Twice monthly, my blog 30 Days Out spotlights upcoming music shows and events of note, often 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 around I take a quick look at the nexus where psychedelia and classical meet, a local jam, ukulele music, and an edgy singer-songwriter for the 21st century.
Artist: Reed Mathis & Electric Beethoven
Venue: Salvage Station
Date: Sunday, Jan. 29, 8 p.m.
In 2017, it’s mighty tough to come up with a musical idea that hasn’t been done before. Even such sonic innovators as the Flaming Lips seem to have run out of ideas (Miley Cyrus? Really?) But Reed Mathis seems to have found one. Using the music of German composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Mathis and his cohorts — including members of Ratdog and Primus — have created a series of dance concerts (they call ’em “Resonance Field Tests,” which sounds very classic-era Flaming Lips-y) that present the master’s work in updated, electric (and reputedly psychedelic) form. Mathis believes Beethoven’s music has healing, transcendent properties. The concept alone is intriguing enough to make this worth checking out.
Artist: Travers Jam
Venue: Pisgah Brewing Co.
Date: Sunday, Jan. 22, 6 p.m.
Twin brothers Kyle and Eric Travers’ group Travers Brothership released its first full-length album, A Way to Survive, in August. The band was named by Mountain Xpress readers in 2016 as No. 1 Alternative Band in Western North Carolina. But for some time now, the brothers have also led a regular jam at Pisgah Brewing Co.. With A Way to Survive having the potential to take the band to the next level, the jam is an opportunity for other up-and-coming local musicians to be able to say, “I played with them before they were big.”
Artist: Reecy Pontiff
Venue: The Crow & Quill
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 1, 9 p.m.
Door: $5-10 suggested
This Colorado Springs singer-ukulele player has a strong voice and a winning sense of humor. She has a background providing music for New Orleans burlesque revues, and there’s a wacky YouTube video of her singing Elvis’ “Suspicious Minds,” karaoke style. Her songs, as featured on ReverbNation, show a performer who knows how to arrange a tune and get the most from just a voice and a tiny, four-stringed instrument. Pontiff’s full-band arrangements are good, too.
Artist: Margaret Glaspy
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 7, 8 p.m.
Door: $12 advance / $15 day of show
Last summer, at age 26, singer-songwriter Margaret Glaspy released her debut album, Emotions and Math. But her experience with making music and recording belies her age; she’s proficient on several instruments, knows her way around a recording console and writes lyrics that tend more toward the universal than the introspective. She has toured as a vocalist with many other artists, but has only been touring under her own name for the last six months or so. That said, she comes off as a seasoned presence onstage, and her music is closer to that of, say, PJ Harvey than your typical so-called sensitive singer-songwriter. Bad Bad Hats open.
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