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 you to the show.
This issue’s got it all: jazz, pop, funky soul and psychobilly. And you can take all four shows in for a total of only $20; that’d be a deal at twice the price.
Artist: Rational Discourse
Venue: The Mothlight
Date: Tuesday, Sept. 23, 8:30 p.m.
This one’s hard to describe, difficult to pin down, and — if you miss this show — it’s knot yet known when you’ll get another chance. Described as “aggressive rock/jazz/nastiness hybrid,” Steve Alford‘s “small big band” comprised of some of Asheville’s most innovative musicians has been gathering for a weekly gig at The Mothlight. The group’s live album (recorded earlier this year at The Mothlight) is in the mixing stage right now, and due out soon. The fact is that there’s not a huge market for this kind of thrilling, original, boundary-pushing music in Asheville, so the group’s Mothlight residency ends after this show (plans are already underway to host Rational Discourse’s regular set at another local venue). If you’re the sort who believes in the support-local-music mantra, this will be an excellent opportunity for you to walk it like you talk it.
Artist: Gardens & Villa
Venue: The Millroom
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 1, 9 p.m.
Door: $10 advance / $12 day of show
Though the band grew out of an earlier postpunk-leaning project, Gardens & Villa isn’t afraid to build its songs around a drum machine beat or a stuttering analog synth line. There’s more to the California five-piece than that, though: its hypnotic and melodic numbers evoke the best of ’80s synthpop without aping the style. Some of the group’s music is reminiscent of Brian Eno‘s mid ’70s work, albeit with a more pop-oriented sensibility. SANDY Alex G opens, and this is an all-ages show.
Artist: The Deep Fried Five
Venue: Highland Brewing
Date: Friday, Oct. 3, 6:30 p.m.
The ongoing revival of 70s soul — chugging, kinetic percussion, wah-wah guitars and gurgling organ, all in support of out-front melodic vocal — is very much alive in the music of this Nashville group. They manage to incorporate disco beats without losing the organic feel of classic soul and R&B. Funky soul grooves, searing lead guitar lines and modern flourishes like turntable scratching highlight the group’s timeless approach. If you dig The New Mastersounds — the Leeds, UK-based boogaloo outfit that has become an Asheville favorite — then you’ll enjoy The Deep Fried Five; they’ve opened for TNM many times.
Artist: Go Devils
Venue: Jack of the Wood
Date: Friday, Oct. 10, 9 p.m.
This Asheville trio has been together four years; its label describes the group’s sound as “an original infusion of roots, rockabilly, punk, country, swing, and psychobilly.” Think of the retro-updated approach of The Stray Cats crossed with the musical anarchy of Memphis legends Tav Falco and the Panther Burns, and you’ll have some idea of what to expect. The close confines of the Jack of the Wood stage guarantee that if you go, you’ll pretty much be part of the action. The YouTube videoclip for the band’s new single “Rise Up” from its album Appalachian Book of the Dead shows that Go Devils’ music deftly weds the campfire singalong aesthetic to uncompromising punk rock. Rory Kelly opens.
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