30 Days Out: a look at upcoming concerts

GOOD VIBRATIONS: Born in Australia, thereminist/synthesist Shueh-li Ong began her career in Singapore; these days she lives in Nashville. Her music reconciles the chasm between artistic inclinations and accessible, pop-leaning material. Photo courtesy of the musician

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.

Music of the spheres, soul jazz, swing and electronic pop are on the menu this go-round. Two of the four spotlighted acts are local, and one of the shows is free.

Artist: Shueh-li Ong
Venue: White Horse Black Mountain
Date: Sunday, Aug. 13, 7:30 p.m.
Door: $12 advance / $15 day of show
When you’re billed as “Singapore’s diva of the Theremin,” it’s a safe bet that your music is on the arty, experimental side. But Shueh-Li (pronounced “Shelly”) makes music that’s far more accessible than the label might suggest. Yes, she’s astoundingly adept on the strange instrument, but the music she makes is closer to Ryuchi Sakamoto and Ozric Tentacles than to, say, Clara Rockmore. (These days Shueh-li is based in Nashville; go figure.) Asheville electronic musician — and prime mover of the annual Electro Music Fest — Greg Walzer opens.

Artist: Jason DeCristofaro Quartet
Venue: The Crow & Quill
Date: Saturday, July 29, 9 p.m.
Door: $5-10 suggested
Jason DeCristofaro is one of the busiest musicians on the local and regional scene. A multi-instrumentalist, his primary instrument is vibraphone. He’s also an accomplished composer whose work extends across many genres and styles. He’s a music educator as well, teaching at Warren Wilson College, AB-Tech and via private lessons. DeCristofaro hosts a weekly jazz showcase at Brevard’s Phoenix, but this set at The Crow & Quill represents a nearly effortless way for Asheville concertgoers to see him in a nearby, informal setting. For this set, the vibes master leads a quartet in an uptempo evening of swing jazz. Bring those dancing shoes.


Artist: Sister Ivy
Venue: The Altamont Theatre
Date: Thursday, Aug. 4, 8 p.m.
Door: free
This Asheville outfit — sometimes a duo, more often of late a quartet — plays soul-jazz with a modern spin. The group counts as its influences artists as wide-ranging as Nina Simone and Radiohead, Billie Holiday and Bjork. Rachel Waterhouse’s voice is a deeply expressive and versatile instrument, and the band’s instrumental prowess is nothing short of impressive and soulful. This intimate listening-room set at The Altamont Theatre is free and on the early side of the evening, so … go.


Artist: Lætitia Sadier Source Ensemble
Venue: The Mothlight
Date: Wednesday, Aug. 9, 9 p.m.
Door: $12 advance / $14 day of show
French multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Lætitia Sadier is known primarily for her work with Stereolab. Adventurous though that group may be, apparently it isn’t enough to satisfy Sadier’s creative inclinations (plus, Stereolab is currently on “indefinite hiatus”). The Lætitia Sadier Source Ensemble released its debut album, Finding Me Finding You, this year. Fans of Stereolab will find the album familiar enough in its approach, but displaying more of Sadier’s musical personality. Art Feynman opens.

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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