Twice monthly, my online column 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.
This time I spotlight two local groups: one features a musical reunion; the other is cutting a live album. And I also preview two shows by nationally touring acts, one of which has courted some significant controversy.
Artist: Car Seat Headrest
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Saturday, Sept. 10, 9 p.m.
A little controversy never hurt er … most performers. For their label, perhaps it’s a different story. Car Seat Headrest (really the prolific Will Toledo and some other guys) released its latest album, Teens of Denial (the band’s 10th!) in May. It contained a tune called “Just What I Wanted/Not Just What I Needed,” which sampled the Cars‘ hit of a similar name. The latter’s Ric Ocasek belatedly decided he didn’t approve, and so Matador (CSH’s label) had to recall and destroy a bunch of albums, taking it on the chin to the tune of a reported $50k. A few copies leaked out, making Teens of Denials a kind of Yesterday … and Today for the 21st century (ask your parents or grandparents about The Beatles‘ “butcher album”). None of this controversy should affect the live performance of this ultra-hip act from the Pacific Northwest. The Lemon Twigs open.
Artist: London Souls
Venue: Highland Brewing Co.
Date: Saturday, Aug. 20, 7:30 p.m.
Let’s clear up a couple likely misconceptions right up front: This duo isn’t from London (they’re based in New York City), and their music isn’t really soul; it’s closer to the kind of thing Cream did back in the late 1960s, updated just a bit for modern audiences. But even that doesn’t quite get at their sound. Their appeal is quite wide, as evidenced by the fact that they’re touring with Sturgill Simpson (though not at their Asheville date). The guitar-and-drums duo are the musical component of the free Hemp-X event showcasing the myriad uses of (industrial) hemp. Hemp-X starts at noon and runs until 10 p.m.
Artist: Hard Bop Explosion
Venue: Isis Restaurant & Music Hall
Date: Wednesday, Aug. 31, 8:15 p.m.
A who’s-who of Asheville-by-way-of-NYC jazz luminaries, Hard Bop Explosion focuses on what, for many, is the most exciting period in the history of this uniquely American art/musical form. Hard bop arose in the 1950s, and drew upon rhythm & blues and gospel, creating a kinetic, adventurous-yet-viscerally accessible sound. This particular lineup — featuring Michael W. Davis on drums — hasn’t played together in some time, and it’s not known if future dates are planned. So don’t miss it. Admission also includes an earlier (7 p.m.) show in the upstairs lounge featuring the Bill Bares Trio.
Artist: Underhill Rose
Venue: The Altamont Theatre
Date: Friday, Sept. 16, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m
Door: $10 advance / $12 day of show / $20 both shows
Have you ever wanted to be on a live album? Now’s your chance … as an audience member. With three warmly received studio albums to the band’s credit, Asheville’s own Underhill Rose has decided to cut a live album. And not just any live album: The group’s upcoming release will be the product of recordings made at this pair of shows in the intimate listening room environment of the Altamont Theatre. Will the musicians play favorites from their catalog — including songs from their No. 1-charting (Progressive Bluegrass) The Great Tomorrow? Or will they unveil new songs? Find out at least some of the answers in my interview/feature with the trio, coming in the Sep. 14 issue of Mountain Xpress. But don’t wait until then to buy tickets; this pair of shows is likely to sell out ahead of time.
You may also enjoy: With over 2000 entries and more than 300 interviews, my Musoscribe blog features new content — features, reviews and more — every business day. A proud tradition since 2009, now in its eighth year.