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.
The last “30 Days Out” of 2016 focuses on two local acts, a New Orleans group with local connections, and a group from Copenhagen, Denmark. Wrap up your 2016 concertgoing calendar — and get 2017 off to a good start — by checking out one or even all of them.
Artist: Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Saturday, Dec. 31, 9 p.m.
Door: $20 advance / $25 day of show
I still believe that at the 2016 Music Video Asheville awards, two bands were robbed: The Honeycutters, for their lovely “Jukebox,” and Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band for the impressively professional video they made for “24/7.” That tune is a perfect distillation of everything that makes YMBFBB great: peerless musical chops, high energy, deep groove, sexy presence and an undeniable sense of fun. But a video can only capture so much, and the group simply must be seen live to gain a full appreciation of its specialness. And what better setting than the festivity of a New Year’s party, with another also-superb group — Asheville’s own The Broadcast — on the bill. Get your groove on.
Artist: The Nth Power
Venue: Asheville Music Hall
Date: Thursday, Dec. 29, 8 p.m.
Door: $10 advance / $15 day of show
Though billed as a funk band, New Orleans-based The Nth Power is far too ambitious to fit neatly into one (or even two) genres. Smoky r&b meets soul meets pop-jazz meets progressive rock meets jam band: That long-winded descriptor only begins to scratch the surface of this fine aggregation. Unlike so many bands with stunning instrumental prowess, The Nth Power features heart-melting vocalists who bring the whole thing together. There’s an upbeat, we’re-all-in-this-together vibe to the music of The Nth Power, but it’s refreshingly free of the naive hippy-dippy trappings endemic to all too many by-the-numbers jam bands. Dynamo opens.
Artist: The Cheeksters
Venue: ISIS Restaurant & Music Hall (Lounge)
Date: Saturday, Jan. 14, 7 p.m.
Door: $10 advance / $12 day of show
Even without makeup, Marc Casson bears a strong resemblance to David Bowie. In platform boots and lightning-bolt makeup, he’s the spitting image. And when he sings, well, he becomes Asheville’s own Ziggy Stardust. With the sad passing of the Thin White Duke, Casson has found his tribute project, Wham Bam Bowie Band, in even greater demand. That fact has meant that live dates featuring The Cheeksters — the original-music band he co-leads with wife/bassist Shannon Casson — are fewer and farther in between. Brit-pop a la Small Faces meets Dusty Springfield in this wonderful group with several albums to its credit. Don’t miss the rare chance to see this highly underrated band.
Artist: Marching Church
Venue: The Mothlight
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 31, 9:30 p.m.
Door: $10 advance / $12 day of show
Denmark-based Elias Bender Rønnenfelt first adopted the Marching Church moniker for his solo works; his soulful style shows the subtle influence of very early U2 and Police, though he wisely avoids the self-important points of view adopted by Sting and Bono. His songs are an intriguing mix of straightforward songwriting, impressionistic, poetry-leaning lyrical wordplay and surprisingly intricate musical composition. Marching Church developed into an actual band, one that can convincingly deliver a three-minute pop tune as authentically as its members turn out a 20-plus minute, free-jazz exploratory work. Bernadino Femminielli and KONVOI are also on the bill.
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