Random acts

Of note

The Nikki Talley Band has recently announced it’s working on a new, as yet unnamed CD. There has been no news of a release date for the effort. The group recently re-entered the local music scene after a brief hiatus. For more information, visit www.nikkitalley.com.

Local indie/punk label Celibate Records has a new compilation album in the works. The project’s working title is Music to Murder that Someone Special To, and it is currently slated for release on July 25, the first day of the upcoming Ghouls Night Out festival. The album’s current lineup will feature locals Evilive and Holiday Rd., as well as national acts like Mister Monster and Blitzkid. For more information on the project, visit www.celibaterecords.itgo.com.

Front-row reviews

Who: Snowglobe w/Lucero

Where: Vincent’s Ear

When: Sunday, April 21

Ordinarily, a show featuring Snowglobe and fellow Memphis-based pals Lucero would have generated a buzz. Now on a tour of the southern U.S., the two bands are already major players in the Memphis rock scene, and getting a crowd out to see them in Asheville shouldn’t have been much of a challenge.

Instead, they were greeted with a nearly empty house.

The two brash, up-and-coming groups were simply out-buzzed — a couple streets over, Widespread Panic was playing a sold-out gig at the Civic Center arena.

Nonetheless, Snowglobe put on a massively entertaining show. Their sound, a mixture of ’60s pop-rock infused with massive doses of country blues and Memphis twang, was unusually rich — largely due to the addition of Beach Boys-like keyboard sections, which drastically altered the tone of their alt-country offerings. Gritty harmonies and utterly unexpected segues were nice stylistic touches that lifted their songs from heartbreak to upbeat, radio-ready brightness. Snowglobe made it all seem natural.

High point: an incredibly powerful blues song called “I’m Goin’ to Colorado,” which was both rootsy and dark, yet reminiscent of Motown-era pop. It worked quite well and was fairly typical of the unique fusion of sounds defining the band’s set. Unfortunately, this reviewer was not able to stick around for the “country-emo” stylings of Lucero. Hopefully, the two acts will be willing to give the Asheville area another shot in the near future.

Local vocals

“There is no ego with this band,” claims Ian Reardon, echoing a sentiment not exactly new to rock interviews. Reardon, however, seems to really mean it: “We’ve had our egos crushed to powder,” he elaborates.

Reardon is the lead vocalist for Marsupial, a local group that can be loosely described as an eclectic-rock jam band, or, as drummer Chris Nelson put it, “[It’s] music for the ADD. If you don’t like what we’re doing now, just stick around for a few minutes, [because] it’s going to change.”

It isn’t a wholly inaccurate description. Weaving together influences ranging from bebop jazz to world music to classical guitar, Marsupial has consistently tried to give its audience a little bit of everything. “We definitely want to take them on a journey,” says Reardon. “We want to take them around the world.”

Although they often refer to themselves as an “Asheville band,” their local success has been somewhat limited. “We realize that there is a great scene here,” explains Nelson, “[but] it’s been pretty difficult to kind of get some following here.” Marsupial, of course, is one of many local jam bands, which means stiff competition for fans and gigs. In fact, the band has been more successful playing in towns like Boone and Bristol, Tenn.

A typical set may feature a variety of styles, perhaps starting with some heavy blues led by guitarist Naren Schoenacher, then a Southern-rock jam session featuring a solo by keyboardist Russ Betenbaugh, then a wildly jazzy tune with the sporadic ska moment provided by bassist Brad Mehder. For the members of Marsupial, however, there’s only one major element they strive to place in their music: “Energy,” explains Reardon. “That’s why we improvise. It’s like jumping off a cliff. Sometimes you’re gonna fall flat on your face; sometimes you’re just gonna take off and fly. And when it flies, it’s on, and when it’s on, it’s unstoppable.”

Top threes

Top-three local solo artists’ names as anagrams:

• Increase Think (Christine Kane)

• A Mottled Diva (David LaMotte)

• Odd Civil Wax (David Wilcox)

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