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.
Each of the four acts profiled in this edition is highly respected in its respective field. All are nationally-touring acts. And all are most certainly worth your time and heard-earned entertainment dollar.
Artist: Richard Lloyd
Venue: The Mothlight
Date: Tuesday, June 6, 9 p.m.
Richard Lloyd was half of the guitar duo that led Television, the “new wave” group that stood out from most of its contemporaries by virtue of the fact that its members were highly accomplished musicians. Television’s twin-guitar attack bridged the gap between the wiry, spare guitar lines in vogue with punk artists and the improvisational bent of groups like The Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers Band. Though Television still tours (sans Lloyd), the guitarist has remained a vital presence. His work on Matthew Sweet’s Girlfriend album alone would earn him a place in rock history. As a solo artist, he is neither prolific nor predictable. And he doesn’t tour widely — at least not in these parts — so this date is a rare opportunity. Kreamy Lectric Santa opens.
Artist: Old 97’s
Venue: The Orange Peel
Date: Wednesday, June 21, 9 p.m.
Old 97’s are unique in their ability to combine rock and country; what they come up with is neither lame (see: Eagles) nor insipid (see: most any radio station calling itself “KISS”-something-or-other). With a sound that bridges high-energy power-pop and Americana twang, the Texas foursome is among the best of the bunch. Old 97’s played one of the last Bele Chere Festivals, but in general they don’t visit Asheville very often. Their latest, 2017’s Graveyard Whistling, leans more in the alt-country direction than some of their earlier efforts.
Artist: Aaron Lee Tasjan
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Friday, June 23, 9 p.m.
Door: $12 advance / $15 day of show
It’s tough to pin Aaron Lee Tasjan down, musically. A self-taught guitarist, he earned (and turned down) a Berklee scholarship. He’s won jazz guitar competitions, and he played lead guitar in a latter-day lineup of famed punk pioneers the New York Dolls. He was part of a sort-of-supergroup that included BP Fallon, Blondie’s Clem Burke and Nigel Harrison, and the Faces’ Ian McLagan. He was, for a time, a member of Kevn Kinney’s beloved Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, but when I spoke to Kinney during Tasjan’s time in the band, he knew the guitarist would soon be off on his own. Tasjan’s solo music fits into the folk-rock category, as one might guess from the Gram Parsons-influenced getup he’s wearing in the above press photo. Jon Latham opens.
Artist: Lake Street Dive
Venue: Pisgah Brewing
Date: Friday, June 23, 8 p.m.
Door: $30 advance / $35 day of show
Lake Street Dive became an internet sensation with its homespun Youtube video in 2013: To date, the band’s cover of the Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back” has earned more than 4.6 million views. The musicians were caught by surprise by the video’s success — they had done that kind of thing before without attracting much notice — but the Boston foursome was poised to take advantage of its newfound notoriety. Lake Street Dive tours regularly, and has visited Asheville several times in recent years, but Pisgah Brewing is as especially nice venue in which the audience can enjoy the band’s superb vocal harmonies and excellent arrangements. Ron Pope and Liz Cooper & the Stampede are also on the bill.
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