30 Days Out: a look at upcoming concerts

HOLD ON TO THIS: Asheville-based Black Box Theory digs deep into the possibilities of dance- and trance-oriented synthesizer instrumentals. Darion Bradley's intriguing one-man project takes the headlining stage spot at Sly Grog on Jan. 30. Photo courtesy of Bradley

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.

Glitchy experimental synthesizer music; raucous piano-led rock ‘n’ roll; modern rock mixed with reggae; and folk with contemporary textures: that wide array of sounds — two of which come courtesy of local acts — is just some of what’s on offer in the next 30 days here in Asheville.

Artist: Black Box Theory
Venue: Sly Grog
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 30, 9 p.m.
Door: $5
Darion Bradley is Black Box Theory. Bradley’s day job involves crafting handmade synthesizers at MakeNoise; his primary artistic pursuit is creating hypnotic,throbbing synth-based compositions. The head-swirling ambience of his work relies on insistent beats and sample manipulation, crafting a sometimes dark but always intriguing sonic landscape. He’s preternaturally prolific, with more than a dozen EP- or album-length projects available on his Bandcamp site. The live context only adds to the unpredictability of the sounds emanating from Black Box Theory. Also on the bill: Walkhome and Jake Pugh.


Artist: Low Cut Connie
Venue: Ellington Underground
Date: Friday, Feb. 9, 10 p.m.
Door: $12-$40
From Philadelphia comes Low Cut Connie, reputedly one of the best and most high-energy acts touring today. After a pair of self-released albums (2011’s Get Out the Lotion and Call Me Sylvia from the following year), the quintet launched its own label, Contender Records. Led by pianist-vocalist Adam Weiner, the band has earned positive reviews; in 2015 President Barack Obama added the group’s “Boozophilia” to his Spotify playlist. May 2017 saw release of the album Dirty Pictures (Part 1); a followup is imminent. Asheville’s own Dirty Badgers open the show.


Artist: The Get Right Band
Venue: Asheville Music Hall
Date: Saturday, Feb. 10, 10 p.m.
Door: $10 donation
This Asheville-based trio has found the sweet spot where reggae and rock intersect. The Get Right Band’s 2017 release Who’s in Charge? combines elements of those styles, boldly adding a dose of funk to the mix. The knotty beats of tracks like “Requiem for the Chemical Memory” will satisfy fans of hard (and even progressive) rock, but a Caribbean rock-steady vibe is applied to offset the heaviness with a dance-oriented feel. This show will be recorded for a live-album release.


Artist: Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards
Venue: Isis Music Hall
Date: Saturday, Feb. 24, 7 p.m.
Door: $12 advance / $15 day of show
Boston-based Cortese is a fiddler and singer-songwriter. Cortese release her debut, Hush, in 2004. Though her early material was primarily in a folk vein, the Berklee-trained music has since expanded her sonic palette; 2017’s California Calling moves in a rock direction and features synthesizers right alongside the fiddles and Americana textures. The new album’s “Hold On” combines fiddlin’ folk with the kinds of modern elements Suzanne Vega employed on her groundbreaking 1990s release, 99.9F°.

You may also enjoy: With more than 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 next month by Rowman & Littlefield.


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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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