30 Days Out: a look at upcoming concerts

DAY IN, DAY OUT THE GROOVIEST: Asheville's own Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band always bring the funk, but the band can be counted on to bring a whole lot of other fun stuff as well. YMBFBB co-headlines with The Broadcast for a (Dec. 31) New Year's Eve Party at The Grey Eagle. Photo by Jabberpics.com

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.

Photo by Elizabeth Peyton
Photo by Elizabeth Peyton

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.

You may also enjoy: With well 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.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Bill Kopp
Author, music journalist, historian, collector, and musician. His first book, "Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon," published by Rowman & Littlefield, is available now. Follow me @the_musoscribe

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.