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.
We’re nearing the end of the “quiet season” for Asheville and its environs; now is the ideal time to enjoy some great live music — much of it from locally based artists — in a less crowded context. This time around I take a quick look at a triple-bill of synthesists: a soulful, rocking power trio; a local pop-rock group poised to break out in a big way; and a fascinating Canadian dream-pop outfit. You can see all four shows for a total of $18; that’s a great deal by any standard.
Venue: Sly Grog
Date: Thursday, March 22, 9 p.m.
Anemone makes ethereal psych-pop that sounds like a cross between Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys and ’80s synthpop artists like Cocteau Twins. For some, those musical touchstones will be enough to encourage a trip to Sly Grog. But the Québcois group — led by vocalist Chloé Soldevila and multi-instrumentalist Miles Dupire-Gagnon — has a depth and identity of its own. Also on the bill: Video Age, Andy Loeb’s Space Heater
Artist: Machines: Cranial Mythos, André Cholmondeley and Kimathi Moore
Venue: Local 604 Bottle Shop
Date: Saturday, Feb. 24, 8 p.m.
Door: $5 suggested
Not just because it’s the location of Moog Music, Asheville is home to an impressive number of analog knob-twiddlers. The annual Electro Music Festival brings many of them together, but for a taste of what can be done with synthesizers, this evening featuring three local artists is an excellent entry point. Cranial Mythos is EMF organizer Greg Waltzer. Cholmondeley is well-known as guitarist in Wham Bam Bowie Band and Project Object. Kimathi Moore is an acclaimed electronic composer who has performed widely, including a recent high-profile set at the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center.
Artist: Wild Adriatic
Venue: Salvage Station
Date: Wednesday, March 7, 8 p.m.
This NYC-based trio describes its music as “power soul,” and for once a genre label is dead-on describing an artist. The groove is deep on the band’s 2017 album, Feel. Wild Adriatic has a keen sense of how to evoke a ’70s vibe that’s equal parts funky and rocking, and does so without coming off overly retro. Had Mountain or Cactus had made music for blaxploitation films, they might’ve sounded like Wild Adriatic. This group churns out dance floor classics for the modern age.
Artist: Modern Strangers
Venue: Innovation Brewing
Date: Saturday, March 17, 7 p.m.
This Asheville group has been building a following through high-energy and upbeat live performances. And Modern Strangers got a serious break when they secured the slot as opening act for Gin Blossoms’ recent date at The Orange Peel. It’s a well-worn cliché that opening acts rarely get (and rarely deserve) love from an audience who has come to see and hear the headliner, but Modern Strangers won over the Peel crowd on the strength of their songs and showmanship. Keep an eye on these guys.
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 book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon, published by Rowman & Littlefield, is available now.