Listening Party: Shake Azalia, Elijah Wyman and Brian Turner

Local metal group Shake Azalia has the honor of launching this week’s Listening Party. The group claims to fall roughly between the “progressive” and “death metal” schools, but we prefer to think of them as being their own brand of thrashy, screamy and slightly whiny hardcore. (They’ve also been flatteringly refered to as “aurally bombastic neo-hardcore.”) The group appears to have recently relocated here from Port Charlotte, Fla., although Asheville’s clear lack of a hardcore scene (Sanctity and Secret Lives of the Freemasons aside) makes this move a bit of a mystery. To start your Shake Azalia experience, we suggest starting with “Best Day of Our Lives.”

Next up is another recent transplant, the memorably named Elijah Ebenezer Wyman. This somber acoustic performer hails from Massachusetts, but recently moved to our “wonderful little hippy city in the mountains.” Wyman’s recent album, Butterfly Needles (mixed and mastered by ex-Pedro the Lion member TW Walsh), documents his year and a half spent living with kidney failure, and it’s understandibly downbeat. We suggest starting with “Anywhere But Here,” which you can find on his MySpace page.

And lastly, we have Asheville-based pianist Brian Turner. Although probably known best for his work providing event music (he’s a regular at private parties and swank hotel lounges across the region), Turner also works as a session player and sideman to a number of diverse projects, ranging from jazz ensembles to hip-hop groups. We suggest starting with “Alone,” which you can listen to here.

Now, it’s your turn. Tell us your thoughts on these groups by posting into the comment fields below. This is your chance to be the music reviewer, so praise and pan as you see fit.

— Steve Shanafelt, A&E editor


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12 thoughts on “Listening Party: Shake Azalia, Elijah Wyman and Brian Turner

  1. Green is the new Green

    Shake Azalea: Sounds like Maiden jumped into a time machine, landed on 2004, and kidnapped Chino Moreno and the drummer from System of a Down.

    I can’t wait until the current hardcore vocal style goes away. Here’s my five cent impression:

    Lead Vocalist: I’m talking about my feelings…
    Bass Player: (jams mike into throat. Growls like the Cookie Monster)
    Lead Vocalist: Now I’m screaming about my feelings!

    Obviously talented guys, and I love their name, for all of it’s non-metalness. Just wish they were a little more original sounding.

    Brian Turner: Lovely, but I could do without the synth strings in the background.

    Elijah Wyman: I liked his songs more the longer I kept listening. I hope he’s doing well now, because he’s definitely a gifted songwriter, and I’d like to hear what the upside of his style might sound like.

  2. April May (steering Wheel)

    I love Shake Azalia!!!!
    You guys are AMAZING!!!!
    Come back home to PC anytime…
    I miss you Justin ;)

  3. Green: That’s exactly the kind of feedback we’re looking for on the Listening Party. Please don’t be a stranger.

    April: Can you give us a little context for Shake Azalia? Were they big in the Port Charlotte scene? Any idea why they moved to Asheville?

  4. Elijah Ebenezer Wyman

    Hi Green,

    Thanks for your nice comment about my music. I am doing way better. I had a kidney transplant this summer, and so far it’s been awesome.

    Hopefully someday I’ll meet you at a show in Asheville!

    -elijahwyman. (This is an awesome socially conscious label run by my good friend who gave me his kidney!)

  5. Justin

    Hey Steve! This is Justin from Shake Azalia and first off I (and the rest of the dudes) would like to thank you very much for putting us in this Listening Party! very cool man!

    to answer your question, we moved to Asheville for a few reasons…one being we all just wanted out of Florida and here in Asheville we are in more of a central location for shows/tours. it would take us 6 hours just to get out of FL!

    We have been up here for about 6 months and love it so far! bout to start playing shows and be a full time band again!

    thanks again man!


  6. Justin: That’s interesting. There seems to be a growing number of creative types — including musicians — that see Asheville as a nice place to be based out of, rather than move here to for its “scene.” Not that long ago, the scene seemed to be first. It’s definitely a shift.

    Are you finding the local music/arts scene to be fairly supportive?

  7. Justin

    yeah, so far so good! we have met a lot of cool dudes at shows and a lot of people that support us/local music.

    You should come to the show on the 10th and hang out with us all!

  8. Brian Wilde

    I actually had a chance to talk with Shake Azalia prior to them moving up here and the reason was it’s location really. They said being in Florida, you just tour the coast and it’s harder to get up north, being in Asheville they’re in the middle of the East Coast so touring North and West is easier.

  9. Brian Wilde

    Whoops, didn’t read that he’d already answered, haha.

    I’m really looking forward to your show with Look What I Did.

  10. Bonita

    Shake Azalia is an amazing band. Hands down. They were HUGE in Port Charlotte. The day of their last show in PC, EVERYONE came and by the end people were almost in tears.

    and the name Shake Azalia is because of Billy’s daughter Azalia dancing to their music.

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