30 Days Out: a look at upcoming concerts

WE'VE BEEN WAITING: Western North Carolina fans of power pop hero Matthew Sweet have long had to travel as far as Charlotte, Chapel Hill or Atlanta to see him in concert, but the singer-guitarist has scheduled an Asheville date at the Grey Eagle on Aug. 25. Photo by Bill Kopp

Twice monthly, my 30 Days Out column 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.

A power pop legend, a rocking modern-day troubadour, clever re-inventors of pop and a collective of local rockers who don’t dig the Dead are just some of the local music offerings in the next 30 days.

Artist: Matthew Sweet
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Saturday, Aug. 25, 9 p.m.
Door: $22 advance/$25 day of show
After a tentative start, Nebraska native Sweet struck gold with his third solo album, 1991’s Girlfriend. Sweet’s brand of power pop drew from the best of many rock and pop subgenres; his introspective, heartfelt lyrics and supremely sharp melodic hooks were joined by slashing, barbed-wire lead guitar work. Ever since Girlfriend, Sweet has been a reliable supplier of chiming, memorable, rocking music; he’s released more than a dozen albums of his own, plus winning collaborations. His top-notch touring band features members of Velvet Crush.


Artist: Asheville Rock Collective
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Wednesday, Aug. 29, 8 p.m.
Door: $7 (includes CD)
Americana and jam-band music get lots of love in our region, but the musicians who play hard rock believe their style deserves the spotlight as well. To that end, several key players in the Asheville scene launched the Asheville Rock Collective. True to rocking form, membership in the collective has few rules. But there is one: “No [Grateful] Dead. No folk. No bluegrass. No jam.” Celebrating the release of a various-artists album, this show features The Dirty Badgers, BROTHRS and The Mercury Arcs.


Artist: Postmodern Jukebox
Venue: Salvage Station
Date: Friday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m.
Door: $25
Scott Bradlee’s high-concept model for his revolving cast known as Postmodern Jukebox is deceptively simple: recast current (or recent) pop hits in radically different styles (including jazz). It works incredibly well, proving the age-old adage that a good song is a good song. But Bradlee’s group also finds the value in overlooked songs that some may have viewed as disposable pap. As fascinating and challenging as it is entertaining, Postmodern Jukebox hits on a formula so inspired that — should it choose to — the group could continue indefinitely. But in case it doesn’t, go see the band now.


Artist: Alejandro Escovedo
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Tuesday, Sept. 11, 8 p.m.
Door: $17 advance/$20 day of show
Combining Americana with a punk attitude, Alejandro Escovedo is one of today’s most articulate and incisive singer-songwriters. Long a keen observer of modern culture, Escovedo chronicles the immigrant experience on his latest album, The Crossing. But he’s no whiny, navel-gazing troubadour: Escovedo delivers his lyrics and songs with plenty of fire. Don Antonio opens.

You may also enjoy: With way more than 2500 entries and more than 550 interviews, my Musoscribe blog features new content — features, reviews and more — every business day. A proud tradition, now in its 10th year. My book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon, published by Rowman & Littlefield, is available now.

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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