountain
Date: Monday, Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m.
This guarantees to be a boundary-pushing, challenging evening of music. WNC-based pianist Michael Jefry Stevens involves himself in myriad projects, each with its own set of musical frameworks and structure. But his Lightbulb Jazz Orchestra project is wholly improvisational. Joined by Rob Falvo (percussion), Harold McKinney (trombone and effects) and saxophonist Jason Moore, the LJO produces music that you’ve never heard before, and will never hear again. Like all of the performances in the ensemble’s Open Music Series, this concert will feature a guest artist (to be or not to be announced).
Artist: The Sword
Venue: The Orange Peel
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 25, 8 p.m.
Door: $17 advance / $19 day of show
Loud slow rules! Critics (and fans, and sometimes record labels) are fond of dividing the musical landscape into genres and subgenres. The practice is maddening to some artists, who resent being pigeonholed. But oftentimes having a musical artist labeled as trafficking in a particular style can be helpful to a listener unfamiliar with the artist’s work. Because, let’s face it, not everyone is into Christian ska, zika, or Nintendocore (and no, I didn’t make those up). The Sword, then, is best classified as doom/stoner rock. What this means in practice is fairly straightforward. If you thought Black Sabbath played too fast and not loudly enough, and if you though their subject matter was entirely too cheery, then this Austin quintet might just be your thing. A modern variant on the style pioneered by Blue Cheer and kept alive by Iron Maiden, The Sword is among the best at what it does, and of late the musicians have been mainstreaming their sound a bit. Not altogether unsurprisingly, their latest disc is titled High Country. Please bring earplugs. Trust me, you’ll still be able to hear them just fine. Royal Thunder opens.
Artist: John Scofield and Jon Cleary
Venue: New Mountain
Date: Wednesday, Dec. 2, 8 p.m.
Door: $30 advance / $35 day of show
A giant in the jazz world, electric guitarist John Scofield is notable not only for his stellar chops but for his wide appeal; his fan base transcends the jazz idiom. A short list of his past musical associates gives one a sense of his musical scope: Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Chet Baker, Jaco Pastorius, Phil Lesh, Gov’t Mule and John Mayer (and those are just a few). For his current tour, he joins forces with British born keyboardist/vocalist Jon Cleary. Cleary’s musical roots lean toward funk and other American roots music forms. His past includes collaborations with The Meters and Bonnie Raitt. The duo’s Asheville date guarantees to be a genre-defying experience.
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