30 Days Out: a look at upcoming concerts

STILL GYRATING: 37 years after Athens-based Pylon released its debut LP, singer Vanessa Hay leads friends in a living tribute to her old (and very influential) band. Pylon Reenactment Society plays the Mothlight June 27. Photo by Chris Sikich

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 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.

Three of this edition’s artists are local to Asheville, and the other represents an important piece of the history of nearby Athens, Ga.’s music scene.

Artist: Pylon Reenactment Society
Venue: The Mothlight
Date: Tuesday, June 27, 9 p.m.
Door: $15 advance / $20 day of show
Back before the Athens music scene attracted the notice of outsiders — as in, before R.E.M.’s Murmur — Pylon was considered a strong contender for the Next Big Thing. The group never quite made the leap to the major-label world, and so remained something of a favorite chiefly among those who dug a bit deeper. But Pylon’s dance-focused sound would exert a huge influence on the bands to follow in its wake, including the B-52’s. The band folded in 1983 and reunited a couple of times thereafter. Today the band’s vocalist Vanessa Briscoe Hay leads a group of Athens musicians as Pylon Reenactment Society, keeping her old band’s music alive. In a synergistic bit of billing, Cindy Wilson of the B-52’s is the night’s headliner.

Artist: Samuel Paradise
Venue: Noble Kava
Date: Saturday, June 24, midnight
Door: free
Samuel Paradise, known offstage as Jonathan Samuels, makes bass- and sample-centric music. While listeners may detect some musical kinship with the swirling, progressive-jam sounds of groups like Ozric Tentacles, there’s a downtempo/chillwave vibe to Paradise’s one-man sonic creations. Heavy on the beat and throbbing bass, Samuel Paradise’s musical excursions also occasionally suggest the more avant-dance collaborations of Brian Eno and David Byrne. Having made those points, I’d guess nonetheless that Paradise would be more likely to cite as influences younger, contemporary artists. Either way, it’s heady stuff. This late-night show is an afterparty (“until it’s over”) for the artist’s 8 p.m. album release show at The Altamont Theatre.

Artist: Asheville Percussion
Venue: Isis Music Hall
Date: Thursday, June 29, 7:30 p.m.
Door: $10
This ensemble’s name is a misnomer, both in terms of the material (the most worldly of world music) and scope (globe-trotting musicians), the label “Asheville Percussion” doesn’t even begin to hint at the wondrous nuances within. Led by highly in-demand musical masters River Guerguerian and Chris Rosser, this intimate show (in Isis’ upstairs lounge) will also feature members of the Asheville Percussion Festival faculty. The Festival runs June 26-July 2; consult the Festival’s website for details on other events.

Artist: Ian Ridenhour
Venue: Pritchard Park
Date: Thursday, July 6, 6 p.m.
Door: free
Black Mountain-based Ian Ridenhour is 16 years old. Cry About It, his album released last year, wasn’t even his first. Super-catchy piano-based rock (that’s rock: Think Ben Folds, not Billy Joel) is his stock-in-trade, and other than his looks, there’s nothing about Ridenhour that suggests he hasn’t been making records for years. He has several dates across the region in the coming months, but this free performance — part of the Pritchard Park Singer-Songwriter Series 2017 — is perhaps the most convenient way for Asheville concertgoers to catch his set.

You may also enjoy: With nearly 2500 entries and nearly 500 interviews, my Musoscribe blog features new content — features, reviews and more — every business day. A proud tradition since 2009, now in its ninth year. My first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon, will be published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018.


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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

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