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.
Four very eclectic acts are the focus of this installment.
Artist: Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox
Venue: The Orange Peel
Date: Sunday, April 30, 8 p.m.
It’s one of those inspired ideas that leads listeners to wonder why someone hadn’t thought of it before: Take modern-day hit songs and recast them in the styles of yesteryear. That’s the winning approach of the fiendishly creative — and prolific — Postmodern Jukebox. The brainchild of New York City pianist and arranger Scott Bradlee, PMJ has become an enduring YouTube sensation with its weekly “throwback Thursday” music videos. The live, touring version of Postmodern Jukebox serves up the group’s variety in thrilling style. A universally known tune like Celine Dion’s Titanic smash “My Heart Will Go On” finds new life as a doo-wop extravaganza in a style that recalls Jackie Wilson’s “Lonely Teardrops.”
Artist: Acid Mothers Temple
Venue: The Mothlight
Date: Tuesday, April 18, 9:30 p.m.
Door: $12 advance / $14 day of show
On paper, it sounds almost too weird to work: A Japanese take on a German style of music (krautrock) that was in turn influenced by avant-classical artists (Karlheinz Stockhausen) and San Francisco-style acid rock of the 1960s. But that — in a nutshell (or sugar cube, if you prefer) — is the recipe for Acid Mothers Temple. This expanding, contracting and constantly evolving collective has a knotty history, one that overlaps with bizarre French groups (Gong), odd German outfits (Guru Guru) and much more. The music is definitely for the musically open-minded, but strongly recommended to those so inclined. Babylon opens.
Artist: Adrian Belew Power Trio
Venue: Isis Music Hall
Date: Thursday, May 4, 8:30 p.m.
Door: $25 advance / $28 day of show
There aren’t many musical artists who can claim success at polar opposites of the musical spectrum. Adrian Belew is one. As a sideman and/or key band member for acts including Talking Heads, David Bowie, Frank Zappa, Nine Inch Nails, The Bears and King Crimson, Belew has shown himself time and again to be a master of all he attempts. He can coax otherworldly sounds from his trademark Parker Fly guitar, he can write a classic pop tune (“Oh Daddy”) and he can develop a fascinating musical app called FLUX. His power trio features two of the best musicians around: bassist Julie Slick and drummer Tobias Ralph. Saul Zonana opens.
Artist: Electro-Music Asheville
Venue: White Horse Black Mountain
Date: Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6, 2 p.m. to midnight
Door: $15 for one day / $25 for both days
With Moogfest long since having decamped for the big city, and Mountain Oasis Festival run aground, it’s left to Electro-Music Asheville to carry the baton of live performance of experimental, synthesizer-based music into the future. And this it does well, by featuring an assortment of local, regional and international artists across a two-day schedule. The festival’s human scale makes it appealing for those who want to explore sonic innovations but don’t want the late-night rave experience of a major festival.
You may also enjoy: With well over 2000 entries and way 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.