30 Days Out: A look at upcoming concerts

EXPERIENCE ANA: Serbian-born Ana Popović has long been a highlight of the "Experience Hendrix" guitar extravaganza tours; the flashy fretboarder comes to Isis Music Hall for a headlining show of her own Sept. 29.

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.

Since the previous edition of “30 Days Out” primarily covered local artists, this time around I take a quick look at four internationally-touring acts. They all have an Asheville connection of sorts, though: I’ve interviewed each of them for print publications around the country.

Artist: Ana Popović
Venue: Isis Music Hall
Date: Friday, Sept. 29, 9 p.m.
Door: $16 advance/$20 day of show
The label “hot blues guitarist” can be applied to Ana Popović in more than one way. The Serbian-born, conservatory-trained guitarist cuts an undeniably striking figure onstage, but those visuals shouldn’t detract from the fact that she’s a skilled interpreter of a decidedly modern version of the blues. Her most recent album showcases her versatility: Trilogy has plenty of sizzling blues, but it successfully moves beyond that genre into other areas. That said, expect Popović to shred at Isis.


Artist: McQueen
Venue: The Altamont Theatre
Date: Saturday, Sept. 9, 8 p.m.
Door: $8 advance/$10 day of show
It was two years ago that McQueen Adams last brought his quirky mix of multimedia, music and stand-up comedy to Asheville. Well, at least that was the plan: a series of unfortunate technical glitches scuppered that show completely, reminding one of the New Testament phrase about living and dying by the sword. Happily, that was a one-off disaster, and McQueen went on to a series of highly acclaimed and successful tours, opening for big names including Radiohead. Even more happily, he’s back in Asheville for a show, and now incorporates Moog technology into his performance. It’s wonderfully weird and worth watching. Asheville’s own Jason Daniello opens.


Artist: The Church
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Monday, Sept. 25, 8 p.m.
Door: $20
Maybe you remember them from their 1988 hit, “Under the Milky Way.” Or, if you’re a bit older, perhaps you recall their early single, “The Unguarded Moment” from 1981. Either way, those barely scratch the surface of the deep (25 studio albums) and consistently engaging catalog of this Australian foursome. Longtime guitarist Marty Willson-Piper is gone, but bassist Steve Kilbey leads this relatively democratic group as it continues to deliver its dreamy, sophisticated rock with delightfully oblique and impressionstic lyrics. This show marks the band’s Asheville debut. The Helio Sequence opens.


Artist: Russian Circles
Venue: The Mothlight
Date: Saturday, Sept. 30, 9:30 p.m.
Door: $15 advance/$18 day of show
In and of itself, “post-rock” is a nearly meaningless label. But it does provide clues to the sound of this instrumental trio. Drawing as much from noisy, aggressive metal as from technically dizzying art-rock like King Crimson, the music of Russian Circles is breathtaking in its scope and intensity. There’s an amazing degree of nuance in what the band does; the musicians just happen to do it loudly. Getting pummeled musically never felt so good. Yautja 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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