Random acts

Of note

Piedmont Charisma‘s first release, a self-titled 7-inch vinyl EP, has recently been reissued; the new run of the album is pressed on white vinyl. The previous pressing sold out of stock after just a few months. “They’re fancy,” explained Piedmont Charisma bassist Chad Pry of the new look.

Local heavy rockers MiniVoid are still hunting for a new lead vocalist. Andrew Shearer, the band’s guitarist, says the group has been searching diligently for a replacement over the past few months, and currently has “one very strong possibility.” The band has been plagued by break-up rumors since the departure of vocalist Grant Henry late last year. For more info on the band, visit www.minivoid.com.

Front-row reviews

Who: Nikki Talley Band, Les Jamehlo, Marsupial and Reductio Ad Absurdum

Where: Asheville Music Zone

When: Friday, April 5

By mixing equal parts wildly improvisational jazz and heavy rhythmic emphasis over a background layer of recorded fire-and-brimstone preaching, Reductio Ad Absurdum have virtually patented their own kind of music. There were moments when the Asheville-based trio had no less than seven instruments going full-bore. Even more stunning was that they managed to keep the music listenable for their entire set, holding the full attention of the small audience. Marsupial, a solid band in its own right, seemed almost lackadaisical by comparison. The band did keep the music varied enough to be interesting — often switching back and forth from gritty Southern rock to mildly trippy guitar jam, and again later to Memphis blues.

After a short break, the most recent incarnation of The Nikki Talley Band took the stage. Fans of Talley’s solo work might be quite surprised at the change in Talley’s on-stage persona — from the keyboard-bound songstress of past years to the stage-stomping rocker she has become, supported by her surprisingly heavy, metal-powered backing group. The saving grace here was Talley’s singing: She owned her role as vocalist instead of trying to imitate the typical heavy-rock male singer.

Les Jamehlo‘s improvisation-heavy style, a perfect complement to the opening act, nicely bookended the show. Their sound’s a true hybrid, containing elements of both jazz and heavy metal, but sounding fundamentally different from either. It’s music easy to get lost in, and formed a perfect close to an enjoyable night of music.

Local vocals

Chances are you’ve never heard of Robert DiMaio, and with good reason: He’s been hiding from you. Since arriving in Asheville in 1999, DiMaio has been waiting for just the right opportunity to make his presence known. He’s currently recording at his appropriately named studio, Hidingplace Records. DiMaio is also the organizer of the Asheville Music Coalition, a mixture of social club and open-mic he believes is the perfect place for fellow musical hermits to network — and work on emerging from seclusion. For more information, visit www.robertdimaio.com.

Mountain Xpress: What exactly is the Asheville Music Coalition, and why did you start it?

RD: Basically, I am trying to bring musicians together to share their love for music. Musicians sharing is what it all boils down to. I was curious to find out who was out there. Asheville supports a lot of diverse music that comes through town, but I couldn’t really detect a scene. I knew there were a lot of talented musicians around, but everyone seemed so isolated. I also thought that we could develop a talent pool to help people with their musical visions based on the barter system. You know, [a] “You play on my recording and I’ll play on yours” kinda thing. Being a musician involves a lot of things. It can be very daunting at times.

MX: What kinds of people have shown up at the meetings? Have you found much support in the community?

RD: There have been a variety of different people who have come to the meetings. There have been a lot of people [that] enthusiastically support the idea of the AMC. Unfortunately, a good number of [people] don’t show up to the meetings. I say support what you believe in. Don’t just pay it lip service.

Top threes

Top-three unconfirmed rumors in the local-music world:

• Major label InterScope Records has been in “serious discussions” with a local heavy-metal act, presumably involving an album or promotion deal.

• Rumor has it that half the bands who contributed to the astoundingly overdue Decline of WNC, Vol. IV compilation might be cut due to space concerns.

Granola Funk Express is rumored to be contemplating the release of a live album later this year.


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